Philadelphia Flyers Must Keep Mouths Shut And Fists Open

By Steven Smith
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Word on the street is that the Philadelphia Flyers are a pretty undisciplined hockey team.  Countless reports keep rejuvenating the tired subjects of Philadelphia’s lack of focus and inability to play as a team.  Too many penalties this, not enough team chemistry that. Enough is enough. We get it. Quite frankly if you ask me they look like a pee wee team as of late and it’s for one reason and one reason only: Broad Street Bullies.

Philadelphia is a city that prides itself on its tough blue-collar identity that has morphed its way inside of the city’s professional teams, but none are quite like the Flyers. The famous back-to-back Stanley Cup winning Broad Street Bullies from the 1970s virtually changed the rulebook of hockey.  Nearly four decades later, the rough and tough spirits of the retired Flyers’ greats still roam south Broad Street. Now however, it could be the Flyers’ kryptonite.

The Flyers entered January on a monstrous tear but suddenly find themselves playing mediocre hockey again, posting an average 2-4-2 record in their last eight games. In those eight games, Philly has given up six power-play goals while recording five fighting penalties, seven roughing penalties, three boarding penalties and two misconduct penalties.

There’s no question that the orange and black like to play rough and tough hockey, but leaving the gloves on and biting their tongues might be in their best interest for now. Since those eight games, Philadelphia has let the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets ahead of them in the standings, and as everyone knows, now is not the time to start losing ground for the playoffs.

Rather than be the victims of the penalty, Philadelphia needs to shift its focus towards drawing penalties. I’m sure they would love to utilize the weapon they have in Wayne Simmonds who ranks fifth in the NHL for power-play goals (9).

Cutting back the attitude might be something the Flyers aren’t too crazy about, but considering it might be a necessity to get them back on track, they’ll want to take it into consideration.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for  Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.  

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