Sheila is a 26-year-old writer, avid yogi, huge bacon fan, and even huger Flyers fan. She loves all things hockey except when a game is on NBC…then she loves the mute button.
She believes that the unholy duo of Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire should be banished from hockey forever. Also, she could give you at least ten more reasons why she loves the Flyers if you asked her. You can follow her on Twitter for in-game sarcasm.
At the halfway point of the season the Flyers already had nine players in double digits with goals. There is no denying that the Flyers have depth and scoring ability on every line. The big story so far this season has been Claude Giroux having a spectacular start, but flying under the radar are a lot of off-season acquisitions and rookies. I love that the Flyers keep other teams guessing. It has also been important considering what seems like a constant stream of injuries. All four lines carry high skill players. That is the kind of depth that exhausts opponent’s defense and frustrates opposing coaches.
2. Paul Holmgren
This guy has balls. It takes some serious ones to piss off one of the most passionate fan bases in sports and he sure did it over the summer. No one was angrier than I was when he traded away Mike Richards (my favorite Flyers for the past six years) but clearly it was a move that needed to be made. I like that he isn’t afraid to shake things up when the team gets stale. Above all he is the kind of guy who wants his team to have their best chance at winning the Stanley Cup every year. With the salary cap that is no easy task. I think this is something that is often taken for granted by Flyers fans. There are hockey towns where teams miss the playoffs frequently. I feel fortunate to be a fan of a team that has the kind of GM who goes all in every season.
3. Bernie Parent
Come on this guy is everywhere these days. Totally in tune with the fan base and interacting with fans via twitter and in person at games. And he’s hilarious. On a recent interview with Preston and Steve on WMMR they told him that he was starting to resemble the Most Interesting man in the World from the Dos Equis commercials and his response was that he likes the end of the commercials but instead he would say “Stay Horny my Friends”. What a silver fox!
On top of all those things, the man is 66 years old and played in the Flyers Alumni Game. Oh, and then there’s the whole “two Conn Smythes and two Stanley Cups” thing…that’s a whole different level of awesome.
4. My dad watched hockey when I was a kid and really probably wanted me to be a boy
I add this for honesty’s sake. I am the oldest of four children. My dad has always been the kind of dad that doesn’t really know how to interact with little girls, and God bless him, he’s got three of them. When I was very young he introduced me to the Flyers and we watched the games together. That was our form of bonding.
5. They have heart
It’s the main why certain players who pass through Philly will always be great even when their statistics are just mediocre.
They are a team of guys who are willing to lay it all on the line. While they do have some big name players like Giroux, Jaromir Jagr, and much to my disagreement, Scott Hartnell (I know, I’m coming around), they have a ton of guys who fly under the radar but help carry the team through in tough spots. When they found out that Chris Pronger was going to be out for the season not only did the veteran and rookie defensemen step up their game, the forwards did as well. They handle every “gut check” with determination. Having that heart is not only what keeps a team moving through an eighty-two game season but what drags a group of guys through the playoffs when everyone is beat up. Heart is the thing that pumps up the fans and blows the roof of “The Farg”.
The Five Reasons to Love the Flyers feature was inspired by the Five Reasons I Love Hockey feature on the Puck Daddy blog. This column should run biweekly on Thursdays. If you are a diehard Flyers fan and would like to submit your list of reasons to love the Flyers, contact us.