Flyers’ Storm Stories

Thanks to the NY Post

We here at Flyers Faithful hope for the safety of our readers as well as everyone in the Delaware Valley affected in some way by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy.

But that doesn’t mean time stops over here at the Home Office.

The Philadelphia Flyers have been caught up in some weather hijinks during their 45-year history. Here are a few memorable games that have been wiped out or have taken place in the belly of the weather beast in the Northeast.

March 3, 1968: Seals 1, Flyers 1 at Madison Square Garden – Yes, you read that right. Two days after a portion of the Spectrum roof was ripped away during high winds in Philadelphia, the first-year franchise was forced to hit the road in search of shelter. One day prior, the Orange and Black arrived in New York City, only to suffer a 4-0 loss. The Rangers then offered temporary use of their new arena until more permanent quarters could be found. Don Blackburn scored the lone goal and Doug Favell made 39 saves to keep the Flyers’ division crown hopes alive.

February 6, 1978: Flyers 2, Blues 0 at the Spectrum – While the Blizzard of ’78 dumped up to 14 inches of snow on the area, Bernie Parent needed to make 11 saves to beat St. Louis. Rick MacLeish and Paul Holmgren beat Phil Myre in the third period. Fans who were able to make it to the arena for the afternoon puck drop were allowed to attend for free and were given complementary hot chocolate. Eventually, 5,148 brave souls sat in for the win.

September 27, 1985: Flyers vs. Bruins at Hersheypark Arena – A preseason game between the two parent clubs which sent their players to the American Hockey League down in Hershey, PA was postponed due to the rain and wind from the infamous Hurricane Gloria.

March 13, 1993: Kings vs. Flyers at the Spectrum – While the non-Bolaris-hyped “Storm of the Century” blitzed the entire East Coast with wind, rain, sleet and snow, Los Angeles and Philly were playing their regularly-scheduled Saturday matinee when strong winds broke a pane of glass above the concourse, causing the league to postpone the contest. It was made up on April 1, with the Kings winning 3-1.

December 19, 1995: Devils 5, Flyers 4 (OT) at the Meadowlands – Though it missed most of the Philly region, a serious Nor’easter blanketed the area from North Jersey to New England just before Christmas. Just 5,781 fans braved the weather in East Rutherford to see this Jersey victory, but it was a weird one. Philly led 2-0 only 75 seconds after the opening faceoff, only to blow that lead as well as 3-1 and 4-3 advantages. Bill Guerin won it on a fluke play, credit to Chris Therien.

January 9-11, 1996: Mighty Ducks 2, Flyers 2/Blues 4, Flyers 4 at the Spectrum – The aftermath of the Blizzard of ’96, which strafed the city with a record 30 inches of snow over a two-day period, didn’t prevent a pair of home games from being played. It did prevent Terry Murray’s club from finishing strong, however, posting the second and third of three consecutive ties during the start of a mid-season lull.

In the opener, Anaheim led 2-0 with less than seven minutes gone in the first, but Eric Desjardins and John LeClair beat Guy Hebert and Garth Snow made 20 stops to preserve an unfavorable deadlock. In the second, the Flyers fell victim to a series of misfortunes in the final seconds, fitting they neither won nor lost after falling behind 1-0, then leading 3-1 and 4-3.

September 17, 1999: Capitals vs. Flyers at First Union Center – Hurricane Floyd ripped through the region, leaving the sports complex parking lots under three feet of water, causing the postponement of this exhibition matchup. The game was made up 10 days later in Philadelphia.

December 19, 2009: Rangers 2, Flyers 1 at Wachovia Center – As the pre-Christmas Blizzard of ’09 raged outside, dumping an eventual 23 inches on the Quaker City, Artem Anisimov’s second-period marker and 36 saves by Henrik Lundqvist gave the Blueshirts a victory. The official record says 19,637 tickets sold, but actual attendance was less than 4,000.

February 10, 2010: Flyers 3, Devils 2 at Prudential Center – Simon Gagne’s marker with 1:33 remaining in overtime gave the visitors a victory in Newark. Just outside the rink, the second major storm in less than a week pummeled the Mid-Atlantic, dumping anywhere from 12-18 inches of snow on a region encompassing more than 50 million people.