You’re doing it again, Flyers. Don’t look at me like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
I was sitting in the press box as you did that thing last Saturday versus the Penguins. I was in my living room as you did it again on Sunday. And then Tuesday. Oh boy, don’t get me started on Tuesday! You just had to go out and best the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, at the “buzzer,” no less. So what do you want from us, Flyers?
You want us to go all-in? Done.
You want us to believe? Yup, we’re there.
You want us to get crazy, scream and yell and lose our minds? You didn’t even have to ask.
You see, Flyers, what you’re doing is making a believer out of all of us. The team that started with one win in its first eight games is now sitting pretty in second place in the Metropolitan division with two games in-hand.
The Flyers are in the middle of a killer stretch of hockey. Not only do they finish the season playing 23 games in 46 days, but the team is also going through a murder’s row of opponents. Starting last Saturday with back-to-back games against Pittsburgh and then Chicago on Tuesday, the Flyers don’t play a team out of playoff contention until April 6, versus Buffalo. In that span, they play nine games that could make or break their season.
But so far through the first three, this team is doing just fine. However, that wasn’t always the case.
It’s easy to write off head coach Craig Berube and the job he’s done. After all, these aren’t “his” players. But this is his system. He got these players to buy-in. He got them to play his style. Although not always accountable for themselves, as the Flyers lead the NHL in minor penalties, the team has excelled, and they’ve done it through the tutelage of Berube and the leadership of Claude Giroux.
Playing with grit and skill, Giroux has propelled the Flyers to another level. The most fitting quote that shows what he has done to the team recently comes from Scott Hartnell, who said,
“Guys will follow him to the Ben Franklin Bridge and jump off if he is going to lead the way.
If that’s the way the team feels about Giroux, that’s the way the fans feel about this Flyers team. We had a chance to get out, but you guys just couldn’t let us. Well, we’re here, Flyers, so quit playin’ games with my heart and go win the darn thing!
Hal Greenblatt covers the Flyers for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter: @HMGreenblatt