Tom Raycroft is quite aware that the Maple Leafs aren't very popular in the City of Brotherly Love.
And that goes for their dads, too.
So don't expect Tom and the other fathers who will accompany their sons to Philadelphia on the team charter today to start mixing it up with the kooks at the Wachovia Center when the Leafs meet the Flyers tomorrow night.
"I don't think we're going to start anything in the stands," Tom laughed.
Tom Raycroft, father of Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft, will be among approximately 20 dads and relatives making the trip. They will watch the game from a private suite, thereby cutting down the chances of getting any beer dumped on them.
"This is such a special moment, a chance to see what their routine is," Tom said. "I'm so excited."
So is Jim Pohl, father of Leaf forward John Pohl.
"His mother just passed away, so this is huge for him," John said.
Jim was in attendance for last night's game against the Islanders at the Air Canada Centre.
"I've been a hockey coach for 27 years, so I'm used to riding school buses to games," said Jim Pohl, who is from Red Wing, Minn. "This is going to be so great."
Matt Stajan's parents are on vacation so he is bringing his grandfather Ludvig instead.
"He's like a little kid. He's so excited," Matt said,
Ben Ondrus arrived at Ricoh Coliseum yesterday morning to find that his equipment had been taken out of his cubicle inside the Marlies dressing room.
"The guys were asking me what I was doing there," Ondrus chucked.
Fortunately for Ondrus, he was not dealt.
Instead he had been summoned up to the Leafs for last night's game against the New York Islanders to fill the spot in the lineup vacated by Pohl, who missed his third consecutive game with back spasms.
Pohl hopes to be back against the Flyers tomorrow.
"It's still a little tight," Pohl said of the back. "I talked to the trainers and we agreed to wait until its 100%. At least it's getting better every day."