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 10-4-3-0 record (7-3-2-0 at home) on October 29th over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 62 goals in the 17 contests (an average of 3.64 GPG), while yielding 43 to their opponents (2.52 GAA). The Flyers have neither posted a shutout nor have they been blanked in October 29th tilts.
Some of the more notable moments in Flyers history in contests that took place on October 29th:
1967: Aut Erickson beat Doug Favell at the 18:22 mark of the third period to give the Oakland Seals a 2-2 tie at the Spectrum. Special teams play -- a first period shorthanded goal by Forbes Kennedy and a second period power play tally by Ed Hoekstra -- gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead heading into the final period.
After posting a 3-3-0 record in the first six contests of its existence, the tie was the first-ever in regular season Philly franchise history.
Favell finished the game with 16 saves and the Seals Charlie Hodge stopped 17 of the 19 Flyers offerings in the stalemate.
1970: Earl Heiksala scored midway through the third period to break a 1-1 tie en route to a 3-1 Flyers victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the Spectrum.
Strong goaltending by Jack Norris and a goal from Doug Robinson had staked the Kings a 1-0 lead through two frames, but Philadelphia threw 19 shots on the L.A. net in the third. Wayne Hillman finally broke through for the Flyers at 1:17 before Heiksala's game-winner. Serge Bernier added an empty-netter with 27 seconds remaining to seal the win for the home team.
Doug Favell made 34 saves for the Flyers, while Norris ended with 33 saves on 35 Philly shots to take the loss.
1972: Rick MacLeish scored twice and assisted on another and Bobby Taylor stopped 35 of 37 shots he faced to lead the Flyers over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-2 at the Spectrum.
Bobby Clarke (first period, shorthanded), Don Saleski (the eventual GWG in the second), and Bob Kelly also scored against Leafs netminder Ron Low, who finished with 23 saves. Defensive defenseman Joe Watson assisted on two of the Flyers tallies.
1977: Reggie Leach scored two goals and Bernie Parent made 26 saves to lead the Flyers to a convincing 7-3 road win over the St. Louis Blues.
Following a 2-2 opening stanza, Philadelphia for goals from Leach, Rick MacLeish (GWG), and Don Saleski in the first 4:30 of the second to chase Blues starter Yves Belanger, who took the loss after allowing five goals on just 13 shots.
Bob Dailey, Saleski, and Bob Kelly all recorded a goal and an assist, while Bill Barber added a goal and Mel Bridgman posted two helpers. Garry Unger scored twice for St. Louis.
Saleski's tally was the ninth of the season in just eight contests, on the way to a career high 27-goal year.
1981: Mel Bridgman scored the game-winner with 4:22 remaining in the third period to complete a hat trick as Philadelphia went on to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-4, at the Spectrum in a highly volatile affair. The first period saw 178 penalty minutes, including four fighting majors and 13 10-minute misconducts and one game misconduct. There were eight total fights in the contest, including two each for Philly defenseman Behn Wilson and Pittsburgh's Paul Baxter.
Brian Propp registered a Gordie Howe hat trick -- scoring a goal and posting two assists and a fighting major for the victorious Flyers -- while Kenny Linseman assisted on four of the goals. Bobby Clarke and Ilkka Sinisalo scored the other goals for the home team.
After Bridgman's second of the night gave Philly a 4-2 lead heading into the third period, Pens goals from Pat Boutette and George Ferguson knotted the score at 4-4 with 6:09 left in regulation time before Bridgman's third of the game.
The Flyers stormed the Pittsburgh net for 41 shots, with Michel Dion allowing five goals to suffer the loss. Rick St. Croix was far less busy, stopping 17 of the 21 Penguin shots he faced to record the win.
1983: Bobby Clarke scored twice and Darryl Sittler provided the game-winning goal early in the third period as the Flyers skated out of Civic Arena with a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins to run Philadelphia's winning streak to four games..
Former-Flyer Mark Taylor had given the home team a 1-0 lead after the first period, but Clarke scored a shorthanded goal 44 seconds into the middle frame with defenseman Glen Cochrane sitting in the penalty box to tie the game. Sittler struck early in the third, and Clarke delivered the final nail in the Pens coffin as he scored an insurance marker with 2:23 left in regulation.
Denis Herron was excellent in defeat as he faced 38 Flyers shots, while Pelle Lindbergh stopped 25 of 26 Pittsburgh shots to record the win.
1988: Jan Erixon scored the game-winning goal at the 15:22 mark of the third period and former-Flyer Bob Froese made 28 saves to lead the New York Rangers to a 6-5 win at the Spectrum. Ilkka Sinisalo finished the night with a goal and two assists, and his tally had knotted the score at 5-5 with 7:36 left in regulation before Erixon's winner.
Dave Poulin, Scott Mellanby, Magnus Roupe, and Peter Zezel also lit the lamp for the Orange-and-Black, while Kjell Samuelsson and Murray Craven each added a pair of assists.
Ron Hextall saw only 22 Ranger shots, but ended up on the losing end after making just 16 saves.
1992: Eric Lindros and Mark Recchi each scored twice but Philadelphia couldn't protect a late-third period lead as Jocelyn Lemieux tied the game with just under three minutes left in regulation as the Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks skated to a 5-5 tie at Chicago Stadium. Mark Pederson also scored for Philly and added an assist, while Dmitri Yushkevich assisted on a pair of goals.
