First off, why am I saying Holiday Tree and not Christmas tree. Simple, I’m Jewish and from Ukraine.
In Russia, the Christmas tree was banned shortly after the October Revolution but then reinstated as a New-year fir-treein 1935. It became a fully secular icon of the New year holiday, e.g. the crowning star was regarded not as a symbol of Bethlehem Star, but as the Red Star. Decorations, such as figurines of airplanes, bicycles, space rockets, cosmonauts, and characters of Russian fairy tales, were produced. This tradition persists after the fall of the USSR, with the New Year holiday outweighing the Christmas (7 January) for a wide majority of Russians
So yes, I put up a tree, decorate it, and put presents under it. If I were to create a tree based on the Flyers, here’s how it would go:
First we need a base. Something sturdy; something to support the tree and make sure it stands tall. The base, of course, would have to be the goaltending duo of Boucher and Bobrovsky. What was supposed to be a weakness heading into the season has turned into a strong point. They have been solid in almost every game. Next step is to add the lights. They add flavor to the tree, when turned on, and appear to be invisible when turned off. He lights fill the gaps, and make the entire tree look that much better. Some people decorate using nothing but lights. The lights are Pronger, Timonen and Meszaros. A casual hockey fan thinks defenders just keep the puck out of the net. The smart hockey fan knows there more to it. The offensive machine churns out goals because these guys feed the forwards. These guys set the transition game into motion. It’s these three defensemen that cover up for goalies when they’re having an off night, as well as quarterbacking the powerplay.
Next up you have to add the ornaments. You have to take your time, making sure they don’t fall off the branches. And you have to spread them out, so that you don’t have the same ones too close together. Ornaments are unique in that from far away they all look alike, and you have to look closer to see what makes them special. Hartnell, Leino, Zherdev, Powe, Betts, Carcillo, and Nodl. You look at one game and you see a bunch of guys that go battle in the corner and dig pucks out. Occasionally they’ll hit someone too. That’s great, but you have to watch them over the course of the season to see what makes them valuable to the team. Some guys are goal scorers, some guys clean up the garbage in front, while others are defensive specialists. They each have a responsibility, each have a role, that makes the overall team better.
Next up is the tinsel and the garland. This adds a lot of flash and excitement. You put this all over the tree to make it pop, and at the same time to make everything else stand out. Carter, Giroux and Briere bring this to the Flyers. These guys have some of the sickest moves in the league. They can take over a game with their offensive prowess. And in the case of Giroux and Briere, they also have some of the best passing skills around. They’ll make the ornament players look good with no look feeds, and back door passes.
Finally, the crowning, point, is the star on top. This, of course, is Mike Richards. He’s the captain, the cornerstone, the focal point of everything. He’s the one everyone must look to to lead them. He does everything that everyone else does, and more. He’s an integral part of the base: you don’t know if the tree is straight without looking up to the top. He’s part of the lights crew: playing defense, and moving the offense is part of his reportoire. The star is also an ornament: Richie will drop the gloves, score timely goals, and kill penalties. Like the tinsel and garland, he too can be flashy and dazzling. Richards is a major facet of every part of the team, thus, he is the star on top.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’d make your Flyers Holiday Tree.
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Tags: Andreas Nodl Andrej Meszaros Base Blair Betts Brian Boucher Chris Pronger Christmas Tree Claude Giroux Daniel Carcillo Danny Briere Darroll Powe Garland Holiday Tree Jeff Carter Kimmo Timonen Lights Mike Richards Nikolai Zherdev Ornaments Philadelphia Flyers Russia Scott Hartnell Sergei Bobrovsky Star Tinsel Ville Leino