This is a daily column that will run during the duration of the NHL lockout. It is not meant to depress hockey fans, but is rather intended to provide a reminder of some of the more memorable moments in Philadelphia Flyers' history, and act as a much-needed distraction from the ongoing negativity surrounding the lockout for hockey fans. What must not be forgotten during the labor strife is just how great of a game we have been blessed with to enjoy throughout the years.
The Flyers have managed a solid 11-6-3-0 record on October 26th over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 70 goals in the 20 contests (an average of 3.50 GPG), while allowing 54 to their opponents (2.70 GAA). Even though their first (1968) and last (2011) October 26th clashes have ended in defeat, the Flyers have only twice lost two consecutive on this date (1988 and 1992, and 1996 and 1999), but have twice won three straight (1972-1975 and 1978-1986) and once four in a row (2000-2010). Philly netminders have posted three shutouts in October 26th tilts, while the Flyers have been blanked just once (in a tie).
Some of the more notable moments in Flyers history in contests that took place on October 26th:
1969: Bernie Parent stopped all 25 St. Louis Blues shots and Jacques Plante turned away all 26 Flyers shots he faced as two of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history posted shutouts in the same contest as the teams skated to a 0-0 tie at the Spectrum.
1972: Doug Favell stopped 34 of 35 shots and Bill Flett scored the game-winning goal with 5:10 remaining in the third period as the Flyers managed to pull out a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at the Spectrum.
Favell and Detroit's Roy Edwards held their opponents off the scoreboard until late in the middle stanza, when Bill Clement scored to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead with just over a minute and a half left in the second. Nick Libett answered for the visitors early in the third to knot the score to set the stage for Flett's late-game heroics.
1974: After spotting the Canucks a 2-0 lead after one period, Bill Clement scored twice in less than a minute midway through the second period and Jim Watson tallied the game-winner with 1:05 remaining in regulation to give the Flyers a 3-2 win in Vancouver.
Watson also assisted on Clement's first goal.
Bernie Parent was called upon to make just 15 saves in the win, while Gary Smith stopped 22 Philadelphia offerings in defeat.
1975: The LCB Line ran rampant in posting 10 points as Bill Barber recorded a hat trick, Bobby Clarke scored once and assisted on three others, and Reggie Leach scored a goal and added two helpers as the Flyers blasted the New York Rangers, 7-2, at Madison Square Garden.
It was Barber's second career hat trick, and his first tally of the night would end up as the eventual game-winning goal.
Wayne Stephenson turned aside 26 Rangers shots, while Eddie Giacomin allowed all seven Philadelphia goals on just 25 shots.
1978: Behn Wilson and Bill Barber each netted two goals and Bernie Parent stopped all 25 Toronto shots to record the first shutout of what would prove to be his final NHL season to lead the Flyers to a 5-0 win over the Leafs at the Spectrum.
Rick MacLeish added a goal and an assist, Bobby Clarke recorded two helpers, while Barber and Parent also assisted on a goal apiece.
1980: The LCB Line was at it again as they recorded another 10 point-game, as Bill Barber scored once and assisted on three Flyer goals, Reggie Leach scored once and added two assists, and Bobby Clarke had three helpers of his own to lead Philadelphia to a 6-1 victory over the Hartford Whalers at the Spectrum. The win was the fourth in a row by the Flyers, who would go on to win another, then tie two more before winning another six to rack up a 13-game unbeaten streak (11-0-2).
Brian Propp had a goal and an assist, and Paul Holmgren added two assists.
Rick St. Croix made 24 saves to register the win, while Mike Veisor allowed goals on 32 shots to take the loss.
Losing goalie Mike Palmateer yielded five Philadelphia goals on 23 shots.
1986: Ilkka Sinisalo, Peter Zezel (GWG), Lindsay Carson, and Rick Tocchet scored for Philadelphia and Ron Hextall made 29 saves as the Flyers defeated the Minnesota North Stars, 4-1, at the Spectrum.
1987: Murray Craven scored the game-tying goal at the 6:43 mark of the third period, but the goaltenders -- Ron Hextall for the Flyers and John Vanbiesbrouck for the Rangers -- were the game's big story in a 2-2 tie at Madison Square Garden. Dave Poulin also scored for Philly.
