OTTAWA, Ontario -- Ray Emery has been through it before: Play in one city, establish yourself, go to another, do the same.
It’s always a little odd coming back.
This time, it’s different. When Emery got to Chicago late Monday night after the Flyers' shootout loss to the Senators, he was coming back as a hero -- a guy who helped Chicago win a Stanley Cup last season thanks to his sensational play in the first half of the season.
“Yeah, I stay in touch with the guys,” Emery said. “I love the city. We had a good season last year. A game is a game, and you want to focus on that game. You appreciate the year and with a championship season, you have time to celebrate that during the summer, and I am kind of past that and want to do well here.”
Emery will be in goal Wednesday against the Blackhawks as the Flyers close out a 12-day, six-game road trip.
“I’ve played for a few teams before,” Emery said. “Here in Ottawa and Philly and Chicago. I try to stay focused on my season and where I am at at that point and not look too far.”
Will it hit him actually being back?
“Ah, not so much,” Emery said. “Back in the day, coming back here and playing Ottawa, it was a bit different for me because that was the team I started out with. I was there for a while. I was there for a couple years. Winning a championship in Chicago was a great experience. But yeah, I loved playing there in Chicago. It was a unique experience to win a Cup. And a really good team. That novelty kind of wears off after playing for a few teams.”
He’s had three shots at a Cup and won one. First in Ottawa in 2007 when the Senators lost to Anaheim. Then as a Flyer in 2010 when Peter Laviolette’s club lost to the Hawks.
He thought that Philly would likely be his last chance at a Cup, especially given his hip injury that would see him play just 10 NHL games the next year in Anaheim.
Emery became a Masterton Trophy finalist for his remarkable comeback that saved his career, which allowed him to sign with Chicago in July 2011.
And then … another shot at the Cup last spring.
“Yeah, I was definitely fortunate to get there,” he said. “What the role or what team you are with, to make the Stanley Cup Final, it’s a pretty exciting year. So, when we made it in Chicago I was definitely excited. I was happy, fortunate or whatever you want to call it, that we finally got it. It was the third time around."
Emery said when you win a Cup there is a special connection with teammates that never goes away. His connection was bolstered by attending a couple of weddings with the Hawks last year.
“The age group where guys were at,” he said. “A lot of guys were on the same page as far as where their lives were going, as well. I definitely felt that.”