Thoughts on the preseason opener, brotherhood

As the Philadelphia Flyers began their 2011-12 preseason on Tuesday night with a 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, it got me thinking about the close-knit nature of the sport in direct contrast to its international reach. Despite a pool of talent now stretching from Kelowna to Kazakhstan, some things never change. Skating for the Flyers, Blake Kessel and Brayden Schenn. Skating for the Leafs, Phil Kessel and Luke Schenn. Thus, a rivalry was born. Or is it? When I started watching the NHL, back in 1985, its population was almost totally homogeneous: White North Americans made up roughly 95 percent …

The Lost Season

Nursing the heartbreak of a Stanley-Cup caliber Flyers season that came to a screeching halt with a stupefying early playoff exit is a rare and beautiful thing. Although the Flyers have prided themselves on not shitting the bed in the postseason after being near the top of the NHL standings, it has been known to occur every once in a blue moon. Like in the early 1980′s. Tucked in between the Year of the Streak that ended in a loss to the Islanders in the Finals and the Mike Keenan-led surprise 1985 Cup finalists, was four deeply disappointing years that saw a …