You don't realize how much water has gone under the Eric Lindros bridge until you saw him score a big goal against Peter Forsberg and the Philadelphia Flyers in a Maple Leafs jersey at the Air Canada Centre.
But Lindros made it clear last night that his history with the Flyers took a back seat to helping the Leafs win their first game. Once a member of Bobby Clarke's big wrecking crew, he cracked helmets with a couple of that ilk last night en route to third star honours and the clinching goal in a 4-2 win.
"Easily what feels best is the two points," he said. "Things are starting to come together for us."
Earlier in the day, he met the Philadelphia media, some of them who covered every chapter of his 1990s saga with the club, including the divorce, the injuries, the failed trades with the Leafs and his move to New York. How does he recall Philly now that he finally has found peace with the hometown Leafs?
"It seems like a long time ago," he told them. "I've gone through the list of guys who are still there and to say it's dwindled would be an understatement.
The only survivors from his era are forwards Simon Gagne, Keith Primeau, Eric Desjardins and defenceman Chris Therien.
"We had some good teams, some really good teams. We did some good things in the playoffs and a couple years we were dogs. Overall, I don't have anything but real positive memories of being in that dressing room."
He was asked if it was ironic that Forsberg should wind up in Philadelphia after being part of the original Lindros trade with Quebec when he wouldn't report to the Nordiques.
"I think the bigger irony is ex-Flyer Jeremy Roenick being in L.A.," Lindros said with a laugh. "That's a perfect fit for him."
Lindros continues to amaze Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock.
"He has everyone in the National Hockey League surprised. We didn't expect him to be this physical or this dominating so early in the season," Hitchcock said.
The Flyers chalked last night's loss up to sloppy special teams and failure to jump on a team they watched play the night before in Ottawa and lose in a shootout. They had watched clubs like the Leafs grapple with rules in the "new" NHL having played fewer games before last night.
"We all talked about it this (yesterday) morning," Desjardins said. "A 4-2 lead for the Senators going into the third? We all changed the channel. Now, it's 'don't touch that remote.'"
For Hitchcock it has been an interesting opening week, losing to the New York Rangers and Leafs and beating the New Jersey Devils.
"We had 1,000 problems after Game 1 and dropped it down to 500 after Game 2," he said.