Flyers

Brian Elliott's wife hoping to now serve Philly

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Courtesy of Amanda Elliott

Brian Elliott's wife hoping to now serve Philly

Don’t be alarmed if Amanda Elliott has a few cardboard boxes tucked away in the basement of her Haddonfield, New Jersey, home.

Moving has been part of the routine for Amanda and Brian Elliott. Philadelphia is now their third stop in the past 20 months after Brian was traded from the Blues to the Flames before signing with the Flyers over the summer.

“I don’t know if I mind that because I have that military mode," Amanda said. "So I'm used to moving every couple of years, especially since I know hockey is not forever. I know I’ll find someone I get along with and everyone’s been really nice.”

Around the same time Amanda met Brian at the University of Wisconsin, she enrolled in the university’s ROTC program, and not long after graduating, she enlisted as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force in 2007.

“I watched a lot of war movies with my dad growing up,” Amanda said. “My brother was enlisted in the Air Force. I had a grandfather who was in World War II and served in India and Africa. My parents have always been in public service. My dad’s a teacher, my mom’s a social worker. They gave me that desire to see more of the world. Do something greater than yourself. It was always something that appealed to me.”

Amanda was stationed in West Texas on Oct. 10, 2007, when Brian made his NHL debut with the Ottawa Senators in Atlanta, and for the proceeding years, they had to find different ways to communicate and share those interpersonal moments.

In 2009, Amanda was deployed to Qatar, and the following year, she was stationed in the sovereign nation of Kyrgyzstan.

Brian was in charge of stopping pucks for the Senators, while Amanda was assigned tactical level intelligence working with squadrons and aircrew. Her primary duties involved handling pre- and post-mission briefings and security threats for pilots of refueling tankers — most notably the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.

“I saw it when she was on deployments and they don’t get a chance to write or Skype on a daily basis because they’re busy and time changes,” Brian said. “You think about the sacrifices those people have to make.

“One of her friends gave birth and a few weeks later, she was overseas and serving her deployment and away from a newborn child. You think about those things and it puts life into perspective a little bit.”

As painful as the separation must have been for a military mother and her newborn child, it also gave birth to an idea. In 2007, while stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, founder LeAnn Morrissey started “Operation Shower” — a nonprofit geared toward hosting baby showers for military members who can’t be with family, friends and loved ones while on deployment.

“It’s an awesome organization. They do about 15 showers a year nationwide,” said Amanda, who brought Operation Shower to St. Louis in 2015. “The moms and families end up walking out of there with $1,000 in value. Brand-new stuff. All the products are donated, so it’s pretty cool.

“That was a big deal and the girls in St. Louis are still continuing that,” Brian said. “So I’m really proud of her for starting that there.”

Now that Amanda is part of the South Jersey community, she’s looking to bring Operation Shower to the Delaware Valley, in conjunction with military personnel from Fort Dix-McGuire Air Force base and the Pennsylvania National Guard.

“It takes about three months to plan everything," Amanda said. "We’re excited about it. We’re looking at April for our first shower.”

For more information on Operation Shower, you can visit operationshower.org.

Get to know Amanda Elliott's favorites
Military movies: Saving Private Ryan, Zero Dark Thirty
Military book: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
Military heroes: Col. Jim Warnke, WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots)

Trip to Voorhees brings up old memories for Lindros

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Photo: Zack Hill | Flyers

Trip to Voorhees brings up old memories for Lindros

VOORHEES, N.J. — Eric Lindros doesn’t have to lace up the skates and go through a physically exhausting practice, but the Flyers' Hall of Famer hasn’t had much time to catch his breath either, as he attempts to squeeze in as many activities and appearances during his week-long stay in the Delaware Valley.

Lindros on Wednesday stopped by the Skate Zone in Voorhees to visit with members of the organization and players on the team. It was his first visit to the practice facility since December 2011 when he returned for the Alumni Game at Citizens Bank Park.

“This is a beautiful facility they have here. We got off the highway and there’s Vito’s Pizza. That used to be the spot we’d pop in after practice,” Lindros said, realizing how landmarks have changed while others remain the same. “I always realized it was a big part (of my life). I came here as a 19-year-old with some great vets I had a chance to play with.”

Lindros made numerous commitments, including Tuesday night’s “Skate with 88” event in West Chester, the Flyers' Alumni outdoor game in Hershey Friday night, a sold-out appearance at Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne on Saturday all sandwiched around the marquee event — the No. 88 retirement ceremony prior to Thursday’s game against the Maple Leafs.

“It’s an honor,” said Wayne Simmonds, who grew up in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, Ontario. “He’s one of my favorite players growing up so to get a chance to watch his number raised to the rafters at Wells Fargo is going to be special. He’s one of the all-time greats if you ask me.”

