With the Philadelphia Flyers eliminated, most Flyers fans may want to promptly switch from pulling against the Washington Capitals to cheering for them.
It hasn’t been very long since the Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated from the playoffs. They lost Game 6 on Sunday, did their locker clean outs and exit interviews on Monday and Tuesday, and the second round of the NHL playoffs are already under way.
Tonight, the Flyers conqueror Washington Capitals begin their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Even if the taste of the Flyers first round loss is still all-too fresh in the mouths of Flyers players and perhaps many fans, there is no time to waste in getting behind a new team.
This series should be an epic one. One could even make quite a good case that the winner of this series will be the Stanley Cup favorite. The Capitals had the best record in the NHL in the regular season, while the Penguins have been the hottest team in the NHL over the last few months. Both teams looked formidable in the first round as well.
Certainly the runway is cleared for both teams. Perennial eastern conference powers are struggling: the Boston Bruins missed the playoffs, and the New York Rangers are on the decline and were already eliminated by the Penguins. The Tampa Bay Lightning are still kicking, but are without key players Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman.
Long story short, the Caps-Pens series is one hockey fans should be watching. And watching any series is a lot more fun with a rooting interest. On that count, Flyers fans should be rooting for the Capitals.
The series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals was a nasty series at times. Both sides suffered casualties. Aside from the Caps whining however, I don’t sense that Flyers fans hold too many grudges against them. Flyers fans are taking the long view that it’s just not their team’s time yet.
So some things change. Others do not. The Pittsburgh Penguins are still the Pittsburgh Penguins. Flyers fans still hate Sidney Crosby. While the Penguins are due lots of credit for their turnaround this season, rival fans don’t have to like it.
As part of the Penguins new identity this season, they broke the Flyers hex over them that had lasted a few seasons. Now the Flyers need a little help in keeping the hated Penguins down. When it comes to the Washington Capitals this season, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.