So while paging through this year's stat leaders in all categories, something struck me.
I like where this season is going.
Sure, you can sit back and say we are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, fourth place in our division. We don't have one standout player offensively and are on our third goalie, but hockey life is good in South Philly.
Can anyone guess how many Flyers are on the list of top 20 goal scorers?
How about assists?
Points in general?
It, not surprisingly, follows suit: None.
I was listening to talk radio this morning and someone described the Flyers as "nothing special."
The Flyers came into this season having traded for the No. 1 big name available in the offseason, Chris Pronger. He is about as solid a move of any in my 22 years of being a Flyers fan.
(Random thought: I thought Dan Carcillo looked like a damn idiot with his attempt at the Shultz 'stache, but I hate to say I am beginning to love it.)
As we sit 22-19 with (probably) the best team on paper in the league, I am loving it.
This is a team of characters, characters much like the bullies of the '70s.
Check out this stat: How many Flyers are in the top 20 for penalty minutes?
We have a goalie, Michael Leighton, who is out of position on every save, but it works.
Players like Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere, and Mike Richards make up a core of gritty veterans that show the young guys (JVR and Claude Giroux) how hockey is played in Philadelphia.
There is not one player that hasn't gone out and given it 100 percent over the past few weeks. We are not going to blow you away with stats—although we are capable.
(Another random thought: I loved Ian Laperrière's best impression of Aaron Rowand.)
Right now I do not see a team that is in ninth place, one point in front of the Islanders.
I see a team that is just getting going.
I see a team that is four points out of fifth place.
I see a team that can make one hell of a run and a team with a ton of character.
I think smash mouth hockey is back in Philadelphia and I wasn't alive for the first batch.
Are the Flyers really nothing special?
I think we have everyone right where we want them.