This write-up was given to us by Grace and we absolutely love how she calculated the ever elusive and difficult hotness level.
The 2010-2011 season for the Flyers can best be described as the tale of 2 seasons. In the first half of the season, they briefly led the league in points. The angst that a fan often feels when watching their team wasn’t there. They were winning lots of games, and winning them solidly. Players and fans were gloating in the awesomeness of it all.
But sometime around December, everything seemed to change. Dry Island anyone?
Aside from losing 0-5 to the Panthers on 12/20, they had a long, maybe too long, Christmas break. They started to lose or barely win games that should have been easy against bottom dwellers like the Senators and Islanders. Worse yet, some of them didn’t seem to care. They had a “we’ll get them next game” attitude and promised to “flip the switch” in the playoffs.
Come playoff time, the team sort of showed up, but so did Ryan Miller. They barely beat the Sabres in the first round. What will best be remembered from the series? Mike Richards is a mass murderer. Thanks Miller, I did not know that.
As a fan, there are 2 teams I did not want the Flyers to face in the playoffs, the Lightning and the Bruins. Both gave the team fits in the regular season. And because the Canadiens weren’t able to pull off the upset this year, the Flyers marched up to Beantown for the second round and had their asses handed to them in a 4 game sweep. Kimmo Timonen said it best via @Euroflyers: “The better team won. It’s a fact. We just couldn’t get going for some fucking reason.”
It may seem strange to say this, but the Flyers season, in which they were 2nd in the Eastern Conference and 1st in the Atlantic, will be remembered as a failure. Where the team goes from here is anyone’s guess. The off-season was pretty f’d up to put in nicely.
General Manager: Paul Holmgren (Homer) – I don’t know what this guy was smoking this summer, but I’ve got Dr. Drew’s number and I’m not afraid to use it.
Coach: Peter Laviolette (Lavy) – loved this guy up until the playoffs. His decision to sit Sergei Bobrovsky and put in Michael Leighton was monumentally bad. Hopefully his hockey smarts are back after the loooong summer break.
Hey Lavy, what did you think of the second half of the season?
Team Captain: Who the hell knows? Meh. It will probably be Pronger, who will then spend half the season “leading” from the press box with an upper body injury. No, I am not bitter! I just want Mike Richards back!
(If I could vote, I would choose Timonen as the new Captain.)
Players everyone should love:
Claude Giroux – With the trades this summer, Giroux is set to become the face of the franchise. And it’s such a lovely face.
I have yet to hear from a Flyers fan that doesn’t like/love him. No surprise he won team MVP this past season. Also, he has the most man-crushes of any player on the team. It’s true. I’ve seen heterosexual men on FB fighting over him. Let’s just go to the video:
Couple shorties to start the season. No biggie.
Hide yo kids! Hide yo wife! And yes, hide yo husband!
Side note: I met Giroux at last year’s Flyers Carnival and he was an absolute sweetheart. While I still wanted to pinch his cheeks (see last year’s one a day), I settled for a high five.
James Van Riemsdyk – JVR had an up and down season, but last impressions often mean the most. He was beastin’ in the playoffs and now people are starting to talk more about his play, then THE MOLE. Ack!
Maxime Talbot, aka the Winter Classic man-whore – I had to laugh when this signing came through. Talbot is one of those guys you hate when he isn’t on your team, and love him when he is. Flyers fans don’t appreciate being shushed, but they’ll get over it. I’m sure he will be a fan favorite. Sorry Pittsburgh.
Brayden Schenn – I’m just assuming at this point he makes the team. And all I can say about him is that after his hat trick at the Flyers development camp, I’m pretty sure some girls in Philly are now pregnant.
Danny Briere – Good ol’ Danny boy. While he takes some dumb penalties, Danny’s natural scoring ability cannot be denied. Also he’s probably the nicest player on the team in terms of dealing with fans and the media.
