As you know, El Capitan will be making his return to Philly tomorrow night (if you don’t think I’m sitting in the sixth row and wearing a One Eight jersey, you’re crazy). Anthony SanFillippo, whose name I have to double-check every time I spell it (two Ls, 2 Ps), made the drive to North Jersey yesterday to talk with Richards and Simon Gagne. The two were in town for a 7 PM game against the Devils, before heading to Philly later on.
Here are a couple of excerpts, you can read the full thing here.
Does it make it easier to not focus on going back to Philly that it came at the end of this incredibly long road trip that had you away from home for almost three weeks?
“Yeah. It’s been here, there, everywhere with planes, trains and automobiles. It’s been good though, to get away with the guys and be welcomed into their tight-knit group. It’s fun to come to the rink again. You don’t have to worry about anything. You just come to the rink and joke around with the guys. There’s not little (cliques) or anything – there’s just one big group. When you have that it makes everyone closer and you play that much harder on the ice.”
Have you kept in touch with any of the guys?
“I was actually in Philly Monday and went out to dinner with Hartnell. I still keep in touch through text messages and stuff. I will probably see a couple more of the guys (tonight).”
The it’s fun to come to the rink again-cliques line is fairly telling- it obviously implies that Peter Laviolette’s Dry Island was not an enjoyable destination for One Eight.
Everything we’ve heard coming from the Flyers so far this year indicates a much different atmosphere in 2011. Every player and coach has been extremely positive about the way the team has come together and gelled rather quickly. It sounds like coach speak and cliché, but you can see it just watching the 3-0 Flyers. There is a small group of older veterans (Briere, Kimmo, Pronger) and litany of hungry youngsters (Simmonds, Voracek, Giroux, JVR, Read, Couturier). Together – so far – it has made for a good mix.
Last night, Richie was part of that mix. Again.
Our friend HughE Dillon points out that One Eight didn’t miss a beat. He was apparently at Recess Lounge’s 2-year anniversery party last night with some of the Flyers:
Unnecessary shot at Simmonds here
Welcome back, Mike.
On a related note, James van Riemsdyk had his monthly radio show with Philly Sports Daily last night. Worth a listen right here.