Oskar Lindblom has a good idea of what support from fans can do for one's energy.
A quick look at the numbers will show you the Flyers dearly missed their fans in 2020-21.
"That's a big part of the sport, the fans, they’re unbelievable, especially here, too, when we have a full house — they give you so much energy," Lindblom said in May after the Flyers' season came to an end with no playoff berth. "It's way more fun to play when we have a full house, too. I can't wait to get back and play for the fans again and give it back to them from this year when they missed part of it. It's going to be great to see them there again. Hopefully we can play better next year and give them something to cheer for."
Last season, the Flyers went 12-12-4 at the Wells Fargo Center, where they scored 2.93 goals per game, allowed 3.39 per game and had a minus-13 goal differential. The year started with no fans, turned to limited capacity on March 7 and finished with 3,882 in attendance for the Flyers' May 10 regular-season finale at the Wells Fargo Center.
Prior to the 2019-20 season being brought to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Flyers were the best home team in all of hockey. With the boost of full-capacity crowds, the Flyers finished 25-6-4 at home, where they scored 3.51 goals per game, allowed an NHL-low 2.00 per game and had a plus-53 goal differential. No team had more wins or points at home than the Flyers.
Following the disappointment of last season and with a rebuilt roster entering this season, the Flyers will have to generate excitement among the fan base again. Allowing the fans to come back in full force should help and it could help the Flyers generate an important turnaround in 2021-22.
Not only will the Flyers welcome back fans at full capacity for games, but they'll also have fans back at training camp next week. General manager Chuck Fletcher was a busy guy this summer in revamping his roster and hoping to restore the energy of the fan base. He's pumped for fans to get a look at the new-look Flyers in Voorhees, New Jersey. At the end of the day, pro sports is a business driven by fans. And there's no better fuel than winning.
"I can't wait to see the fans here on Nov. 23," Fletcher said Tuesday. "Just even having some energy in our building, in our practice rink, it's huge. We're only in this game because of the fans, they support us, they foot the bill, so to speak, and we all make a living off it.
"Last year was a tough year; I've said it several times. Once we allowed some fans back in the building, there was some energy, but there's no question having fans in there adds a whole different element. I'm sure like many of you folks, I've been watching the college football and the NFL over the last couple weekends and seeing those scenes from Virginia Tech from the opening game, seeing Michigan, seeing the folks there a few nights ago, it’s just crazy what a different atmosphere it can be when you have a full house and people in there pulling for you.
"I know our players are extremely excited about getting back, playing and hopefully having a mostly normal season. It appears it's going to be mostly normal and we're all excited to get back to that."
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