(Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)

True story. Guy walks into a bar. He immediately pulls down his pants, starts cursing a blue streak, and vomits on the floor before stumbling out the door. Bartender says: “Hey, I didn’t know there was a Flyers game today!”

The Low Down: There’s no question Philadelphia is cursed with the worst sports fans in the history of everdom, and that includes the Flyers. Their arena smells, their colors look like butt, and those are the nice things we have to say.

Unfortunately, they’re also a consistently solid squad, bringing a hard game to every outing. The Broad Street Bullies may be long gone, but the Flyers remain a serious team – this year included. Unlike the Caps, they don’t need to “get up” for any particular game; they’re ready to play from the first puck drop. Just like Mike Knuble… except for the fact that we adore Kanoobs and hate them. So what’s the secret to their success?

Their Secret Weapon

The Power of Pugly? No, much credit of late must go to coach Peter Laviolette, who in his nine years as NHL coach has lead three teams to the playoffs six times, capturing Lord Stanley’s Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006. You don’t get those results through luck alone.

This is Laviolette’s third season with the Flyers (Hawks’ fans no doubt remember him well) and so far his overhaul of last year’s roster appears to have built on the core Flyers strengths, much as Boudreau and GMGM (to a lesser degree) have attempted for the Caps.

And we suspect this is due in large measure to a truly secret weapon: Flyer scout Patrick Burke. Just one of 15 on the scouting team, Burke is said to have one of the sharpest eyes for talent around. He should… it’s in his genes.

What Makes Them Hot

Chris Pronger

#1: Chris Pronger. A newly minted captain, Pronger is among the most effective defensemen anywhere on ice this season. 1 goal and 4 assists make him 20th in the league in points – not bad for a big rig who’s pushing the upper edges of 30’s. Harder to put your finger on, but we think there’s something about knowing you’re leading your team in the Winter Classic that makes a guy feel a little invincible. And with a name like “Pronger”…well, ‘nuff said.

#2: Jaromir Jagr. Defeating every anti-bacterial effort to make this 38-year-old scab dry up and go away, Jagr is back on the ice, already getting three assists this season, and now we’re facing him again. Given the Caps at-times chaotic performances in the zone (1st period against the Pens’ forecheck, anybody?), Jagr and linemate Claude Giroux could give Tomáš (or Neuvy) (or Holtby) (or Saborin) fits. We know it’s righteous to lay down the Jagr-hate in this town, and why not? He’s a stain. He’s the wanker always trying to “Friend” you. He’s basically the Brinks bank robber with a Munster mullet. 10 shots with no points against Ottawa? Let’s just make sure he doesn’t add any more points to his tally Thursday.

#3: Ilya Bryzgalov. OK, I grew up in Detroit where “z” is considered a vowel, but this guy’s name is still a puzzle. So are his tweets. Obvs a big fan of the Lion King, @bryzgoalie30 reads less like a professional athlete and more like a 10-year-old with Twitterrhea. “Childhood is when you are running from the bathroom in the middle of the night, happy you didn’t get eaten,” are among the updates that make more sense. I do NOT want to see what’s in his bathroom. If there is something about this cat, it’s why he’s been spending so much time in the crease. Boasting a .935% save rate so far this season, he’s not infallible but pretty damn close. Worse, Sergei “Bob” Bobrovsky showed a lot of promise in camp this year, giving Laviolette a choice between good and good.

What Makes Them Not

Brayden Schenn

#1: Zac Rinaldo. Sounding like the dumpy one in a Disney boy-band is Rinaldo, a 5’forgettable, 170-pound pest with exactly 0 goals or assists so far. But he almost gave Kings defenseman Drew Doughty a concussion recently, so there’s that. Sasha may or may not care, but this guy doesn’t even rate: a zero save for his willingness to get in the way of good players. We strongly encourage everyone to ignore this jerk at all costs. Maybe like the recession, he’ll just go away. Oh, wait; he just did, sent packing by Laviolette to the Phantoms. (Were you reading our draft, coach?) But we had so many more Rinaldo jokes! Ugh, called up in his place is Brayden Schenn, which isn’t the best news. Schenn’s a skilled center (8 goals 10 assists last year) who hasn’t seen much ice time lately. Whether he takes Rhino’s spot on the fourth line or bumps someone else will be interesting to see.

