The Flyers will probably have to play better than they did against Montreal if they are going to knock off the Islanders and advance to the Eastern Conference finals
That said, Dave Scott, chairman of the Flyers’ parent company, Comcast Spectacor, says winning a playoff series for the first time since 2012 was a “special moment.”
It was a “hard-fought series against a very tough team,” Scott said Sunday night. “We are a resilient team, and we found a way to win the series with contributions up and down the lineup.”
Added Scott: “Winning a playoff series for the first time in eight years is a special moment for our fans and the Flyers organization, but it is by no means time to rest on that achievement. Now the focus is on Monday night and Game 1 against the Islanders.”
The teams will square off in the opener Monday at 7 p.m. at Scotiabank Arena.
Scott is not with the team in Toronto, which became the Eastern Conference’s hub city because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is watching games on TV from his Philadelphia home and “talking with [general manager] Chuck Fletcher every day.”
Yes, he’s disappointed home games can’t be played in front of loud fans at the Wells Fargo Center, but he understands, and praised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his staff for putting together the playoffs and making the environment safe and healthy in Toronto and Edmonton, the Western Conference hub.
“These are such challenging times as we all are learning to navigate through the pandemic,” Scott said. “It would be wonderful to be celebrating all of these big wins live at the Wells Fargo Center with our fans as we have here in Philadelphia over the last 53 years. After everything we have been though, it’s a thrill to have live sports back on television this summer.”
Scott thanked the players, coaches and front office personnel who have been in the Toronto bubble since late July. “It has not been easy for them to be away from their families, but they have pulled together and are making all of us very proud here in Philadelphia … “[by] getting us to this point. There has been a lot of hard work and collaboration across the entire organization. We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s great to see that all the effort is paying off.”
Scott was asked if he would still consider the season a success if the Flyers were to lose to the Islanders in the conference semifinals.
“We haven’t even started the second round yet, so I can’t even think about any of this ending right now,” he said. “I love our team and the mix of talented young players and seasoned veterans we have assembled as we enter this next stage. With that said, the Islanders are a very good team, play great defensively, and we will need to play our game. It will be a fun series to watch.”