Gary Bettmann, the NHL, and NBC got their wish.
New York against Los Angeles.
America’s biggest media market pitted against the second biggest media market. An Original Six team that plays in “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” back in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years takes on a team that just won its first Cup two years ago, poised to solidify themselves amongst the NHL’s elite.
All is perfect for the NHL. Unless you’re a Flyers fan.
This is nightmare scenario number two (imagine a, gulp…Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings final. Oh dear god no. nooooooo).
Los Angeles, a team with three former Flyers in Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Justin Williams. Seeing Carter and Richards win the Cup again would be sickening. It’s not their fault they were traded, but it hurts that they couldn’t accomplish the feat in Philadelphia. And now they are on the verge of a second Cup in two years. Plus, hockey isn’t the big attraction in LA at all (albeit it is growing…). And that stupid Cartman “Go Kings Go” chant makes me want to scream.
Then, there’s the New York Rangers. A nemesis to the Flyers, the Rangers play in that city up north that Philadelphia despises. Who likes a New York fan? No one, that’s who. Dan Carcillo plays hockey for this team. Flyers fans hate the Rangers. Rangers fans hate the Flyers.
“But Carter, and Richards. They can’t win.”
Well, it would suck sure. But Philadelphia Flyers Fans: Pick your poison. As long as that poison is the Los Angeles Kings.
Look, it sucks that the Kings are basically Flyers west. They’ve basically become what we’ve wanted the Flyers to become for years. A team with a great goaltender, solid defenseman, a top line surrounded by role players. But what affects Flyers fans more, the Kings winning? Or the Rangers?
Imagine hearing it for a whole year more from the most obnoxious people in the country as a whole, New Yorkers, that the Flyers haven’t won since 1975. Rangers fans would almost be as bad as Penguins fans, and that’s terrible. Flyers fans and Rangers fans would be at each others throats constantly, even more so than they are already.
If the Kings win? Okay, Carter and Richards win another Cup. The Kings make their mark as NHL royalty. But so what? Does that really affect us all that much? No. Not at all.
So if you’re a Flyers fan, pray for the meteor strike at any point this series. But if that doesn’t happen, you better cheer for the Kings, because Philadelphians don’t cheer for New Yorkers.