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 collective 13-9-2-1 mark -- which includes a 8-5-0-0 record at home -- on December 21st over the course of franchise history.
Philadelphia has scored 79 goals, while yielding 64 to their opponents in the 25 contests played on this day. Philadelphia goaltending has posted five December 21st shutouts -- including three in the first seven outings courtesy of Bernie Parent's brilliance, and a stretch in which they yielded just nine goals in those seven contests.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place in December 21st games:
1967: Bernie Parent snuffed out all 31 shots he faced to record his second shutout in five days (and second as a Flyer) and he received offensive support from six different goal scorers in a 6-0 whitewash of the Minnesota North Stars at the Spectrum.
Philadelphia scored two goals in each period with Pat Hannigan and Claude Laforge doing the honors in the first, Forbes Kennedy and Gary Dornhoefer in the second, and Leon Rochefort and captain Lou Angotti in the final frame.
Garry Peters added a pair of assists in the victory.
Parent was tested most in the third period as the North Stars sent 16 shots his direction, but to no avail for the visitors.
1968: Goals by Andre Lacroix and Dick Sarrazin staked the Flyers to a 2-0 lead and Doug Favell made it stand up, stopping 45 of 46 shots in a 2-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Philadelphia was badly outplayed and it showed in the lopsided shot totals, but Favell made the difference. Although an L.A. 20-5 advantage in the opening stanza, Lacroix's goal was the only shot to hit the back of the net.
Sarrazin's second period marker midway through the second made it a 2-0 lead, despite the fact the Kings had a 32-14 shots on goal margin.
It was more of the same in the final session as the home team directed 14 more on Favell and allowed just five, and Los Angeles finally broke through on a Bill Flett tally with 8:09 remaining to spoil Favell's shutout bid.
Gerry Desjardins made 17 saves for the Kings in the losing effort.
1969: Bobby Clarke, Lew Morrison, and Reg Fleming each posted a goal and assist and Bernie Parent stopped all 28 shots as the Flyers blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-0, at the Spectrum.
Morrison opened the scoring 27 seconds into the second period with a carry over man advantage from late in the first, tallying the only goal Parent would need.
Pittsburgh's Les Binkley made 24 saves in the loss.
1972: Bill Barber scored a pair of goals and Rick MacLeish added a goal and four points as the Flyers skated to a 6-3 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings at the Spectrum.
MacLeish snapped a 2-2 tie with 2:50 left in the middle frame, and third period goals by Bobby Clarke, ex-King Bill Flett, and Barber's second of the night clinched the outcome.
Simon Nolet also lit the lamp for the Orange-and-Black, and Gary Dornhoefer added a pair of helpers.
Michel Belhumeur turned aside 23 of 26 shots to pick up the win, while Gary Edwards stopped 33 shots in defeat.
1975: Bill Barber notched two goals and five points and Reggie Leach scored twice and posted four points in an 8-3 beatdown of the St. Louis Blues at the Spectrum. The win was the fourth in a row for Philadelphia, and gave them a 11-1-2 record over their last 14 outings.
Things didn't start off too well for the home team, though. Despite outshooting St. Louis by a 20-5 margin, the Flyers needed goals from Barber and Larry Goodenough in the last half of the opening period just to tie it up at 2-2.
After Chuck Lefley made it a 3-2 Blues lead with a power play marker 10 seconds into the middle stanza, late second period tallies from Dornhoefer and Leach staked Philly to its first lead of the night heading into the final session.
It was all Flyers in the third with goals from Leach, Barber (shorthanded), and Dornhoefer (all their second of the contest), and Mel Bridgman to win going away.
With Bobby Clarke's pair of assists, the LCB Line of Leach (two goals, four points), Clarke (two helpers), and Barber (two goals, five points) hit for 11 points in the victory.
Philadelphia goaltender Wayne Stephenson stopped 28 of 31 shots to boost his record to 22-4-7 for the season.
St. Louis goalkeeper Yves Belanger kept his club in the game but took the loss after making 39 saves.
