Flyers goalies Michal Neuvirth (left) and Steve Mason.
Last night, as we discussed yesterday, the Flyers had a chance to move into playoff position with a win over Chicago. The Blackhawks, though, are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference — just three points behind the conference leader.
It didn’t matter. Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves on 26 shots and a third-period Radko Gudas goal, just his third of the season, gave the Flyers a 3-2 win. If the season ended now — and that would be really weird, because there are still have 13 games left — the Flyers would be the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.
Many Flyers fans, relentlessly upbeat as far as Philly sports fans go, are starting to get excited. Some are even comparing the team’s recent form to that of 2010. That year, the Flyers made the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and went all the way to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final before being eliminated. Read more »
San Jose Sharks left wing Matt Nieto (83) scores the game-winning goal during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in San Jose, Calif.
On Monday, Flyers chairman Ed Snider told the Inquirer he’d “never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been in hockey.” Except on their first line, the Flyers weren’t scoring.
On Tuesday, the Flyers weren’t exactly inspired by the team owner’s words: They lost to the Sharks, 2-1, on a San Jose goal with 11.5 seconds left. It was the Flyers fifth straight loss.
The Flyers are now 8-13-3 — they’ve lost two-thirds of the games they’ve played this season. They are 1-8-1 in their last 10.
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Sep 30, 2014: Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) celebrates with goalie Ray Emery (29) after defeating the New York Rangers, 4-2, at Wells Fargo Center.
There is a bonus to being a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers. Like all Philadelphia sports teams, they equip you with the tools to deal with crushing disappointment. But it goes beyond that: Almost 40 years since the team last won a Stanley Cup, the Philadelphia Flyers are still considered pretty tough.
And this goes beyond the general stereotypes of hockey player toughness. The original “Broad Street Bullies” moniker has stuck with the team in the four decades since the Flyers won a pair of Stanley Cups in their seventh and eighth seasons. And why not? The Flyers are still known as a team that values brawn as much as brain, that hits hard and doesn’t make apologies for it. Even articles defending them for not being dirty note their high number of penalty minutes.
And this is, well, kind of cool. Kind of stupid, too: One could make a convincing argument the Flyers have relied too much on brawn since their last Stanley Cup, which has kept the team from winning another. But, if you’re not going to win a championship, at least you can have this.
The Sixers are a joke. The Eagles haven’t won since 1960. The Phillies — despite being named part of baseball’s new power triumvirate just a few years ago — are the laughingstock of the league. The Flyers? Well, at least they’re tough.
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Two days ago, Flyers goalie Steve Mason posted this to his Instagram.
Cute doggy! Also… it’s a shirtless selfie with his dog. Let me go on the record as pro-selfie — and even pro-shirtless selfie! I myself have finagled a way to post two shirtless photos of myself on this very website, so it would be hypocritical of me to come out against it. Plus, shirtless pro athletes are way more exciting to look at shirtless than I am. Post as many shirtless selfies as you want, Steve Mason!
Well, guess what: He has!
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