Players we don’t love: This is tough. Since I barely know this new team, I can only say that if Ilya Bryzgalov isn’t amazing, fans will not be happy. He better get at least one shutout (the supposedly top ranked Flyers defense can share the blame in getting the team ZERO shutouts last season).
And Leighton, forget about him. He actually went AWOL after the Buffalo series. True story. This name is now considered a dirty word in Philly and, fingers crossed, he will be buried in the minors.
The Off-season, aka the team implosion
Who they lost: When the team traded for the rights to negotiate with Bryzgalov, it was obvious someone(s) would have to go to be under the cap. Names such as Matt Carle, Kris Versteeg, Scott Hartnell, and Jeff Carter were thrown around among fans and media. After lying to the press and to Carter himself, it is clear I would never play poker with Homer. The first bomb was dropped on 6/23, sometime around 1pm when I thought, "Hey, I wonder if anything is going on. Let’s give Twitter a look.”
*long pause* “Ohhh, Carter was just traded.”
I sat down and slowly started to scroll through the mass of “oh my god” tweets when Eklund tweeted something like this, “Bigger move is coming from the Flyers” and I knew exactly what he meant. Howard Eskin, a local reporter, who has managed to scoop a couple injury stories this year, had mentioned early in the post season that Mike Richards was being shopped. Either people didn’t believe him, or were in denial like myself. Anyway, a half hour after Carter was traded, so was his bff. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!
End of a bromance. This picture was actually taken AFTER the trade. Nice shirt Richie, way to stab me in the heart.
Richie: "The organ-I-zation in Philly has treated me really well . . . but they can take their dry island and shove it." (disclaimer - only a semi real quote)
*sigh* Ok, moving on.
Who else did they lose? Darroll Powe; Dan Carcillo; Kris Versteeg; Sean O’Donnell; Brian Boucher; Nikolai Zherdev and Ville Leino (who violated the Sabres and will spin-o-rama his way up to Buffalo).
Who they got: A GOALIE!!!
Ilya Bryzgalov is his name. Destroying a team lineup for big money is his game.
Oh yeah, they also got Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Max Talbot, some guy named Jaromir Jagr, and another dman (more on him later).
Located at: Wells Fargo Center
While many disagreed, I gave this team an 8 last year. I don’t care how much you love your team, but let’s face the facts. The only team in the league close to a 10 is the Blackhawks. There, I said it.
As for the Flyers, in my opinion, the team’s looks went south with the Richie and Carts trades. They were literally the faces of the franchise. Since Homer blew up the team, I think I have to start from zero and work my way up or down from there.
Who’s hot (most of these guys aren’t my cup of tea, so I’m basing this on female popularity): Claude Giroux, Danny Briere, Brayden Schenn, Max Talbot. (+1 for each)
And since I've ignored the Flyers defense this whole post, they collectively are (+1) led by Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros. Unfortunately, then there is Braydon Coburn (-1).
Bonus point for the new team bromance: Giroux and Briere, sometimes referred to as Brioux. (+1)
Additional points could be earned with roster additions during training camp. Here are some potential Flyer cuties:
Ben Holmstrom and his flow (pictured with Mike Testuwide and Andrew Rowe)
Matt Read, who joined Twitter shortly after I asked his roomie, Mike Testuwide, via tweet to get him join, so . . . (@read1mat)
Zac Rinaldo (trouble with a capital T, and also not my cup of tea) seen here with the Flyers porn star, Gina Lynn. You may recognize her, as she has slept with been photographed with these current and former Flyers: Claude Giroux, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Scottie Upshall, Joffrey Lupul, Ben Eager, Riley Cote, and Danny Briere.
Tom Sestito - who wants you to follow him on twitter @TomSestito23
Final score: 5
. . . Wait a minute. Flyers might now have a Swede on the team?
*in my best Marge Simpson*
The angels are singing. What a beautiful man – Andreas Lilja.
His hockey career is on the downturn, but I’ll give it a pass since he was part of a Cup winning team.
New final score – TEN!!! I kid. 7. Seven is the final number.