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 lost their first two December 12th games by 1-0 scores and are on a current two-game losing skid, but the Flyers have still managed a 9-8-4-0 overall record -- which includes a 7-6-1-0 mark at home -- on December 12th over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 57 goals and allowed 51 to their opponents in 22 December 12th outings.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on December 12th:
1971: Bill Clement's first NHL goal against rookie Ken Dryden late in the first period would become the game-winner in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the Spectrum.
Clement -- who was recently recalled from the AHL's Richmond Robins and playing in just his second game with Philadelphia -- also assisted on an earlier Ed Van Impe goal to post his first NHL point.
With a 2-0 lead holding up at the second intermission, the Flyers saw the Habs cut their deficit in half by virtue of a Marc Tardif strike early in the final frame.
But Bill Lesuk restored the two-goal lead just over two minutes later, and Lew Morrison clinched the win with 1:25 remaining.
Doug Favell stopped 30 of 31 Canadien shots, while Dryden made 28 saves in the loss -- one of only eight in 64 games for the young netminder in one of the greatest freshman campaigns ever.
1973: Rick MacLeish scored one goal and assisted on another in the second period to erase a 2-0 Flyers deficit and Bernie Parent turned aside 31 shots in a 2-2 tie with the Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.
Parent had to be very good in a third period that saw the home team outshoot Philadelphia by an 11-4 margin. Tony Esposito stopped 20 of 22 shots in the draw.
Gary Dornhoefer scored his first goal of of an injury-plagued year for the game-tying marker late in the middle stanza.
1974: Reggie Leach notched his second hat trick in the last six games and Bernie Parent stopped all 22 shots he faced to post his fifth shutout of the season in a 6-0 whitewash of the Minnesota North Stars at the Spectrum.
Leach struck twice and Rick MacLeish and Gary Dornhoefer each scored once in a opening period in which Philadelphia jumped on Stars starter Pete LoPresti for four goals on 10 shots. Leach completed the hat trick in the latter half of the second period, and Bill Clement closed out the scoring in the final frame.
Bobby Clarke assisted on three Flyer goals, while Bill Barber and Ross Lonsberry added a pair of helpers apiece.
1976: Don Saleski and Orest Kindrachuk each scored a pair of goals and Bernie Parent turned away 33 of 37 shots to lead the Flyers to a 7-4 triumph over the Tornoto Maple Leafs at the Spectrum. It was the team's fourth win in a row and 13th consecutive game without a loss (10-0-3).
Tied 2-2 early in the second period, Kindrachuk and Saleski connected for goals within an 18-second span to take a 4-2 lead at the second intermission.
Saleski scored his second of the game early in the final stanza, but Toronto goals from Inge Hammarstrom and Claire Alexander made it a 5-4 contest with 5:56 remaining.
Goals by Ross Lonsberry and Kindrachuk in a 26-second stretch put the game out of reach with 2:38 left on the clock.
Mel Bridgman assisted on three of the last four Philadelphia tallies.
1982: Brad McCrimmon's first goal in a Flyers uniform midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner and Pelle Lindbergh made 19 saves to lift Philadelphia to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Spectrum.
Paul Holmgren, Ron Flockhart, and Ilkka Sinisalo also scored for the Flyers, while tough defenders Paul Baxter (two goals) and Pat Price accounted for the three Pittsburgh markers.
Philly outshot the visitors in all three frames, pumping 17 shots Michel Dion's way in both the first and third sessions. Dion finished with 41 saves in the loss.
1985: Tim Kerr scored a pair of goals and Darren Jensen stopped 23 of 26 shots as the Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 6-3, at the Spectrum.
The two goals gave Kerr 27 in the club's 30th game of the year.
Goals by Dave Brown, Mark Howe, Kerr, and Peter Zezel staked Philadelphia to a 4-0 lead before Mats Naslund got Montreal on the board. But the Flyers built a five-goal cushion before the end of the second frame with markers from Dave Poulin and Kerr's second of the night.
All six goals were scored on 28 shots on the Canadiens Patrick Roy, who was yanked in favor of Steve Penney to start the third period.
1996: Eric Lindros scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist in a decisive second period as the Flyers skated to a 3-2 triumph over the Hartford Whalers at the CoreStates Center.
With the game tied at 1-1 after one Philadelphia took control of the contest in the middle frame, outshooting the Whalers by a lopsided 20-5 count. Lindros ripped a power play marker past Jean-Sebastien Giguere to give Philadelphia their second lead of the contest with 6:29 remaining in the middle frame, then assisted on John LeClair's eventual game-winning tally just over two minutes later.
