Simmons & Simmonds carry the night

It was a big night for guys named Simmons and Simmonds in Philly sports.

First things first.

The powers-that-be in the NHL decided it would be a good idea to have one of their premier teams - in a hockey-crazed major market - start the season on the West Coast.

Don't ask me why.

At any rate, the Flyers managed to come out with guns blazing. They scored three times on the power play and Wayne Simmonds racked up a hat trick to lead the orange-and-black to a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks.

We've got a report on the game here.

Locally, all eyes were on the other Simmons.

That would be Ben Simmons, who made his Sixers debut last night after missing all of what would have been his rookie season with an ankle injury.

Whatever "it" is, Simmons has "it."

He turned the exhibition opener into an event.

The Sixers struggled without center Joel Embiid. Who knows when or if he'll ever be healthy enough to play without some kind of restrictions.

But this could very quickly be Ben Simmons team. He only scored eight points, but everything about the Sixers game flowed through him.

By the way, the announced attendance at last night's preseason opener? That would be 18,102.

Welcome to Philadelphia, Mr. Simmons.

Read Jack McCaffery's take on the city's next budding superstar here.