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.
Even after losing their first two December 10th games, the Flyers have still managed a 14-4-3-1 overall record -- which includes a pretty decent 9-3-0-1 mark at home -- on December 10th over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 80 goals and given up 55 to their opponents in 22 December 10th outings.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on December 10th:
1972: Gary Dornhoefer posted his third and final hat trick in a Flyers uniform and Michel Belhumeur turned away 24 of 26 shots as Philadelphia defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 5-2 score at the Spectrum.
Don Saleski and Bob Kelly also scored for the Flyers, while Rick MacLeish added three helpers and Bobby Clarke and Barry Ashbee each chipped in with a pair of assists.
Dornhoefer beat Jacques Plante once in the first and twice in the third to complete the hat trick, giving him at least one goal in eight of the last nine contests (11 games over that span).
1977: Don Saleski scored his second goal of the game to snap a 2-2 tie with 6:42 remaining in the third period to lift the Flyers to a 4-2 triumph over Tony Esposito and the Chicago Blackhawks at the Spectrum.
Trailing 1-0, Philadelphia got goals from Saleski and Paul Holmgren to knot the game at 2-2 at the second intermission.
Following Saleski's game-winner, Ross Lonsberry clinched the victory with an empty-netter with 20 second left. Andre Dupont added a pair of helpers for Philly in the winning cause.
Wayne Stephenson made 17 saves to record the win, while Esposito stopped 32 of 35 in the loss.
1978: Bill Barber and Blake Dunlop each scored a pair of goals and Bernie Parent stopped all 28 shots he faced to post a shutout as Philadelphia skated to a 4-0 whitewash of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
With the two goals and an assist, it gave Barber -- who was coming off a four-point performance in his previous game -- three goals and seven points in the two contests.
Parent's shutout was his third of the season, and 49th regular season blanking in a Flyers uniform.
Wayne Thomas made 25 saves for the Rangers in a losing cause.
1980: Bill Barber scored his 23rd and 24th goals of the year and Pete Peeters stopped 39 of 41 shots as the Flyers skated to a 2-2 deadlock with the Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.
Barber twice gave Philadelphia the lead, only to have Chicago even it up, with Grant Mulvey knotting the score with 3:19 left in the third after Barber had given the Flyers the lead earlier in the stanza.
By viture of the pair of goals Barber extended his point-scoring streak to five games, in which he notched five goals and seven points.
Murray Bannerman made 29 saves for the 'Hawks.
1983: Bobby Clarke and Len Hachborn each notched a pair of goals and Pelle Lindbergh made 20 saves to lead the Flyers to an 8-2 rout of the New Jersey Devils at the Brendan Byrne Arena.
On the strength of two goals from Clarke and another by Ron Sutter, Philadelphia held a 3-2 lead at the second intermission.
But Mark Howe beat Ron Low just 23 seconds into the final stanza to make it a two-goal lead, then Hachborn scored his first two NHL goals back-to-back midway through the frame to make it 6-2. Tim Kerr and Brian Propp also tallied to close out the scoring.
1985: Brian Propp and Mark Howe each posted two goals and three points and Bob Froese made 27 saves to lead the Flyers to a 7-4 triumph over the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum.
Pelle Eklund scored once and assisted on two others, and Dave Poulin added a goal and an assist. Ex-Bruin Brad McCrimmon also beat B's netminder Doug Keans.
Doug Crossman assisted on two Philly goals.
Up 4-3 entering the third period, Howe and Propp each tallied for the second time in the contest (wrapped around a Keith Crowder power play marker) and Eklund closed out the scoring with a man advantage goal.
1987: Dave Poulin scored one goal and assisted on another and Ron Hextall made 19 saves to lead the Flyers over Bob Froese and the New York Rangers, 5-3, at the Spectrum.
Murray Craven, Kjell Samuelsson, Brian Dobbin, and Ron Sutter also scored for Philadelphia, who threw 37 shots at their former netminder Froese in the victory. The goaltender became disgruntled a year prior when Hextall made the team out of training camp, then took over the starting goaltender's job ahead of 'Frosty'. Froese demanded a trade and GM Bob Clarke accommodated him with a move to the Big Apple in exhange for hulking defenseman Samuelsson.
