I’ve spoken several times before about how the Flyers would be wise to open their minds to the possibility of using ostriches in hockey. Because most people have very little knowledge about the game of hockey, this idea has somehow been met with criticism and doubt.
Thus, I’ve chosen to write a more detailed piece about ostriches and why the Flyers should be looking to add several of them to the roster. Last summer was dubbed the ‘summer of analytics’ by many who are close to the game. I have no doubt that the summer of ostriches will be coming to hockey soon, and the Flyers are going to be sorry if they wait too long to get involved.
Let’s look at some of the fine qualities that a young ostrich would bring to the team.
SIZE AND ABILITY
It’s no secret that the Flyers are in love with size. Craig Berube has continuously made lineup decisions based on size in the past, and still continues to play Nicklas Grossmann every single night.
According to noted hockey website Ostriches.Org, adult male ostriches can grow to be 8 or 9 feet tall and up to 400 pounds! Females can weigh up to 350 pounds. HOW IS THAT FOR SIZE, BERUBE?!
Photo via big-animals.com
A female ostrich could also break two barriers at once by becoming the first female AND the first bird to play a game at the NHL level. Wow.
According to another top hockey website, SanDiegoZoo.com, an adult ostrich can run up to 43 miles per hour! Wow! Let’s compare this to some stats from the Flyers. An adult Nicklas Grossmann can move at a top speed of 2.69 miles per hour, and an adult Brayden Schenn sadly can’t move his feet at all.
DISRUPTING ZONE ENTRIES
Several members of the Flyers defensive corps have struggled mightily this season when it comes to disrupting zone entry attempts against. Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, and Nick Schultz are all breaking up 5% of entries or less when targeted.
That is 1 in 20 or less. Seriously, could an ostrich really do that much worse? BroadStreetHockey, a decent hockey blog that is sadly still stuck in the pre-ostrich mindset, did some work on Andrew MacDonald’s struggles in the neutral zone.
Here is a picture obtained from that work, in which Andrew MacDonald is allowing a gap the size of the Bering Strait to an incoming Bruins player.
Photo via BroadStreetHockey
Let’s take a look at how that same play would look with an ostrich simply sitting on the ice doing nothing. Hmm. Looks much better than MacDonald.
Please note that a trained ostrich would be even more disruptive once it started using it’s hockey skills to defend the blueline. But even just by sitting down on the ice, it is more effective than MacDonald. It could maybe even lay some eggs while it disrupts more zone entries than half the Flyers defensive corps! Think about that: replenishing the farm system with young ostrich prospects while at the same time being more effective than several current players. I’m sold.
The Flyers are never going to win the cup until they get back to the Broad Street Bully Mentality™. Ostriches are the perfect way to get back to that. According to the advanced statistics website livescience.com, an ostrich actually fights with his/her feet. They kick in the same direction that their legs bend, allowing one kick to create enough power to kill a lion. Wow!
Tell me that you wouldn’t want to see an ostrich land a solid kick on Tom Wilson or Maxim Lapierre.
With the acquisition of an ostrich to take over the enforcing duties, the Flyers could finally fire Zac Rinaldo into the sun, which has been long overdue.
If this hasn’t convinced you that it’s time for the Flyers to sign a flock of ostriches, I don’t really know what to say. Whether you like it or not, this is the direction that the game is headed. You can either choose to embrace it and learn about it, or choose to become the Damien Cox or Steve Simmons of the ostrich movement. Soon enough, smart NHLs team will be employing someone like me who will teach them how to use ostriches effectively. Hopefully people will choose to embrace this movement instead of burying their heads in antiquated Fenwick and Corsi charts.