There are two things that are clear to me after seeing the Philadelphia Flyers thrash the Pittsburgh Penguins last night:
The Penguins are downright scared of the Flyers.
The Flyers need to return to their bully roots if they ever hope to win again.
Zac Rinaldo knows this. The real heart of this team doesn’t lie under Claude Giroux’s “C”. It isn’t in Jakub Voracek’s stick. It’s in Rinaldo’s fists. Well, shoulder, in this case. In the locker room, the Flyers’ real captain knew exactly what his hit did.
Damn right he changed the game. The Flyers reclaimed the momentum after that, inspired by Rinaldo strapping on his helmet one strap at a time and barreling into the boards like there’s no tomorrow. No, it’s not “classy” or “gentlemanly” or “legal” or “right”, but this is hockey. This is war. Zeke might be receiving a lengthy suspension for his hit on Kris Letang, but as the Icelandic team taught us in D2: The Mighty Ducks, the time is well worth the crime.
Hockey isn’t a game for pansies, or nerds, or weaklings. It’s a game for men. If Christopher Letanger can’t take the heat, maybe he should vacate the damn kitchen. Zak Remaldo is the hero the Flyers need if they’re going to turn their season around. He doesn’t use his brain, he uses the only muscle that matters: the heart.
The Bullies need to return to get the Flyers to the playoffs. We live in a world where blatant cheaters like the New England Patriots can manipulate their way into the Super Bowl. Seeing the Flyers as a bunch of speedy wusses playing golf in May just isn’t right. Steve Mason has shed too much blood already. It cannot be in vain. Even if the team squeaks in and meaninglessly loses to the Rangers again in the first round, it’s all worth it. Because at the end of the day, there’s only one thing that matters.