The tie was the fifth consecutive winless contest for the Orange-and-Black, on the way to seven straight (0-5-2) without making the win column.
Despite yielding five goals Dominic Roussel was spectacular, ending up with 42 saves for the Flyers.
1995: Shjon Podein's shorthanded goal early in the third proved to be the game-winner as the Flyers defeated the visiting Ottawa Senators, 5-2. Brent Fedyk, John LeClair, Eric Lindros, and Mikael Renberg also scored for Philadelphia.
After Podein's tally gave Philly a 3-0 lead, goals by former-Flyer Steve Duchesne and future-Flyer Alexander Daigle drew the Senators within one at 3-2 before Lindros gave the home team some breathing room and Renberg hit the empty net with just over a minute left.
Joel Otto added two assists for Philadelphia.
Garth Snow stopped 18 of 20 Ottawa shots, while Don Beaupre made 19 stops for the Sens in a losing effort.
2002: Keith Primeau scored his second goal of the night late in the second period to break a 1-1 tie and Roman Cechmanek stopped 29 shots to lift the Flyers to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators at the First Union Center.
The triumph was the third in what would end up being a six-game winning streak.
2003: Michal Handzus and Joni Pitkanen each scored a goal and added an assist and Robert Esche turned aside 21 shots as the Flyers cruised to a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers at the Wachovia Center. Pitkanen opened the scoring early in the first and Justin Williams doubled the Philadelphia lead at 9:08, chasing losing Florida goaltender Roberto Luongo from the net after facing just five shots on goal.
After Viktor Kozlov managed the lone Panthers tally, goals by Jeremy Roenick, Handzus, and John LeClair closed out the scoring. Simon Gagne, Mark Recchi, and Tony Amonte each contributed a pair of helpers to the winning cause.
2010: Claude Giroux scored twice and Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves as the Flyers won at the brand new CONSOL Energy Center for the second time in a three week period as Philadelphia beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2.
Kris Letang gave the home team a 1-0 lead after the first period but with Danny Briere in the penalty box and Pittsburgh threatening to score on the ensuing man advantage, the Flyers instead went on the offensive. Mike Richards hit a streaking Giroux at center ice for a shorthanded breakaway, and the shifty center undressed Marc-Andre Fleury with a backhand beauty to tie the game at 1-1. The goal was almost a carbon copy of the shorthander Giroux scored against Fleury at CONSOL on the season's opening night.
Just over eight minutes later, Daniel Carcillo deflected a Matt Carle shot through Fleury to provide Philly with their first lead of the night, before Giroux struck on the power play in a scramble in front of the Penguin cage to give the Flyers some breathing room at 3-1.
Tyler Kennedy scored with 45 seconds remaining to give Pittsburgh a brief ray of hope, but they could not find the equalizer in the closing moments.
2011: The line of Scott Hartnell (one goal, two assists), Claude Giroux (a goal and three helpers), and Jaromir Jagr (two goals) combined for nine points and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 19 of 20 shots as the Flyers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-1, at the Wells Fargo Center.
A first period goal by Hartnell and a tally by Carolina's Jussi Jokinen in the middle stanza had the teams locked in a 1-1 tie heading into the third period, but it was all Philadelphia in the third. Jagr scored the first of his two third-period tallies just 39 seconds into the session to give the home team a 2-1 lead, and seemed to open the floodgates for the Flyers.
Maxime Talbot scored a pivotal shorthanded goal five minutes later before Giroux and Jagr added insurance markers.
Former-Flyer Brian Boucher stopped 29 of 34 shots in the loss.
Bryzgalov played well following a streak in which the netminder struggled mightily with an 0-4-1 record and bloated 4.62 GAA. His preceding contest was an awful 9-8 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets in which the goalie proclaimed to be "lost in the woods" and at the "low point of his career".
October 29th Flyers Birthdays:
Joel Otto was born on this day in 1961. Following an 11-year stay with the Calgary Flames -- which included a Stanley Cup championship in 1989 -- the 6' 4", 220-pound centerman signed as a free agent in Philadelphia during the summer of 1995.
Otto provided his usual excellent defensive play and expertise in the faceoff circle during his three seasons with the Flyers, posting 28 goals, 80 points, and 292 PIMs in 213 games while with Philadelphia before retiring following the 1997/98 campaign.
The Elk River, Minnesota-native was a member of the Flyers club that made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 1997, which ended in a sweeping defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings.
Now 51, Otto has been an assistant coach with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen since the 2006/07 season.
As For The Present:
With Friday's announcement that games are now canceled through November 30, the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout is now at 140 -- 36 in the shortened 1994-05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004-05, and 22 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
November 3 Anaheim Ducks @ FLYERS
November 4 FLYERS @ NY Rangers
November 6 Buffalo Sabres @ FLYERS
November 8 FLYERS @ Carolina Hurricanes
November 10 Carolina Hurricanes @ FLYERS
November 13 Minnesota Wild @ FLYERS
November 16 FLYERS @ Buffalo Sabres
November 17 Buffalo Sabres @ FLYERS
November 21 Ottawa Senators @ FLYERS
November 23 Winnipeg Jets @ FLYERS
November 24 FLYERS @ NY Rangers
November 28 FLYERS @ Toronto Maple Leafs
November 29 FLYERS @ NY Islanders
There are no further talks scheduled at this time and it's unclear if and when the sides will resume negotiations.
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 content with the current 'self-destruct' mode.