The Philadelphia Eagles may have stolen the headlines all week with the hiring of Chip Kelly, but today the whole city is filled with emotion and angst, looking forward to the opening of the their beloved Flyers season. Philadelphia is a city filled with football, baseball, basketball, and hockey fans that clamour together as one unit. Over the years, the Phillies and Eagles, have notoriously been at the top of the towns conversations. However, the sea of orange and black seems to have taken over the fan base as a whole, brining an electric element to start of the year.
Early in the morning, people began to pour ou their emotions on social media, posting Facebook statuses and Tweets about their feeling of anticipation for today’s game against the Penguins. Supermarkets are busy with people getting their snacks and entrees for the crowds expected to be in their homes to watch Claude Giroux give Sydney Crosby his first hit of the year. In many instances, shortened seasons can be beneficial in many ways to teams who have a well laid out plan. All teams have had the same misfortunes on missed team practices and workouts, leaving only the strict strategist as the early favorite. Even though it takes stamina to outplay your opponent, don’t downplay the advantage of scheme and execution to help be successful. Peter Laviolette has given us every reason to expect this, with his invaluable ability to coach through adversity and devise a great game plan to overcome the enemy.
Over the last few season, the Pittsburgh Penguins have become a pesky rival of the Flyers, meeting each other in 3 of the last 5 seasons in the playoffs. The first meeting between the Flyers and Penguins occurred on October 19, 1967 in the first ever game at the Philadelphia Spectrum and in 1988-89, the Flyers and the Penguins met for the first time in the playoffs in the Patrick Division Finals. Through the years there have been many ups and downs, in regards to the rivalry, but in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Flyers won the series in six games, surprising the hockey world, as the Penguins were heavily favored to win the Stanley Cup. The teams combined for an NHL-record 45 goals in the first four games as well as combining for 309 penalty minutes throughout the fight-filled six-game series. Many NHL players and media personalities commented that it was the most engaging series they had seen in a long time.
Consequently, this has seemed to bring an intriguing element to the matchups of these two franchises. These games have gone from finesse-style skating and passing, to an all out, roller derby brawl. There are more hits in these games then a celebrities twitter account and more scuffles than in an eighth grade lunchroom. It is this kind action that brings the positive energy and excitement, to a fane base that was already pegged on overdrive!
By: Tony Cutillo ( @TCutillo23 )