March 14, 2015
Took an early morning Amtrak from New York to catch Game #2 in Philadelphia, a matinee game with a 1:00 p.m. start. The early game (and the drizzling rain) did not deter the tailgaters, and it did not deter me from going over and asking my trivia questions. (Something I plan to do at each and every game.)
As you can see, they didn’t offer me one of their umbrellas, and come to think of it, they didn’t offer me a beer either! They were a good group of guys, and they did great on my trivia contest, answering 9 out of 10 questions correctly. As I entered the Wells Fargo Center, I was impressed with how well set up this arena is, with lots of room in the corridors, and plenty of food choices! I was persuaded to try the Philly Cheesesteak, having never eaten one before. It tastes better than it looks! (Actually, it doesn’t look too bad at all!)
After downing my “pre-game meal,” I was excited to hear my favourite anthem singer in the NHL – Lauren Hart. Her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner gives me goosebumps, and to hear it live was a thrill. With the game now underway, it was great to see the number of fans wearing Flyers jerseys, probably two thirds of the crowd. The team did not disappoint, jumping up to an early 2-0 lead, and when it looked like Brayden Schenn scored his third goal of the game, it was announced soon afterwards that an earlier goal credited to him was actually scored by Wayne Simmonds. This brought out the ice-cleaning crew (which includes “ice girls”) to clear the rink of hats thrown on the ice for what many believed was a hat-trick.
The game got a bit feisty in the third period, and just after I commented to a few fans that fighting is down in the NHL, and that Detroit usually has the lowest number of fighting majors in most recent seasons. No fights ensued from this melee, but Wayne Simmonds was ejected with a 10-minute misconduct.
The game finished up 7-2 Flyers, leaving Red Wings coach Mike Babcock to hope for better things at their matinee game with the Pittsburgh Penguins. I will see his team there, and to report, this was one game which gave me some pre-trip planning anxiety. The game was originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and I only found out about the change (moving the game to 12:30 p.m.) two weeks before I left for my trip. It cost me a couple of hundreds to change a previously booked flight, but I had to do it. My plan is to make every one of the 30 scheduled games of my trip!!