Philadelphia Flyers: A Team and a Fanbase in Crisis
Hello, you've reached the Flyers Fan Crisis Hotline! What's your crisis?
Mhmm, I see. Sir, please put the pills away. No, Sir, that's not the answer to a 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers. In fact, I don't think it is even possible to kill yourself with laxative pills, though, that would be hilarious. Please hold Sir, I have another call coming through.
Hello, Flyers Fan Crisis Hotline! What's your crisis?
Yes, ma'am. I am aware. Four straight losses, correct. Please stop shouting. What's that? No, ma'am, I don't believe that will help the Flyers. In fact, I believe that would qualify as an act of domestic terrorism. Ma'am, I'll need to place you on hold for a few moments. Someone is waiting at the counter.
Sorry, I didn't see you standing there. Have you been waiting long?
I don't know if you overheard me talking to some of those people on the phone, but in case you have, it has been like that since Sunday, when the Flyers served up a steaming 7-0 turd against the Rangers; in a nationally televised game on NBC no less.
I must say, I find such a sudden panic amongst Flyers fans and observers of the team a bit odd.
After all, isn't this the team that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, despite stretches of 3-13-1 and 8-10-3 malaise that brought Philadelphia to the brink of an April tee time, if it wasn't for a Claude Giroux shootout goal during the final game of the 2009-10 NHL season?
Maybe the assumption is that if Philadelphia can't beat the Senators, Maple Leafs, Sabers and Rangers in a span of nine days as February turns to March, how will the Flyers possibly get past whatever team awaits them in the first round of the playoffs in April?
Truth be told, the Flyers can lose four in a row and still drink from the Stanley Cup in June, so as long as those four successive losses do not come after Apr. 9.
If you're skeptical, look no further than the Stanley Cup champions in the post-lockout era.
With the exception of last season's Chicago Blackhawks and the 2005-2006 Carolina Hurricanes, three of the five Stanley Cup championship teams have endured prolonged slumps, and have still gone on to win it all.
During the 2008-09 season, the Pittsburgh Penguins lifted hockey's Holy Grail, despite a five-game losing streak from Dec. 27 through Jan. 5.
The 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings shook off an 0-5-1 slide from Feb. 7 to Feb. 17, in time to recover for their drive to a Stanley Cup championship.
In 2006-07, the Anaheim Ducks suffered through two different stretches of 0-4 futility from Dec. 29 through Jan. 5 and then again from Jan. 13 to Jan. 19. They still have their names engraved on hockey's ultimate prize, don't they?
So fear not, Flyers fan. When stomachs settle and the diarrhea dissipates in that flu-ridden locker room at Broad & Pattison, the Flyers will return to business as usual as April approaches.
Speaking of business as usual, I should get back to the phones, where there is a man trying to end his misery with a bottle of ex-lax.
For my daily Flyers thoughts in 140 characters or less, follow me on Twitter @RonnybrookHKY
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