Two-year-old Brandon Flynn eats, sleeps and breathes New York Rangers hockey. And now there's video evidence of the sleeping part.
Noel Flynn, Brandon's father, was on solo daddy duty in the family's Upper Saddle River, N.J. home last week. So when Brandon and 16-month-old Ben went to sleep without incident, an exhausted Noel figured he was in the clear. Mom Helen, who is expecting the couple's third child and first girl on May 1, was out with friends.
"With them in bed, I was not going to make a move. I was in the kitchen taking very shallow breaths," Noel said.
About an hour after bedtime, Noel heard a noise from one of the rooms.
"I assumed it was Ben. He still gets up sometimes during the night," he said.
A quick check of the Nest Camera in Ben's room showed nothing.
"He was out cold," Noel said.
So he flipped to Brandon's camera. He was also sleeping.
"But I knew I heard something," Noel said.
Unconvinced by the two sleeping boys, the father pushed the rewind button. And there it was.
"Let's Go Rangers!"
Brandon momentarily woke up, rolled to his side chanted "Let's Go Rangers" 10 times in a row, the first two while yawning, the final five while adding a "Yea, yea, yea" in between, in perhaps the cutest hockey bedtime ritual ever.
"I saw it and I just burst out laughing," Noel said. "I couldn't believe it, so they have an option to create a clip and that's what I did."
The video's gone viral. The Rangers official account tweeted it before Thursday's game.
"(Brandon) has always been into hockey. We got him this mini hockey stick. First thing in the morning he goes for it. 'Daddy let's play hockey,' he says," Noel said.
The sport runs in the family. Noel's nephew is Michael Paliotta, a defenseman who was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2011 and, after a stint with the Columbus Blue Jackets, signed with the Rangers in July. He is with the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL.
Brandon went to his first NHL game last season. They saw the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.
"I thought he wouldn't last the entire game. But he was so into it. He was hooked," said Flynn, who is originally from Queens, N.Y. and is a lifelong Rangers fan. "We stayed the whole game and he didn't want to leave."
And after seeing his first Rangers game this season, he is hooked on the Rangers and their famous chant, clearly.
"Some kids count sheep to go to sleep," Noel said. "He does this I guess."