The Philadelphia Flyers have had injuries, lots and lots of injuries, during this forgettable season.
They have had losses, lots and lots of losses. Ten straight at one point, and then a 13-game skid at another point. That was followed by 13 consecutive road losses.
So if ever a team needed a lift, if ever a team needed a sliver of good news during one of the worst seasons in franchise history, it was the Philadelphia Flyers.
Enter a humble 26-year-old winger, Hayden Hodgson, who made a stunning NHL debut Thursday night in St. Louis.
At this time last year, he was playing in the ECHL.
Hodgson brought some sunshine to a franchise that has been in the dark since it fired Alain Vigneault in early December, and has been both clueless and luckless in the three-plus months since his unnecessary dismissal.
You want some rays?
Hodgson had a goal, an assist, four hits, and a plus-3 rating in his NHL debut, helping the Flyers end the aforementioned 13-game road skid with an unexpected 5-2 win over Stanley Cup contender St. Louis.
Put on your sunglasses.
If first impressions mean anything, the Flyers have found a late-bloomer who can help them in the future.
OK, OK. It’s only one game. Lots of players have had outstanding debuts and have had inauspicious careers.