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 ongoing 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 Philadelphia Flyers are 14-5-2-1 all-time on October 18th contests, having scored 82 times while yielding 56 goals to opponents.
As for highlights from games played on October 18:
1967: Ed Hoekstra scored with just over seven minutes remaining in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and Doug Favell stopped 34 of 35 St. Louis Blues shots to lead the Flyers to a 2-1 win in St. Louis.
After opening up their existence with two losses (California Golden Seals and Los Angeles Kings) on a three-game, inaugural season-opening road trip, the victory over the Blues was the first-ever regular season win in Philadelphia Flyers franchise history.
1970: Andre Lacroix scored twice in the third period to give the Flyers a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Spectrum. Trailing 2-0 after one period, Philadelphia got goals from Gary Dornhoefer (late in the second) and Bobby Clarke (0:15 into the third) before Lacroix's heroics.
Doug Favell made 28 saves in the winning effort.
1972: "Cowboy" Bill Flett scored his second goal of the night with just 31 seconds left in regulation to lift the Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Kings in Los Angeles.
Doug Favell made 34 saves for Philly -- including 15 in the third period alone -- and Brent Hughes added three assists in the win.
1975: Gary Dornhoefer beat Ken Dryden on the power play for the tying goal with 4:22 remaining in the third period, and Wayne Stephenson made 32 saves as the badly-outplayed Flyers gained a point in the standings with a 2-2 stalemate against the Canadiens in Montreal.
The Flying Frenchmen held a 34-20 advantage in shots -- including a 14-6 margin in the final frame -- but Stephenson was spectacular in gaining First Star honors with his performance.
1979: Reggie Leach scored twice and Rick MacLeish added a goal and assist as the Flyers defeated the Atlanta Flames 6-2 at the Spectrum.
Rookie winger Brian Propp also added two assists.
The victory avenged a 9-2 demolition at the hands of the Flames in Atlanta just five days earlier, which would turn out to be Philly's only loss of the season up until January 6th. The win was the second in an NHL-record 35-game unbeaten streak (25-0-10).
1984: Eight different Flyers scored goals in a 13-2 barrage of the Vancouver Canucks at the Spectrum. Ilkka Sinisalo (five points) and Brian Propp (four points) each recorded a hat trick, while Tim Kerr (two goals, two assists) and Dave Poulin (a goal and three assists) each added four points.
Eleven Flyers posted multiple points in the dismantling of the visitors and scored four times in each of the first and third periods, and on five occasions in the second. Philadelphia dominated play throughout and outshot the Canucks, 58-19, chasing starter "King" Richard Brodeur midway through regulation after he yielded seven goals on just 26 shots. John Garrett came in for Vancouver in relief and allowed six more on 32 Flyer offerings.
The game was physical and featured numerous skirmishes, including 12 fighting majors and six game misconducts.
1992: Rod Brind'Amour and Doug Evans scored 16 seconds apart with less than two minutes remaining in regulation time to give the Flyers a 5-4 vitory over the Winnipeg Jets at the Spectrum.
2007: Mike Richards recorded a goal and assist and goaltender Martin Biron stopped all 38 shots he faced in outdueling Martin Brodeur as the Flyers posted a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Biron was spectacular in holding off the Devils -- who outshot Philadelphia, 38-18 -- in registering his second-consecutive shutout. He had blanked the Atlanta Thrashers just two days earlier.
Sami Kapanen, Jim Dowd, and Joffrey Lupul also scored for the Flyers.
2011: It was a day for the rookies as Matt Read scored a goal and added two assists, while Sean Couturier and Harry Zolnierczyk each scored their first NHL goals to pace a 7-2 drubbing of the Senators in Ottawa. Zac Rinaldo also picked up his first career point when he assisted Zolnierczyk's third-period tally.
Claude Giroux and Max Talbot each posted a goal and assist in the win, with Talbot's being his first in a Flyers uniform after signing with the club as a free agent in the summer.
Flyers October 18 Birthdays
Hulking defenseman Kjell Samuelsson was born in Tyngsryd, Sweden on this date in 1958.
The 6' 6", 235-pound blue liner -- the tallest player to ever suit up in the NHL at that point in time -- was drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round (119th overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft and played parts of two seasons in Manhattan. He was dealt to the Flyers during the 1986-87 campaign as part of a deal for disgruntled netminder Bob Froese, who requested a trade out of Philadelphia because he felt he should be starting ahead of sensational rookie goaltender Ron Hextall.
Samuelsson's large frame became a key component to the Flyers defense corps as he helped anchor the Big-Four that season in a run that went all the way to a Game 7 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
He would provide a steady presence on the blue line, appearing in the 1987-88 All-Star game and winning the Barry Ashbee Memorial Trophy as the Flyers' best defender in 1988-89 and 1990-91.
Prior to the 1992 trade deadline, Samuelsson was dealt to the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in a package that included Rick Tocchet and goalie Ken Wregget for Mark Recchi and Brian Benning.
Having come so close in 1987 with the Flyers, Samuelsson would have his name etched on the Cup as the Pens would go on to repeat that season.
He would play the next three seasons in western Pennsylvania before finally returning to the Flyers as a free agent in the summer of 1995 and playing three seasons before retiring.
As For The Present...
Games are canceled through October 24, so the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout remains at 122 -- 36 in the shortened 1994-05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004-05, and four thus far this season. With the next tilt scheduled for October 25 against the Canadiens in Montreal, it's almost certain a next round of cancelations will be added to this season's list of casualties if movement isn't made in CBA negotiations sometime soon:
But there is hope after Tuesday's offer from the NHL that finally got the ball rolling with regards to negotiations. If there is an accord reached by October 25th and the regular season commences on November 2nd (3rd for the Flyers in a 1:00 Saturday matinee against the visiting Anaheim Ducks), the games that were lost this year (which will be nine by the time the 3rd rolls around) will be made up during the course of the season.