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Gritty’s impactful first week continues with ‘Tonight Show’ appearance

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five days since Gritty, the wonderful new Philadelphia Flyers mascot, entered our lives and changed them forever. From its take-no-prisoners attitude to “breaking the Internet” to that wonderful orange mane to its (underrated) best feature, the googly eyes, the NHL mascot game has been changed forever.

Gritty’s meteoric rise to stardom continued on Thursday when it took a helicopter to New York City to take part in a Boyz II Men “Motownphilly” dance party with The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and comedian Ricky Gervais. Add that to appearances and mentions this week on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
[PHT Power Rankings: NHL’s most absurd mascots]

After finishing up business in New York, Jakub Voracek’s distant cousin headed back to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to help defend its boys against their Metropolitan Division rivals in the New York Rangers. That meant if any jabroni in the stands was bold enough to wear a Rangers jersey, well, they weren’t getting ignored.

There was also Gritty’s involvement in an intermission competition which demonstrated it has some Broad Street Bully in its blood.

The intial reveal had a mixed reaction when it debuted on Monday, but slowly feelings have been changing, and good on the Flyers for sticking to their franchise roots and leaning in on the bit and going all out to make sure everyone knows the name Gritty.

Heck, Gritty has already put a threat out against the Penguins and their mascot, IceBurgh, so that should spice things up for their February outdoor game. Maybe the auxiliary rink that’s typically used by youth players during outdoor games can feature a mascot vs. mascot rumble during intermission. It’s what the fans will want.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.