VOORHEES, N.J. — While much of the Delaware Valley took Monday off from work, head coach Dave Hakstol had his Flyers back at work at the Skate Zone in Voorhees at the regularly scheduled time of 10:30 a.m. to resume their own championship aspirations.
And what the Eagles accomplished Sunday night in Super Bowl LII was squarely on the players' minds before heading out to Carolina to face the Hurricanes on Tuesday evening. It's another important game for the Flyers, losers of three straight who are clinging to the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference as of Monday afternoon.
“It definitely fires you up. To see everyone going nuts, it’s pretty cool to see,” Shayne Gostisbehere said. “Obviously, the thoughts go through your head if it was us. It was great for the city and the Eagles deserve it, winning their first title. We want to emulate what just happened and keep the party going. We want to follow suit from what the Eagles have done.”
A handful of players saw the euphoria unfold after watching Super Bowl LII together at Vesper Sporting Club in Center City, where they rented out a viewing room for themselves and their wives and girlfriends.
Some of the players bolted at halftime to avoid the potential Center City hysteria, while others elected to stick around and see what would unfold. Needless to say, the celebrations even exceeded their expectations.
“There was a fire going off. It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Taylor Leier said. “It was like walking through Times Square, but it was a riot. That’s honestly what it was like. There were guys in this Jeep and they were all just in their underwear and they were hanging out the windows and one guy was standing on top. It was hilarious.”
Most of the players attended the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago following the Flyers' big overtime win earlier in the day in Washington. In his first season in Philadelphia, goaltender Brian Elliott has made it to a handful of Eagles games, even wearing his No. 37 Eagles jersey given to him by kicker Jake Elliott. The two pro athletes struck up a friendship not long after Elliott booted a 61-yard game-winner to beat the Giants back in October. A few weeks later, Elliott attended his first Flyers game.
“It’s pretty cool to go from kicking at college and not too long ago in high school and then you’re on the biggest stage of the world,” the Flyers' Elliott said. “Knowing him just a little bit and exchanging some texts, it’s pretty cool that he has that cool, calm presence. The perfect demeanor for a kicker. He got it done. All I texted him last night was ‘Money!’ after hitting that long one at the end of the game there.
“That was a fun and exciting game to watch, especially how it ended. It definitely creates that little bit of buzz, and makes you think how cool it would be to do the same.”
A week ago Thursday, the Flyers honored Eagles head coach Doug Pederson as a special guest inside the locker room prior to their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Pederson also dropped the ceremonial puck at center ice that night.
“He stayed within his personality that they’ve had all year long,” Hakstol said of Pederson. “That’s what stood out most for me. I think our guys were excited to see the game and to see the lifelong fans experience a Super Bowl for the first time. That’s pretty exciting.”
Congrats pour in
Following the Eagles' victory over the Patriots last night, members of the Flyers' community extended their congratulatory praise and admiration through Twitter.
What a game! Congratulations Super Bowl champions @Eagles. Time to celebrate Philadelphia!— Eric Lindros (@88EricLindros) February 5, 2018
Eagles mental toughness was incredible - Congrats Philly fans you deserve it 🍾— Rick Tocchet (@RealRocket22) February 5, 2018
What a great Super Bowl. Congrats to Patriots and now champions EAGLES!!!!!— Mark Recchi (@Markrecchi8) February 5, 2018
Amazing game to watch...enjoy it Philly!! Well deserved!!!
Doug Pederson one upped Belichick all night. Tremendous faith in his team and balls of steel....that’s the Philly way to win!!!!— Todd Fedoruk (@fridge29) February 5, 2018