Four-for-Four: Scorched Earth Edition

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For all those depressed about the result of Friday’s Olympic semi-final for the United States, worry not. The last time the Americans lost to the Canadians in the Olympics, the Flyers made the Stanley Cup. That season also had a coaching change mixed in, but who’s counting, right?

In all seriousness, the Flyers will find out rather quickly where their season is heading. While I have doubted as to whether this team is put together for a title run, they have done enough to convince me they will remain in the playoff race throughout the regular season. Coming out of the Olympic break, the team will have just a handful of games before the trade deadline to decide on a plan of action.

Two home contests against the Sharks and Rangers followed by a road tilt with the Capitals make up the pre-deadline schedule. Philadelphia beat San Jose in their barn prior to the Olympics, and they fell miserably at the hands of the Rangers earlier in January.

Given their track record, I would expect the Flyers to try to improve their team at the deadline if they found a partner to do so. They are not an organization that rests on their laurels and allows things to play out very often. Even if it is a minor move, the Flyers always seem to prefer trying to shake things up at the deadline to try and spur the team on toward the playoffs.

The NHL has proven over the past few seasons that, unlike some other leagues, any participant in the playoffs has a chance to make a run toward the Stanley Cup. The Flyers did so in 2010 and, if they remain in the playoff hunt, they will be perfectly fine not locking down one of the top seeds considering their past success as an outlier. The Flyers, for all their struggles, are still above water and have overcome more than most teams around the league. It will be interesting to see the attitude and intensity of the team coming out of their break.


For those who complained about Claude Giroux not being selected to the Canadian national team, consider the new plight of the Islanders fan. Bias aside, Tavares is more important to that organization than Giroux is to the Flyers. Tavares might be the single-most important player to any franchise in the NHL, and his season was cut short in the blink of an eye in a game that in no way affected his team.

As much as I enjoyed watching the Olympic hockey games, I cannot fathom the frustration that GM Garth Snow must be experiencing given this misfortune. No professional organization should face the prospect of having their biggest draw and franchise player plucked from them without them having any sort of say at all. Tavares is an elite talent and, while he should make a flawless recovery, one can never predict with knee injuries.

"“Are the IIHF or IOC going to reimburse our season-ticket holders now? It’s a joke. They want all the benefits from NHL players playing in the Olympics and don’t want to pay when our best player gets hurt. This is probably the biggest reason why NHL players shouldn’t be in the Olympics. … It could have happened to anyone; it just happened to be us that lost our best player.”"

If you remember, Flyers owner Ed Snider complained about the in-season Olympic break that forces teams to send their assets to a tournament where injuries like this are a possibility. The event is spectacular and the games are quality, but they can’t be worth the blow that the Islanders organization was dealt a few days ago.


Former Flyer, CSN Philadelphia broadcaster, and NBC Sports contributor Keith Jones is among the most delightful personalities in hockey media. Also an occasional member of the ‘Morning Show’ panel on SportsRadio WIP, Jones combines his vast knowledge of the game with a depth of charisma to lend a great deal to the broadcast.

Joining the NBC Sports hockey team in Sochi, Jonesy was on the broadcast quite a bit. The Canadian native made the most of his time behind the proverbial Iron Curtain, and in one incident got a great deal of delight at the expense of the Olympic mascot.

Jones tried to replicate the dance of ‘Nightmare Bear’ (dubbed by and the results were predictably hilarious. Jones is a dynamite representative for the Flyers and Philadelphia at home AND abroad.