Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love. They say New York is the city that doesn’t sleep, which is true. However, the City of Philadelphia is taking the greatest game on Earth outdoors and there won’t be much sleep after the game comes to an end.
There is a ton of anticipation surrounding this event. From tailgates, and live podcasts, to John Leclair signing autographs at Xfinity Live on Saturday before the game.
Here are some storylines to follow for the outdoor game between the Flyers and Pens.
The Flyers are 0-3 in the history of outdoor games that apparently first began on February 2, 1954. They have lost to the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can the orange and black write a new script? Maybe the fourth time’s the charm. Things will be different this time, as the Flyers finally have a Goaltender in Carter Hart. He is the first real potential superstar Goaltender the Flyers have had since President Reagan was in office.
The Carter Hart Effect
— Jamey Baskow (@JameyBaskow) February 20, 2019
Carter Hart was hugging everyone today. None more important than the person that inspired him to wear #79. Connor Parkkila. What a photo (Photo credit the PR Guru Zack Hill)@IowaPhillyFlyer pic.twitter.com/tfjkQtF00l
— Jamey Baskow (@JameyBaskow) February 16, 2019
— Jamey Baskow (@JameyBaskow) February 14, 2019
You think Starter Hart hasn’t been thinking about this game for a few weeks? Think again. He’s very aware of not only what a huge game this is for the Flyers (Playoff wise), but he understands the hype surrounding the event. Hart’s numbers are stellar in his rookie campaign, as he has registered a 13-8-1 record, 2.79 GAA, and a .917 Save Percentage in 22 games played.
Hart will also don a new mask for this huge game. This young man stated to David Isaac last week that Eagles fans will love his new mask, “Trust me.” Paying homage to his new found love for the Eagles is just another classy gesture by this young mature man. Hart gets it, and better yet he’s only 20 years old. He has respect, and Head Coach Scott Gordon may be helping Hart along the way in that area, “That’s what I like about Gordo, he’s honest and straightforward and I respect how honest he is,” Hart said on Tuesday night. “That’s just kind of the person he is and he’s a pretty positive guy. He’s done a lot for our group.”
This could very well be the last game Wayne Simmonds plays as a member of the orange and black. What a Flyers career he has had. Simmer has literally done it all while remaining as classy as possible. This is not easy, that’s for sure.
Simmonds is very attractive to a contender that needs a Veteran presence, and a guy that would rub the locker room the right way. This warrior in Simmonds gives his all on a nightly basis. Does he have some bad games? Sure he does, but he’s a beast when he needs to be. He may have to leave his best friends in Claude Giroux, and Jakub Voracek. As media enters the Stadium after passing through security, Simmonds, Voracek, and Giroux are more often than not playing Basketball together in the tunnel area.
For years (8 to be exact), he’s given his all to this organization. He commands respect from everyone on and off the ice. Simmonds has showed everyone including the great fans of Philadelphia that he wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a leader on and off the ice. Simmonds you will always be a Flyer, and he stated to me last month while choking up, “I love Philly, the fans.” Well, Simmer Philly loves you back.
Tomorrow the Flyers can write a new script against their hated rivals. The Flyers have to come out of the gate strong to keep the fans in it, and to keep the momentum on their side. It’s time to take back this rivalry against the Pens at the Linc once and for all.
Lettttttttttttttttttttttttttttssssssssssssssssssss Goooooooooooo Flyerssssssss.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports