We’d be lying if we said April 28th was one of the most impactful days in Flyers history, so let’s call it what it is and talk about Peter Forsberg for a bit eh?
Forsberg —selected by the Flyers with the sixth overall pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft— is one of the most influential players in the history of the franchise for a variety of reasons, but let’s talk about the moment that is the impetus for talking some Foppa this morning.
The year was 2006 and the Flyers, led by Forsberg, were very much stuck in the middle of a post-lockout NHL. Buoyed by leading scorer Simon Gagne, the Flyers surged into the Stanley Cup playoffs despite watching Forsberg miss 22 games due to injury. They drew the darling Buffalo Sabres in the dreaded 4/5 matchup in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Though that series would go south on the Flyers, but Forsberg was healthy for the six-game series after showed flashes of his scintillating dominance with eight points in the series, including a pair of three-point explosions in games three and four to help even the series at 2-2 following a 2-0 Sabres lead. The problem was that the Flyers were not built for the new NHL and the Sabres routinely skated circles around them at time, though Forsberg’s immense talent was enough to give them a glimmer of hope.
In that game four win Forsberg provided us with one of his many highlights in his short career in the Orange and Black with this ridiculous individual effort showing the puck control and soft hands leading to an Eric Desjardins goal.
Forsberg would add two goals of his own in the win to lead the Flyers right back into the series though it wouldn’t be enough as the Sabres would win games five and six in rather convincing fashion. Look it wasn’t his fault that Flyers netminders allowed 27 goals in the six games.
So here’s to one of the NHL’s all-time greats and one that represented the Flyers just about as well as anyone ever —even if it was for just a short time.
Also on April 28th...Carey Price surrenders three goals on 12 shots and is yanked in an eventual 3-2 win for the Flyers (despite being outshot 34-14) to take a 2-0 lead in their 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Canadiens...they’d win the series in five games with Price posting an .856 save percentage...Mel Bridgman was born on this date back in 1955...the former captain and No. overall pick of the team played seven season with the Flyers, totaling 324 points in 462 games...
*Shouts to hockeyreference.com and nhl.com for help with this trip down memory lane*