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 a collective 9-6-5-3 mark -- which includes a 7-5-2-1 record at home -- on December 19th over the course of franchise history.
Philadelphia has scored 73 goals, while allowing 63 to their opponents in the 23 contests played on this day.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place in December 19th games:
1968: Andre Lacroix scored with 33 seconds remaining in the third period as the Flyers overcame a late-game two-goal deficit to salvage a point in a 5-5 deadlock with the Minnesota North Stars at the Spectrum.
A pair of goals by Wayne Connelly and single tallies from J.P. Parise and Claude Larose were answered only by a single Jean-Guy Gendron marker to stake Minnesota to a 4-1 lead 14:34 into the opening period, but captain Ed Van Impe cut the deficit to two with a goal with 3:11 left in the frame.
Jim Johnson brought Philadelphia to within a goal with the only tally of the middle stanza, but Walt McKechnie restored the North Stars two-goal lead 7:55 into the final session.
Leon Rochefort made it a 5-4 game with 7:04 left before Lacroix's game-tying tally.
In addition to his first period marker, Gendron assisted on a pair of goals. Simon Nolet and Larry Hale also added two helpers apiece.
Bernie Parent made 23 saves -- including turning away 12 of 13 shots in the third -- while Caesar Maniago stopped 31 of 36 Flyer offerings in the draw.
1974: Bill Barber and Ross Lonsberry each scored twice and Bernie Parent turned aside 19 of 20 shots as the Flyers skated to a 5-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Spectrum.
Toronto defender Brian Glennie gave the visitors a lead midway through the opening period, but Philadelphia soon seized control of play. The Orange-and-Black outshot the Leafs by a 19-6 count and took a 3-1 lead on a goal by Barber and a pair from Lonsberry in a 3:55 span late in the first.
Bill Clement gave the Flyers an insurance marker early in the third and Barber sealed the victory with a shorthanded tally midway through the stanza.
Bobby Clarke and Rick MacLeish both added a pair of assists in the win.
Toronto's Dunc Wilson made 37 saves in a losing cause.
1975: Rick MacLeish's sixth career hat trick, two goals and four points from Bill Barber, and a goal and three assists from Bobby Clarke helped bring the Flyers back from a late-second period 4-2 deficit to lead Philly to a 7-5 victory over the Washington Capitals at the Cap Center in Landover, Maryland.
Barber and MacLeish each notched their first of the contest in the opening stanza, both coming after former-Flyers had given the Caps a lead (Bill Clement and Bob Sirois) to leave the teams tied at 2-2 at the first intermission -- despite the fact that Philadelphia had thrown 20 shots towards Bernie Wolfe in the Capitals net, and the home team responded with just three shots on Wayne Stephenson.
Washington took a 4-2 lead on power play goals from Garnet Bailey and Harvey Bennett, but quick strikes from Clarke, Reggie Leach, and MacLeish's second of the night within a 2:26 stretch late in the frame gave the visitors a brief lead of their own. Blair Stewart beat Stephenson with 14 ticks left on the clock in the second to knot it at 5-5 heading into the final session.
Barber scored in the first three minutes to give the Flyers a 6-5 lead, and MacLeish completed the hat trick with an insurance goal with 2:49 remaining.
The goals made it three games in a row with lighting the lamp for MacLeish, who scored five times in that span. Barber. meanwhile, extended his point-scoring streak to six straight contests, in which he had four goals and 10 points.
In addition to his goal Clarke finished the contest with three assists and also stretched his point-scoring streak to a half-dozen games, posting a goal and 10 points during that timeframe.
Stephenson stopped 17 of 22 shots in the win while Wolfe played extremely well in spite of the seven goals allowed and being collared with the loss, as he turned away 46 of 53 Philadelphia attempts.
1976: Reggie Leach and Bobby Clarke each scored twice to lead the Flyers over the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, at the Spectrum.
A pair of goals by both Leach and Colorado's Paul Gardner had the game knotted at 2-2 midway through the second period when Clarke scored his first of the night with Bob Kelly in the penalty box to make it a 3-2 Philadelphia lead.
Wilf Paiement tied the score 1:19 later, but Clarke scored a power play marker late in the frame in what would become the eventual game-winner.
Bill Barber and Larry Goodenough assisted on two Flyer goals apiece.
Wayne Stephenson turned aside 35 of 38 Rockies shots to post the victory, while former-Flyer Doug Favell -- who was peppered with 55 shots -- made 51 saves in the loss and received a fighting major during a second period melee.
1985: Brian Propp and Peter Zezel each scored a pair of goals as the Flyers came up with four unanswered goals in the third period to overcome a 3-2 deficit in a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Spectrum.
