This past month of hockey has been one of the most fun and memorable ones we’ve had in recent memory. Heck, this has been one of the best months in Philadelphia sports history. Like ever. The Eagles won the Super Bowl, the Flyers and Sixers are both red hot and are flying up the standings. The Phillies are only a signing of Jake Arrieta away from making this month even more insane. As Flyers fans, we’ve gone from “Will the Flyers make the playoffs?” to “Can the Flyers finish first in the Metro?” in the span of a month. Sure, we may have expected the Flyers to heat up in the second half of the season - remember that was the storyline when Hakstol was hired. But hey, if you predicted the absolute tear this team would go on than maybe you should go out and pick up a couple lottery tickets.
The Flyers finished February with a record of 10-1-2. You have to go alllllllllll the way back to the year 1976 when the Flyers scared the Red Army team off the ice, Gerald Ford was president, and when a gallon of gas was only 59 cents to find a better February record: the Flyers finished February of 1976 with a record of 10-0-4; the only other time in history this team has won 10 games in the month of February. And at the time, it was only the third time in Flyer franchise history the team posted a winning record in the month of February. Also in 1976 the Flyers managed to score 63 goals for (They scored 6+ goals in 5 games!), which, yeah that is a lot. Makes the Flyers 45 goals for this February look tiny in comparison. The Flyers also went all the way to the Cup Finals in 1976, but they were eventually knocked out by a powerhouse Montreal team who was on their way to winning four consecutive Stanley Cups.
Right now this Flyers team is red hot; at the time of publication, they're riding a 12 game point streak. This is the longest point streak by the Flyers since the 2003/04 season, where they went 10-0-2 (hey! that sounds familiar!) from November 1st-November 29th. The good news? The Flyers went to the Eastern conference Finals that year. You have to go back to 1996/97 for the next longest point streak by the Flyers, which was 17 games long (14-0-3).
See a trend forming here? 1976 Flyers. Cup Finals. 1997 Flyers. Cup Finals. 2004 Flyers. Conference Finals. The Flyers are in some fantastic company as far as teams that have gone far in the playoffs. Well, until you remember all the heartbreak that those teams endured.
One thing we do have to take into account here is luck. When the Flyers had their ten game skid, it seemed like not a single bounce could go their way. But now it seems like the opposite is happening and every bounce is going their way. Seven of the Flyers thirteen games in February went into overtime. The Flyers managed to win five of those seven. Yes, they had some very convincing OT winners this month, but if one bounce goes the wrong way who know what could’ve happened? But hey, we’re here to enjoy this past month, not worry about how it could’ve been bad.
The Flyers added an unusual milestone to their cupboard during this wild month. The team went just over three full games without having to kill a penalty. This was only the second time in NHL history this has happened, that is, since the league started to keep track of penalties, which they started doing in 1977/78. From the third period of the game against New Jersey on February 13th until the first period of the game against Columbus on February 24th, the Flyers did not go on the penalty kill. They only took one minor penalty during this stretch: Dale Weise and Lukas Sedlak got into it and both too coincidental minors. Other than that there were some fighting majors sprinkled in there, including Shayne Gostisbehere’s first career fight.
This month has truly been a memorable one in Philly sports, I mean the freaking Eagles WON THE SUPER BOWL. The Flyers being red hot is, well, kinda neat too. On top of this being a great month for the Flyers on the ice, it was truly a special one for fans in the stands too.
The fans invaded Vegas (along with Bill and Kelly and Steph and Charlie)
This is A LOT of orange. pic.twitter.com/G68JhbDYyi— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 12, 2018
Oh, this also happened.
E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!! pic.twitter.com/K2Z0C7OlCU— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 12, 2018
and to top everything off, I’ll leave you with this.
Jori Lehtera: "INCOMING!" pic.twitter.com/x4mtH8geX6— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 21, 2018