Hextall made 40 saves to garner Star of the Game honors, while "Beezer" stopped 39 Philadelphia shots -- including three during a scoreless overtime session -- and was appropriately named the night's Second Star.
1993: Josef Beranek scored his 10th goal of the season -- in just his ninth game -- and added an assist and Dominic Roussel made 29 saves to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 victory over the Nordiques in Quebec. Philadelphia also got goals from Brent Fedyk, Vyacheslav Butsayev (GWG), and Eric Lindros as they built a 4-0 lead before hanging on.
Stephane Fiset allowed four goals on 29 shots and was saddled with the loss.
2000: Daymond Langkow posted a goal and an assist and Brian Boucher turned away all 32 shots he faced to record the lone shutout he'd earn that season as the Flyers blanked the visiting New York Rangers by a 3-0 count. Michal Sykora and Rick Tocchet also scored for Philadelphia, and rookie Ruslan Fedetenko assisted on Tocchet's marker to record his first career NHL point.
2002: Jeremy Roenick and Michal Handzus both scored twice while Justin Williams scored once and assisted on another and Eric Weinrich added three helpers as the Flyers trounced the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, 6-2.
Philadelphia potted five goals in the opening frame -- including tallies from Williams at 0:16 and Handzus at 0:31 to establish a new club record for the two fastest goals from the start of a game (also is the third-fastest two goals by one team to begin a game in NHL history) -- and never looked back in the contest. The Flyers chased Isles starter Chris Osgood in favor of ex-Flyer Garth Snow after scoring on five of 11 shots in the first, while Robert Esche made 22 saves to pick up the win.
2006: The Flyers gave new head coach John Stevens a win in his Flyers debut in a 3-2 shootout decision over the visiting Atlanta Thrashers. Stevens had just taken over for fired bench boss Ken Hitchcock, who was canned four days earlier following the resignation of GM Bob Clarke after the team stumbled out of the gate with a 1-6-1 record.
Following a scoreless overtime period, Thrashers coach Bob Hartley decided to lift goaltender Johan Hedberg in favor of Kari Lehtonen. The move backfired as the Flyers first two shooters -- Simon Gagne and Forsberg -- both scored on the cold netminder. Antero Niittymaki outperformed his Finnish counterpart, allowing a goal to Slava Kozlov on the initial shootout attempt, but stopping both Marian Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk to ensure the Philly victory.
2010: After yielding an early Thomas Vanek goal, Philadelphia scored five consecutive times (Danny Briere, Nikolay Zherdev, Darrell Powe, Claude Giroux, Jeff Carter) on the way to securing a a 6-3 win at the Wells Fargo Center. Andreas Nodl iced the game with an empty-neter with just 36 seconds remaining.
Carter added two assists, while Giroux and Briere assisted on one Philadelphia tally each.
As For The Present...
With last Friday's announcement that games are now canceled through November 1, the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout is now at 127 -- 36 in the shortened 1994-05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004-05, and nine thus far this season:
October 11 Boston Bruins @ FLYERS
October 13 FLYERS @ NY Islanders
October 18 Pittsburgh Penguins @ FLYERS
October 20 Winnipeg Jets @ FLYERS
October 25 FLYERS @ Montreal Canadiens
October 27 Toronto Maple Leafs @ FLYERS
October 28 FLYERS @ Buffalo Sabres
October 30 Dallas Stars @ FLYERS
November 1 New Jersey Devils @ FLYERS
There was no accord reached by yesterday even though the date was a league-imposed deadline in ensuring that each team could play their full 82-game regular season schedules.
If there was an agreement achieved, NHL games were to have commenced on November 2nd (3rd for the Flyers in a 1:00 Saturday matinee against the visiting Anaheim Ducks). With the passing of the deadline, it's expected an announcement will come shortly that more games will be erased.
There have incredibly been no further negotiations since the weekend and there are no new talks scheduled at this time -- even though the NHLPA requested to meet with the league Wednesday. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said there was no reason to talk since the union would not be presenting a new proposal and was not willing to accept the NHL's offer that was made last Tuesday.
While there is still hope that sanity will somehow eventually prevail and there will be a full 2012-13 NHL season, it's looking more-and-more like the sides are more than content with the current 'self-destruct' mode.