The Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday and although their players will no doubt be happy for the chance to see their families again, there's no question that it was a disappointing end for a team that entered the tournament among the favorites. The disappointment for the players will of course extend to the fan base itself and in that disappointment it can be easy to forget the blessings that you should be thankful for.
Following the Flyers loss on Saturday Barry Trotz, the man who coached the New York Islanders to a victory over the Flyers, was set to take questions from the media at the conclusion of Game 7 but the Islanders bench boss had something he wanted to get off his mind first. Trotz went into something of a short speech in which he expressed just how amazed he was at the perseverance and the tremendous progress made by Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom. It was a tremendous show of class on the part of Trotz and you could tell that it was something that had genuinely moved him as a man who himself has children.
"Before I answer any questions I just wanna say one thing," began Trotz. "Really inspirational what you see a young man, Oskar Lindblom, who came back. I think that is exceptional what he did and what he is fighting, so I just wanted to say that. For me as a father to see a young man go through all that is.... you never wanna see a young man go through that."
No one would have blamed Trotz for immediately shifting his focus to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team Trotz and the Islanders will face in the Eastern Conference Final, but it was a tremendous show of respect for Lindblom that he took the time to address the young man's obvious courage before even crediting any of his own players after a huge win.
Trotz is already a very well respected coach in the National Hockey League, and his recent success with the Islanders has only added to it, but I suspect that his comments regarding Lindblom may win him some new fans from a fan base that is notoriously hard to please.