As the Flyers welcomed the Anaheim Ducks to the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night, I’m sure many Philadelphia sports fans were huddled around their televisions. But, they were most likely watching the Phillies successfully attempting to send their National League Championship Series to a sixth game. Most weren’t watching the Flyers find a way to add to their ineptitude.
I envy those people.
I’m done with rationality for the team and I’m not really in touch with my recapping side. I’m in a state of bewilderment with what I’ve seen recently from the team. I figured having a layoff since Saturday’s embarrassing home loss to a hated rival would be enough. I figured Mike Richards showing emotion in a post game interview would help the cause. I figured having a ‘bag skate’ practice would whip the boys into shape. I figured they’d take advantage of a team that had given new definition to the words ‘struggle on the road’. I figured they’d come out strong, take a lead, and pummel the opposition. I figured wrong. But, I did figure out that I have no right to expect the best from a team that’s not very good right now.
If you really want to read a recap, here it is:
That just about covers it.
It’s beyond explanation right now. The Flyers have found new ways to lose, and although they played better tonight than they had in their previous losses, they still lost. Sure, it’s early in the season. Sure, the team is improving. Unfortunately, neither of those things factor into the standings. Their inconsistent play bites them, their lack of discipline tears at their sweaters, and their snake-bitten possessions hunt them down and make them pay. They ultimately wither and fall. The demons that they create chase them off the ice as losers.
Whatever it is that seems to prevent the team from overcoming their demons, I sure hope it stops doing its job. I hope they show up Saturday night and play relentless hockey. I don’t believe that will happen, but I can hope. Rationality won’t allow me to believe, but it lends room for hope. The troubling nature of the season thus far makes every shift more critical than it probably should be. In Philadelphia, the fans demand grit, determination and most of all, victories.
The masses of fans huddled around televisions clinging on every pitch of the Phillies game five victory could tell you that.