On the Masterton: Happy for Lappy, but he wasn’t the best man

Any hockey fan worth his or her salt knows the opening scene of the seminal 1977 George Roy Hill-Paul Newman flick “Slap Shot,” where goaltender Denis Lemieux is explaining to host Jim Carr and the presumed television audience what certain penalties are and how bad you should feel once you get caught committing them. Basically, you follow the rules and everything should work out all right. If you don’t, you sit in the penalty box and…well…you can quote me the rest. Not that Ian Laperriere or the selection committee for the Bill Masterton Trophy should be locked up in a …

The Numbers Game

October 7, 1990. An otherwise unremarkable day in the history of the universe. In hockey circles, It was the Philadelphia Flyers’ 1990-91 home opener, played against the Detroit Red Wings after opening the year with two straight losses at Boston and New Jersey. In and of itself, that 7-2 victory played out in front of a sell-out crowd wasn’t notable, unless you count falling behind 2-0 early and then scoring seven straight goals. What did make it special was, it was the official retirement ceremony for Bill Barber’s #7. Honored first towards the tail end of the 1985-86 season for his 13 years …

The Lost Season

Nursing the heartbreak of a Stanley-Cup caliber Flyers season that came to a screeching halt with a stupefying early playoff exit is a rare and beautiful thing. Although the Flyers have prided themselves on not shitting the bed in the postseason after being near the top of the NHL standings, it has been known to occur every once in a blue moon. Like in the early 1980′s. Tucked in between the Year of the Streak that ended in a loss to the Islanders in the Finals and the Mike Keenan-led surprise 1985 Cup finalists, was four deeply disappointing years that saw a …

Tocchet’s unexpected burst of offense still a Flyers record

Three hat tricks in the span of four games. Eleven total goals. A road trip to remember for Flyers fans old enough to stay up late and watch it. If you work up a short list of Orange and Black snipers, it’s easy to think of Reggie Leach, Rick MacLeish, Brian Propp, Tim Kerr, John LeClair, Simon Gagne and now Danny Briere. But Rick Tocchet? Strange but true. Tocchet played 18 memorable NHL seasons, and was paired alongside some bona-fide Hall-of-Fame talent for a good portion of that time, but he wasn’t always the complete player that everyone now retroactively …

Spectrum Memories: Sometimes They Come Back

To celebrate my 25th year of hockey fandom, I will occasionally step into the way-back machine and write about events in the Flyers’ past. For the balance of the season, I will be dipping into the well to ruminate about some things related to my love of the Philadelphia Flyers, and in general about the fan experience as a youngster. This is the sixth in the series of Spectrum Memories. Losing a family member or a friend to relocations, sickness or death is never a good experience, and the emotions are very raw and fresh when you’re a kid. Thankfully, my rather small family …

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