There was a moment after the Flyers' 6-1 clunker to the Islanders on Oct. 27 that fans misconstrued a Dave Hakstol comment on social media as the head coach blaming the faithful followers for his team's struggles at the Wells Fargo Center.
Turns out, though, the Wells Fargo Center may be a tougher place to play for the home team than opposing teams.
NHL.com on Friday released its players poll of toughest buildings to play in … and the Wells Fargo Center didn't receive a single vote. According to 61 of the league's top players, the toughest rink to compete in is the Predators' Bridgestone Arena followed by the Jets, the Penguins and the Bruins. Even the Hurricanes received a vote. Sad.
Yes, apparently playing in Raleigh, North Carolina, is tougher than playing in South Philly.
Which brings us back to a comment Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said Oct. 26:
#Isles Barry Trotz on playing in Philadelphia: "It's not friendly just like (Nassau) Coliseum is not friendly. You can get hit with objects. You have people yelling at you. If you're not emotionally involved then you're probably sleeping or you're dead, one of those two."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 26, 2018
Philly fans across all sports have a reputation. You know it — something about snowballs and a drunk Santa Claus. But Philly fans wear their hearts on their sleeves, and that's what makes them so great. Of course, we cross the line at times, especially Flyers fans.
While the Flyers have struggled at home this season — 4-6-0 at the Wells Fargo Center this season entering Saturday — they've been a pretty good home team in the Hakstol era. Overall, the Flyers have been 74-40-19 at home with Hakstol behind the bench.
That said, the Flyers have been a team that has just been there mostly as it has rebuilt. Flyers fans have largely been patient throughout it, but there are pockets of games where the building here is quiet or quick to turn on the Flyers when things go bad.
Much of that is more of a testament to the team's play on the ice, at least this season.
But for the Wells Fargo Center not to receive a single vote as the toughest rink to play in for opposing players is a bit surprising.
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