(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 is are Pittsburgh Penguins bloggers The Pensblog, fondly recalling the 2011-12 Philadelphia Flyers. Again, this was not written by us ... OK, by all of us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
By The Pensblog
Knock Knock, Philly.
We gather here on this glorious day to mourn the 2011-2012 Philadelphia Flyers, their fans, and the city of Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love. The city with ties to the founding of our great nation. The city of arts, culture, great food, and great stories.
But the city of Philadelphia lacks two things: Great leaders and a Stanley Cup championship for generations that have been able to purchase personal computers.
During the summer of 2011, the Flyers, with Paul Holmgren at the wheel, had to take a long look at their team and begin to assess what tweaks they would have to make in order to keep the team competitive. Here's what they decided to do:
• They traded all-world leader and team captain Mike Richards to the LA Kings for Wayne Simmonds and Luke Schenn's embarrassing little brother.
• They traded Jeff Carter to Columbus for some guy who skates really fast and a draft pick that turned out to be first-round-of-the-playoffs shutdown centerman Sean Couturier.
• They used the vacated cap space to sign borderline-insane goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
• They signed Jaromir Jagr.
• They signed Max Talbot to a horrible deal.
To recap, the Flyers, two years removed from a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals and fresh on the heels of losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Bruins in the second round, decided to give the team a facelift.
And where has it gotten them? Exactly where they were last year at this time, sitting at home after the second round of the playoffs. But if you're Ed Snider, the beloved owner of the Flyers, you own Comcast, so accepting disappointment has become second nature.
After the jump, we painstakingly bury every Flyer worth caring about. And trust us; there are many, because GM Paul Holmgren signed as many players as he could.
Let's kick this off the way Flyer fans would want it: with the amazing Kate Smith.
Hard to imagine a dumber concept than having a video of someone singing the national anthem. It's probably just a gimmick to cover up how awful Lauren Hart is. Thanks, Kate.
Owner Ed Snider
Thanks again for trying this year, Ed. Better luck next year in the biggest failure of your entire life.
GM Paul Holmgren
Holmgren was the architect for this Flyers team. If he was an actual architect, his building would have stood up for like 8 minutes and then collapsed and killed everyone in it. Holmgren hedged his season on a bunch of rookies, Jaromir Jagr, and Claude Giroux. Maybe getting hit by that car did more damage than anyone thought.
Head Coach Peter Laviolette
The world got a look inside the mind of Laviolette during 24/7. Everyone was impressed for a few weeks. Then everyone realized it was Peter Laviolette and no one cared.
Laviolette was all jammed up to begin the playoffs. But unfortunately you have to save some "jam" for each round of the playoffs. He got burned out, the same way we imagine Flyers analyst Chris Therien gets burned out when trying to read.
Following his coaching victory over Dan Bylsma in the first round of these playoffs, Laviolette was quick to proclaim Claude Giroux as the best player in the world. He was so busy making wild claims that he forgot to gameplan for the second round.
Captain Chris Pronger
Pronger suffered a major concussion sometime in like November. No one has seen him since.
Can't really say much about Danny Briere.
Sean Couturier made a name for himself in the first round of the playoffs. Was it because he shut down a star player? Or was it because his coach outclassed the opposing coach and Couturier was simply in the general vicinity?
Probably the latter, because Couturier couldn't shut down Ilya Kovalchuk's iPhone in the second round.
Finally #JagrWatch has come full circle.
Jagr played like Nicki Minaj against the Devils. Maybe he'll make a blog post about it.
Hartnell is the definitive "guy you love to hate on the opposing team but would love if he was on your favorite team." He is also a dumbass.
Hartnell had a great regular season, but when the lights were on during the playoffs, Hartnell was a no-show. Scott Hartnell has a lot of rage. He will now be raging in Hell.
Luke Schenn's embarrassing little brother
Luke Schenn's little brother played perhaps the worst hockey of any player in the playoffs. He dove to get calls and cheated the game every chance he could.
It all came back to Schenn, though. He made one of the worst line changes in the modern era in OT of Game 3. An old friend of ours made him pay, which made us smile.
Rinaldo was the obligatory Flyer player that would take awful penalties at bad times. He took two penalties in Game 5 against the Devils. The Flyers' season was on the line, and Rinaldo was playing. No words.
Flashback to any playoff game. See picture of Kimmo Timonen in pain. Hear hockey announcer state that Timonen is laboring. Is Kimmo Timonen ever not laboring?
The Flyers' playoff lives lasted less than 18 games, so we're pretty sure Zolniercyk secretly videotaped it and showed it to some of his bros.
This is the second time we've gotten to bury Max Talbot on the Internet. The man will always have beachfront property in our hearts for what he did as a Penguin. But it's a money game. $2.5 million for a guy who grows a sick beard and skates around like Barney Rubble? Pass.
Grossmann led the league making hits look worse than they really are. Peace.
The playoffs were so much better when Coburn would get hurt all the time. Are we done pretending Coburn is actually good, or should we expect more?
After all the bears and universe stuff, the only joke remaining is his playoff stat line.
Giroux was proclaimed to be the best player in the world following the 47 PP goals the Flyers scored in the first round. Three weeks later, he's gone. The Employee of the Month at Wendy's enjoys a longer reign at the top.
Let's face it. Giroux read his own headlines and fell in love with himself. But the hockey world may have to start recognizing the new phenomenon of the Nickelback Curse. Following his power play's victory in round one, he was spotted at a Nickelback concert, shooting some gun:
Here he is, sans gun,leadership, and a decent suit.
Oh crap. Typo.
Sadly, we are almost finished here. The 2011-2012 season was an enjoyable ride for the Flyers. They appeared to be destined for great things all season long. Unfortunately, beating the Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is not the top of the mountain. So the Flyers now have to return to base camp and regroup. We don't know what contract issues they have looming because it's really not important. They will make another mess this summer regardless.
We have tried our best to keep our favorite team, the Penguins, out of this. It's difficult to do given the circumstances of this season's playoffs. But Pens fans watched their team reach the mountaintop in '09, so we know what it tastes like. It tastes delicious, like biting into a cantaloupe and then letting the juices trickle down your chin.
Flyers fans will respond to this eulogy with things like, "Pensblog sucks," "Pens fans are idiots," and "The Flyers destroyed the Penguins in the first round of the playoffs before they got rolled 4 games to 1." We want it. The more you say it, the more everyone realizes how deep Pittsburgh is in your head. If you don't like it, sue us. Let us know the court date after you finish suing the Flyers, though.
This eulogy would've been longer, but we wanted to leave the Puck Daddy crew enough time to preview the Western Conference Finals.
So with that, we end this eulogy.
Goodbye Philadelphia.See you in hell.
You'll always have the awesome fist, though.
And others will always have the rings on the fists.