1977: Bobby Clarke scored a shorthanded goal and added an assist and Bernie Parent made 21 saves for his 43rd regular season Flyers shutout in a 4-0 triumph over the Cleveland Barons at Richfield Coliseum. The victory gave Philadelphia a scorching 11-1-1 mark over their last 13 games.
Bill Barber, Rick MacLeish, and Don Saleski also beat beleagured Cleveland netminder Gilles Meloche, who stopped 40 of the 44 Flyer shots sent his way.
1978: Rick MacLeish and Yves Preston notched a pair of goals apiece and Bernie Parent turned away 22 of 24 shots to lead the Flyers to a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals at the Spectrum.
Preston snapped a 2-2 tie with his first of the contest with 3:17 remaining in the opening period. Philadelphia extended that lead in the middle frame on goals by MacLeish and Preston, the second of the night for both.
Blake Dunlop also scored for Philly, while Bill Barber and Behn Wilson each added two helpers.
Gary Inness stopped 41 Flyer shots in defeat.
1983: Defenseman Miroslav Dvorak beat Murray Bannerman with 54 seconds remaining in regulation to help the Flyers grab a point in the standings as he forced a 3-3 deadlock with the Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.
Trailing 2-0 in the second period, Ron Sutter got Philadelphia on the board and cut the 'Hawks lead to one goal.
After Steve Ludzig restored Chicago's two-goal cushion, Brian Propp posted his 19th marker of the season with 9:36 left to make it a 3-2 deficit before Dvorak's late-game heroics.
Goalkeeper Bob Froese finished with 36 saves -- including stopping the only two shots in overtime -- to preserve the draw.
1985: Tim Kerr scored his 30th and 31st goals of the year and Bob Froese turned aside 36 of 38 shots as the Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-2, at the Igloo.
Goals from Ron Sutter and a pair by Kerr gave the visitors a 3-1 lead at the second intermission, before Ilkka Sinisalo provided an insurance marker midway through the third period.
Dave Poulin added two assists to the winning cause.
The two goals gave Kerr a nearly goal-per-game pace, with 31 in 34 regular season games for the year.
1986: Tim Kerr's third goal of the game tied the score at 6-6 midway through the third period and Dave Poulin's marker just over three minutes later was the game-winner as the Flyers downed the St. Louis Blues in a wild 7-6 victory at the Spectrum. It was the club's fourth straight win and seventh in their last eight outings.
It was Kerr's second hat trick in three contests and gave the big forward 12 goals and 17 points during a nine-game point-scoring streak, including 10 goals and 14 points in seven games since returning after missing three contests with a hamstring injury. The third marker also made it a 30-goal season in Kerr's 31st game in which he appeared.
Derrick Smith opened the scoring in the first period and a pair of goals from Kerr made it 3-1 Philadelphia at the midway point of regulation, but St. Louis came back with four consecutive tallies to take a 5-3 lead at the second intermission.
Goaltender Ron Hextall was pulled in favor of Glenn Resch following the second stanza after yielding five goals on 23 shots.
J.J. Daigneault and Pelle Eklund scored within a 48-ssecond span early in the final frame to knot the score at 5-5, but Rick Meagher notched his second of the game just two minutes later to put the Blues up by a goal before late strikes from Kerr and Poulin.
Resch allowed one goal on five shots in the third frame to claim his second victory of the season, while Rick Wamsley made 20 saves in absorbing the loss.
1991: Kevin Dineen and Rod Brind'Amour each scored one goal and assisted on another and Ron Hextall stopped all 34 shots he faced as the Flyers skated to a 3-0 triumph over the Minnesota North Stars at the Met Center.
Dineen scored early in the opening period and Brind'Amour doubled the lead 25 seconds into the third, while Rick Tocchet added an insurance marker midway through the final stanza.
The shutout was the third in the regular season of Hextall's career, and snapped a personal four-game losing skid in the process.
