Flyers Use Skill, Blood of Enemies in Playoff Run

April 17, 2010

It was early February at a Flyers-Devils game.  My friend and I were chortling at a poop/sex/talking animal joke of some kind while drowning deep in the nose bleeds.

The place suddenly went dead.  One of the Devils was sliding on the ice, face down and motionless. A collective gasp and a piercing, lustful cheer went up, followed by thirty seconds of uncomfortable silence.  The guy still wasn’t moving. And not even the comical slipping and sliding of the medical trainers onto the rink was making anyone laugh.

“Oh man, what if there was like, a blood trail leading from the gurney back to the locker room.”  I laughed.  I’m a pretty funny guy, after all.

My friend hadn’t taken his eyes off the ice.  ”There is blood…” he replied. I looked back.

Several Wachovia Center employees were scrambling to sweep a massive blood-puddle off the ice so the game could continue.  It looked like somebody had spilled a trash can full of tomato soup.

The guy who laid down the hit, Jeff Carter, was suspended, and it was another reason for the NHL to review its tolerance of late hits to the head, a concept that seems so obviously “terrible” its hard to believe it has taken this long for them to discuss it. Not everyone had been a witness seen the play because they were throwing parts of a program at a beer vendor to get his attention discussing hockey, so they threw the last 20 seconds up on the big screen.

A Wachovia Center higher-up in the booth didn’t like what they saw, and the video stopped just shy of the hit,  emitting a collective blue-balled groan out of the crowd; a plume of wasted emotion as we realized there had only been one chance to see that hit.

Until a few hours later, when we could go home and watch it on Sportscenter 50 or 60 times.

You can taste blood just looking at it.

Harking back to the Broad Street Bullies (note: there is an HBO documentary about the team out May 4th at 10 pm), a ’70s Flyers roster that would have fought all the occupants of the Philadelphia Zoo with minimal provocation, this season has been marked by a couple of things for the 2010 Flyers. First, they are unable to dominate consistently (which is highly unlike the Bullies).

Second, they keep getting charged with attempted murder.  Or they could be, if some of their actions took place anywhere but inside a hockey rink.

There was that one up there, and then there was another one that had hot vomit touching the back of almost 20,000 people’s throats.

You ever seen a man hit a solid wall of ice going 110 mph?  That guy was lucky to have any brains left.  The Flyers have abused their way into the playoffs recently and maybe its just good timing, but HBO is airing a documentary on the 1973 Stanley Cup Flyers squad, Broad Street Bullies May 4.

It’s probably going to be a good reminder of just what violence and intimidation can achieve when you really dedicate yourself to brutalizing your co-workers.  Dave Schultz alone had almost six hours of penalty minutes that season (and almost eight the following year).  So the film may just be the scrapbook of graphic, visceral memories needed to grab the Flyers by the balls and send them off to an inspirational, albeit dark and violent, win.

Unless, of course, they’ve been eliminated by then.  Consistency.  Got to have it in the playoffs.

TwitterFacebookDeliciousDiggGoogle ReaderGoogle GmailGoogle BookmarksFriendFeedLinkedInMySpaceStumbleUponYahoo MailPosterousTechnorati FavoritesAIMBlogger PostShare

Tags: , , , ,

Shop Fan Follow Contact Subscribe


One Response to “ Flyers Use Skill, Blood of Enemies in Playoff Run ”

  1. afvallen on May 10, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I don’t even know how I finished up right here, but I thought this publish was once good. I don’t recognise who you might be but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already. Cheers!

Leave a Reply