WITH NO Crybaby Crosby to hate on, Flyers fans at Game 1 of the Stanley Cup semifinals could do no better than chant, "Bor-ing!" whenever the dishwater-dull New Jersey Devils had the puck - until Danny Briere's overtime bullet unleashed that blood-in-the-eyes bull roar that Broad Street Bully hopes will rock Game 2 Tuesday night.
DAUGHTER & DAD DIE-HARDS: Raymond Grossmuller, aglow in his orange face and curly wig, and his daughter Heather, 21, sporting her orange unitard and huge puck hat, got their share of pre-Game 1, Philly-style amens in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot whenever Heather raised her fists and shouted, "Deliver us to Girouxsalem!"
The Southampton dad and daughter have Flyers-bonded since she was a wee tyke at the first game at the CoreStates Center and screamed bloody murder when the fireworks terrified her.
"I thought, 'This kid's never going to like the Flyers,' " Grossmuller said, laughing. "I was wrong."
Grossmuller fondly remembers growing up in Holmesburg in the 1970s, watching the minor-league Philadelphia Firebirds at the Civic Center and playing hockey with his pals on Pennypack Street.
"Pillows for goalie pads," Grossmuller said. "Two pipes for a goal. Half the time, you had to guess whether or not the puck went in the net because there was no net."
"I got hooked for life on the Flyers in the '70s because, bottom line, they were the first Philadelphia team in my life that ever won," he said. "I think a lot of longtime Flyers fans got hooked the same way."
BAPTISM BY FLYER: When Flyers die-hards Angela Maurizio and Mike Ingram, both 26, of Northeast Philly, planned the baptism of their 10-month-old daughter, McKayla, for April 22, they had no way of knowing that the noon after-party would conflict with Game 6 of the Stanley Cup quarterfinals: Flyers vs. Penguins.
"We were a little upset at first," Maurizio told Broad Street Bully. "But then we thought, 'This is going to be awesome!' We changed McKayla's party to Miller's Philadelphia Ale House and spent the day enjoying a great game with our family and friends!
"The first couple times the Flyers scored [on their way to eliminating the Penguins, 5-1], we all yelled and screamed, and McKayla wasn't sure what was going on, so she got a little upset. But it didn't take her long to start clapping and cheering with us. This Flyers season has been extra special for Mike and me because we got to introduce the team we love to McKayla!"