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 are 8-3-2-0 in their history in the 13 games played on October 19th, which included a streak of eight consecutive contests being played at home from 1975 through 2002. Philadelphia has scored 36 goals (for a 2.76 goals per game average) in October 19th tilts, while yielding a total of just 22 (or a miniscule 1.69 GAA). As a matter of fact, the Flyers have allowed more than one goal in only five of the 12 contests.
As for some of the club's more memorable Flyers games played on October 19th:
1967: Doug Favell stopped all 21 shots he faced to record the first shutout in franchise history, and Bill Sutherland scored the only goal of the game in the third period as the Flyers posted a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the inaugural game played at the Spectrum.
The shutout was also the first of the rookie goaltender's career, and the first of 16 that Favell would post over the course of six seasons he spent in Philadelphia .
1969: Jean-Guy Gendron beat Lorne "Gump" Worsley for the game-tying goal with just 1:01 remaining in the third period to salvage a point for the Flyers in a 1-1 stalemate with the Montreal Canadiens at the Spectrum.
Philadelphia was badly outplayed as the Habs outshot the home team by a 38-23 count, but goaltender Bernie Parent stopped all but one to allow the Flyers the opportunity to knot the game in the latter stages.
1974: Bill Barber and Don Saleski each scored twice and Bobby Clarke notched a Gordie Howe hat trick as the Flyers pummeled the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3, at the Igloo in Pittsburgh.
Despite outshooting Pittsburgh, 46-24, Pens' goaltender Gary Inness kept the home team in the contest heading into the third period. With the scored tied at 3-3, Philly outshot Pittsburgh by a 19-6 margin and blew the game open with three goals -- all accounted for by the LCB Line of Reggie Leach, Clarke, and Barber -- in the final frame. Special teams were paramount for the Orange and Black, as three goals came via the power play, and one while the team was shorthanded.
Wayne Stephenson made 21 saves in the victory.
1985: Rick Tocchet scored twice and added an assist and four other Flyers posted multiple points, leading Philadelphia to a 7-3 trouncing of the Minnesota North Stars at the Spectrum.
Ron Sutter scored once and assisted on three others, and twin brother Rich Sutter recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick.
Philadelphia dominated throughout, outshooting the North Stars, 45-16 -- including 15-2 in the third period -- and the score likely would have been even more lopsided if not for the play of goalie Don Beaupre.
1986: Ilkka Sinisalo scored twice and Ron Hextall stopped 29 of 30 shots as the Flyers defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 at the Spectrum. Hextall's bid for his first career NHL shutout was dashed by Dale Hawerchuk late in the third period.
Tim Kerr also scored for Philly.
2002: Following a first period in which they were outshot by Washington and trailing 1-0 on a goal by Robert Lang, the Flyers stormed back with goals by John LeClair (his seventh in just five games in the early going of the season) and Simon Gagne late in the second, and an insurance marker from Donald Brashear early in the third to defeat the Capitals, 3-1.
Robert Esche stopped 23 of the 24 Caps' shots he faced, while Justin Williams added two assists to support the winning effort.
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 (which will be nine by the time the 3rd rolls around) will be made up during the course of the season.
While talks on Thursday didn't go well at all -- Gary Bettman says the two sides "are not speaking the same language" -- negotiations are ongoing and there is still hope that sanity will somehow eventually prevail.