Propp scored twice in the second but Philadelphia trailed 3-2 heading into the final frame before Zezel tied it up at 4:25. Derrick Smith gave the Flyers their first lead 55 seconds later, while Dave Poulin -- who scored a goal and assisted on two others -- and Zezel closed out the scoring with tallies in the final minute.
Propp had a golden opportunity to complete the hat trick when he was awarded a penalty shot, but was stoned by Isles goalie Glenn Resch.
Darren Jensen made 18 saves for his third consecutive victory and seventh win of the season, while Resch stopped 37 of 43 Flyer offerings.
1987: Scott Mellanby and Peter Zezel notched two goals apiece and Mark Howe scored the game-winning goal early in the third period and added three assists to lead the Flyers to a 5-4 triumph over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Ron Hextall stopped 28 of 32 shots for his sixth consecutive win to extend his unbeaten streak to 10 straight games (9-0-1), while Kelly Hrudey made 23 saves in defeat.
1991: Offensive defenseman Steve Duchesne recorded a hat trick and Ken Wregget turned away 19 of 21 shots in a 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders at the Spectrum.
Rod Brind'Amour, Dan Kordic, and Gord Murphy -- who assisted on two goals -- also scored for Philadelphia.
Duchesne scored once in each period, finishing off his third goal into an empty net with 52 seconds remaining.
1992: Mark Recchi scored twice to hit the 20-goal mark, Doug Evans scored one goal and assisted on another, and Tommy Soderstrom stopped 27 of 28 shots in a 3-1 Flyers win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Spectrum.
1996: Eric Lindros notched a Gordie Howe hat trick and Garth Snow stopped all 24 shots he faced for his second consecutive shutout and third straight win as the Flyers blanked the New York Islanders, 5-0, at the CoreStates Center.
Lindros scored once each in the first and second periods, assisted on Janne Niinimaa's first NHL goal and a third period Mikael Renberg tally, and fought defenseman Rich Pilon in the third to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick. John LeClair also posted a goal and assist, while Paul Coffey added three assists.
1998: Marc Bureau, Dan McGillis, and Colin Forbes scored for Philadelphia and John Vanbiesbrouck turned aside 23 of 24 shots to lead the Flyers to a 3-1 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawk at the First Union Center.
1999: Eric Desjardins scored with 54 seconds remaining in regulation to help the Flyers salvage a point in a 1-1 deadlock with the Nashville Predators at the First Union Center.
There was no score until midway through the third period when Nashville's Patrick Kjellberg put the visitors ahead at the 10:42 mark of the frame.
John Vanbiesbrouck made 19 saves, while Nashville's Mike Dunham came within less than a minute of a shutout.
2011: Scott Hartnell posted a goal and an assisted on Danny Briere's game-tying marker with 18.1 seconds remaining in regulation during a goalmouth scramble in an eventual 3-2 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.
Both had trouble in the shootout, as Milan Hejduk, Matt Duchene, and Ryan O'Reilley all beat Bryzgalov, while Briere and James van Riemsdyk beat Giguere. Rookie Matt Read was sent out as Peter Laviolette's third shooter in an attempt to keep it going in pursuit of the extra point. While Read beat the Colorado goalie, his shot clanked off the crossbar and stayed out to give the Avalanche the win.
December 19th Flyers Birthdays:
On this day in 1958, defenseman Behn Wilson was born in Toronto, Ontario. Selected by Philadelphia sixth-overall in the 1978 draft, the rugged 6' 3", 210-pound blue liner posted 59 goals, 214 points, and 873 penalty minutes in 339 regular season games over five campaigns with the Flyers. In 43 postseason outings, Wilson notched eight goals, 32 points, and 122 PIMs.
Another defender, Eric Weinrich, was born in Roanoke, Virginia on this day in 1966. Signed as an unrestricted free agent in July of 2001, the 6' 1", 215-pounder posted eight goals, 53 points, +54 rating, and 98 PIMS in 215 regular season contests. Weinrich appeared in 18 playoff games, notching two markers, five points, and 16 PIMs. On February of 2004, the rear guard was dealt to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2004 fifth round draft choice.
As For The Present:
With the lockout now at the 95-day mark and counting and games 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 NHLPA reportedly took a vote to possibly proceed with a Disclaimer of Interest, which could be forthcoming very soon.
Not to be outdone, the league then filed a class action complaint Friday afternoon which seeks a declaration to confirm the legality of the lockout.
Just when you thought things couldn't get any more contentious or litigious between the sides as the waiting game continues...
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.
And it will be interesting to see what fan reaction will be once this mess is finally sorted out and the league resumes operations -- because after what they've been put through, the base that pays the bills may just have filed a "Disclaimer of Interest" of their very own.