Minnesota's Darcy Wakaluk took the loss after giving up three goals on 19 shots.
1996: Ron Hextall made 24 saves to record his fifth consecutive win and second straight shutout and John LeClair chipped in with his 20th goal of the year to lead the Flyers to a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues at the CoreStates Center. The win was the seventh in a row for Philadelphia and gave them a 10-game undefeated streak (9-0-1).
Following a socreless opening period goals from Trent Klatt and Joel Otto staked the home team to a 2-0 lead, and third period markers by LeClair and Kjell Samuelsson clinched the triumph.
The goal for LeClair kept his point-scoring streak alive at seven games, during which he managed six goals and 12 points.
Blues netminder Jon Casey was far less busy than Hextall, but was collared with the loss after yielding four goals on just 15 shots.
2011: Claude Giroux's first game back after missing the previous four with a concussion was a rousing success as he scored once and added three assists in a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.
It was also the second four-point game in the last four in which Giroux played, giving him three goals and 12 points in the last five contests in which he appeared. The team's leading scorer was injured on December 10th when inadvertantly struck on the back of the head by Wayne Simmonds' knee.
Following a Michael Ryder goal in the first minute after the opening faceoff, Giroux evened the score nearly eight minutes later and assisted on a Simmonds power play tally for the go-ahead marker at 11:36.
Giroux also set up Jaromir Jagr with a give-and-go worked to perfection for another man advantage strike in the middle stanza, and Andrej Meszaros for some insurance early in the third.
Jagr's goal was his 11th of the year and 657th of his career, moving him ahead of Brendan Shanahan for 11th place in all-time NHL goal scoring.
There was an incident between Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette and Dallas agitator Steve Ott at the end of the first period in the runway tunnel as the teams headed to their respective locker rooms at the intermission.
Laviolette exited the Flyers bench and Ott moved in front of him to allow his teammates to get through the tunnel before anyone else went. The fiery Philly bench boss shoved Ott in the back and hurled an expletive at him as he pushed his way past, with everything having been caught on video.
As For The Present:
With the lockout now at the 97-day mark and counting and with the league's announcement Thursday that games are now canceled through January 14th, the official count of games the team has lost all-time due to lockout is now at 158 -- 36 in the shortened 1994/05, the entirety of the 82-game schedule in 2004/05, and 41 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
December 15 Carolina Hurricanes @ FLYERS
December 19 New Jersey Devils @ FLYERS
December 21 FLYERS @ New Jersey Devils
December 23 FLYERS @ Ottawa Senators
December 27 FLYERS @ Nashville Predators
December 29 FLYERS @ St. Louis Blues
December 31 FLYERS @ Phoenix Coyotes
January 3 FLYERS @ Los Angeles Kings
January 5 FLYERS @ San Jose Sharks
January 6 FLYERS @ Vancouver Canucks
January 10 Montreal Canadiens @ FLYERS
January 12 New York Rangers @ FLYERS
The NHLPA may proceed with a Disclaimer of Interest action, which could be forthcoming soon.
Not to be outdone, the league has a class action complaint pending which seeks a declaration to confirm the legality of the lockout.
Just when you thought things couldn't get any more contentious or litigious between the sides as the waiting game continues, that is exactly what happened.
And just to throw a bit more confusion into the mix, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on a radio show Wednesday that he believes there will be a season -- a day before the cancelation of more games.
At this juncture, there is really only two ways the gridlock can end, either with a shortened, condensed calendar like the 1994/95 lockout -- where an agreement was finally reached in the second week of January and games began on January 20th in the 48-game schedule -- or watching the entire campaign go up in flames as it did in 2004/05.
While there is still hope that sanity will somehow prevail and there can still be something to salvage of a 2012/13 NHL season, it is unfortunately looking like the sides may just be content to self-destruct.
And it will be interesting to see what fan reaction will be once this mess is finally sorted out and the league resumes operations -- because after what they've been put through, the base that pays the bills may just have filed a "Disclaimer of Interest" of their very own.