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.
October 25th has not been the most successful of dates over the course of Flyers history, as they've managed a rather unspectacular 7-11-2-1 record. Philadelphia has scored 56 goals in the 21 contests (an average of 2.66 GPG), while yielding 69 to their opponents (3.28 GAA). The Flyers were winless on their first five October 25th games (0-4-1 between 1970 and 1975), and have lost their last two (2009 and 2010). Philly has never shutout an opponent in an October 25th tilt, but they have been blanked twice -- 1973 by Wayne Thomas and the Montreal Canadiens, and 1991 by Bob Essensa and the Winnipeg Jets.
Some of the more notable moments in Flyers history in contests that took place on October 25th:
1975: The Flyers built a 4-0 lead midway through regulation on goals by Jimmy Watson, Reggie Leach, Rick MacLeish, and Ross Lonsberry, then watched it completely disappear on a Pierre Larouche power play tally in the final ticks of the clock as the host Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to steal a point at the Civic Arena, 4-4. Larouche's game-tying marker came with just four seconds remaining in regulation and Gary Dornhoefer in the penalty box.
Wayne Stephenson stopped 30 of 34 Penguins shots, while Michel Plasse made 24 saves.
1979: Reggie Leach scored twice and assisted on two others to lead the Flyers to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers at the Spectrum.
Game number five in what would be an eventual NHL record 35-game unbeaten streak didn't look good early on for the Orange-and-Black as NY led 2-0 on goals by Lucien Deblois and Mario Marois early in the first period.
Shots on goal up to that point were 9-4 in favor of the visitors, but the tide changed over the last two stanzas as Philadelphia outshot the Rangers by a 24-11 count.
The Flyers didn't get on the scoreboard until Bob Dailey scored at 4:50 of the middle frame, then Leach tallied 1:01 later to tie the score at the end of two.
Brian Propp scored the game-winner midway through the third period before Leach struck for a second time just 12 seconds later, and Bobby Clarke put the game out of reach a little over five minutes later.
Pete Peeters made 18 saves in registering the victory, while John Davidson made 19 saves for New York.
1980: Gary Morrison managed the only goal he would ever score in the NHL 2:28 into the third period for what would turn out to be the game-winning tally as the Flyers defeated the arch-rival Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Bill Barber scored in the first period, Reggie Leach scored into an empty net with 10 seconds left in the third period to put the game out of reach, while Bobby Clarke assisted on both markers.
Pete Peeters made 20 saves to garner the victory, while Glenn Resch took the loss. Resch entered the game at the start of the second period in relief of Billy Smith, who had yielded Barber's goal from the six shots he faced. "Chico" stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced over the final two periods, but the one he allowed was Morrison's game-winner.
Morrison would appear in 43 games over three seasons with Philadelphia, scoring the lone goal and posting 16 points and 70 penalty minutes.
1981: Brian Propp scored two goals and assisted on another and Ken Linseman scored once and added two assists to propel the Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Red Wings in Detroit. Ilkka Sinisalo scored the other Flyer goal, while Bill Barber added a pair of assists.
Rick St. Croix stopped 28 of 29 Detroit shots to record the win, and Gilles Gilbert took the defeat after yielding three goals on 13 Philadelphia shots. Corrado Micalef relieved Gilbert to begin the third and allowed one goal on 11 shots.
1983: Ray Allison scored a goal and added a helper as the Flyers rolled to a 4-2 victory over the Quebec Nordiques at Le Colisee. Tim Kerr, Rich Sutter, and Paul Holmgren also lit the lamp for Philadelphia, and Pelle Lindbergh made 18 saves to lead the Flyers to the win.
1984: Tim Kerr scored four goals -- including a natural hat trick in the third period -- and Dave Poulin, Brian Propp, and Lindsay Carson each added a goal and assist to lead the Flyers to a 7-2 drubbing of the St. Louis Blues at the Spectrum.
It was Kerr's first of four career four-goal games, the most recorded by an Flyer player.
Philadelphia torched Mike Liut for three goals in the first period and four more in the third as they fired 37 shots in the direction of the Blues net, while Bob Froese made 23 saves in the winning effort.
1995: John LeClair scored a goal and added an assist and Dominic Roussel stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced to help the Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the visiting New York Islanders. Mikael Renberg and Rod Brind'Amour (shorthanded) also scored for Philadelphia, and former Flyer Tommy Soderstrom made 22 saves for the Isles.
2003: Mark Recchi scored a shorthanded goal with 3:10 remaining in regulation to salvage a 4-4 tie with the Carolina Hurricanes in South Philly. Recchi skated in with Sami Kapanen on a two-on-one and when his passing lane was cut off, fired a wrist shot past 'Canes goaltender Jamie Storr to pot the equalizer.
The Flyers trailed 2-0 after the first period and 3-2 after two and never led before pulling even in the end. Jeremy Roenick, Michal Handzus, and Eric Chouinard also picked up goals for the Flyers, and Eric Desjardins added a pair of assists.
Jeff Hackett made 31 saves for Philadelphia, while Storr stopped 28 of 32 Flyers offerings he faced.
2008: Jeff Carter scored 3:44 into overtime to lead the Flyers over the visiting New Jersey Devils, 3-2. Mike Knuble and Scott Hartnell also tallied for Philadelphia in the rugged contest, one that saw eight fighting majors and two game misconducts doled out between the clubs.
The victory completed an important sweep of the home-and-home set for the Flyers, as the pair of wins over an Atlantic Division rival helped get a season that started off so badly -- Philadelphia was 0-3-3 heading into the games -- back on track.
Martin Biron turned aside 29 of 31 New Jersey shots, while Martin Brodeur made 30 saves in the losing effort.
October 25th Flyers Birthdays:
Josef Beranek turns 43 years old today.
The 6' 2", 190-pound Czech came to the Flyers along with smallish defender Greg Hawgood in exchange for Brian Benning in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers in January of 1993, and Beranek turned out to be a reliable offensive player during his time in the City of Brotherly Love. He scored 46 goals and recorded 84 points in 134 games over parts of three seasons with the Flyers, including 28 goals and 49 points in his only full campaign with the club in 1993-94.
He managed to post one hat trick during his stay, on February 2nd, 1995 -- less than two weeks before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks -- against Jamie McLennan and the New York Islanders in a 5-4 overtime loss.
Beranek's time with the organization came to an end abruptly in February of 1995, when he was dealt to Vancouver for tough guy Shawn Antoski.
As For The Present...
With last Friday's announcement that games are now canceled through November 1, the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout is now at 127 -- 36 in the shortened 1994-05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004-05, and nine 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
Today is the league-imposed deadline to reach an accord -- which if it somehow miraculously happens -- the regular season will commence on November 2nd (3rd for the Flyers in a 1:00 Saturday matinee against the visiting Anaheim Ducks). The above-mentioned games that were erased will be made up during the course of the season.
There have been no negotiations since the weekend and there are no further talks scheduled at this time as the NHL prepares to cancel a larger chunk of games. The NHLPA requested Tuesday to meet with the league on Wednesday, but NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said there was no reason to talk since the union would not be presenting a new proposal and was not willing to accept the NHL's offer that was made last Tuesday.
Instead of working feverishly to hammer out a new deal Wednesday, the NHL announced the New York Islanders would be moving from Nassau Coliseum to the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn following the 2014-15 season.
While there is still hope that sanity will somehow eventually prevail and there will be a full 2012-13 NHL season, it's looking more-and-more like the sides are content with the current 'self-destruct' mode.
If an agreement is not reached today, expect an announcement from the league canceling a more-substantial block of games in addition to what has already been wiped off the slate.