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10 things to know about the Super Bowl, the Flyers, and the NHL

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Scott Laughton, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, 500th
Flyers forward Scott Laughton had his first NHL hat trick on Super Bowl Sunday last year, sparking a 7-4 win over the host Washington Caps.

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, so how does that relate to the Philadelphia Flyers or the NHL?

Here are 10 ways:

1. Eli Apple, a Philadelphia native who is a starting Cincinnati Bengals cornerback, went to Eastern High in Voorhees, N.J., with Allie Samuelsson, who does great work in the Flyers’ public-relations office. (She is the daughter of former Flyers defenseman Kjell Samuelsson, who works in the Flyers’ player-development department.)

2. The Flyers, who are looking to hit the trade market, have many more injured players (nine regulars) than both the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams combined. Based on the NHL’s injury report released Friday, only two Bengals did not practice fully on that day, and the Rams placed two players (Tyler Higbee, Joe Noteboom) on injured reserve.

3. Columbus Blue Jackets players wore No. 9 Joe Burrow jerseys and Bengals sweatshirts before and after their 2-1 win Saturday in Montreal. Burrow, of course is the quarterback for Cincinnati, which is a two-hour car ride from Columbus.

4. One prop bet compares the combined total of goals scored by NHL teams in their four games Sunday against the number of Burrow completions. There have been an average of 6.1 goals scored in NHL games this season, which means if you think Burrow will have more than 24 completions, go with the over. If not, go with the under.

5. Veteran Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski made sense when he was asked to pick a Super Bowl winner: “No team had won at home until last year with Tampa Bay, and I think that trend continues. I’m going with the Rams,” he said.

6. If you can wait a few days for your bet to be decided, try this cross-sport wager: The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas asks which will be higher: Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights combined goals in their game Wednesday, or the number of Cooper Kupp catches?

(I’d go with Kupp, and I am 12-4 in my Flyers picks and did have the exact score of their 4-2 loss in Detroit on Saturday. Ten again, I’m due to hit a prediction skid.)

7. The Washington Capitals will play on Super Bowl Sunday for the 31st season, according to The Hockey Writers. The Caps, who host Ottawa at 12:30 p.m., are 17-12-2 on Super Bowl Sunday, but have lost the last four in those matchups, including last year’s 7-4 defeat to the visiting Flyers. Scott Laughton had his first career hat trick in that game.

8. The Flyers are 15-24-8 and in last place at in the eight-team Metropolitan Division. Last year, in a season that didn’t start until Jan. 13, they were 7-3-2 at the Super Bowl date.

9. I dug up this old quote from then-Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere after the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018: “Just to see everyone celebrating out there, obviously the thoughts go through your head: ‘What if it was us?’ ”

10. What will be higher this season: Wins by the Flyers (15, with 35 games left) or points by the winning Super Bowl team today? Give me the exact number of Flyers wins — send to me at samcarchidi55@gmail.com — and I’ll send the winner a free subscription to Philly Hockey Now. (If there is a tie between the correct picks, I’ll select the winner out of a hat.)

Enjoy the Super Bowl, folks.

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