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The importance of physical play for the Flyers

It’s difficult to take positives away from a disappointing loss.

Following the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon, the negatives have certainly outweighed the positives.

The Flyers officially dropped the season series to their bitter rivals and their goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov allowed two soft goals that ultimately lead to the team’s defeat.

However, that doesn’t negate the fact there were some bright spots.

Most notably, the consistent presence of the physical component of the game.

Watch The Red Band Trailer For "Goon"

You don't have to venture too far down the blog archive here at The Checking Line to figure out that fighting is perennially a hot topic, not only among our writers and readers, but the hockey community as a whole.

For better or for worse, and no matter how many of us end up wanting it out of the game, fighting is a part of hockey, and it definitely ends up being one of the bigger talking points and selling points for the sport. Not a week, nay, a day goes by without a fight video of note. People love that stuff.

Hockey's marriage with fighting goes back a long time, but it may have peaked in the late 70s, thanks, in part, to the legendary movie "Slap Shot&...

Turning My Coat For Don Cherry

By now, I'm sure you've all heard about Don Cherry's rant on Hockey Night in Canada on opening night. On his staple "Coach's Corner" segment between the first and second periods of the Leafs and Habs season opener, Cherry ripped into the apparent "turncoats" that have recently come out, in some form or another, against fighting in the league, not coincidentally following the deaths of three active players known more for their fisticuffs than their hockey skills.

Any death in our sport, whether it's suicidal, accidental, homicidal, plane related, or what have you, is tragic. These three players may have had t...