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 posted a stellar 12-6-3-1 overall record -- which includes a gawdy 9-1-2-1 mark at home -- on December 8th over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 68 goals but given up 59 to their opponents in 22 December 8th outings.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on December 8th:
1967: Doug Favell turned aside all 24 shots he faced to post his second shutout of the season and Claude Laforge scored one goal and assisted on another as the Flyers skated to a 3-0 whitewash of the Los Angeles Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Laforge staked the visitors to a 1-0 lead midway through the opening stanza, and second period 1:29 apart from Pat Hannigan and Gary Dornhoefer closed out the scoring.
1968: Simon Nolet scored twice and added an assist and Forbes Kennedy scored the game-tying goal with 7:56 remaining in the game as the Flyers and St. Louis Blues ended in a 4-4 draw at the Spectrum.
Nolet opened the scoring with a man advantage marker early in the first period, but St. Louis scored twp power play tallies with Pat Hannigan in the penalty box serving a slashing major to lead 2-1 at the first intermission.
After Allen Stanley and the Blues Camille Henry traded goals in the middle stanza, Nolet notched his second of the contest to send the game into the third period in a 3-3 deadlock.
Noel Picard gave St. Louis a 4-4 lead early in the frame, but Kennedy was able to tie it up just over seven minutes later to set the final score.
Bernie Parent stopped 28 of 32 Blues shots, while Glenn Hall made 26 saves.
1973: Bob Kelly snapped a 1-1 tie early in the second period with his first goal of the year and Bernie Parent stopped 31 shots to lead the Flyers to a 3-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Defensemen Ian Turnbull and Tom Bladon traded power play goals (Bladon's coming with 32 seconds left) in the opening period before Kelly gave Philadelphia the lead for good 5:36 into the middle stanza.
Rick MacLeish added an insurance goal later in the second to give Parent some breathing room. Bobby Clarke assisted on two of the Flyers tallies.
1974: Orest Kindrachuk's second goal of the game broke a 2-2 tie with 7:39 remaining in the third period to lift the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders at the Spectrum.
Philadelphia outshot N.Y. by a 15-3 count in the opening session and jumped to a 2-0 lead with goals by Bobby Clarke and Kindrachuk 38 seconds apart late in the frame.
But the Potvin brothers knotted the score on special teams in the middle period as Jean struck on the power play and Denis connected on a shorthanded marker to make it a 2-2 contest heading into the third.
The Flyers finished the game with a 35-13 shots advantage. Glenn Resch made 32 saves in the loss, while Bernie Parent stopped 11 shots in the win.
1977: Reggie Leach, Don Saleski, and Ross Lonsberry each scored a pair of goals as the Flyers struck six times in the third period in a wild 7-4 triumph over the New York Rangers at the Spectrum.
Trailing 2-1 at the second intermission, Philadelphia blitzed goaltender Wayne Thomas for 20 shots in the final frame. Leach and Saleski scored within the first five minutes of the period to wrestle the lead away from the Rangers, but the visitors would no fall without a fight. Jerry Byers evened the score at 3-3 with 8:45 remaining, but it was a brief deadlock. Lonsberry notched his first of the game just 30 seconds later and Leach connected for his second of the night 35 seconds after that to make it 5-3.
Lonsberry netted his second and Bobby Clarke got on the board to give Philly a commanding 7-3 before N.Y.'s Don Murdoch closed out the scoring with a late power play marker.
Bernie Parent -- playing in his 500th NHL contest -- made 20 saves to record his fifth consecutive victory, and 11th straight game without a loss (8-0-3). Thomas stopped 34 of 41 Flyers shots.
1983: Brian Propp netted a power play goal with 3:05 remaining in regulation and Bob Froese made 32 saves to lead the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Spectrum.
Philadelphia got a quick start out of the gates courtesy of Ilkka Sinisalo, who potted a shorthanded tally 6:21 into the contest while Propp was serving a high-sticking minor. Darryl Sittler made it 2-0 just over five minutes later, but goals from Doug Wilson and Denis Savard -- who fought Propp earlier in the stanza -- knotted the game after two periods.
