Well here we are. January 21st, 2016. Game #45 of the 2015-16 NHL season for Philadelphia and the first of 4 match ups between the Flyers and Penguins. It was definitely some sort of sick joke by the schedulers this year to make Flyers fans and Penguins fans wait half a season for this day to come, but it’s finally here. Time to release all that pent up hate that’s been boiling over since April
Now Penguins fans can “1975” Flyers fans to death. We get it. We haven’t been able to experience a Stanley Cup Championship since 40 years ago, whatever. But anybody with a head on their shoulders and not one up their ass realizes that as of right now, it’s so much better being a Flyers fan than it is to be a Penguins fan. Those are just the facts. First off, the Flyers haven’t lost to the Penguins since 2013. Since then it’s been 8 straight wins for the Flyers and tonight they try to make it 9. And while the Cup hasn’t come to Philly since ’75, the Flyers are just a couple short years away from being one of the top teams in the league. The Penguins on the other hand, well their situation is actually pretty sad.
Think about how much hype this team had surrounding them coming into the season. They decided to get cute and bring in Phat Phil Kessel over the summer. All of a sudden they were going to be the greatest offensive team the league has ever seen. And while their scoring has picked up as of late, you still have to consider the first portion of the Kessel era in Pittsburgh a huge disappointment. They’re currently 5th place in the Metro division and could end up in 6th place tonight when the Flyers win in regulation. They are so far from being an actual Cup contender that it’s not even funny. They have over $32 million in cap space tied up Malkin, Crosby, Kessel and Letang for the next 5+ years. It’s that kind of shitstorm that has them left stuck with guys like Ian Cole and Ben Lovejoy on their blueline and there’s no quick solution in sight. When you look at their prospects, you see Daniel Sprong and then you see nothing but giant turds. You start to realize that there are going to be some very dark years in Pittsburgh very very soon. So have fun while you can still just say “1975” to any Flyers fan, because eventually those tables are going to turn and it’s going to be beautiful.
As for the game tonight, well Pittsburgh caught a break because it looks like Sean Couturier will be out of the lineup. These Penguins games have been his bread and butter so far his entire career. Coots has made a living off of shutting down Evgeni Malkin recently and I’m sure that Geno has never unclenched his butt faster than he did when hearing that Couturier will miss tonight’s game. It looks like Sam Gagner has been recalled from Lehigh Valley to fill that spot and hopefully Gagner stays up a little longer to take Bumberger’s spot as well. With Couturier out of the lineup, that obviously means that most of the damage is going to have to come from the Giroux line. And I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident in G having a great game as I am for tonight. The future is bright for the Flyers, it looks fucking atrocious for the Penguins, and tonight will just drive that point home a little further.