Today is Harry Potter’s 38th birthday. Yes, the beloved fictional character was born in 1980. Partially inspired by our sister site, The Ringer, dedicating a good portion of the summer to Harry Potter with their podcast appropriately called Binge Mode, and the fact that Harry Potter literally runs in my veins, I decided to take a look at which Flyers could make the house Quidditch team and in which positions.
For the uninitiated, you can read all about Quidditch right here, today I’m going to focus on the traditional game described by JK Rowling as opposed to the modified Muggle version that is played worldwide.
There are seven players per side in Quidditch: three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper, one Seeker. There are four balls in play throughout the entire game: one Quaffle, two Bludgers, one Golden Snitch. Each position has a very specific role - the Chasers are trying to score with the Quaffle through any one of the opposing team’s three elevated goal hoops, the Beaters have hand-held clubs to direct Bludgers at the opposing team to prevent scoring chances, the Keeper is the last line of defense in front of the goal hoops, and the Seeker spends the entire game trying to end it by capturing the elusive Golden Snitch. Oh, right, and the whole thing is played on flying broomsticks.
Scoring is less complicated as each goal (the Quaffle going through one of the hoops) is 10 points and a capture of the Golden Snitch is 150 points. Before we get started down the slippery slope of Quidditch penalties, of which there are many, only the Seeker can catch the Golden Snitch.
Enter, The Flyers
So what does any of this have to do with the Philadelphia Flyers? Absolutely nothing. Not one single thing. But what if these athletes played Quidditch instead of hockey? Which position would they play?
These are the guys that are going to do the majority of the scoring, so that eliminates the likes of Jori Lehtera and Dale Weise (sorry I’m sorry, I’m trying to remove). Chasers have to be both offensively and defensively adept, as they are attempting to get the Quaffle back when they do not have it in hand. They also have to be able to change directions quickly, out maneuver opponents, and stick to formation. With all of these things in mind, I have selected Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Jake Voracek to be our team’s Chasers.
This one was a little harder for me to decide - what makes a good Beater? You have to want to protect your teammates by physically putting your body (and club) between them and the Bludgers, and you have to want to inflict pain and chaos on the opposition. It’s a duality that is lacking in a lot of the knee-jerk “this guy should be a Beater” reactions. As we know from studying famous Beaters, they are generally upbeat and outgoing with an affinity for mayhem. My final selections for Beaters are Travis Konecny and Wayne Simmonds.
This is a job for only one person with one solitary focus - keep the Quaffle out of the goals hoops. This person has to have the agility to defend all three hoops and the concentration to focus on the continuous movement of the Quaffle. Keepers are also a frequent target of well-aimed Bludgers so they have to have some toughness and grit. When you think of a Keeper, naturally one thinks of a goalie, but I went in a different direction. The Flyers All-Star Keeper is Ivan Provorov.
This is the most important role in all of Quidditch. Not only is the Golden Snitch worth 150 points, but it’s capture ends the game. Seekers have to be aware of the rest of the game while also scanning the entire pitch for a zig-zagging ball roughly the size of a walnut. They are usually the most frequently targeted for fouls and are typically small and speedy. The team goes the way the Seeker goes - sound familiar? The Seeker I have selected is none other than Claude Giroux.
As with any team, you need backup - sometimes people get injured, games last for months and players need sleep. My All-Star B team is as follows:
Chasers - Nolan Patrick, Jordan Weal, Michael Raffl
Beaters - Radko Gudas, Scott Laughton
Keeper - Andrew MacDonald
Seeker - Gostisbehere (if called to stand in for Giroux, Patrick would take his place)