Brian Propp added a pair of helpers in the winning effort.
1988: Role-playing winger Derrick Smith posted the lone hat trick of his seven years in Philadelphia and Ron Hextall made 23 saves as the Flyers downed the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-4, at the Spectrum.
Following a scoreless opening period Philly notched five goals in the middle stanza -- with Smith tallying twice, and Brian Propp, Mike Bullard, and Scott Mellanby once each -- on just 12 shots. With a 5-2 lead at the second intermission, Chicago pulled starting netminder Jimmy Waite.
With Darren Pang between the pipes, the Blackhawks mounted a comeback by virtue of two Troy Murray power play strikes to make it a 5-4 Flyer lead late in regulation. But Smith completed his hat trick with 1:34 remaining to clinch the victory.
Rick Tocchet and Gord Murphy added two assists apiece in the win.
1989: Terry Carkner's goal with 1:04 remaining in the second period turned out to be the game-winner and Ken Wregget stopped 36 of 38 shots to lead the Flyers over the New York Rangers, 4-2, at Madison Square Garden.
The teams traded goals with Derrick Smith giving Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in a penalty-filled first period (his first goal of the season in his 5th game back from an ankle injury) and the Broadway Blue Shirts tying it up early in the middle frame on a tally by Kelly Kisio.
Ilkka Sinisalo put Philly ahead midway through the second before Carkner's late-period marker staked the club to a 3-1 lead heading into the final stanza.
New York's Darren Turcotte brought the home squad back to within a goal with 4:25 left in regulation, but Murray Craven iced the game with a power play tally with 2:41 remaining.
Carkner also completed the Gordie Howe hat trick as he fought Mark Janssens at the conclusion of the first period, assisted on Sinisalo's second period marker, then scored the game-winner later in the frame.
John Vanbiesbrouck made 15 saves for the Rangers in the loss.
1996: Eric Lindros posted the game-winning goal and an assist and Ron Hextall made 18 saves as the Flyers skated to a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers at the CoreStates Center. John LeClair also netted a goal and assist.
Philadelphia led 4-1 at the second intermission on goals from Joel Otto, Scott Daniels, Eric Desjardins, and LeClair, but Jason Podollan beat Hextall with the man advantage to make it a two-goal contest with 8:28 remaining in regulation.
Lindros staked the Flyers to a seemingly-safe 5-2 lead 45 seconds later, but Philly would have to hang on for dear life after goals by Martin Straka and former-Flyer Scott Mellanby made it a one-goal game with 1:47 left on the clock.
Florida's John Vanbiesbrouck made 24 saves in defeat.
2000: Keith Primeau scored a pair of goals and Roman Cechmanek stopped 16 of 18 shots as the Flyers gave Bill Barber -- who was named the 14th head coach in club history earlier in the day, replacing Craig Ramsey -- a 5-2 triumph over the New York Islanders at the First Union Center.
Primeau notched goals at 18:38 of the opening frame and 2:07 of the second to erase a 1-0 Isles lead and give Philadelphia the lead for good.
Eric Desjardins, Peter White, and Kevin Stevens -- who also assisted on two Flyer goals -- all lit the lamp for Philly.
Philadelphia controlled play throughout, outshooting the visitors by a 40-18 margin.
John Vanbiesbrouck stopped 35 of 40 shots in the losing effort for N.Y.
2001: Jeremy Roenick scored 10:00 into the third period to lift the Flyers to their fourth win in five games with a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
Simon Gagne -- who had opened the contest with a goal midway through the first stanza (with an assist from Roenick) -- but Atlanta's Tony Hrkac evened the score just 1:28 later.
Keith Primeau put the game away with 6:25 left in regulation.
Roman Cechmanek stopped 14 of the 15 Thrashers' shots he faced to post his eighth win of the season, while Damian Rhodes made 29 saves in the loss.
2002: Simon Gagne scored two goals -- including the go-ahead and game-winning goals in the second period -- and Robert Esche made 26 saves to lead the Flyers to a 5-2 triumph over the Florida Panthers at National Car Rental Center.
