PHILADELPHIA — Perhaps fueled by the adrenaline of watching his reborn Flyers snuff a very good Avalanche club Thursday night, team owner Ed Snider gauged the promise the rest of this season could hold for his team.
You know, after that damned Olympic break is finally over.
“I'd like to see anything other than the Olympics,” Snider said. “I mean, I hate 'em.”
Presumably, that means he isn't in favor of the NHL's participation in the Winter Olympics. Is that about it?
“If I had my way, we'd never go to the Olympics,” Snider said. “We're the only league that breaks up our season. Basketball plays in the winter, but they play Olympics in the summer. It's ridiculous.”
Ah, but why drum up bad vibes after a great 3-1 win over the Avalanche? One that had Snider a bit fired up for the future, among other things ... such as a break of 19 days between Flyers games after Saturday's meeting with Calgary.
So is it the timing of the break or the fact that the Olympics are essentially on the other side of the globe in Sochi, Russia, that was really at issue?
“The whole thing's ridiculous,” Snider said. “I don't care if it was in Philadelphia, I wouldn't want to break up the league. I think it's ridiculous to take three weeks off or however long it is in the middle of the season. It screws up everything.”
Primary in that concern would be the Flyers' recent roll. Winners of three in a row, they still have a tall challenge to make the playoffs down the stretch.
“I love where we are right now,” he said after a stirring 3-1 victory over Colorado. “I think we're playing extremely well, I'm excited about the team, I think the goaltending's outstanding. ... I've got my fingers crossed.”
But Snider was a little cross about other things. He reiterated that it was a push from the players and their union that moved his fellow owners and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to continue with participation in the Olympics. And Bettman has strongly hinted that there will be a major pushback against NHL participation in South Korea four years from now.
But as for Sochi ... the Games must go on! Oh yeah, and one more thing about that...
Snider issued his obvious displeasure at Claude Giroux again getting bypassed for Team Canada, as Hockey Hall of Famer and Team Canada/Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman decided to replace his still-recovering Lightning forward Steve Stamkos with teammate Marty St. Louis. That would be...
“Ridiculous,” Snider said. “(Giroux)'s better than half the guys on that team. There's a lot of good players to pick from, and I'm proud of the five (Flyers) that are on the Olympic teams. They may not be great teams but they're great players, and they're in the Olympics. We don't pick 'em. But anybody that thinks Claude Giroux doesn't belong on the Canadian team, they don't know anything about hockey, as far as I'm concerned.”