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.
December 3rd has been very kind to the Flyers as they've put together a torrid 14-4-1-1 overall record -- including going unbeaten in their first nine contests on this date (8-0-1-0), and an 8-3-0-0 mark at home -- over the course of franchise history. Philadelphia has scored 81 goals while allowing just 49 to their opponents in 20 December 3rd outings.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on December 3rd:
1967: Gary Dornhoefer snapped a 2-2 tie early in the third period and Bernie Parent stopped 38 of 40 shots to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 triumph over the St. Louis Blues at the Spectrum.
Parent was spectacular in keeping Philadelphia in the game in the first two frames, as they were outshot by a 32-14 count but were tied at 2-2 where it counted the most.
Lou Angotti scored in the first period, Leon Rochefort tallied in the second, and Ed Hoekstra put the game away when he beat Glenn Hall midway through the final stanza to give Parent a two-goal cushion.
1969: Jim Johnson notched a hat trick, Simon Nolet added a pair of goals, and Bernie Parent made 27 saves as the Flyers blasted the Los Angeles Kings, 7-1, at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
After spotting the home team an early opening period lead on an Eddie Joyal power play tally, Johnson connected twice and Nolet once to give Philadelphia a 3-1 advantage at the first intermission. Following a scoreless middle frame, Johnson beat Los Angeles netminder Gerry Desjardins to complete the hat trick at 1:45 of the final period. Bobby Clarke, Earl Hieskala, and Nolet all hit the back of the net before the clock hit all zeroes to close out the scoring. Bill Sutherland added two assists for the Flyers.
It was just Clarke's third goal in his 21st game, but it was his second straight outing with a goal as the 20-year-old continued to grow more comfortable in the league during his rookie campaign.
Both Johnson and Nolet also fought in the contest -- Nolet with Skip Krake in the first and Johnson against future-Flyer Ross Lonsberry in the third -- as the duo narrowly missed Gordie Howe hat tricks by lacking just an assist to accomplish the feat.
1972: Bobby Clarke scored a pair of goals and added an assist and goaltender Michel Belhumeur stopped 28 of 30 shots as the Flyers skated to a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the Spectrum.
Bill Flett, Tom Bladon, and Gary Dornhoefer also lit the lamp for the Orange-and-Black, while Belhumeur allowed both goals to Marc Tardiff.
1977: Paul Holmgren's first goal of the season broke a 3-3 tie early in the third period and Bernie Parent made 28 saves as the Flyers went on to defeat the Rockies, 6-3, in Colorado.
Rookie defenseman Kevin McCarthy scored his first NHL goal in the first and markers by Don Saleski and Bill Barber gave the visitors a commanding 3-0 lead late in the middle stanza. But Colorado got back into the game with power play tallies from Barry Beck and Denis Dupere, then knotted the score early in the final frame on an even strength marker from Gary Croteau.
Holmgren gave Philadelphia a 4-3 lead 2:24 later, before Reggie Leach connected for an insurance goal with 4:30 remaining in the third and Bob Dailey's empty-netter with 12 seconds left.
Barber's marker gave him goals in three consecutive contests, and Bobby Clarke added two helpers.
Former-Flyer goalie Doug Favell stopped 32 of 37 Flyer shots in the loss.
1978: Rick MacLeish and Don Saleski scored a pair of goals apiece and Wayne Stephenson made 24 saves to lead the Flyers to a 7-2 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Spectrum.
Saleski struck twice with MacLeish and Bob Dailey each scoring once in a first period blitz in which Philadelphia built a 4-0 lead on Leafs goaltender Paul Harrison.
Paul Evans deposited the lone tally of the middle stanza before Reggie Leach (power play) and MacLeish (shorthanded) scored in the third.
David "Tiger" Williams ruined Stephenson's bid for a shutout with two third period goals.
1981: Reggie Leach scored twice and Pete Peeters stopped 20 of 21 shots as the Flyers blew out the Calgary Flames, 6-1, at the Spectrum.
Bob Hoffmeyer (first NHL goal) and Paul Holmgren each beat Pat Riggin for power play markers and Leach scored at even strength to give Philadelphia a 3-0 lead after one period. Brian Propp's 18th of the season -- and seventh in the last seven games -- was the lone goal of the second session, before Leach and Ron Flockhart closed out the scoring in the third. Bill Barber added a pair of assists for Philly.
Peeters lost his chance for a shutout early in the third when defender Pekka Rautakallio beat him while Calgary skated with a man advantage.
1983: Ron Sutter scored a pair of goals and posted a Gordie Howe hat trick as the Flyers built a 5-1 first period lead in an eventual 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Igloo.
With the score tied at 1-1 early in the opening stanza, Philadelphia got goals from Thomas Eriksson, Brian Propp, Sutter, and Tim Kerr to take a commanding lead at the first intermission.
Sutter scored goals in the first and third (empty-netter), assisted on Eriksson's first period marker, and fought Pittsburgh defenseman Randy Carlyle in the middle frame to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick.
Bob Froese stopped 23 of 26 Penguins shots to record the win, while Michel Dion made 40 saves in the loss.
1984: Dave Poulin posted a pair of goals and an assist and Bob Froese made 31 saves as the Flyers blitzed the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, 6-2.
Tied at 1-1 early in the second period, Philadelphia took a stronghold on the contest with goals from Ilkka Sinisalo (power play), Poulin, and Derrick Smith.
