So yeah, I'm buzzed and bored, so I figured I would reminisce about the awesome season the Flyers had this year.
First off, what a slogan to start the year off with, 'Back with a Vengeance' and it couldn't have been more true. The Flyers came out with a revamped line, ready to compete for the Stanley Cup. The real question was, how long would it take for the Flyers to gel together and really get clicking. Everyone knew they had the offensive power to be a competetive team, but nobody expected them to turn the jets on right away.
The loss of Gagne for the season was a tough one for Flyers fans and doubt about the season came into most of our minds. The team went on a slump, but stayed in contention the entire year and at the end of the season, they came on strong and won 7 of their last 10 games to secure their #6 seed playoff spot.
Everyone outside of Philadelphia knew that the Capitals would win the series in the first round and many "experts" predicted a lopsided series favoring the Capitals strong. The Flyers proved all of them wrong, doing 2 impressive things in 1 series. First, them whoop up on the Capitals winning 3 of 4 games, then they won a tight game 7 in OT after allowing the Capitals to come back and even the series.
Next up was the Canadiens, the beast from the east. Game 1 was a tough one, but the Flyers came back and won 4 straight, proving that you don't always have to be "the better team" to win, you just have to take advantage of your opportunities. Things looked great for the Flyers and regardless of what happened next, there was nothing that a Flyers fan could be ashamed of from this season.
Next up was the Penguins, a powerhouse full of youth that had breezed it's way through the first 2 rounds. The Flyers gave it their all, but the Penguins showed that the Flyers weren't yet there and took control of the series 3-0. In a game in which the Flyers could have just given up, they refused to, not in front of their fans who have supported them not only the entire season, but for all 41 seasons the Flyers were in existence. The Flyers came out strong, taking advantage of the game in the 1st period. Staal brought the Penguins back late in the game, but Lupul sealed it and allowed Flyer fans one moment of joy in a dismal series. In game 5, the Penguins demolished the Flyers and finished the series with a 6-0 blowout.
As a diehard Flyers fan, I sat there and watch the entire game, knowing that it was the last time I would watch my beloved team play until October. It was so hard, but I held my head high and reminded myself that only 1 year ago the Flyers were dead last. Anything worth having isn't easy to obtain. This is true in everything in life and very true for the Stanley Cup. Winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 would have been nice, but it wasn't what mattered most. What mattered most is that the Flyers fought so hard throughout the entire season and the playoffs and have given themselves the experience needed to go through the entire long haul and eventually win the Stanley Cup.
With the exception of 06-07 (and of course the lockout year), every year that I was a Flyers fan, they made the playoffs and were legit contenders for the Stanley Cup. However, now more than ever, I believe this team has their best shot at winning it all.
No Stanley Cup was hoisted this year by the Flyers, no parade in Philadelphia, another championshipless year, but sometimes in life and sports, being the best isn't everything. What really matters is, when you're down and out, that you come back and give it your best shot, something the Flyers did all season long. This year made me proud to be a Flyers fan. They didn't do it by getting the best player in the draft, they did it by having great management, great coaching, but even moreso, great teamwork.
Next year, I propose this slogan for the Flyers.