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Flyers-Penguins Rivalry Reaching Breaking Point

This isn’t a game anymore. This isn’t a series anymore. This is a battle between two teams that hate each other. This is not the type of hate that is used by ESPN to promote a Red Sox/Yankees game. No, this is a hate that is visible on the ice. This is a hate that is spoken about publicly by the players. This is a hate that the NHL has no control of. Game 3 started out like Games 1 and 2 – Penguins score early and the Flyers fight back. Except there was something different in the air at …

Final Call Part One

So it’s finals week at the school I teach at and today I just gave my very first objective/essay final. My brain is mush. I’m not exaggerating. I believe it is a cross between porridge and pudding. I have essays to grade coming out of my ears and christmas presents to wrap and…I’m making excuses, I know. I am not finished with Kerry Fraser’s The Final Call. I will be by next week because school is out on Tuesday. But going through the book this slowly and then having to write about it is making me far more specific than …

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 …

Spectrum Memories: Cat Whistles

To celebrate my 25th year of hockey fandom, I will occasionally step into the way-back machine and write about events in the Flyers’ past. For the balance of the season, I will be dipping into the well to ruminate about some things related to my love of the Philadelphia Flyers, and in general about the fan experience as a youngster. This is the ninth in the series of Spectrum Memories. Chris Therien and Jaromir Jagr were just a match made in hockey heaven in the late 1990′s. Therien, the hulking defenseman out of Providence College, who broke in with the Flyers during the lockout-shortened 1995 …

Cooke suspended for rest of regular season, first round of playoffs

The National Hockey League on Monday afternoon issued its sternest warning yet to players who seek to make contact with an opponent’s head. It has suspended Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke for the final 10 games of the regular season plus the entire first round of the playoffs. Cooke delivered an elbow to the side of the face of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh at the 4:36 mark of the third period of Sunday’s 5-2 Penguins loss. He was given a major for elbowing and a game misconduct. The total length of the penalty will end up lasting between …

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