#2: Ouch. Still on injured reserve are Blair Betts and Ian LaPerriere, which is too bad for the Flyers because they could use these two. Betts isn’t a big scorer, but he’s consistent, as is right winger LaPerriere, who’s out with post-concussion syndrome. And while technically healthy, Matt Carle just has not been performing up to par.

#3: Phans. You know what’s funny? Booing a Cancer Awareness PSA. Fun-nee! Or laughing at injured players on the ice. Hi-LAR-ious! Or beating up rival fans in the stands. Oh, you scamps! Look, Philadelphia: get over it. Nobody wants to be you, nobody wants to live in you, nobody wants to play for you. You are a colossal super-collider of suck, and everyone knows it. Just save us all the bother, sit down, and shut it.

What To Watch For

On the Caps bench, we may, or may not, have put to rest our sluggish opening stanzas. While it’s hard to argue with 5-0, we’ll take a slug or two anyway (just call us Jay Beagle) – the Flyers are in just about everyone’s top 5 list at the moment, and if we give them an opening, it will be very hard to claw back. It wasn’t just a couple star players that participated in the Senators thrashing, it was most of the Flyers unit. We’re also watching for news on Neuvy’s bad paw.

Over on the jerky side, let’s see where Schenn and if Jody Shelley play – Shelley’s just off one of Shanahan’s five-game suspensions for boarding and just generally being an ass (although technically you can’t really be suspended for that – yet.)

The Only Thing We Share

The good sense to despise the Pens. And the Rangers. And the Devils.

  • http://twitter.com/TheHornGuy Sam Wolk

    “Look, Philadelphia: get over it. Nobody wants to be you, nobody wants to live in you, nobody wants to play for you. You are a colossal super-collider of suck, and everyone knows it. Just save us all the bother, sit down, and shut it.”

    Full of WIN.

  • Rhino40

    Full of EPIC WIN

  • SA-Town

    Philadelphia is just misunderstood…and every fight is started by the other guys…

  • Pingback: RED ALERT: Caps seek to stay perfect in Philadelphia - DC Pro Sports Report - Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, and Washington Nationals news source!

  • Jerrymac24

    this is some pretty awful insight, you obviously don’t know much about any of the things you write about here, most importantly hockey. it is one thing to rip another teams fan base, thats fine i get that. but you try and evaluate the flyers and literally every point you have made was off base.

  • Peter

    Thaaaaanks for stopping by, Jerry.

  • Jerrymac24

    maybe you guys can dominate your division again and lose in the first round??? isn’t that the caps MO?

  • Soup

    Rangers fans are way worse than Philly fans

  • Cale

    You must be the one that smells! been to plenty of flyers games and don’t know what smell you are talking about. and the colors look like butt….? who writes that!? orange and black…really? ok most of the fans suck, but i hate to say it there are bad fans in every arena in the league. philly is just under a microscope! don’t judge the whole base on a bunch of fans. and this article is dripping with jealousy!!!

  • mike

    Wow the hockey knowledge you posses is so outrageously atrocious that is actually sickening.  You don’t know shit about hockey first of all and secondly  have fun  beating up on the south east division and losing in the first round.  Oh and before you bash the second winning-est  franchise in NHL history you should probably remember that you losers have ZERO cups and are constantly bottom feeders every decade for a while.  Loser.  

  • Peter

    so you DIDN’T like it?

  • http://twitter.com/TheHornGuy Sam Wolk

    Your team hasn’t been relevant since 1975.  Neither have the Caps.  How are we different again?

