My support for the Philadelphia Flyers, a team that was once considered one of the top cup contenders for this season, is slowly waning.
After watching a team finish a road trip 4-1-1 where they crushed a division rival 6-0 and then later played another conference rival where they played a terrible first period, pretty great second period and then another terrible third period I have yet to solve this insane mystery. However, I've thought about the reasons for why this team is playing the way they are and I do have a few far-fetched theories...
1. The Flyers are bored - This is slightly more realistic. They really all look like they're bored out there, with the exception of the Lappy-Carcillo-Betts line. I guess its understandable. Zooming about the room at the speed of light on a thick sheet of ice and running into each other while wearing a lot of padding doesn't sound very fun at all, does it?
2. This is some sort of sick joke - Perhaps this team is just messing with us. Maybe the players who just aren't working hard, such as Coburn, Briere, and Carter, had a secret meeting and agreed to play this ridiculous joke on us all where they would not skate hard, not battle for the puck and not compete night after night with high intensity and a winning attitude until April Fools Day, when they would let the cat out of the bag at a big press conference with giveaways and free food and then they would go on to win their last 6 games of the season. And then we'd all have supposed to have laughed, even though it would be too late for any sort of hope of making the playoffs.
3. The Flyers are planning to go on the longest winning streak in sports history - Now I'm not too sure what the actual record is, but what if the Flyers were working day and night until the night when they go on to win 30 straight games, scoring 30 goals in each games and shutting out every opponent. Sure right now this team looks like they are off to finish an unfortunate 40-40-2 record, but that's probably what they want you to think. Maybe they'll surprise the world of sports by sucessfully hatching their plan and changing the record books forever.
4. Flyers Players are being threatened by other NHL players - Maybe their is some sort of threat being made on the Flyers players (nothing too extreme of course, something like their luxury sedans "happening" to get keyed...). Maybe Mario Lemieux is now the leader of a dangerous French Canadien crime syndicate and Sidney Crosby is his heir to Mario's throne and if the Flyers win too many games, the price will be blood. Not human blood, that's too drastic, just the blood of the Flyers' family pets. I know I've seen this kind of thing in a movie once....
5. The Flyers all want to be Vampires - With the recent blockbuster success of Vampire related pop culture movies and TV shows such as "Twilight," maybe the Flyers are all regretting signing multi million dollar contracts to play the greatest sport on earth professionally. Pursuing a career as a professional Vampire is very tempting, but I'm not sure the Flyers are suited for such an occupation any more than they are for playing hockey at the moment.
The point I am trying to make is that this whole situation with the Flyers is ridiculous right now. If you look at the teams that are doing really well, the obvious thing one notices is that these winning teams are skating hard every night and the Flyers just arent. The winning teams are playing with intensity and passion every night and the Flyers arent. The winning teams are playing with a hard work ethic and the Flyers are just not. This season is halfway over. They can still make the playoffs. They can still move up in the standings and, believe it or not, they can still become a force to be reckoned with. It's very possible. The (cliche) question becomes: How badly do they want it?