Throughout the season, we’ll be taking a walk down memory lane whenever the Flyers open their season series against an opponent. We’ll be remembering a game, goal, or highlight Philly created while playing against that particular team. It won’t always be the most notable memory the Orange and Black have against that team, but it’ll be something that Flyers’ fans will want to remember.
Hello folks, it’s Return Flight time once again! Continuing a trend from last season, we start off the 2019-20 edition with the Chicago Blackhawks. Last year, Craig looked at that memorable game in 2010 in which Chris Pronger scored the game winner with just 2.1 seconds left on the clock. This year, we venture to a stark contrast to the season in which it happened as a whole, but a fun moment nonetheless.
In 2005-06, the Flyers finished second in the Atlantic Division, and would be taken out in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Buffalo Sabres. The team had gone through a massive change after the 2004-05 NHL lockout, with Peter Forsberg joining the team along with the likes of Mike Knuble and Derian Hatcher, but also seeing the departures of Jeremy Roenick, John LeClair, and Mark Recchi.
Heading into 2006-07, there were some clear issues heading into the season. The defensive core was comprised of slow, aging blueliners in a league that was only getting faster and faster. Michal Handzus would be traded for Kyle Calder, and Geoff Sanderson was brought aboard as well.
We go back to October of 2006, where the 2-7-1 Philadelphia Flyers at the start of a franchise-worst season, take on the 4-6-0 Chicago Blackhawks. Now this is before the Hawks became one of the NHL’s powerhouses, so a 4-6-0 start was honestly fairly good for them.
The focus of this game however, is on one Peter Forsberg. “Foppa” was in his second season back with the Flyers, after joining the team in the 2005 offseason following the 2004-05 lockout. The 2006-07 season would be a good one for the newly dubbed captain, as he scored a point per game in his time with Philadelphia, before being eventually traded to Nashville for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, and a first round pick. A foot injury kept him out of the lineup at times during his stint in Philly, and would plague essentially the remainder of his NHL career.
This night vs. Chicago, the 33 year old Forsberg looked like his 23 year old self, as he scored two goals vs. the Hawks in a 3-0 Flyers victory. At first glance this doesn’t seem all that memorable, or special, but it was the way Forsberg scored in this one that generates those memories. In the 1994 Winter Olympics, a then 20 year old Forsberg made this famous move in the gold medal game vs. Canada that was soon to be named after him. This night in 2006, the Flyers’ captain turned back the clock.
First of all, can we get a throwback night for these jerseys? They’re so ugly yet so beautiful at the exact same time. Anyway, this was such a gorgeous goal from Forsberg on, oh hey that’s then-former Flyer and eventual future Flyer Brian Boucher! The Flyers’ captain wouldn’t be done either, as in the third period he pulled off this sensational tally to give his team the 2-0 lead.
Simon Gagne would add on an empty netter to finish off a 3-0 Flyers victory, one of the only 22 victories the team would amass that season. Robert Esche posted a 26 save shutout, the only Flyers shutout of the season. This season was an absolute mess for the Flyers, and probably the worst hockey the city has seen in its history, but this was one of the few bright spots.
The team would go on to finish with the worst record in the entire NHL, at 22-48-12 amassing just 56 points on the season. To put that in perspective, the 29th worst team in the league was the Phoenix Coyotes, 11 points ahead of the Flyers at 67 with a 31-46-5 record. Because of course this would be the team’s luck, the Flyers did not win the NHL Draft Lottery to score Patrick Kane, and instead got second overall and selected James van Riemsdyk. The 2006-07 season was the worst in Flyers’ history, but on one night in South Philly, Peter Forsberg gave the fans something to cheer about.