Yesterday a writer for the Bleacher Report published THIS article titled, "Broad Street Pushovers: Are The Philadelphia Flyers Now a Finesse Team?"
The author, Mike Pascale, is indeed a fan of our beloved Fly Guys. If you haven't noticed, virtually everything posted on BR.com is the sports news equivalent to the brain dead schmuck in the higher arena levels screaming "SHOOT!" every 10 seconds we have the puck in the offensive zone on a power play. I consider this article to be nothing less.
Pascale just misses some old time hockey brutality. We, as fans, love the fights and the physical nature of the sport. Every once in awhile as we watch Flyers hockey, the game will turn into a scene from Braveheart and it turns us into pumped up gladiator spectators. It's fun, I admit that.
But in the mix of Mike's logic and examples, he never once mentioned how recent Cups have been won with "finesse" over the earlier Broad Street Bully mentality.
Of course that era built the very foundation of our successful and famous franchise, but much like the economy....strategy must change with the times if success is one's ultimate objective.
By no means am I suggesting that the Flyers are without grit and the ability to lower the boom when needed. I won't even bother mentioning our roster or the examples from this season. They should speak for themselves. What I am highlighting is that with the addition of head coach Peter Laviolette this team's learned to stay away from unnecessary tilts and keep their minds on the prize.
And according to the latest league standings.....it's working.
I especially enjoy this little excerpt; "I have always thought that the Flyers are at their best when, like Carcillo, they are walking the line between controlled chaos and wreaking havoc."
Is that really how you feel, Pascale?
As of today, "The Flyers are 33-12-5 for 71 points through 50 games, the third-best record through 50 games in franchise history". And how have they done it? With the greatest depth in their scoring lines within the league today. They have a mixture of finesse AND grit. Some players compass both attributes (see Mike Richards, Andrej Meszaros, Claude Giroux, and even Danny Briere in some circumstances).
I love Daniel Carcillo more than any Flyers fan known to man. That's been blatantly obvious ever since my span of submitting my thoughts and analyzations began. But he's scratched more often than not for a reason, not to mention he's quite possibly the worst Flyer to use as an example to prove your point.
To top everything off, Pascale went on to contradict his entire article by saying, "This season the Flyers have been showing that they can win against just about any style, tempo, or system thrown at them. And I, for one, will forgo some of the fisticuffs and big hits for the sake of winning a Stanley Cup".
Did you all just turn your head to the side all confused like some mutt watching his masters bang it out in the bedroom? Cause I did when I read that.
So to answer your question, Mike -- Are the Flyers now a finesse team? I say yes AND no. They're a hybrid who have proven to be essentially unstoppable when in a groove.
Are they pushovers? Again I address the league and conference standings. No one's going into a game with the Flyers believing they can push them around the ice. And that Scott Gomez example you gave? Well payback's a bitch when you're beaten on the scoreboard.
My overall message to you, Pascale, is to quit bitching when there's nothing to bitch about. And if you really feel the need to post some constructional criticism about the 2010-11 Philadelphia Flyers then perhaps you should breakdown some new strategies needed on our Power Play. Unless you're hiding a Jessica Biel sex tape, then I say...post them both.