It's time to start paying attention to Shayne Gostisbehere.
Actually, many in-the-know Philly sports have been paying attention to the Flyers' rookie defenseman for a while but after his heroics this past weekend, the 22-year-old has become the city's most exciting athlete. At a time when the city needs excitement.
Ghost scored his fourth overtime game-winner of the season in the Flyers' 5-4 win against the Maple Leafs Saturday. All 12 of Gostisbehere's goals have been lead-changing and his 22 assists give him the fifth most points on the entire roster despite having played in 16-18 less games than the rest of the offensive leaders.
But that's not his most eye-popping stat. It's his streak -- 15 consecutive games with a point -- the longest for any defenseman since 1995-95 (Chris Chelios).
Oh yeah and don't look now, but the Flyers are back in the playoff race. They stood just three points back Sunday afternoon.
“It’s living the dream, what can you say?" Gostisbehere told reporters in Toronto Saturday night. "It’s just cool to have my teammates doing it with me and see how happy they get. It’s awesome.”
His teammates think it's just as cool.
“Getting a chance to play with him a lot over the last few weeks, you just try to get open," Wayne Simmonds, the Flyers' leading goal-scorer said. "You try to get lost for him. He’s a great passer, he’s going to find you.”
“It’s unbelievable,” Brayden Schenn added. “He’s extremely confident. He always wants the puck. It’s absolutely incredible what he’s doing right now."
The four overtime winners for Ghost are second in the NHL to Jonathan Toews. With the trade deadline looming and games becoming more and more important, the Florida native (a rarity in the NHL) seems to be perhaps the biggest reason the team has any chance at a postseason spot.
“I’m just doing whatever I can do to contribute to the team,” Gostisbehere said. “The huge thing is we got two points on a back-to-back. It’s just huge for us right now.”
The Flyers are back in action Tuesday after two much-needed days off to face the Hurricanes in Carolina, a 7 p.m. start on The Comcast Network.