Flyers

Flyers stock watch: 3 major positives after season-opening party in Vegas

Flyers stock watch: 3 major positives after season-opening party in Vegas

Make it 3 for 3 as the Flyers on Thursday won their third straight season opener — all against Western Conference opponents.

The Flyers are now a perfect 2-0 in Vegas following a 5-2 victory over the Golden Knights.

Let's look at three players who saw a boost in their stock:

Wayne Simmonds
In what has become a theme over the past four years, Simmonds is off to a scorching start by adding a pair of goals. He scored in his only preseason action and then found the back of the net twice against the Golden Knights.

Despite playing just 9:28 at even strength, the fewest of all Flyers forwards, Simmonds still played effective minutes working with a pair of new linemates — James van Riemsdyk and rookie Mikhail Vorobyev.

The Flyers' power forward is still a force on the power play as he jammed a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury, and while Simmonds still needs a few more games to work out all the rust, it didn’t hold him back physically, leading the Flyers with seven hits.

Brian Elliott
Slowly eased into the regular season through a cautious, diligent preseason workload, Elliott took a significant step toward feeling 100 percent ready after stopping 26 of 27 shots against the Bruins in the final exhibition game. Elliott followed up with a 23-save performance while holding the Golden Knights to two goals by winning his second straight season opener. Elliott was poised and didn’t overextend his movements against a Vegas team that prefers quick, east-west puck movement.

Where the Flyers will need to lean on Elliott more so this season comes on the penalty kill, and against the Golden Knights he delivered. The Flyers' goaltender made two key saves during a 5-on-3 penalty kill, and after Pierre Edouard-Bellemare scored shorthanded, Elliott didn’t surrender that momentum-changing goal that would have given the Knights some third-period life. 

Robert Hagg
It was looking like at the end of last week Hagg could be the odd man out to start the season as he was paired with Mark Friedman, but his training camp and preseason progressively improved from week to week and now he’s feeling more confident to assert himself offensively, jumping into the play and snapping a shot past Fleury.

Hagg fired three shots on net, which led all Flyers defensemen, and he was his typical physical presence defensively as he was credited with six hits while trying to mask some of the mistakes on the back end by playing partner Andrew MacDonald.

More on the Flyers

Gritty slippers for James van Riemsdyk's baby girl will make for adorable picture

Gritty slippers for James van Riemsdyk's baby girl will make for adorable picture

James van Riemsdyk has been a busy guy lately.

He's experiencing fatherhood for the first time as he and his wife Lauren welcomed their baby daughter Scarlett Everly into the world earlier this month. He's in the process of moving into a new home in Minnesota. And he's the Flyers' representative for the NHLPA, which has been critical to the league's return-to-play plan.

So maybe Gritty decided it was a good time to help out his teammate. JVR's little girl already has some Gritty apparel.

“Gritty slippers, so she’ll be introduced soon enough hopefully," van Riemsdyk said Friday on Lunch Talk Live with NBC Sports' Mike Tirico. "We can’t wait for that picture.”

Same with Gritty. Let's give a stick tap to whoever supplied the Gritty footwear for Scarlett Everly. What a clutch gift. You'd expect the orange fella was going to make it happen one way or the other, even with a busy schedule of his own.

While van Riemsdyk probably misses Gritty, he has enjoyed being a dad during the NHL stoppage.

“It has been incredible," van Riemsdyk said last week on a conference call. "The silver lining out of all of this stuff is just the extra time I’ve been able to spend at home and be there for all the little moments and just worry about being a dad first and foremost. That has been unbelievable. Everyone who has kids knows, it’s a life-changing moment and something that’s hard to even describe until you see her and meet her for the first time. That has been awesome."

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers and fans remind NHL of their No. 23 Oskar Lindblom

Flyers and fans remind NHL of their No. 23 Oskar Lindblom

We saw Oskar Lindblom provide smiles in the Flyers' team picture taken during March.

We saw him receive a standing ovation at the Wells Fargo Center in January.

And during times like these, we saw awesome support for Lindblom in a virtual way Friday.

For a series on NHL.com, the league's official Twitter account sent out a question asking who is the best player to currently wear No. 23 in the game, with five options: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Sean Monahan, Dustin Brown, Adam Fox and Sam Reinhart.

Flyers fans flooded the responses with love for Lindblom, the team's forward who is battling Ewing’s sarcoma and wears No. 23. The Flyers' official Twitter account had an awesome tweet, as well.

Lindblom was diagnosed in mid-December. In late April, head coach Alain Vigneault said Lindblom was working out.

"His treatments are doing well," Vigneault said. "I’ve been texting him more on a regular basis since the beginning. We’ll have some news when the season starts again.”

And Philly will continue to show love for its 23-year-old No. 23.

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers