Hello, Flyers fans! We are just two short days away from the start of this lockout-shortened season, and since it’s been an ungodly long time since we’ve cheered on the Flyers and cursed out their opponents, I figured I’d provide you with a short refresher course on who we enjoy cursing out the most.
Pittsburgh Penguins — I’m not starting off with Pittsburgh because they’re the first team the Flyers face this season, I’m starting off with them because they are the worst. Not the worst team – because, let’s face it, they’re a great team – but just the worst. You’ve got Sidney Crosby, his name synonymous with “giant whiner” at the helm as captain, Evgeni Malkin who attempted to decapitate Sean Couturier during the playoffs last season, and a cast of characters who we hate by default, simply because of the team they play for. Note: to new fans of the Flyers, know this — if we’re playing the Penguins, you boo them. You hate them. You don’t need to know why, they don’t need to actually do anything but skate onto the ice. But you have to hate them. It comes with the territory.
PK Subban — The defensive pride of the Montreal Canadiens, Subban — like Crosby — is a guy that everyone hates but would secretly love to have on their favorite team. He runs his mouth all the time, instigates fights but then runs away from them, and just gives off that overall douchey vibe. Subban is like that guy you meet at a party whose head bobs even when there’s no music. Oh, how I long for the days when Mike Richards would handle that little weasel…
New York Rangers — The proverbial thorn in the Flyers’ side, who bested the Orange & Black every time the two teams met last season (six times, to be exact, including the Winter Classic in Philly). Personally, I think Flyers/Rangers matchups are some of the most exciting ones of the season. The Rangers have developed into a really talented team all around, and damn if their goaltender isn’t dreamy (Editor’s Note: That was courtesy of Steve Jacot). Henrik Lundqvist is one of the very best goaltenders in the league right now, so let’s hope that he has five off days this season that conveniently fall on days when the Flyers and Rangers face off.
New Jersey Devils — One word, two long, drawn-out syllables: Maaaaaaartyyyyy. The Devils have been one of Philly’s favorite teams to hate since goaltender Martin Brodeur busted onto the scene in the early 90s. His Hall of Fame career has been built upon a pile of orange & black corpses. But it isn’t just Marty who stokes the fire. The team’s trap style of play, the friggin OG trap, that they incorporated for so long was boring and the complete opposite of Flyers hockey. And remember Scott Stevens? Yes, the guy who ended Eric Lindros’ career. He hasn’t played for the Devils since ‘04, but he’s an assistant coach now, so stare daggers if you’re at a Flyers/Devils game.
Patrick Kane — A name that will forever haunt Flyers fans both young and old, Kane was responsible for the game-winning goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, sealing the Chicago Blackhawks’ victory. It was a devastating end to a postseason that came thisclose to not happening. And though Kane is yet another player who Flyers fans would love on their team – though they’d never admit it, and though he almost was drafted by the Flyers – he’ll always be one of the most-hated guys in the league.
Los Angeles Kings — Hated by default. There’s an unspoken rule (that I don’t follow) that says that once a player from your favorite team gets traded to another, he’s on your shitlist, regardless of whether he was once your favorite player. And considering how there are four former Flyers on the Kings, well, they’re definitely on the shitlist. Winning the Stanley Cup last season certainly didn’t help their cause, but at least they humored us by beating the Devils to do so.
*Honorable Mention: New York Islanders — By default, the Islanders should be on the list because they’re a division rival, but since they’re never a factor, I’d suggest saving your booing for one of the aforementioned parties listed above. The Islanders haven’t been worth booing since the 80s.