Philadelphia Flyers Are Geared Up for a Second-Half Stanley Cup Run

Dominic PerilliContributor IIIJanuary 31, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 25:  Mike Richards #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers waits for a faceoff in an NHL hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center on January 25, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The second half of the NHL season, primarily after the All-Star break, is always a nerve-wracking time for hockey fans. 

If you're a Flyers fan, you remember the second half of the 2009-2010 season as being a memorable one. The Flyers, falling off of a cliff, were saved by a fearless coach in Peter Laviolette. The team turned things around, squeaked into the playoffs, and fought their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. 

Now, just a year removed, the Flyers look to make another run to the Finals. However, this time they are on top of the NHL.

They are targeted by every other team in the National Hockey League.

Teams want to play the Flyers just so they can try their hands at dismantling them. Being on top is both a blessing and a curse. 

The 2010-2011 Philadelphia Flyers roster is not sexy on paper, but they can flat-out play. Line-after-line fury. 

Much of this discipline and structure must be attributed to Peter Laviolette. He has kept a firm grasp on his team by scratching guys like Nik Zherdev and Dan Carcillo at the perfect time and taking one of his patented timeouts when appropriate. 

It's going to take this discipline, not just by the head coach, but by the players themselves, to get the Flyers back to where they want to be. 

So as the orange and black get settled in for an all-out grind back to the Finals, all of Philadelphia holds its breath. 

There are 32 games left in the regular season and the journey begins on Tuesday. 

The time is now.