Photo Credit: Shaylah Rice
Tuesday was a pretty rough day for not only myself, but the Flyers, as well. I’m usually pretty stoked the entire ride up to the Wells Fargo Center but Tuesday was a bit different. What I wasn’t expecting was the awesome surprise that my dad had in store for me. Once we got into the WFC our routine began; bathroom, Shake Shack, and the “big store.” After checking the “big store” for a Rasmus Ristolainen jersey for my dad (no luck yet again) he said, “Are you ready to see where we are sitting tonight?” I knew last night’s game wasn’t part of their half-season ticket package, so we wouldn’t be sitting in our usual seats. What I wasn’t expecting was the awesome surprise that my dad had in store for me! We started heading to section 101. As soon as that cold air hit me, the funk I had been in all day started to dissipate. I’m following my father down the aisle steps like a lost puppy, when he stops and proceeds down row 7 turns around, looks at me, and says “What do you think of our seats tonight?” I was so shocked and full of excitement I didn’t believe him. I walked out of the aisle and had to look and make sure we were in the correct row. What’s even more insane is that even though it was in row 7, there were 4 rows behind the benches!
As fans began to pile onto the plexiglass hoping to catch a puck, Dad and I sat there in complete awe! Neither he nor I have sat that close to the ice during a game! While waiting for the boys to hit the ice, a woman approached the aisle two rows in front of us, anxiously holding a sign that said “KEITH YANDLE YOU’RE MY HERO. ” I know people have their opinions on Keith Yandle and his performance on the ice this season, but I just want to say that Keith Yandle is an absolute class act! As soon as he got onto that ice, he skated over to the bench directly in front of us. His demeanor was somewhat off, like that of someone who just went through it. We all could agree that Keith had a pretty shitty hand dealt to him when the organization decided to end his streak for most consecutive games played only eight days before. Although he didn’t see her immediately, as soon as Yandle did notice her sign, that look of defeat was instantly erased from his face. Without hesitation, Keith took his stick and passed it over the glass to the woman and smiled. It doesn’t get any better than that honestly!
Let me start by saying the game… ..meh. I assumed that being on home ice and coming off a (well-deserved) win on the road, the Flyers would have had a bit more drive… momentum… fight. I expected Columbus, who just came off an overtime loss the night before to the Boston Bruins to be a bit fatigued. However, this wasn’t so much the case. The boys appeared to lack rhythm and aggressiveness on the ice. Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton, I know you two have it in you! I did notice the frustration on TK’s face a few times when he returned to the bench from the ice. Not sure what’s going on, but you boys have to stay positive! Remember there are still a ton of us fans that believe in you! I also attribute the lack of aggressiveness on the ice to Zack “Attack” MacEwen being scratched, yet again, from a head injury that he received as a result of his brawl with Toronto’s Simmonds. The Flyers were definitely in need of MacEwen’s feisty energy on the ice. All I will say Zack is that my mom will be right behind the bench on Saturday for the Anaheim game to cheer you on! So you better rest up and be on the ice Saturday, but in all seriousness, get well MacEwen!
One thing that the team definitely needs to work on during the off-season is their power plays! Am I the only hay(atic) that stands up and screams “AND THE FLYERS ARE GOING TO THE PECOOOOO POWWWERRR PLAYYYY? ” During the game Columbus took four trips to the sin bin, giving Philadelphia four scoring opportunities. Unfortunately for the Flyers, they were not able to take advantage of any power plays. In my opinion, the Flyers could have come out on top of the game if they were able to net a goal or two during their power play opportunities. Just a word of advice for next season, focus more on your power plays.
There is a silver lining to the loss against Columbus though, actually quite a few. Let’s start with not only one but two rookies scoring their first career NHL goals, as well as points. Late during the first period, Noah Cates netted his first career NHL goal and point, scoring Philadelphia’s first goal of the game. This was Noah’s fourth game as a Flyer, as he signed with the organization almost a week and a half ago. I was genuinely impressed with Noah’s speed on the ice. In addition to Cates, Carson Meyer from the Columbus Blue Jackets also scored his first career NHL goal. Congratulations to both! Another rookie I would love to spotlight is # 47, Ronnie Attard. Attard received an assist and his first NHL point during the game. Attard has only played a handful of games as a Philadelphia Flyer, however, his resiliency on the ice says otherwise. I truly look forward to watching Noah, Ronnie and all of the team’s rookies evolve as players during the off-season. Welcome to the NHL Noah and Ronnie, glad to have you in Philadelphia! Others might disagree with me, but I did enjoy seeing Jakey Voráček back on Ice Flyers. I will admit he looks better in orange and black than blue and red.
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Even though the boys couldn’t take the BIG W, the experience I had that close to the ice was amazing and something I will never forget! Especially when Hayesy had a game puck he was about to toss over the glass, looked at me, and then decided to hand it to Jim McCrossin, who in turn handed it to the usher who gave it to someone else. I want to let the Flyers know that although this season has been less than stellar, it is completely understandable to be frustrated, lack confidence, and feel defeated. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is for your every move on the ice to be analyzed, judged, and to be constantly criticized as a professional athlete. Always remember every one of you is Humanayou’re not perfect (although many believe you should be) and you will make mistakes. When things appear to be going in the opposite direction, stop, reflect on why you got into this sport, enjoy the game and play like hell! When the sport becomes unenjoyable, that is when the passion for the sport is gone. Continue to be true to yourselves off and on the ice boys!
FLY OR DIE PHILADEPHIA!