Lauren Hart's rendition of God Bless America is a tradition typically reserved for big games. It's usually sung at the home opener, always in the playoffs, and on certain occasions, gigantic regular season contests. Sometimes, Hart will perform the chill-inducing duet with Kate Smith, as seen in the video above.
The last really, really big regular season game I can remember the Flyers breaking out the duet came on a Friday night back in April of 2008. With just two-games left in the regular season, the Flyers were down-trodden. People were afraid the team would miss the playoffs for the second year in a row.
But the feeling in the building that night was pretty special. At home, against a rival, the Flyers had a chance to clinch a postseason berth with a victory. It started with Lauren Hart and Kate Smith, and the energy just snowballed.
"We wanted to set the tone right away. We were excited," said Umberger. "We were fired up and ready to go in the locker room before the game. "The crowd came here early. They were excited and fired up too, and that just helped with the energy."
Is tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens as big as that night against the Devils? No, it's not. The Flyers can't clinch a playoff berth tonight. But there are similarities. We don't like Montreal. We're directly competing with them for the playoffs and two points tonight could go a really, really long way towards solidifying the playoffs this season.
So, should Lauren Hart pull out the secret weapon tonight?