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Flyers vs. Devils: The fans are getting into it

With the New Jersey Devils surprised -- and honestly outplayed -- by the Philadelphia Flyers in game one on Thursday night, there’s a bit of a rift forming between the two opposing fan bases. Not that that’s much of a surprise when it comes to the NHL playoffs (San Jose Sharks fans absolutely loathe the Dallas Stars and their fans, because of playoff games), but what’s interesting is the subject this debate is about.

Just how many Devils fans were there at the game on Thursday?

Travis Hughes and Ben Rothenberg at Broad Street Hockey have pointed out a number of times the past few days about the alarming number of empty seats at the game, and how it seemed that Flyers fans were overwhelming the Devils fans in their own arena. It started with a look at how tickets to the first two playoff games at Prudential Center were selling below face value.

This has led to some jabs fired back at the Flyers fans, and in particular BSH, from John Fischer at the Devils blog In Lou We Trust:

A few quick thoughts about tonight’s game after jump. If you want Flyers coverage, go to Broad Street Hockey. But don’t trust them with anything about, say, the crowd at the Rock. I’ll be there in my seat. They won’t.

If the crowd was any indication on Thursday, there were certainly a number of Flyers fans in attendance. ILWT is playing it off as the crowd “booing” Brian Boucher when he touches the puck, but anyone who’s been to Flyers game knows that “BOOOSH” call when they hear it; it certainly seemed to this third-party observer that there was a strong contingent of Flyers fans in attendance.

You can’t fault John for getting defensive; after all, who wants their fanbase attacked in the midst of a playoff series? But it certainly seems there’s some merit to the Flyers’ fans point about the lack of Devils fans, and straight out denying it all comes across as a bit petty.

But I wasn’t physically there so I can’t vouch for the atmosphere. Travis Hughes will certainly be there tonight (as a Flyers fan) and will have a first-hand report on the fan situation.