The Flyers longest road trip of the season comes to an end tomorrow night against the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks; of which I will be attending. They really missed out on a chance to end it a bit more positive by losing to Ottawa last night in a shootout. That makes winning tomorrow even more important. It’s more than just two very needed points in the standings. It’s about beating a very, and I mean very, good Blackhawks team. They are quite possibly the best team in the NHL again this year.
Losing Lecavalier for the next month is certainly not going to help, but I still feel that these Flyers have it in them to play with the best. Maybe I’m just too much an optimist. I have said since the start of the season that the talent is there. What is really lacking is a consistent effort every night. When I say effort it’s not like they are not trying; it’s more of thinking too much and not just going out and playing. I have a good feeling that we will see a better showing tomorrow than we have seen in a while. Playing against the defending Stanley Cup champions has that effect on a lot of teams.
**The odds of the Philadelphia Flyers winning the Cup this year as of Wednesday Dec.11th is 40/1 which is good and bad. The good is that the odds are better than they were as of a few weeks ago. The bad is that they were 30/1 when I put down some money in Las Vegas while there before the season started in June. Neither of which are all that good anyway so take that for what it’s worth.
**Ray Emery will be in net tomorrow night which I guess is a nice tip of the cap to him for winning the Cup with the Blackhawks last year. A little extra motivation couldn’t hurt right now. I still believe in my heart that if Razor had stayed healthy in 2010 we would be the ones that won the Cup. <Sigh>
**I think it is safe to say that the trade to re-acquire Steve Downie was a really good one for Holmgren. The line with him, Read and Couturier has got to be one of our most consistent lines the last few weeks. He has really brought a missing spark to this team and helped elevate Couturier’s game in the process.
**If any hockey fan out there, regardless of the team you root for, has a chance to see a game in Chicago I suggest you add it to your hockey “bucket list”. It is pretty awesome. It was sad to see hockey in Chicago be almost left for dead for the longest time. Back in the old days hockey in Chicago was utterly impressive then do to several factors, mostly poor ownership, it was turned into a ghost town. It is safe to say that it is back in a big way and quite a sight to be a part of.
**As a side note to that I have to say that Philly fans have a really bad reputation around the league as being a terrible place for visiting fans; some of it is well deserved, some of it is not even close to truth. Being a Flyers fan watching a game in Chicago has had its ups and downs over the years when dealing with some fans. Losing to the Blackhawks in 2010 didn’t help either. So Flyers fans take some solace in the fact that although we take a brunt of the bad rep blow; there are good and bad fans all over hockey. Stupidity doesn’t have a geographic location.
**To the good fans of Chicago, be you Flyers or Blackhawks fans, I will be in section 101 with my wife(also a Flyers fan; she had to be she married me) so stop by and say hello. I’ll even let you buy me a beer. Just kidding. Two beers; it could end up being a long and ugly night. Who knows? They are the Stanley Cup Champions.