Talkin’ ‘bout practice
I went to the Flyers open practice on Thursday and it was an odd experience. 15,000+ people showed up at the Wells Fargo Center for PRACTICE (not a game). I’m not sure what I expected going in, perhaps Scott Hartnell’s version of Cirque du Soleil? A magic show from Jody Shelley? But no, it was actually just cut and dry practice. Shooting drills, odd man rushes, all of that jazz.
Per Captain Claude himself:
“It’s a little weird, they’re kind of there and you’re waiting for an answer from a teammate or something and you’ve got to do breakouts so it was kind of weird but hopefully they enjoyed it.”
The Flyers probably cleaned up on concessions and merchandise sales, making the whole thing a little frustrating if having the free open practice was supposed to be a thank you gesture to the fans. On the same note, however, people seemed to really be enjoying themselves. It reminded me of Eagles Flight Night, without the horrifying injuries to major players. It was a terrific night for fans, especially ones with young kids that probably don’t get to take them to the Wells Fargo Center to see the Flyers play too often, given the cost.
As far as player observations go, Scott Laughton looks very much like he doesn’t want to go back to Juniors, probably because Philly isn’t a frozen wasteland. Matt Read, Brayden Schenn, and Sean Couturier all look pretty sharp. Jody Shelley is ready to step in as the 7th defenseman.
And hey Kurtis Foster looks like he might be a force on the powerplay if he keeps hitting slappers like this.
We’ve got the Orange Jesus
Claude Giroux was named the 19th captain in team history this week and it was completely ruined by overspeculation and naysayers. Can’t we just enjoy the BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD™ being named captain of the team that plays in front of the BEST FANS IN THE WORLD™?
The captaincy has been an issue ever since fate took Chris Pronger away from us and we had three guys skating around with As on. It’s an issue that’s talked about way too much, but there’s something about having a right proper captain in hockey that just feels right. You want a clear leader. You want a guy that you can point to and say “this is his team”.
It seems pretty obvious to me that this is Claude Giroux’s team now, and for years to come. He’s the face of the franchise. The crowd reaction to Giroux being introduced as captain was outstanding. People want this. There’s a palpable buzz around Claude that we haven’t seen since the days of Eric Lindros.
Is he too young? Pfft, come on now, dude said, “Watch this, guys,” and wrecked Sidney Crosby and took his mojo like Highlander. Captain Claude dangles like a boss. He makes Scott Hartnell into an all-star. Women and men alike swoon for him. All hail our new ginger overlord.