Pat Falloon also scored for the Flyers and Janne Niinimaa added two helpers in the win. Future-Flyer Paul Ranheim scored for Hartford.
Ron Hextall only needed to make 17 saves to record the win, but he had to come up big in the third period with Philly nursing a one-goal lead while being outshot 8-3.
1997: Goals by Chris Gratton and Colin Forbes within a 13-second span early in the third period snapped a 1-1 deadlock and propel the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Future-Flyer Alexei Zhamnov gave Chicago a 1-0 lead just 20 seconds after the opening drop of the puck, but Philadelphia's John LeClair notched his 24th goal of the season and fourth in the last three games to tie it up late in the first.
Garth Snow turned aside 30 of 32 shots to register the victory, while Andrei Trefilov made 17 saves in a losing effort.
1998: John LeClair scored one goal and assisted on another and John Vanbiesbrouck stopped all 23 shots he faced to shutout the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-0 at Maple Leaf Gardens.
First period goals from Valeri Zelepukin and Eric Lindros -- 'Big E's' fifth in the last three contests -- staked the visitors to a 2-0 lead at the first intermission, and LeClair finished off the scoring with his 20th of the season in the final stanza.
It was Vanbiesbrouck's second shutout of the year, and first since opening night. Curtis Joseph made 24 saves in defeat.
2002: Simon Gagne scored a goal and assisted on another during the third period to lead the Flyers to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at First Union Center.
The goals came 1:02 apart midway through the final frame, with Gagne's one-timer from the left circle snapping Leafs netminder Ed Belfour's scoreless streak against Philadelphia at 167:10 for the season after twice shutting out the Flyers in previous meetings.
Defenseman Eric Desjardins knocked home the rebound of a Gagne shot 62 seconds later to give Roman Cechmanek an important insurance goal, which would prove paramount when former-Flyer Mikael Renberg scored on a power play later in regulation.
2003: Sami Kapanen figured in on all three Flyer goals -- scoring one and assisting on two others -- and Keith Primeau notched the game-tying goal with 6:25 remaining in a 3-3 stalemate with the New Jersey Devils at Continental Airlines Arena. The deadlock made it just one Flyer loss in a 19 game stretch (13-1-5-0).
Trailing 2-0 in the second period Kapanen brought Philadelphia back to within a goal just under four minutes into the middle frame, then set up Donald Brashear to tie the contest midway through the period.
Perpetual Flyer-killer Patrik Elias beat Jeff Hackett on a power play early in the third before Primeau's game-tying marker.
Martin Brodeur was spectacular in net for N.J, stopping 37 of Philly 40 shots, while Hackett made 18 saves in the draw.
December 12th Flyers Trade:
On this day in 1998, the Flyers re-acquired former-"Legion of Doom" right winger Mikael Renberg and centerman Daymond Langkow in exchange for Chris Gratton and Mike Sillinger. The deal basically reversed the August, 1997 trade that brought Gratton to Philadelphia after GM Bob Clarke forced Phil Esposito's hand by inking the restricted free agent forward to a five-year, $16.5 million offer sheet that included a $9 million signing bonus, knowing TB could not match the offer.
As For The Present:
With the lockout now well into its third month and Monday's announcement that games are now canceled through the end of the calendar year, the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout is now at 153 -- 36 in the shortened 1994/05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004/05, and 35 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
December 1 FLYERS @ Florida Panthers
December 4 FLYERS @ Tampa Bay Lightning
December 6 San Jose Sharks @ FLYERS
December 8 FLYERS @ New York Islanders
December 9 New York Islanders @ FLYERS
December 11 New Jersey Devils @ FLYERS
December 13 FLYERS @ Washington Capitals
December 15 Carolina Hurricanes @ FLYERS
December 19 New Jersey Devils @ FLYERS
December 21 FLYERS @ New Jersey Devils
December 23 FLYERS @ Ottawa Senators
December 27 FLYERS @ Nashville Predators
December 29 FLYERS @ St. Louis Blues
The league and NHLPA are reportedly set to meet Wednesday at an undisclosed location -- again with the help of U.S. federal mediators Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney -- with approximately 43% of the season having already been wiped out in the labor dispute. That situation didn't play out too well the first time, but hope lingers that the mediation process will aid the sides in coming to some type of resolution to the 88-day gridlock.
At this juncture, there is really only two ways the gridlock can end, either with a shortened, condensed calendar like the 1994/95 lockout -- where an agreement was finally reached in the second week of January and games began on January 20th in the 48-game schedule -- or watching the entire campaign go up in flames as it did in 2004/05.
While there is still hope that sanity will somehow prevail and there can still be something to salvage of a 2012/13 NHL season, it is unfortunately looking like the sides may just be content to self-destruct.