  • http://twitter.com/TheHornGuy Sam Wolk

    It’s funny you mention the author’s lack of hockey knowledge, considering most of what was written about the Flyers was quite complimentary.  

    EXAMPLES:
    ” …the Flyers are in just about everyone’s top 5 list at the moment, and if we give them an opening, it will be very hard to claw back. ”

    “…they’re also a consistently solid squad, bringing a hard game to every outing. The Broad Street Bullies may be long gone, but the Flyers remain a serious team…”

    …”Pronger is among the most effective defensemen anywhere on ice this season…”

    So, while your reading comprehension is poor, at least you can be encouraged by the knowledge that you’re an idiot.

    Carry on.

  • The Get Mean guy

    Get mean

  • Brendan

    One would wonder if the reason why Philly Cheesesteaks are only good in Philly, is because of the mis-management of the local water treatment facility that filters said town’s water. 

    …..It all makes sense now! #mindblow #hungry

    Go on….

  • http://www.facebook.com/hopperdi Ian Hopper

    Doug:  You guys are really hitting your stride.  Great job!

  • Tartan69

    I don’t get the Matt Carle knock…he’s been solid.  Any why would you ever bother mentioning Rinaldo?  He’s a bit player at best.  Oh and let’s be clear, we were booing Crosby, not the PSA itself.  But keep up the “snowballs at Santa Claus” stuff, we love that.

  • Cdizz

    Jerry likes wieners.

  • Cdizz

    Are you related to Jerry? Or in a relationship with him? Or both?

  • Tartan69

     So apparently the criteria for relevancy is that you have to win the Cup?  The bar for that seems to be a bit high don’t you think?  More objectively, let’s look at general playoff success as an indicator of recent relevancy:

    Since 1995 the Flyers have missed the playoffs only once (’07), were in the ECF 6 times (’95, ’97, ’00, ’04, ’08, ’10), and were in the SCF twice (’97 and ’10).  They won 17 playoff series during that span, losing in the first round only 6 times (’98,’99,’01,’02,’06,’09).

    During that same time period, the Caps missed the playoffs 7 times (’97,’99,’02,’04,’05,’06,’07) and only have a total of 5 playoff series wins (3 of them coming in ’98, which was also the only year they went to both the ECF and SCF).  Of the 10 times they made the playoffs since ’95, they lost in the first round 7 times.

    I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about relevancy.

  • Sam W.

    It’s so sad when sports fans can’t stop living in the past.

  • Aleks

    I forget were I saw them asking about the line names but I think that the Chimera Laich Ward line should be called the Hamburgler Line

  • Anonymous

    Philly will have to learn to flush twice once they find out Jagr is such a big turd.

  • Pingback: Caps beat Flyers 5-2: Ovechkin Looks Great, Brooks Laich’s Face Not So Much

  • Tartan69

    That’s your response?  Um, ok.

  • Sandra Dee

    “Look, Philadelphia: get over it. Nobody wants to be you, nobody wants
    to live in you, nobody wants to play for you. You are a colossal
    super-collider of suck, and everyone knows it. Just save us all the
    bother, sit down, and shut it.”

    I still love that the first fan fight (including a knife!)  in Newark Arena (I refuse to call my Devils Arena “the Rock” or “The Pru”) was between a Flyers fan

    and a Flyers fan.

  • http://twitter.com/FedFedRMNB Fe(yo)dor Fedin

    Winning Cup IS the criteria for relevancy. In the end, there’s only one winner, all others are losers and it doesn’t matter if they went 0-82 or lost in the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals.Well, there’s one difference, SC Finals losers don’t get a high draft pick.

  • http://twitter.com/PuckBuddys PuckBuddys

    Looping back in late, as usual. Where did all the Phlyers Phans go? Making April golpf trip plans?

  • Pingback: Edmonton Oilers Pregame: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nikolai Khabibulin, and Stupid Old Canada

  • Poop

    You sir are just a terrible writer. Some of your nicknames and analogies made me cringe.