Thanks to Broad Street Heroes

Laviolette gets contract extension

In yet another stealth, early-morning move, the Philadelphia Flyers extended the contract of head coach Peter Laviolette. “We are thrilled to have Peter continue his work with our group as we push to compete for the Stanley Cup,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said.  “Peter has done a terrific job for us and is very deserving of this extension.” No terms of the deal were disclosed, but multiple reports stated that the pact is for two years, lasting through the 2014-15 campaign. Laviolette, a Massachusetts native, was named to the post on December 4, 2009 to replace John Stevens. Despite an …

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Coping mechanisms of the Flyers fan

Being a Flyers/Philly sports fan all my life, I have come to know disappointment and more importantly, how to cope with it. Denial is not just a river in Egypt, but a sludge and rage and guilt-filled trench that flows down through all regions of Philadelphia from a thousand branches until it empties into the junction of Broad and Pattison. Here are some ways I’m coping with the Shea Weber news. Rationalization: Weber and Ryan Suter were arguably the biggest defensive names this off season. For the last few years, Nashville Predators have had them both, IN THE SAME DEFENSIVE …

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Repressed Hockey Memories: Putting the “Fan” in Fantasy

I’ll admit it. There’s a veteran Flyer that none have you have ever heard of. A grizzled, career-worn player in the mold of a Mark Recchi, looking to hoist a cup before he retires. You most likely haven’t heard of him because that player is me. I’ve always had a very good imagination.  The woods surrounding my neighborhood were Tatooine, Dagobah, and Endor all rolled into one and I silently fought the forces of evil until justice prevailed or it was time for dinner. Maybe for some, this fantasy play dies along with childhood but luckily for me, I can’t …

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Crashing the Crease: The Book on Bryz

Ilya Bryzgalov was brought to Philadelphia to do the seemingly impossible: stop the “goaltending carousel” that has been the counterpoint to nearly every success the organization has had in the past two decades. Marked by dismal lows and remarkable highs, the first few games of the 2011-2012 season kicked off seemingly well, but rapidly started losing steam. These early-season struggles persisted and eventually culminated in Bryz’s announcement of his benching at the Winter Classic, much to the delight of the Flyers coaching staff. Goalies are notorious for being quirky and somewhat unsettling.  They are typically the kind of guy that …

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Repressed Hockey Memories: Playing With Myself

I suppose I was about 8 or 9 when I first caught the hockey bug. I was spending an inordinate amount of time with my neighbors, the Ermilio brothers, a particularly competitive duo. We made games out of everything and it was only a matter of time  before we took it seriously. We broke up the year into seasons that saw us playing street versions of sports such as baseball, rough touch football and soccer. Meticulous “stats” and standings were neatly kept in dime store notebooks. In a recent conversation with the older Ermillio, Rene’, he confessed: “Jim, I still …