We sat down with Philadelphia Flyers player Shayne Gostisbehere to talk about what it's like to play for an incredibly loyal fanbase, fighting for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and his craziest fan encounter yet.
As a rookie on the Philadelphia Flyers, Shayne Gostisbehere is expected to play well and learn from his teammates—what isn't expected is going on a record-breaking streak that has all eyes on him this year. With the Stanley Cup Playoffs looming in the near future, the stakes are high, and so are the fans who are looking to bring the trophy home to the City of Brotherly Love.
Here, we chatted with the athlete about his most memorable fan encounter, what it's like to be playing alongside players like Sean Couturier and Mark Streit, and more.
With the playoffs right around the corner, how much is your record-breaking streak on your mind? SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE: The streak is not on my mind! What is on my mind is making the playoffs that is the most important thing—it's team success for me, not individual awards.
How does it feel to play for a team with such a loyal fan base? SG: I love playing for Philly. I mean the fans are probably, in my mind, the best in the league. They are just awesome to play in front of—they are so passionate. They’ll let you know if you’re doing bad, and they’ll definitely let you know when you’re doing well. We are on the cusp [of the playoffs] here, and we are going to turn to corner real soon.
How has the team welcomed you? SG: The team has been so welcoming even since day one—since I’ve been called up. It’s been awesome. It’s brotherhood here, I mean just the way everyone’s taken me in and showed me the ropes and the pro-ranks and everything. It has definitely been fun.
Our team has some of the best players in the league. Has working with them helped shape your outlook on the game? SG: Yes, I mean we have some of the best players, I don’t mean to say the league, but in the world in my own opinion. I mean [Sean] Couturier, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, and Mark Streit, they’re just amazing players to play with. The amazing thing about them is how much they like to help you work on your game and shape your game into something that you can hold onto and become a better player.
Do you have any crazy fan stories yet? SG: [laughs] Not really. Sometimes people want a lot of autographs and it’s a little much sometimes, but it’s good to see. Just today I gave a little kid a puck, and he looked at me like I was, I don’t even know. It was funny just to see his face—he was probably only three or two years old, but it was awesome to see his face. I think his mom was more proud though!