VOORHEES, N.J. – Every kid who grew up playing hockey dreams of this moment – skating down the ice for the start of a two-month hunt for the Stanley Cup.
Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott was no exception.
He fantasized about times like this since he was about six years old, he says, only now he appreciates the whole process that much more.
And he put the whole thing into perspective after Monday’s practice at the Skate Zone when he alluded to the recent Canadian youth hockey tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos bus accident which killed more than a dozen junior players.
“It (playing for hockey’s holy grail) is a privilege to play this game, put on an NHL jersey,’’ he said. “It’s also a privilege and a pleasure to play in the playoffs for the Stanley Cup.
“It’s something that has been going on ever since you were six years old playing in the driveway.’’
The horrific event in Canada has hit everyone hard, particularly natives of that country.
“I woke up this morning, just with all the news coming out of Saskatchewan,’’ Elliott said. “We’ve all been those kids riding the bus and having those dreams to go on and play.
“We’re living our dreams and those kids don’t get to fulfill their dreams. We have to treat it as a privilege and I think that’s how I want to go into this series, knowing that we’re here. . .we’ve fulfilled our dreams in the NHL and we all have one big dream to get that Cup.’’
Lindblom excited about first playoffs
Oskar Lindblom was a late call-up but he did get into 23 games and that should be enough to get him through the opening night jitters.
“Everything gets so much bigger, the fans go nuts,’’ said Lindblom. “It’s going to be fun to see how it is.
“It’s going to be a war but it’s going to be fun.’’
How has he improved since training camp? He looks much more sure of himself now.
“I would say it’s confidence,’’ he said. “Over the year I’ve been working on stuff, like getting the shot off quicker. Just working on the small things, like skating (technique). I think it’s helped that I’ve been up here.’’