Sometimes, expectations suck.
After basementing and rebounding, I expected last season's post-season to be better. Yeah, it was crappy to pull the Pens in the first round. With a little better leadership - on and off the ice - the Flyers could have gone further.
At least, that's my take and I'm sticking to it.
What should the Flyers faithful expect for the 2009-10 season? I don't know about you, but here's my wish list for Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy*:
5. Ray Emery really does appreciate being back in the NHL.
Best way to win over the doubting Thomases and Tamsins? Stop the effing puck...a lot.
Goaltending hasn't been a strong suit for the Flyers. I love goalies. I'll find a good side for anybody we've got. But if Emery wants to win his way into the fans' hearts, it's just this easy: win us games by stopping the puck.
Oh, and keeping your mouth zipped, your anger managed, and your focus trained would go a long way too. Philly fans don't like whiners or screw-ups. We'll turn on our own players just as fast as we do anyone on the opposing team.
4. Chris Pronger pays off.
Yes, he's worth the annual amount he'll pull down as long as he's not hurt or suspended. I'm just not psyched about having to pay him if he chooses to retire while he's here. And the contract's a few years longer than I like, keeping that in mind.
So, Chris, here's to you staying healthy, playing effectively in a lot of games, and paying off BIG time.
3. Jeff Carter likes scoring just as much as last year.
Get your minds out of the trashy, double-entendre laden gutter.
Blondie, we need you to score goals like last year was just a warm-up, 'kay?
Frankly, I'd love to see Carter continue to wrack up points this year, if for no other reason that it was a lot of fun to throw it in co-worker Justin's face. (Love ya, little bro.) Plus, there's the satisfaction of showing other teams' fans our team isn't just a bunch of bullies.
Plus, it'd make my boys at the kids table happy.
2. Richie's leadership development training lessons kick in.
So here's a little truth: I wasn't wild on the first year of Mike's reign. He could be a good captain for us, but there was definite room improvement.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I enjoyed going to college parties myself. I just wouldn't have done it if I was in the running for the Stanley Cup.
Look, have fun, enjoy your life, but buckle the hell down and win the games when they count. 'Cause, dude, you're a professional athlete pulling down $68.5 million. And, it's the Stanley Cup. Best damn sports trophy ever. Philly fans want some more shiny, sparkly to show off and that baby would rock.
1. Danny Briere earns his paycheck, some more.
Tiny! Is everything in good working order to start the season?
Seriously. Please find a way to stay in the line-up. We the fans are more than a little curious as to what a season of Danny Briere looks like. We've seen suckitude and flashes of brilliance. We like the brilliance end of the continuum more.
Yo, front office guys: was the Duck Tour in lieu of a ropes course for this year's team-building event? Just wondering.
*Because if these three don't work, then I'll have to go scary and bring out La Llorona.