With all this talk about Tomas Vokoun possibly being the best value for a goaltender upgrade for a potential Flyers’ Stanley Cup run, I thought I’d return to my role as Flyers Faithful historian and tell you how the current Florida Panthers goaltender and the Orange and Black are already linked.
On February 6, 1997 — 14 years ago tonight — the Montreal Canadiens came to the CoreStates Center for what figured to be a routine mid-season tilt between two Eastern Conference clubs headed for playoff berths.
At this point, since the franchise-altering Mark Recchi-for-LeClair-Desjardins-Dionne deal was consummated almost two years prior, the Flyers had beaten the Habs in eight of the nine previous meetings. Wins of 7-0, 8-4 and 7-1 filled the ledger as the Canadiens were on a late ’90s downslide.
That fateful Thursday night, the first-year building served more as a House of Pain than a hockey arena.
The Flyers scored four times in the first period and exploded in a 9-5 triumph which saw the “Legion of Doom” set a still-standing franchise record for combined points by one line.
Ron Hextall was shaky in his start for Terry Murray’s club, but it was nothing like his counterpart to begin the game for Montreal…
The fresh-faced then 20-year-old, a ninth-round pick of the Habs in 1994, was shelled in his very first NHL appearance and earned nothing but a seat on the bench by intermission.
There are better write ups here: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/scores97/97037/97037388.htm
on the scoring in the game, but it was another straight-up butt-whipping courtesy of that Cup Finalist squad during another great era.
Vokoun’s outing was so traumatic, he didn’t appear in another game until catching on as an original member of the Nashville Predators during their debut season of 1998-99. Things have obviously gone better since then, but for one night, the Orange and Black added to their legend by making mincemeat of a young goalie.