1984: Peter Zezel scored a goal and assisted on two others and Bob Froese stopped 32 of 34 shots to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers at the Spectrum.
Brian Propp added a goal and an assist, and Brad McCrimmon and Murray Craven also lit the lamp for the Orange-and-Black.
Brian Propp snapped a 1-1 tie early in the second period, then Zezel and Craven padded the lead to 4-1 in the mid-portion of the third.
Mike Allison scored both Ranger goals, and John Vanbiesbrouck made 32 saves in the loss.
1987: Brian Propp and Peter Zezel scored twice as Philadelphia overcame a third period deficit to win, but the big story was goaltender Ron Hextall's empty net goal that clinched the 5-2 triumph over the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum.
Leading by a 4-2 count on the strength of two third period tallies by Zezel and one from Propp and Reggie Lemelin pulled for an extra attacker, Hextall coralled a Boston dump-in behind his own net, wheeled around the left side of the cage and launched a shot over everyone on the ice that picked the corner of the vacant Boston net.
With the shot, Hextall -- who reinvented the position with his incredible puckhandling abilities -- became the first NHL netminder to actually shoot the puck the length of the ice to score a goal.
Propp opened the scoring early in the first with Raymond Bourque in the penalty box for holding, but second period goals from Gord Kluzak and Keith Crowder within a 1:42 span staked the visitors to a 2-1 lead heading into the third.
The Flyers turned up the heat in the final stanza, outshooting Boston by a 16-2 count. Zezel connected for two man advantage goals, and Propp added an insurance marker with 2:27 remaining in regulation to set up the scenario for Hextall's history-making tally.
Hextall also turned away 21 of the 23 Bruins shots he faced, while Murray Craven added a pair of helpers to the winning cause.
Lemelin finished with 33 saves in the loss.
There was a scary moment for all when defenseman Brad Marsh took a heavy check near the the player benches and went face-first into one of the stanchions that was not padded. Marsh was down on the ice for several minutes, and would be later diagnosed with a concussion.
1988: Rick Tocchet's power play goal with 6:22 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner and Ron Hextall made 27 saves to lead the Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in a fight-filled affair at the Spectrum.
Things did not start off well for Philadelphia, as the Pens made them pay for two early penalties that resulted in man advantage tallies from future-Flyers Dan Quinn and Paul Coffey 5:15 into the contest.
Jay Wells answered less than two minutes later with his first goal in Philadelphia, then Pelle Eklund scored his first of two markers on the night 57 seconds later to even the score at 2-2.
Eklund then gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead midway through the middle frame, just before the biggest melee of the game occurred just 27 seconds after the ensuing faceoff.
There were 10 fighting majors doled out -- including Eklund's lone fighting major of his entire NHL career -- and eight game-misconducts during the donneybrook at the 12:13 mark. The second period was one of those rough-and-tumble frames, wit 14 fighting majors, two 10-minute misconducts, and eight game-misconducts levied on the clubs. All told for the entire game, there were 18 fighting majors, two 10-minute misconducts, and nine game-misconducts handed out.
Tocchet gave the Flyers a two-goal lead at 13:38, before Mario Lemieux closed out the scoring with a shorthanded marker with 39 seconds left.
Tom Barrasso made 24 saves in defeat.
In a side note: It's rather ironic that Eklund's one and only chance to achieve a Gordie Howe hat trick lacked the one aspect of his career that he'd been most proficient most at, and that was piling up assists. The slick-skating, smoothe-passing Swede racked up 118 goals and 334 assists in 589 career games -- yet did not garner one on this night.
1998: Eric Lindros netted a pair of power play goals and Rod Brind'Amour's goal with 3:45 remaining in regulation helped the Flyers salvage a 5-5 tie with the New Jersey Devils at Continental Airlines Arena.
Lindros and Jody Hull (first goal as a Flyer) gave the visitors a 2-0 lead late in the opening stanza, but a late-first period strike from Bobby Holik and one early in the middle frame by Jason Arnott knotted the score at 2-2.
Dainius Zubrus made it a 3-2 Philadelphia lead at 8:37 of the session, but New Jersey roared back with three unanswered goals -- Dave Andreychuk and Patrik Elias late in the second, and Brian Rolston with 7:54 left in the third period put the Devils ahead at 4-3.
