It was a physical series, but not a dirty one. The hits came, but
for the most part they were clean. There were instances of
exhilaration, and moments of despair. When it was all said and done,
the Chicago Blackhawks skated off the Philadelphia ice, proudly hoisting
Lord Stanley's Cup. In a series which featured a little bit of
everything that makes hockey, and sports in general, great, the only
thing missing was an audience grateful enough to appreciate the outcome.
The Philadelphia Flyers nearly accomplished the impossible in the
2010 NHL Playoffs. Showing great resilience, the seventh seed in the
Eastern Conference defied all odds for most of their playoff run.
Rallying from a three-games-to-none deficit against Boston in the
conference semifinals, the Flyers showed heart, passion, and
determination to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals. Their efforts
fell short as they were unable to defeat the more talented Chicago
Blackhawks, but their determination was never in question.
The same, however, can not be said
for their loyal supporters.
As Wednesday night's post-game ceremonies took place, the reactions
by Flyers fans were nothing short of rude. In a city who's team was
fortunate enough to outlast the likes of vastly superior teams, one
would imagine Flyers fans would express gratitude for the effort their
team expelled over the course of the grueling NHL Playoffs. There was
no ovation when commissioner Gary Bettman commended the Flyers for their
effort. There was no reaction when the most coveted trophy in
professional sports, the Stanley Cup, was brought onto the ice. As the
hometown Flyers left the ice for the final time in the 2009-10 season,
that one last "thank you" from Philadelphia faithful was no where to be
As Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews accepted the Conn Smythe Trophy
as the MVP of the playoffs, Philadelphia fans booed. As Toews put his hands on the Stanley Cup for the first
time, Philadelphia fans booed louder. As each of the members of the
victorious Chicago Blackhawks hoisted the cup over their heads in
celebration, Philadelphia fans, well, booed some more.
This was not a series filled with bad blood. There were momentum
shifts galore throughout all six games. Never was anyone accused of a
cheap shot, and not once did a single player from either team drop his
gloves. Essentially, this was as clean a series as one could ask for,
and the outcome was solely based on the quality of hockey that took
place for the better part of two weeks.
Flyers fans should be ashamed for their cold reaction to not only the
victorious 'Hawks, but for the lack of appreciation and support they
displayed toward their very own Flyers. Forever known as "the fans who
booed Santa Claus", Wednesday night's gutless display of "crybabyness"
further solidifies Philadelphia as a city undeserving of the winning
results they've experienced in recent years.
Congratulations are in order for the Flyers on a remarkable season
and playoff run. For a team that didn't even gain a berth in the
playoffs until the final day of the regular season, their playoff run is
something that will be remembered and appreciated by hockey fans
It's just too bad their own followers decided the effort wasn't even
worthy of congratulation.