5 Vintage Flyers Games to Rewatch While Waiting for the Season
The NHL has slowly but surely been moving in the direction of a return, but there won’t be any live hockey for at least another month. Even if the NHL works out the financial issues and comes up with both a schedule and plan for executing a season with COVID-19 still raging, it won’t begin until mid-January at least.
It’s not like you can turn to another league or level of hockey to get your fix either. There is no minor league hockey in North America at the moment and Canadian junior leagues have shut down for the remainder of 2020. You may be able to catch a college game, but they are also few and far between as different regions and conferences around the country are making their return at different paces.
That leads to a conversation I had with Hunter Brody of 97.3 ESPN over the weekend. Brodes has been watching some classic NHL games on YouTube and it brought me down the rabbit hole as well, looking for some vintage Flyers games you can watch on your own time while waiting for the NHL to return.
Here are five classic games that can help you get your hockey fix.
How can you go wrong with this classic? The Flyers fell behind in the series against the Boston Bruins, 3-0, and rallied back with an OT win in Game 4, a shutout win in Game 5, and a one-goal victory in Game 6. All that was left to complete the comeback was a Game 7 win in Boston.
It hardly starts out entertaining as the Flyers fall behind in the game 3-0 and Boston is in a frenzy, but the fine details of the game are showcased in this broadcast. The timeout call. The late first-period goal that strikes hope. The second-period rally. All of the tense and heart-stopping moments of the third period. Simon Gagne's game-winning goal.
You can sit back and watch the highlight reel and get the goals and some of the key moments, but to really feel the effect of this one, a start-to-finish viewing is necessary. Better yet, the broadcast available on YouTube is the local feed, so it gives you a chance to hear the voices of Jim Jackson, Bill Clement and Steve Coates during this absence.
This is a classic series in its own right, but with the Flyers backs to the wall, there may not be a more dramatic finish than this.
Every Flyers fan knows how this one ended, but the build up to the closing moments of the game are worth watching. You go through the ups and downs of this game and really see just how much of a nailbiter this game was and how it felt like the Flyers were closing in on defeat that night. Instead, they got the series to a seventh game in dramatic fashion.
Another local broadcast on the interweb that is sure to whet your appetite for Flyers hockey. There may not be a more frenetic overtime – especially in the pre-lockout days – than this one, with players darting up and down the ice, odd-man rushes galore and a thunderous hit that was felt thousands of miles away.
It’s a game that established Jeremy Roenick as a Flyers legend with an unforgettable moment, and it’s a game that’s made the Flyers run in 2004 start to feel more real than ever. Watching the highlights only provides a small portion of all of the back-and-forth action, especially coming from a raucous environment like Toronto.
All of the games to this point have been around the two-hour mark, so if you are really needing a hockey fix and looking for a marathon viewing, this is the game for you.
It’s the 5-overtime classic between the Flyers and Penguins, and while goals are certainly at a premium, it doesn’t take away from the drama with each passing moment, culminating in Keith Primeau's legendary goal that ended the test of wills.
Unfortunately, it is not the local feed that you can find on YouTube, but you do get a more extensive look at the game and basically all of the footage with the exception of intermissions and commercial breaks. Other than that, this is every ounce of game action from that night.
The game that started it all. You simply never forget the first Cup win.
This is a great place to see that drama unfold in a game that was decided by the closest of margins. You get to see a Bernie Parent masterpiece from start to finish, and you get a few brief moments of the Flyers celebrating the ultimate high for the first time.
If nothing else, watching this one should be inspiring and make you long for the current Flyers to return to get the opportunity to pursue the same glory.
Hopefully, this list helps you to get through the next few weeks as we wait for hockey to make its return.