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Philadelphia Flyers

NHL – METROPOLITAN

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Stadium: Wells Fargo Center
Coach: Mike Yeo (interim)

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Philadelphia Flyers

Team Summary 

The Philadelphia Flyers are an NHL team currently playing the Metropolitan Division based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers joined the league during the NHL’s major expansion in 1967, winning their first cup just seven years later and becoming the first expansion team to win an NHL championship. 

The Flyers have a unique color scheme, being only one of two teams in the league that uses orange as a primary color. Similar to many of the original six teams, the Flyers have also notably stuck to the same jersey design throughout most of its history without any sort of rebranding. 

Philadelphia has won two Stanley Cups in its franchise history, winning back-to-back championships in 1974 and 1975. Though it has been nearly 50 years since their last playoff win, the Flyers actually have the 2nd most playoff appearances out of another ‘67 expansion team, with 40 different appearances in 52 seasons in the league. 

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The Philadelphia Flyers are a professional ice hockey team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The team is a member of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference of the NHL. The Flyers have a passionate fan base and have a history of success, having won multiple championships in the past.

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Team History 

The Flyers entered the league in 1967 as the NHL doubled in size, initially adding six new teams in the newly christened Western Conference. Unfortunately for these new teams, most of the high-end professional talent resided in the original 6 teams. This was reflected in the finals standings, as the Flyers would win the division despite finishing with a lousy 31-32-11 record.

The current peak of the Flyers’ franchise came in the 1970s, as the Flyers would take on a new team identity: Brawlers. The “Fightin’ Flyers,” or more colloquially referred to as the Broad Street Bullies, were notorious for their extremely physical play and the sheer amount of fights they would get into nearly every night. It was during this era that Philadelphia would take home two straight cup wins in 1974 and 1975. 

Though the Flyers have not won a Stanley Cup since they have appeared in 6 total championships and won their division on 16 different occasions. The club has also enjoyed the talents of recognizable player names such as Mark Howe, Eric Lindros, Mark Hextall, and Claude Giroux, making the Flyers one of the most storied history despite being an expansion team. 

2022 Key Stats 

The Philadelphia Flyers aren’t having their best season this year, currently sitting at sixth place in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 15-13-7. Philly has simply failed to find consistency this season, putting together several winning and losing streaks throughout the year, the most recent of which saw the departure of head coach Alain Vigneault after a dismal eight-game losing streak in December of 2021. As of the time of publication, the Flyers are on another five-game skid. 

The Flyers have been battling a weakened roster throughout the season as well. Both Sean Couturier and offseason acquisition Ryan Ellis have both been on IR for most of the season, taking a significant chuck out of the team both offensively and defensively. Captain Claude Giroux leads the team in scoring with 11 goals and 18 assists in 32 games. Cam Atkinson has also had an excellent season after being traded from Columbus, leading the team in goals scored with 14 goals and 12 assists in 35 games. 

Carter Hart has been the main starter in the net for the Flyers this year, earning a .912 SV% and a record of 7-10-4. His backup, Martin Jones, has had a few more starts than most would have initially thought with a .909 SV% and a record of 6-5-2. 

Analyzing the Flyers stats is like deciphering the story of their journey through the NHL season, filled with goals, assists, and thrilling moments on the rink.

Championships Won by the Team 

The Philadelphia Flyers have won two Stanley Cups in franchise history in the mid-70s during the Broad Street Bullies era, the first of which was won during the 1973-1974 season with a 4-2 series win over the Boston Bruins. The second win occurred in the 1974-1975 season, which saw Philadelphia finish with the most wins in the league at 51-18-11. This time the Flyers squared off against the Buffalo Sabres, featuring one of the strangest Stanley Cup games of all time in game three. 

After winning the first two games in Philadelphia, the series moved to Buffalo, New York for games three and four. Prior to the game, a live bat flew around the stadium freely before it was killed by a Sabres player with a stick; as if that wasn’t weird enough, a heatwave then caused the arena to become completely filled with fog. The game was extremely hard to spectate, with numerous breaks of personnel coming onto the ice with sheets in an attempt to clear the air. Despite the abnormalities, the Flyers ended up winning the series 4-2. Additionally, this Flyers team was the last NHL team completely composed of Canadian-born players to win the Stanley Cup!

