After 82 regular season games that included a 10-game winning streak, the Philadelphia Flyers are finally headed to the …. IIHF World Championship. That’s right, folks. For the first time in NHL history, a team won 10 games in a row and failed to clinch a playoff berth that same season. The Philadelphia Flyers are part of hockey history and there’s nothing anybody can do to take that away from them. So for all you kids at home looking to get your Flyers fix these Stanley Cup Playoffs, let’s take a look at who’s on the next flight to Germany and France.
This is actually a perfect gig for Hakstol. At no point this season did he try to put out the best possible lineup the Flyers could go with. Instead he relied heavily on giving VandeVelde and Bellemare the type of minutes that are typically reserved for players like Duncan Keith. So now Team Canada heads in to the World Championship without their best players. No Crosby, no McDavid, no Bergeron, no Toews, no Getzlaf, no Perry, etc etc. It’s a dream come true for Dave Hakstol.
As for Simmonds and Giroux, this is a perfect opportunity for them as well. I feel like this Flyers roster just doesn’t know how to win. They are extremely good at shooting themselves in the dick and finding ways to lose games. So now you send Simmer and G to the Worlds where Canada has won the last 2 gold medals. Teach them how to win something and they come back with that experience ready to go next year.
I know what a lot of you are thinking right now. “How sad. Flyers fans have to resort to getting excited about the IIHF World Championship to enjoy post-season hockey”. And while I agree to an extent, you can’t overlook the kind of experience this is going to be for Wayne and Claude and Dave. It is invaluable and paramount to the future success of this organization. Did the Flyers miss the playoffs on purpose so they could lead Team Canada to glory? I don’t know. You tell me. But it does seem to me that they have sacrificed themselves in order to serve an entire nation. The Flyers are essentially the Troops and if you don’t respect the Troops then you can go fuck off somewhere.
And that, my friends, is how you spin zone your favorite team missing the playoffs.