Dear NHL, you are officially being put on notice that the best team in the East, thus far, is about to get better. Be afraid, be very, very afraid.
When you take a team full of talented players, and you get them properly motivated, and mix and match them so that each guy’s unique skill set is on full display, you create a winning atmosphere. Now when those guys are playing with confidence, you get a killer instinct. And thus, we have the 2010-2011 Philadelphia Flyers. We’ve seen the havoc they’ve wreaked on the league thus far. Now, they are primed and ready to take things to another level.
First, there are the guys that actually went to the All Star Game. Everyone and their mama knows that Danny Briere was snubbed, and it was the right thing to do to add him to the event once a spot opened up. In the fantasy draft, he was picked fairly early, signifying that the players knew how good he is. And in the actual game, he didn’t disappoint. His first of two goals was one of the nicer ones scored in the game (the nicest goal belongs to Martin St. Louis). So this snub, who may have had a chip on his shoulder came out and proved that he very much belongs among the elite players in todays game.
Next comes the wizard, Claude Giroux. He was picked a bit later, but also scored a nice goal with a flick of his wrist. He fit right in with the rest of the guys, and I’m sure had a fun time. He’s becoming more and more recognizable, which has to be an ego boost.
Finally, the coach, Peter Laviolette, was back in his old stomping grounds. Upon being announced, the Carolina crowd got into a frenzy. Aside from the chills he had running down his spine, there had to be one other thought creeping in his head. If he brings a Stanley Cup to Philadelphia, the appreciation he receives from this town will be 100x bigger than he gets from ‘Canes fans.
So the three of them will be charged and ready to go. The players performed well on a big stage, and they’ll want to keep it going. The coach wants to cement his status in this town’s sports history. He understands the love affair we have with our teams, and what a championship will mean to us.
Finally, we have the rest of the team. The guys are rested. They had a chance, for the second time this season, to get a break and get ready for the final push. There might be a few guys that also feel neglected, that they should have been a part of the All Star festivities (Carter, Richards). This group of players gets along well, so there won’t be any jealousy towards their teammates. Instead, they’ll focus more on punishing other teams.
Like I said. Dear NHL, be very, very afraid.
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