Important Team Events 

The Philadelphia Flyers and the Broad Street Bully era are notorious in NHL history, with no single event summing it up better than the 1976 Flyers-Red Army game. The Cold War was still in effect, and at the time, the Soviets had one of the best hockey teams in the world. The Red Army hockey team would occasionally come to the US to play an NHL team- in 1976, the rough-and-tumble Flyers got the honors. 

The game is notorious for the exceedingly physical play of the Flyers, which saw Ed Van Impe deliver a crushing blow to top Red Army forward Valeri Kharlamov, injuring the player with a blow to the head. After the refs made it clear there wouldn’t be a penalty on the play, the Soviets simply left the ice in the middle of the game. Eventually they returned, finishing the game with a final score of 4-1 in favor of the Flyers. 

Top Players 

The Philadelphia Flyers have had several Hall of Fame players in franchise history, but one of the most prolific players to wear the orange, black and white is Bobby Clarke. Clarke played for the Flyers for 14 seasons between 1969-1984, setting the franchise record for games played (1144), points (1210), plus/minus (507), and shots (3246). 

Though he did not break any scoring franchise records, forward Eric Lindros was another top player for the Flyers. During the 90s, Lindros played on what was known as the “Legion of Doom” line with fellow linemates John LeClair and Mikael Renberg, earning the nickname because of their seemingly unstoppable play and high scoring. 

Though he has not won a Stanley Cup, the current captain of the Flyers Claude Giroux is the most recognizable name for the franchise in recent memory. Giroux has amassed a total of 887 points with the Flyers in 975 games played and has tied Bobby Clarke for most seasons with the team at 15. We will likely see Giroux set a new franchise record here in the coming years!

Top Coaches 

The Flyers are currently coached by Mike Yeo after a turbulent year of coaching, bringing the grand total of head coaches in Philly to 22. One of the most well-known (and successful) coaches Philadelphia has had was Fred Shero, who coached from 1971-1978 in 554 games. Shero jump-started the Broad Street Bullies era and is the only coach to bring Lord Stanley’s cup to the city of brotherly love- twice. Shero was also the first coach to ever receive the Jack Adams award in the NHL for his outstanding leadership. 

In 2019, the Flyers hired Alain Vigneault to take over the role of head coach after Dave Hakstol was relieved of the position. Vigneault had a very strong first year as coach, leading the Flyers to a 2nd place finish in the Metropolitan Division and becoming the runner-up for the Jack Adams award. Despite coaching his 700th game in the league with the club, his lackluster start to the 2021 season along with a mediocre 25-23-8 finish in the 2020 season resulted in being fired on December 6th, 2021.

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Philadelphia Flyers Frequently Asked Questions

What year did the Flyers enter the league?

The Flyers were a part of the first six new expansion teams of 1967.

Who is the best player in the history of the Flyers?

Bobby Clarke has the franchise records in points, assists, and games played, as well as a 15 season long tenure with the team. In recent memory, Claude Giroux has been one of the best players for the Flyers and will likely set a new franchise record in seasons played with the team.

How many times have the Flyers won the Stanley Cup?

The Flyers have won the cup twice in a back-to-back cup run in 1974 and 1975. They were the first expansion team to win a cup, and the 1975 team was the last all-Canadian roster to win the championship.

What is the Flyers mascot?

While most teams have some sort of animal or historically significant creature as a mascot, the Flyers introduced their mascot, Gritty, in 2018. Gritty is a giant, fuzzy orange monster (featuring a belly button) with huge googly eyes and long, beard-like fur. Though he is a bit more frightening to look at than most mascots, Gritty has quickly become a fan favorite throughout the league.

Who are the Flyers’ biggest rivals?

Though the Flyers have pretty much been at odds with the entire Metropolitan Division, the two teams that stick out the most are the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers and the Flyers have met numerous times in the postseason throughout their histories, while the Penguins share the state of Pennsylvania and have been the ultimately more successful franchise overall.

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