For a long time now - probably a month, if not more - I've continued to search for things to write, say, or analyze about the Flyers. The problem is that there just isn't a whole lot to say. The Flyers are really good. And it sucks.
First, you look for areas to complain about, but there just aren't that many areas. Nikolay Zherdev isn't scoring? Eh, he'll come around. Andreas Nodl isn't scoring? Well, we can continue arguing over that, but Peter Laviolette likes what Nodl is doing - you know, what he's supposed to do - while he's in a slump. Other than that... What is there to complain about?
Since there isn't much to complain about, you search for areas on the team that aren't being recognized enough. We already gave Jeff Carter some love. Claude Giroux and Danny Briere just got theirs from the All-Star Game. Scott Hartnell and Ville Leino have gotten theirs due to being on the unnamed top line. Andrej Meszaros continues to get love, especially for his plus/minus. James van Riemsdyk has received some since turning his season around. Chris Pronger will always get love. Matt Carle got his day or two of publicity a little while ago and Braydon Coburn finally got some yesterday. Then the fourth line received a lot of press earlier in the week. Sergei Bobrovsky has been getting tons of press since September, while Brian Boucher has been the goalie du jour for the last month or so.
So who does that leave? Mike Richards, Kimmo Timonen, Jody Shelley, Dan Carcillo, Sean O`Donnell, and Oskars Bartulis. Or the Phantoms. It's not just us who struggle to find things to talk about regarding the Flyers. With the media all over the place, they're exhausting every conceivable story. There's just not much to talk about when a team is consistently good. In situations like that, people start arguing over the No. 9 forward's scoring slump or the No. 12 forward's role on the team, or the trading deadline.
Sure, there are still players who deserve more press (like Richards and Timonen), but mostly they are role players or quiet, steady, unassuming players who aren't easy to write about. Maybe they'll get articles in the coming days, but then what? Countdown to the deadline? But people are already predicting that will be quiet for the Flyers. Because they're so good already.
Maybe something happens soon that's worth writing about. But more likely, the struggling power play will be the next topic of conversation. And that's been lingering in the background all year.
You have to feel bad for the beat writers. They get paid to write about the team, and they have to write multiple articles a day. But when the team is so good, there just isn't anything left to write about. So you get boring, cliche quotes from players and boring, cliche articles from everyone. And it's not the writers' or the players' fault. The team is just so good right now.
There's always the alternative: we could enjoy the quiet, steady, confidence that comes from being atop the East all season. It's not too often Flyers fans can enjoy a controversy-free season. But this is Philadelphia. How is that interesting?