Flyers Fans React - pt. six
For today’s Flyers Fans React, we are joined by Flyers blogger Matt Riffe.
Riffe has been a passionate Flyers fan since he was born. He grew up on the Broad Street Bullies style of play, he was able to watch the prime of the Legion of Doom, the disaster of the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, and the bitter disappointment of the 2004 Flyers. Currently a start-up blogger at Hendrickshockey.com, Matt hopes to see a Stanley Cup very soon.
DL – Have the Philadelphia Flyers turned a corner? Will we see the Flyers team that Beat Calgary 3-0 or the team that blew a third period lead against Atlanta, the rest of the way?
MF – Undoubtedly, the former. Due to a new coach in Peter Laviolette, the Flyers offensive system works wonders when they play it correctly. The Calgary game the other night was a perfect example of this. I would like to think that the Thrashers game was just an unfortunate set of circumstances. Clearly since the coaching change, the Flyers have been a much better team
DL – You’re GM of this team – what moves do you make, if any?
MF – Defense, without question. Yeah, I know the Kovalchuk rumors, and I’ll admit, I have gotten caught up in the talk–realistically, the Flyers need some help on the blue line, not just because they’ve been hurting recently, but because Ray Emery won’t give this team a Cup. I’d love to see them pick up a veteran defenseman, but it’s going to be tough to move around players with No Movement Clauses, and obviously the salary cap.
DL -What’s the best part of being a Flyers fan?
MF – The crowd, the fans–the atmosphere inside the Wachovia Center. There is a reason why we’re the most intimidating fans in the NHL. I just love being surrounded by 19,000 screaming fans, who for two and a half hours, are your fellow brethren. We’re smart fans, and will give props to players when they’re playing really well, and get on their back when they are horrid. I saw Game Six of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals when the Flyers blew the lead, the game, and ultimately the series–best and worst game I’ve been to. I got there about a hour before face-off, and the fans were already chanting “Let’s Go Flyers” during the warm-ups. Needless to say, it was ridiculous.
DL – What are your expectations of the Philadelphia Flyers this season, as much as this question pains me; will they make the playoffs?
MF – Well before the season started, and after we got Chris Pronger, I felt really good about our chances at the Cup. Of course, things haven’t panned out the way that the team has wanted, but there is still a lot of hockey to be played yet. They will make the playoffs, no doubt in my mind. What worries me is who they’re going to end up playing in the playoffs. The Eastern Conference is as tight as ever in the past ten seasons or so, from what I remember. The stretch run is going to be some intense, exciting hockey.
As for playoff predictions, on paper this team can get to the Finals, but I’m not so sure they’re going to do it – especially if they face the Penguins or Capitals in the first two rounds.
DL – Who is your favorite Flyer and why?
Current Flyer? No doubt, Claude Giroux. I don’t think I’ve become this excited about a player since the early days of Eric Lindros. Giroux is a magican with the puck, and has great vision. He scored a goal last week against Atlanta which reminded me of Peter Forsberg. I know how much you love danglers, Dustin. Holy cow, does Giroux have moves!
As far as former players go, I would have to say John LeClair. He was just so strong in front of the net. I wanted to be him in every way possible as a player. The way he set up shop in front of the opposing goaltender. He was a great player in the orange and black.
You can follow Matt on twitter @nhlinformant and be sure to read all of his work on www.hendrickshockey.com, he’s a hell of a writer.
PS – Thanks for the Dangle love! It’s so true.=)