Let me count the ways.....
My earliest memories of NHL hockey include an extreme dislike for the Broad Street Bullies. After they came into the league the Flyers soon developed a style that would not only garner them the nickname bullies but it also won them a Cup. Stories of Dale Rolfe being beaten to a pulp, Dave Schultz pounded opposing players in fights and their captain, Bobby Clarke is the guy who broke the ankle of a Russian player with a two handed swing during the famous Summit Series between the Soviets and Canada. To this day I haven't shaken hands with Clarke.
One quick story on that......I have met Bobby several times. Once at MSG my buddy and I were hanging out with Rod Gilbert having drinks and cigars in between periods. As Gary and I hustled our way back to our seats we were headed up a flight of stairs. Coming down the stairs were Mr. Clarke and his posse which included Ron Hextall and Paul Holmgren. I guess no one was paying attention and Bobby and I nearly walked into each other. Immediately Hexy and Holmsy jump in front of Bobby as if this were happening on the ice during a game. There was a short stare down and I said, "Just like the old days Bobby, you still have others fighting your battles eh?" Hexy and I knew each other and we both smiled. Clarke said nothing and just stared at me. I winked at him and my buddy Gary and I laughed as we walked away. Classic Clarke.
So tonight the Panthers host the hated Flyers. They get some help as big Nick Bjugstad is back in the line up. This will be quite a positive for the Cats who can use his size and skill to continue their good play.
This years Flyer line up is nothing like the old days but they are still a team you don't turn your back on. They are a .500 team and lost their last game. Claude Giroux is a hell of a player and plays a bit like the former captain, Bobby Clarke. He's got some good players around him and if they can get decent goaltending, an issue for the Flyers for many years now.....they could be tough tonight.
Here's a good game preview.......get the beer cold for this one if you're not going to the BB&T center as this could be good TV.
If I don't see you guys, have a great Thanksgiving!