Oskar Linbdlom already proved how strong he is battling cancer, but Thursday represented a stunning achievement with the Flyers. For the first time since being diagnosed with bone cancer in December (and eventually celebrating his final treatment) Lindblom played over 17 minutes as Philadelphia forced a Game 7 with a 5-4 double overtime win over the Islanders.
Lindblom didn’t get eased into his Game 6 return, either. With the Flyers hemmed in their own zone against the Islanders, his first shift back lasted an uncomfortable 1:39.
“I knew I was going to play at some point,” Lindblom said afterward. “I was lucky to be out there and be with these guys.”
Midway through the first period, players on both teams tapped their sticks in honor of his incredible return.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 3, 2020
“This kid has so much courage,” said Flyers captain Claude Giroux. “He played unbelievable, too. It’s been a long battle. This guy’s heart, you have to see it to believe it.”
The road to Oskar Lindblom returning to Flyers for Game 6, his first game since battling cancer
Consider the unlikely timeline for Oskar Lindblom to return for the Flyers in Game 6:
- Back in December, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
- Following that diagnosis, there were plenty of heartfelt gestures to Lindblom during his treatment.
- In one of the unlikely developments, Lindblom resumed skating with Flyers teammates on June 23.
- Not long after, Lindblom rang the bell to celebrate his last cancer treatment on July 2.
- It was quite the scene when Lindblom joined his teammates for an Aug. 16 morning skate. Maybe that planted some seeds for a return?
- Then, it started to look more and more real. Lindblom participated in warmups before Game 4.
“I think he’s been an inspiration for us all season,” said Carter Hart. “He gives our team a huge boost of energy. It was special to see him out there with us. Hard to describe. For him to be with us, we’re so happy.”
And now Lindblom and the Flyers are a win away from the Eastern Conference Final. Like just about every step in Lindblom’s battle with cancer, this is amazing and inspiring.
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