Winter Classic Ruined by Philly?
December 29, 2009 by Big Tony
The third annual Winter Classic is only days away! There is plenty of hype about the mystique of Fenway Park with its stories baseball history and coupling that with the return of hockey to its roots by playing an outdoor game. The stage will be magical, the fans excited in stadium and out, the media frenzy is on, and the players are psyched as they day gets closer. However, despite all of that there is a strong possibility that the game itself will flop big time. Although the Philadelphia Flyers have made some strides recently they still are not a very good team while Boston is pretty well put together and getting a little better as the season goes on. Philadelphia has problems that go so much deeper than just tactics and strategy; it’s rumored that some of the guys do not get along off of the ice and I tend to buy into that because it is certainly being manifested in their poor on ice play. There is no doubt that plenty of teams over the years have played well and even won championships across sports with a group of guys who do not generally get along, but it seems to run deeper than that for the Flyers. There is also the issue of the Flyers caring more about winning the fight than winning games night in and night out which also needs to be addressed down to each individual player. Perhaps they tried to fix some of their off ice issues and on ice focus by firing John Stevens and hiring Peter Laviolette but it seems unlikely that changes coaches will help that. Thus far a coaching change has made little difference despite some recent success; I think that’s true because the problems for the Flyers come down to the players respecting one another in hockey terms. There is no doubt the Flyers have a ton of talent on their team but each player has to take do what they do best every night while stepping aside in some aspects and let other players who may do something a little better to take the lead in that area. But if the players do not respect one another then they will all try to do everything on their own with complete recklessness and it results in a losing team. It is unlikely that this will be made apparent in the Winter Classic because of so many extra elements surrounding the game [or so we hope for the sake of the event] but while watching the game keep some of those things in mind and see if the Flyers have made any strides in rectifying the situation or if they show why they are currently well out of a playoff position in the East.