FLYERS DERANGEMENT SYNDROME AND ITS ENABLERS

Some in the media believe that since the Flyers lost in the playoffs to the eventual conference champ Rangers that’s a plus for the 2014 season. Add in former Flyer Justin Williams winning the Conn Smythe trophy and the Flyers re-signing 39-year-old Kimmo Timonen, and you’ve got a perfect storm for Flyers Derangement Syndrome

By Theodore N. Beitchman

Williams got the MVP trophy (above) and Timonen got a new contract.

Williams got the MVP trophy (above) and Timonen got a new contract.

Friday, June 13, was an important date for Flyers fans.

Not because they won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1975. No, they were bounced in seven first-round games by the New York Rangers, who got to the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the L. A. Kings in five.

Though there are some, such as radio and TV screamer Michael Barkann, who suggest that Flyers fans should take a measure of solace in the fact that the orange and black got taken out by the eventual Eastern Conference champ.

And if you do take solace in that lame excuse for success, you are suffering from Flyers Derangement Syndrome. FDS is a psychological disorder that has occurred every spring since 1976 and is characterized by hyperinflated expectations of the local NHL team.

FDS is manifested by chills whenever the team wins a game in February, let alone two or three in a row. As if on cue, the suck-ups in the local media get on this battered bandwagon as if the Flyers had a real chance to win their first Stanley Cup since 1975.

They did not and they do not.

The Flyers stunned the world on May 19, 1974, by winning their first Stanley Cup, which did wonders for the regional sports psyche and which was followed by another Cup in 1975, followed by a parade down Broad St. that was attended by 2 million people.

Since then, they have made the Cup finals eight times, but in fact the last great local team was in 1987 when they lost to Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers after scuffling back from a 3-1 deficit before losing in game 7.

That team had what the 1974 and 1975 champs had, a game-changing goalie. Ron Hextall was the linear legatee of the great Bernie Parent, and since then the Flyers have fooled their legion of fans into thinking the next net stumblebum is the next great one.

And, like any addiction, FDS is enabled and encouraged by suck-ups in the media who puff up this franchise at the drop of a puck:

“If ever there were another Flyers team equipped and capable of a recovery of that 2010 magnitude, it would be this one – with their franchise-record 11 third-period comeback wins this season, after being forced to play at a 102-point pace for the final 6 months following a 1-7 start.”

Daily News Flyers beat reporter Frank Seravalli wrote that pie-in-the-sky drivel the morning of the 2014 sixth game against the Rangers with the Flyers down three games to two. He was drawing the comparison between this team and the 2010 Cup finalists who made the playoffs on the last day of the regular season, luckily avoided playoff losers Montreal and Pittsburgh, and lost in six games in the Cup finals to Chicago.

Oh, two other events occurred on June 13:

— King right-wing Justin Williams, whom the Flyers traded 11 years ago, was selected winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.

As Helene Elliott wrote in the L. A. Times:

“ … Williams, a very good player during the regular season, becomes an extraordinary player during the playoffs for reasons even he can’t quite fully explain. He wants the puck on his stick, wants the responsibility, and never was he more successful than during a playoff run the Kings ended Friday with a 3-2 double-overtime victory over the New York Rangers that clinched their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons.”

— The Flyers announced that they had re-signed Kimmo Timonen, who at 39 first played in the NHL in 1991, 23 seasons ago.

So, Williams wins the MVP and the Flyers sign a guy who first played in the league when Wilson Goode was mayor.

That should feed your Flyers Derangement Syndrome until training camp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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