The second edition of this Summer series takes us back to the Legion of Doom era, and the Stanley Cup finalist club of 1997.
On the first Thursday of February, the Flyers welcomed the Montreal Canadiens to the
Wells Fargo Center Wachovia Center First Union Center Spectrum II CoreStates Center.
In the two-plus months that Eric Lindros was in the lineup after recovering from a groin pull, the Orange and Black surged from a team merely treading water, to one that was competing with Colorado for the best record in the NHL. In December and January, they ripped off a 17-game unbeaten string to reach the summit, before crashing back to earth with the mid-season doldrums.
Montreal, on the other hand, was still smarting from the Patrick Roy trade the previous season, and the heavy-handed, cocky Gallic idiocy of head coach Mario Tremblay. The Habs sported one of the most entertaining offenses in the Eastern Conference, while weighed down with one of its worst defenses.
Adding to the pressure to perform this night, was that a 20-year-old netminder would see his first NHL action — Tomas Vokoun faced veteran Ron Hextall.
Hilarity, and team records, ensued.
In the 9-5 victory, the Legion set the club’s all-time mark for points by a line in one game with 16.
Eric Lindros (1G,4A), John LeClair (4G,2A) and Mikael Renberg (1G,4A) simply went nuts. For LeClair, it was his first career four-goal game. The Vermont native (six points) and Renberg (five points) each set new career highs for most points in a single game.
The original mark of 14 was performed by Darryl Sittler, Bill Barber and Ilkka Sinisalo at Hartford on January 8, 1983 in a 7-4 victory.
It should have been a totally embarrassing blowout victory for Terry Murray’s club, except for those three unlucky bounces and poor defensive coverage. Oddly enough, it all happened in a game where Paul Coffey was actually out of the lineup.
It was a season high for goals in one game, set a club record for Flyers’ goals scored in their new building (a mark which still stands today), and also extended Philly’s run of success against Montreal to 9-1-1 since the start of the lockout-shortened 1995 campaign.