Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Flyers Fans > Penguins Fans


Every now and then, I like to apologize to you, the reader. I know this blog covers all Pittsburgh sports, but I find myself focusing on the biggest/funniest/most interesting topics of the time. I'd love to break down the Pirates' recent 6-game winning streak (which was just snapped in the nightcap of last night's double-header), but my schedule is so jammed that I rarely have time to offer more than one sports story a day. Please accept my apologies if you only care about the Pirates. Not just because my coverage of them has been spotty so far this season, but because the Pirates suck, and any Buccos fan deserves an apology.

So if you're a regular PSaMP reader, you've probably noticed that the Penguins have pretty much dominated the majority of my recent writing. Same thing happens during football season with the Steelers, and once hockey season is over, you can bet on a number of Pirates posts.

But hockey season isn't over. Last year, I had just started PSaMP, and the playoffs were over as quickly as they began. Being two short wins from the Cup finals this season hopefully justifies my plentiful Penguins posts. And Game 3 in Philly is tonight. Its impossible to NOT get caught up in the emotion, whether you're a fan or some dumb blogger.

Home-ice advantage is huge. That might be a generic-ass statement, but it needs to be reinforced in light of the series switching to Philly ice tonight. The Rangers only win of the series came at home, and we'd be foolish to expect anything more than a split of the next two games in Philly. Fans have a way of pumping up the home team, creating momentum or absolutely deflating the visiting team's collective psyche. Why do you think the white-out worked in both Game 1s against the Rangers and Flyers? The fans were excited, and transferred that emotion to the players. It was a genius move by the organization, knowing that in spite of the immense talent on the team, the pre-series layoffs would sap the players of that game-ready attitude. The fans helped bring the Pens back from that early 3-0 deficit in Game 1 against New York. As soon as that 3rd New York goal was scored, you could hear "Let's go, Pens" resonating throughout the entire arena. It resulted in two quick goals that ultimately decided which team was going to keep momentum.

Expecting a win tonight isn't wrong, since we're Pens fans, but we need to understand that the home team is counted on to hold serve. I don't care what seed we are compared to the seed Philly is, we're the underdog on the road. Whatever those fans throw at the Pens, orange shirts, collective chants, its going to give Philly a boost not seen in Games 1 and 2.

Unless this video captures exactly how lonely Flyers fans are pumped Flyers fans are for the game (h/t to the MYFO crew at Deadspin today):

Holla atchur boy, indeed.

This game is huge, and I fully expect that these two guys will provide the inspiration needed for the Flyers to tighten up this series.

Let's go Fly-ers!

Go Pens.


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