Tomas Sandstrom brought the Rangers back to within two at 4-2 with a man advantage tally early in the third, but Peter Zezel (power play) and Poulin (second of the night) put the game out of reach.
N.Y. goalkeeper Glen Hanlon yielded all six goals on 38 shots in the defeat.
Brian Propp also scored for the Flyers, who won for a second straight time and a 10th time in 13 starts (10-1-2).
1987: Petter Zezel scored twice and Ilkka Sinisalo scored once and assisted on a pair as the Flyers beat the Hartford Whalers, 5-2, at the Spectrum.
Opening period goals by Dave Poulin, Zezel, and Pelle Eklund staked the home team to a 3-0 lead before Kevin Dineen cut the Hartford deficit to two goals at the second intermission.
But goals from Sinisalo and Zezel made it a 5-1 game midway through the final frame to seal the outcome.
Ron Hextall made 20 saves to register the win, while Murray Craven assisted on three Philadelphia tallies and Brian Propp added two helpers.
1988: Tim Kerr scored his second power play marker of the game early in the second period to snap a 2-2 tie and propel the Flyers to a 5-3 triumph over the New Jersey Devils at the Brendan Byrne Arena.
Pelle Eklund -- who also scored a third period power play goal -- assisted on both of Kerr's man advantage strikes, and Philadelphia also received offensive support from Kjell Samuelsson (shorthanded), and Brian Propp.
The pair of goals gave Kerr 24 in 29 games as he continued his miraculous comeback from five shoulder surgeries in an 18-month span that caused him to miss all but eight games the previous year.
Mark Howe, Rick Tocchet, and Mike Bullard all added two assists apiece, and goaltender Mark Laforest made 34 saves to record the win.
1992: Claude Boivin beat former-Philly netminder Ron Hextall 2:03 into overtime to lift the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Quebec Nordiques at the Spectrum.
On the strength of goals from Doug Evans and Greg Paslawski, Philadelphia held a 2-1 lead late in regulation before Mats Sundin put the puck past Stephane Beauregard with just 27 seconds remaining in regulation to force the extra session.
Hextall made 31 saves in the loss.
1995: John LeClair and Mikael Renberg posted a pair of goals and an assist apiece as the Legion of Doom Line accounted for eight points in a 6-1 thrashing of the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum. Eric Lindros assisted on a pair of Philly tallies.
Shjon Podein and Brent Fedyk also scored for Philadelphia, as the Flyers put up three goal periods in both the first and third.
Ron Hextall stopped 33 of 34 Bruin offerings, with Dave Reid's goal early in the middle frame being the lone blemish.
2003: Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick each scored one goal and assisted on another to lead the Flyers to their 13th consecutive game without a loss (11-0-2-0) at home as Philadelphia defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2, at the First Union Center.
Radovan Somik, Chris Therien, and Eric Weinrich each scored their first goals of the season in the win.
Jeff Hackett made 32 saves for pick up the victory, and Michal Handzus posted a pair of helpers.
2011: Matt Read scored a goal and assisted on two others in a four-goal first period and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 36 shots to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 triumph over the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
Goals by Read (his 10th, to lead all NHL rookies), Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux (his 15th marker and 32nd point of the year, tying him for the NHL scoring lead with Toronto's Phil Kessel), and Scott Hartnell staked the visitors to a 4-0 lead and chased started Mike Smith, before Ray Whitney scored his 350th career goal in the second and Mikkel Boedker closed out the scoring with 41 seconds remaining in the third.
Bryzgalov was booed loudly throughout the contest as he beat his former team for a second time in three weeks. The Russian goalkeeper was especially solid over the final two periods when Phoenix outshot the Flyers, 25-13.
Other Notable December 3rd Flyers Moments:
2005: The Flyers lose to the Predators in Nashville, 4-3, in a shootout -- the first shootout in team history -- in what would become a common outcome for the club in the game-deciding skills competitions.
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 as the lockout drags on -- now nearing the 80-day mark -- scattered throughout different leagues in Europe. Some of the bigger names NHLers have already bolted for alternate leagues in which to play hockey, with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos being the latest rumored to be considering the jump.
U.S. federal mediators stepped in to take a shot at helping the sides come to some sort of common ground as they joined negotiations last Wednesday and Thursday, but talks went nowhere and the sides have scrapped mediation involvement altogether in any future talks.
The NHLPA Sunday accepted an invitation from league Commish Gary Bettman to have meetings between owners and players, minus their respective heirarchy -- which means no Bettman or Bill Daly for the NHL, and no Donald or Steve Fehr for the NHLPA.
The meeting will commence Tuesday.
Even though it has to be a positive that the sides have agreed to talk, it should be noted that one of the league's toughest of the hard-liners from the owner's corner -- Boston's Jeremy Jacobs, rumored to be one of the driving forces that have made negotiations as unsuccessful as they've been thus far, and it was revealed this week that he made the Bruins players each foot the $7,000 per player tax bill for their Stanley Cup rings in 2011 -- will be one of the six owners to participate Tuesday. For that fact alone, it would seem this may just be the league's latest attempt to sell their never-changing stance to the players, this time without their counsel present.
If that is the case, Tuesday will indeed be nothing more than an exercise in the ongoing futility.
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 more-and-more like the sides may just be content to self-destruct.