Along with Lindros' wife and three kids, Lindros’ family will be in attendance, including his father Carl and his mother Bonnie, as well as, his brother Brett and sister Robin.

“Wonderful thrill. I just went through the walkthrough this morning,” Lindros said, “Certainly excited, really excited. I feel honored to be part of it. I feel like the names that are up in the rafters are incredible names and after tomorrow it will be extremely special.”

Since sharing the stage with Legion of Doom teammate John LeClair during their induction into the Flyers' Hall of Fame in November 2014, Lindros was also enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in November 2016, and Thursday night, he will become the sixth player in the organization to have his jersey number retired.

“It’s been great," Lindros said. "The last year and a bit has been spectacular for us and our family. It gives you a chance to reflect and think back to good times and just how lucky you are to have played with certain guys.”

Flyers not surprised, but look it on Broadway

Flyers not surprised, but look it on Broadway

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — Flyers players lifted their massive equipment bags onto carts outside the visiting locker room of Madison Square Garden.

There wasn't much energy or zealousness to such a mundane task.

Shortly before doing so, the Flyers made skating in the world's most famous arena seem just as mundane, allowing the New York Rangers to turn Broadway into breakaway on Tuesday night to the tune of a 5-1 loss (see observations).

"We just made too many mistakes that cost us," Jakub Voracek said. "Four goals out of five came off our mistakes, so it's tough."

The Rangers, not once, but twice during the first period, bolted behind the Flyers' slow-reacting coverage for nothing but open ice and Brian Elliott to beat. On both occasions, New York scored easily and took control of the evening.

It was a full exploitation of a Flyers team that had won four straight but wasn't "engaged in this game enough," as head coach Dave Hakstol put it.

With the Flyers holding a 1-0 lead just over six minutes into the contest, Pavel Buchnevich fed a stretch pass to Rick Nash streaking up the middle of the ice, leaving defensemen Radko Gudas and Brandon Manning in the dust. Both the delivery from Buchnevich and the speed of Nash appeared to catch Gudas and Manning by surprise.

"The first one, probably a better read by me and Gudy," Manning said. "We talked before the game, we knew that's what they were going to do, they were going to try and stretch us out. That one we can probably eliminate."

The second was deflating in every way imaginable. As the Flyers sputtered through their first man advantage, a pass behind Jordan Weal bounced off the side boards and right to Peter Holland. With most of the Flyers' second power-play unit pinching on the attack, New York rushed up ice and beat Manning in retreat as Holland hit Paul Carey for a shorthanded marker.

Whatever life the Flyers still had, it was sucked out of them.

At the time, before it unfolded, they seemed to be in OK position. The Flyers were down, 2-1, but vying for an equalizer by turning to their power play, which had been 7 for 14 over the four-game winning streak. However, what transpired was New York taking a surprising 3-1 lead with 10 seconds remaining in the opening frame.

"Those are ones we can prevent," Hakstol said. "They're a good transition team, so when you give them opportunities, whether it's a turnover out of their defensive zone or a turnover entering the zone, they're a good transition team. But our awareness on those plays was not what it needs to be.

"I just thought in the first half of the game, in all the areas of the game that mattered, they were the quicker and hungrier team."

The Rangers showed it some more when they went on another semi-breakaway, this time midway through the second period for a 4-1 edge. Michael Grabner came swooping in to pick Voracek's pocket before quickly flicking a shot past Elliott, who watched another blue jersey barrel down untouched toward his crease.

"We put him in pretty tough spots tonight with the opportunities that we gave up in the first 30 minutes of the game," Hakstol said.

The goalie making his 18th start in the last 19 games still took blame.

"It's not the easiest way, but that's my job," Elliott, who was yanked ahead of the third period, said. "I didn't have them tonight. Go back to work and try to feel good about my game. That's not where I wanted to be tonight. I didn't really give ourselves a chance to win and I've got to own a lot of that."

Tuesday marked the Flyers' first outing against the Rangers this season.

Were they surprised by the opposition's transition game?

"No," Hakstol said.

Manning sounded like he will be far more ready when the Flyers come back to Madison Square Garden on Feb. 18 for the second of four meetings.

"I don't know if surprising is the right word, they have some guys who can skate and I think we were expecting that," Manning said. "We haven't played them this year, it's the first time. When you see it for the first time, it's something a little different."

The Flyers on Thursday night will see the Maple Leafs for the third time. The previous two matchups were won by the Flyers. Interestingly enough, Manning had his best game of the season with a goal, an assist and three hits in the October victory, while rookie blueliner Travis Sanheim played in the December win.

Hakstol will have to decide between the two for Thursday.

One will be an extra, the other will want to make sure breakaways are at a minimum.