With Sheldon Souray off for tripping, Lindros evened the game with 6:51 remaining before Brind'Amour's late game-winner.
The Flyers yielded just 12 shots in the first two frames but John Vanbiesbrouck allowed four goals and was replaced by Ron Hextall to start the third. 'Hexy' stopped seven of eight N.J. shots to earn the draw with Martin Brodeur, who made 20 saves.
2001: Jan Hlavac scored twice within 42 seconds in the second period and Roman Cechmanek stopped 31 of 32 shots to lead the Flyers to a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild at the First Union Center.
The win came just hours after the passing of Bill Barber's wife following a battle with lung cancer. The head coach was behind the bench at the request of family members.
But Hlavac put the game away with his pair of quick strikes, and Keith Primeau closed out the scoring with a power play marker late in the period.
Goals by Richard Zednik and Pierre Dagenais staked the home team to a 2-1 lead late in the third period, but defenseman Marcus Ragnarsson evened things up at 16:41 before LeClair's game-winner completed the comeback win.
Kim Johnsson also scored for Philadelphia, who scored three times in the final frame to pull out the victory.
Jeff Hackett stopped 36 of 38 shots to record the win for the Flyers.
2009: Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Claude Giroux each scored two goals apiece as the Flyers snapped a five-game losing streak and gave head coach Peter Laviolette his first victory with the club in a 6-2 win over the New York Islanders at the Wachovia Center. Laviolette's first win came following two straight defeats since he took over the reigns for John Stevens on December 4th.
With the losing streak intact and no help appearing on the horizon, the sight of the Isles coming to Philadelphia had to be a welcomed one for the Flyers. They continued their domination of their divisional rivals from Long Island, making it 12 wins in a row and 15th victory in 16 meetings.
Four skaters netted the eight goals, with each scoring a pair in succession.
Richards started Philly off in the right direction by scoring once with the man advantage, then adding a second goal with Danny Briere in the penalty box for an errant elbowing minor.
Carter scored the next pair early in the middle period before N.Y.'s John Tavares potted two of his own to cut the lead to 4-2.
The next player to tally multiple goals was Giroux, who connected late in the second period and again early in the final frame to close out the scoring.
Former-Flyer Martin Biron stopped 31 of 37 Philly shots in the losing effort.
It was the fourth straight win for Philadelphia, and sixth in their last seven outings.
Up 1-0 on a fluky goal from Danny Briere, Pittsburgh had the perfect opportunity to tie the contest. Skating with a two-man advantage, the Pens saw Philly penalty killers Kimmo Timonen and Maxime Talbot with broken sticks on the ice.
The Flyers were attempting to kill off a penalty with basically one skater who possessed a stick.
Luckily for Philadelphia, Chris Kunitz cross-checked Timonen in front of the Flyers net to not only get a stoppage of play, but also take one skater off the ice for the visitors.
Simmonds and Scott Hartnell made it 3-0 in the second before James Neal scored on a late second period power play to get the Penguins on the board.
Evgeni Malkin got Pittsburgh within one at 3-2 midway through the third, but that was as close as it would get as Bryzgalov slammed the door shut the rest of the way.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves in defeat.
As For The Present:
With the lockout now well into its third month and games canceled through December 14th, the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout is now at 147 -- 36 in the shortened 1994/05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004/05, and 29 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
Many Flyers are currently playing elsewhere as the lockout drags on -- now past the 80-day mark -- scattered throughout different leagues in Europe.
Wednesday's optimism that a deal would be struck between the NHL and NHLPA quickly went up in smoke Thursday night, as the strange events of that evening could have had Rod Serling step out from behind the NHL podium and utter his famous tag line as to where things had gone -- that's right, directly into "The Twilight Zone". It was that .
Things are back into a holding pattern as the hope that an agreement would be forthcoming has been replaced with the apathy that was so prevalent for the first two plus months.
While there is still hope that sanity will somehow prevail and there can still be something to salvage of a 2012-13 NHL season -- which is now looking like a 48-game season as a best-case scenario -- it is unfortunately again looking like the sides may just be content to self-destruct.