Michael DeNicola



So I'm on my way home from hanging out with my cousin and watching the game at his Country Club's bar thinking Mike Richards scored the game-winning goal in the OT period.

I'm jazzing out to B101.1 and its Christmas music thinking there's no better holiday album than The Carpenters Christmas Portrait. None. No debate whatsoever.

I park my jeep inside my garage, slide outta the driver's seat with a victory grin on my face because the Flyers finally defeated the San Jose Sharks for the first time since December 21st, 2000.

With all the lights in the house off I reach my hands out and against the walls then stair banister to guide my way to my nice, comfortable, warm bed.

I plug my BlackBerry into its charger, twist the cap off a bottle of water and take a sip, then I set my alarm for 7:02 because I like to hit the snooze twice.

RING! I get a message on my cell. It's my buddy from Pittsburgh talking trash on the Flyers. Sure, the Penguins had just won their 11th game in a row, but I'm on Cloud 9 petting a Philly win. So naturally a throw some garbage back in his corner but moments later he responds, 

"Are you in denial? Flyers lost."

Uh, what? Was this douche knuckle watching the same game I just was thirty minutes earlier?

To amuse butt burger's insanity, I flip on NHL Network's On The Fly and immediately my jaw drops.  Shoot out highlights glow from the screen and penetrate my eyes. Like a coma patient waking from a 24-month sleep and finding out there was a worldwide nuclear holocaust -- I am more than shocked. I am more than disgusted. I am more than livid. 

And to find out about this atrocity from a Penguins fan hurt like walking in on your wife getting hollowed out by a neighbor.

I was mortified.

It wasn't bad enough that the Flyers had a literal meltdown with 12-minutes left in the 3rd, leading 4 - 1, but to spend the last thirty or so minutes believing a team I love more than air had just won over an opponent for the first time since George Bush Jr was elected President in his first term turned my world upside down and shook it around.

I was a little embarrassed to tell you the truth, but I believe I owe it to you readers to spill my guts and eat crow.


*  *  *


Just before our boys in orange decided to screw the pooch with half of the 3rd period remaining, Flyers goals came from Claude Giroux, Ville Leino, Nikolai/Nikolay (who gives a f*cking damn) Zherdev, and Scott Hartnell.

That front line with Leino and Hartnell at the wings, and Briere centering played an outstanding game once again and further prove they are the most consistent group dressed in a Flyers crest.

Bobrovsky was doing well stopping shots and making side to side moves in net, but then like an airborne viral epidemic everything began to fall apart all at once.

Our defense became melted butter allowing anyone and their grandmother to bayonet the blue line and snake bite Sergei three more times to tie it up and force the match into overtime.

It was a classic case of our players believing the game was over and in the books too early. They went from hard hitting effective offensive machines, to a puppy-love teenage couple skating at Rockefeller Center.

It was gruesome to watch. Sort of like having to deal with staring at your visiting Aunt's cleavage all Christmas dinner.


The shootout came and went, but again, I wasn't around to witness it. I was too busy singing along with Bing Crosby in the car.

Sharks forwards, Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe, both sunk their chances while both Claude Giroux and Danny Briere missed theirs. It was just another one of those moments when you say to yourself, "You f*cking kiddin' me?"

So the losing streak continues versus this abysmal franchise from the Schwarzenegger state. 

"But hey, Mike! We gotta point out of it at least."

Yea? Shut your mouth.

I cannot describe in words how much I hate the shootout. I'd rather ride a bucking bronco horse on a saddle made of tacks than go through another shootout. I'd rather chop up an onion and rub the juices in my eyes than go through another shootout. I'd rather slap Mike Tyson in the face while locked in a room with him than go through another shootout. I'd rather have sex with Oprah with my eyes forced wide open than go through another shootout. I'd rather try and fight an alligator with my arms tied behind my b....okay, that's a bit extreme. 

You get the picture.

The thing is, this will not likely happen again this season. The Flyers are entirely too good to allow something like this meltdown to become a routine. Hopefully when they entered the locker room after the game Laviolette stood on his soap box and dished a hurtin' on each and every single one of our players. To lose like that....it takes a team effort. Or lack there of.


*  *  *


The silver lining on this crapshoot was that Bernie Parent was honored last evening with the raising of his banner and the team retiring his #1.

If you've never had the pleasure of meeting Bernie, you owe it to yourself to do so. The man's as humble as they come and is at virtually every single Flyers home game just walking around the arena.

When I saw him I yelled out, "Holy crap, it's Bernie Parent!" He replies, "WHERE!?!"

Stuff like that, hahaha. He's just awesome.

If at any point you just said, "Who's Bernie Parent?" I want you to stop reading my articles. I want nothing to do with you.




Philadelphia ends its back-to-back battle tonight against the Maple Leafs in Toronto. The puck drops at 7:00pm.


Good night. Good hockey.