June 10, 2010
(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The fans who hated them the most. Here are Pittsburgh Penguins bloggers Puck Huffers fondly recalling the Philadelphia Flyers.)
By Puck Huffers
Oh ... oh. Philadelphia, is that really you, finally laid to rest after all this time?
Don't think we're really shedding any tears on your behalf. We expected you to die ages ago, but you hung on through things we didn't expect (didn't want) you to be capable of surviving.
And, in a sick, horrifying, ironic way, you exorcised demons that Pittsburgh fans didn't even know they had. You rolled over the New Jersey Devils in the playoffs as we tried to convince ourselves that our 0-6 record against them in the regular season had no bearing on our playoff performance.
You came back from an 0-3 deficit against Boston while they were shouting that they wanted us next. And when Montreal unceremoniously took a dump on our faces, you gave them what for.
In a weird way that most people here will never admit (glare), we have to sort of be proud of you.
You were a No. 7 seed, an underdog. You played smart hockey from time to time. You did what we couldn't, at a time when we couldn't, and put your disgusting hands all over the Prince of Wales Trophy, and while we were taken aback by your flagrant whining, and general skeeziness, and averseness to bathing after spending too much time in Philly, we almost feel like yinz did it for us.
However, the Stanley Cup Final is an entirely different animal -- and it goes for the heart first. By the time you get there, you're exhausted and emotional and too pissed off at the world to be of any use to society (Chris Pronger(notes), we're looking at you).
And you guys had indeed been through the wringer. It wasn't pretty.
The hockey media thought you were goners after Game 2, due to some partisan delusions about the superiority of Chicago's offense. But it wasn't superior offense or talent; or even pure, unadulterated classiness and determination that won Chicago the Cup.
You see, you guys are so bad at almost everything important in the world that you weren't even good at failing.
You could have just choked. You could have failed to tie the game in the third period of Game 6 and handed those oily middle-schoolers over there from Chi-town an anticlimactic, unmemorable victory. But no: You had to go and make it interesting, and then play four exciting minutes of overtime. It could have gone on all night. But then you, Mr. Leighton, you. . .
If ever there was a bad goal to give up, this is it.
Now we know why. He wanted to put on the weight.
If he had been fatter, like Antti Niemi(notes), he could have stopped this puck. What should have been a routine save turned into the worst kind of fail. Philadelphia Flyers, you should be ashamed. When you can't even fail properly, when no one even knows the goal is good until, like, 10 minutes after it happened, you just really let the world down.
Not that we're surprised. We did come back from a 3-0 deficit in a Game 6 last playoffs to eliminate you in regulation. Of course, the world wanted us to win then, so at least you were only letting your fans down.
But this time? You let the whole world down. And now, all too soon, some fuzzy-faced people with mullets have won the Cup for Chicago and we didn't even see the winning goal.
You have to understand, dear friends, that to us, the Philadelphia Flyers were harmless. The matchup is such that anytime we go into their house or they come into ours, once the dust has cleared from all the fondling and elbowing and punching, an exciting game has occurred full of all the bile and anger characteristic of a healthy rivalry between franchises.
And in the past several years, we've usually curb-stomped ‘em. They were not standing in the way of our dreams after Game 7 against Montreal occurred in Mellon Arena, nor have they ever in recent days. They were clowns. Cheap-shotting, petulant clowns with big mouths and a lot of behavioral issues that probably should have been checked out by therapists in their elementary school days.
Maybe in the offseason they'll have some time to see their psychologists, fix troubles at home with the wives, clean up the grease stains in their apartments and homes, and remember that next time they ought to fail in better form.
You know, not like this.
We're Pens fans. We certainly don't really want them to win anything or experience joy or anything like that. Many Pens fans rooted against them in the Final to deny Philadelphia fans the ammunition to compare their team to our team, and to shut everyone up about Mike Richards(notes) and his Leadership.
Well, now we have denied them that, and while it's nice, it doesn't leave an awesome taste in our mouths -- it's metallic, and not at all like cupcakes.
We all have something in common now, don't you see? We all want the same thing. And you'll hear it from us and from our evil expansion brethren across the state, and all across America and Canada, everywhere except the citadel in northern Illinois where Lord Stanley is now being held captive by some 12-year-olds and random European mercenaries: "Is it October yet?"
Drop the puck already. Somebody. Please?
Oh, and Philadelphia? If you're up there, listening (and we know you are) ... 1975.