The teams traded first period goals by Philly defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and Florida's Ivan Novoseltsev before Gagne took control. With Philadelphia in the midst of attempting to kill off a Chris Therien tripping minor early in the middle stanza, Gagne took full advantage of a Panthers turnover when he backhanded a shot through Roberto Luongo's five-hole for a shorthanded marker.
He would double the lead later in the session when he intercepted a pass at the Florida blue line and ripped a shot from the high slot past Luongo and under the crossbar to make it 3-1.
Andre Savage -- playing in his first game since being recalled from the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms -- deflected a Justin Williams shot past Luongo with 2:58 left in the period to give the visitors a three-goal cushion (and Savage's first in a Flyers uniform) heading into the third period.
Williams scored a goal of his own in the final frame when he knocked in a rebound of an Eric Desjardins shot to close out the scoring.
2003: Sami Kapanen -- who lost three teeth earlier in the game when accidentally hit by teammate Donald Brashear's stick -- scored with just 1:08 remaining in regulation to lift the Flyers to a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
Manny Malhotra had given the home team a 1-0 lead early in the opening stanza, and it looked like it would stand up as the contest's lone tally. Kapanen's game-tying marker came following a furious stretch of pressure on Columbus netminder Fred Brathwaite. The diminutive Finn came out from the end boards with the puck and made a strong move to the net, jamming the puck between Brathwaite's pads to knot the score.
Brathwaite finished the game with 40 saves -- including eight in overtime with the Flyers smelling blood -- while Jeff Hackett stopped 19 of the 20 Jackets shots (three in OT) he faced in the draw.
2005: Branko Radivojevic scored with 53 seconds left in the third period and Antero Niittymaki stopped 23 of 25 shots to give the Flyers a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild at the Wachovia Center.
Radivojevic had just jumped on the ice for a final shift in regulation and ended up joining Mike Knuble on a two-on-one break. Wild goaltender Manny Fernandez made the initial stop off Knuble's shot, but Radivojevic knocked the rebound past the goalie to snap a 2-2 tie.
Peter Forsberg and Kim Johnsson had staked Philadelphia to a 2-0 lead midway through the middle stanza, but Minnesota forced a deadlock on tallies from Nick Schultz and former-Flyer Todd White before Radivojevic's late-game heroics.
2011: Second period goals from Danny Briere, Jaromir Jagr, and Wayne Simmonds erased a 1-0 deficit and provided all the offense the Flyers would need in a 5-2 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Wells Fargo Center.
Trailing 1-0 on a Ryan Shannon goal, Philadelphia got goals from Briere and Jagr 34 seconds apart to take a quick lead.
Simmonds' power play tally late in the stanza made it a two-goal lead, but Vincent Lecavalier brought the visitors to within one with defenseman Matt Carle in the sin bin just 55 seconds into the final frame.
Carle cashed in on a man advantage exactly four minutes later to make it 4-2 before winger Scott Hartnell hit the empty net to set the final score.
Briere, Jagr, Simmonds, and Hartnell all ended up with a goal and two points for the contest.
Jagr's second period slapshot beat Mathieu Garon for his 10th goal of the season and 656th of his career, tying him with Brendan Shanahan for 11th place on the NHL's all-time goal scoring list. The future Hall-of-Famer was named the game's First Star for his efforts.
Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen each added a pair of assists to the winning cause.
Giroux was involved in a scary incident late in the middle frame when he fell to the ice and was struck in the back of the head by Simmonds' knee as the big winger jumped in an attempt to avoid crashing into the then-NHL's leading scorer.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 14 saves to garner the victory, but Sergei Bobrovsky entered the game with 13:01 left when coach Peter Laviolette made a surprising goaltending change. GM Paul Holmgren said after the game that Bryzgalov had a lower-body injury.
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, scattered throughout different leagues in Europe as the lockout nears the three-month mark.
Hockey fans have been through a roller-coaster ride of emotion over the past 85 days, none possesing more dramatic highs and lows than this past week. The rumored imminent CBA agreement caused a general cautious optimism Wednesday, then blew up in an angry Gary Bettman address in which the league pulled it's offers off the table Thursday night.
The sides have not talked since.
As NHLPA head Donald Fehr said, "The one thing we know for certain is that you can't make agreements if you're not talking about it."
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.