Hello, friend. Are you relatively new to the world of watching Philadelphia Flyers hockey? If so, I sure hope you enjoy torture and frustration! The playoffs are a magical time filled with hope and borderline alcoholism. Let me be your guide into this magical world.
If you are a man or circus freak, you are required by hockey law to grow a playoff beard. Sure, it’s mostly a tradition for players to show team solidarity. Have a job interview during this time? Too bad! Hot date? Womp womp womp. Suck it up and grow the playoff beard. There is one exception to the playoff beard, and that is being Chris Pronger. Are you Chris Pronger? Clearly you aren’t, because Prongs can’t look at the bright glow of a computer screen right now (and now I’ve gone and made myself sad). Grow the beard!
Daniel Briere has up and down regular season numbers for the Flyers, unless of course you’re just referring to high sticking penalties. However, come playoff time, Danny Briere transforms into Playoff Briere. The power courses through his Three Musketeers kind of goatee as he becomes a scoring machine. Does he just like spring a lot? Does he place side bets with Rick Tocchet in the playoffs? Nobody knows! But Playoff Briere is indeed money.
You’re familiar with fanbases doing “white outs” and such at games where all the fans wear the same color, yes? The Flyers do this with orange and hand out t-shirts at the door. The shirts used to just say “Orange Crush” and similar things on them until the Flyers tried to be creative last year and started throwing stuff like “Philadelphia Tea Party” on there. So maybe just wear orange if you go to the game, okay?
Most hockey fans have their superstitions. Lucky and unlucky shirts, what type of food to eat on game day (may I recommend some grilled cheese for Claude Giroux), who to verbally abuse when the Flyers flame out, etc. Some people may call them silly, but I am not one of them. Absolutely keep up with those superstitions! The hockey gods smile on those that do. Keep wearing the same unwashed stinky jersey. Keep drinking the same booze. And make sure you sacrifice the proper animals.
This is a subset of superstition. If the Flyers go on a run in the playoffs, you may be tempted to buy new merchandise. Many undoubtedly will, as is the way of the bandwagon. I say resist! Stick with what you have as it is what the hockey gods would want. I still feel guilty for buying a Chris Pronger shirt just before the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. That’s right, you can stop blaming Michael Leighton for the loss in the Finals and you can start blaming me. I’m sorry. Stick with what you have people.
Hatred and Disdain
If you’re unfamiliar with playoff hockey, it’s a battle to the death. Teams go into the corners extra hard, aggression builds up. If a series goes seven games, they hate each other by the end of it. As a fan, you too can enjoy the presence of the dark side on your soul! Have no problem with the Buffalo Sabres? By the end of a playoff series with them you’ll be cursing Patrick Kaleta’s name and hoping Ryan Miller renounces his American citizenship. Think you hate the Penguins now? Wait until you see Malkin score a game tying goal in the playoffs. “You’re the ugliest guy in the league!” will be the nicest thing to come out of your mouth. Give in to your hate, embrace the dark side.
It’s going to happen…I just know it. They’re going to lose a key player and excuses will be made and Lavy will yell and oh god why oh why. Every time! Just one Cup in my lifetime, that’s all I ask for! Gahhhhhhhhhh!!!!
Those are some of the main things to note for a Philadelphia Flyers playoff run. You’ll experience amazing euphoria and agonizing defeat. It’s the best. And it’s the worst. Damn it, Cechmanek…