The Best Philadelphia Flyers Moments of 2013
As the calendar year of 2013 comes to a close, we take a look back at the top moments during the last 12 months for the Philadelphia Flyers.
This was hardly a banner year for the franchise. In 2012-13, there was a lockout-shortened season, and the Flyers missed the playoffs, while the team got off to a very slow 1-7-0 start in 2013-14.
But since that slow start, the Flyers have bounced back and find themselves in third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Here is a look back at the 10 best moments from the calendar year of 2013 for the Philadelphia Flyers. Feel free to comment on any of these moments or to add one you feel belongs here but did not make our final list. As always, indicate why you feel your choice belongs and which item you would take off the list to add your choice.
10. The Lockout Ends
It wasn't unique to the Flyers, but it was a huge event for all 30 NHL teams. Early last January, the NHL finally reached a settlement to end the owner's lockout of the players and save at least part of the 2012-13 NHL season.
Without this agreement, there would not have been any NHL hockey until at least October of this year. The NHL came dangerously close to canceling a second complete season like they did back in 2004-05.
The settlement meant that each team would play 48 games, all against conference opponents.
The Flyers opened the season on January 19 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. While the season that followed was a struggle, fans had to be happy that there was a season at all.
9. November 2, 2013: Ray Emery Shuts out Devils 1-0
The night before, the Flyers were embarrassed at home, losing to the Washington Capitals, 7-0. The team was so flustered and frustrated by its performance that the game ended with several brawls, including Ray Emery pummeling an unwilling opponent in Braden Holtby.
Emery made 14 saves in the shutout win, and the Flyers were not credited with any giveaways as a team.
The lone goal in the game came from Brayden Schenn in the first period.
The most important thing was how the Flyers played smart, error-free hockey after one of their ugliest performances of the year. This was a sign that this team had resilience and wasn't going to throw in the towel early in the 2013-14 season.
8. January 26: Matt Read Records Hat Trick vs. Florida
Read's three goals came on three shots. Because of injuries, he was playing on the top line in this game with Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.
It was the second straight win for the Flyers, who had opened the abbreviated season with three consecutive losses.
7. February 18: The Flyers Blank the Islanders 7-0
It was the Flyers' most lopsided victory since a 7-0 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on October 28, 2008.
Ilya Bryzgalov recorded the shutout. It would be his only perfect game of the season and his final shutout in a Flyers uniform.
Jakub Voracek recorded four assists in the game, a career high.
6. The Flyers Acquire Steve Mason
It seemed like a minor trade at the time when the Flyers acquired goalie Steve Mason from the Columbus Blue Jackets for backup goalie Michael Leighton and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft in early April. Instead, the Flyers got their next starting goalie in the deal.
Mason caught fire with the Flyers late last season. In seven games, he went 4-2-0 with a 1.90 GAA and an incredible .944 save percentage.
This season, he has continued to play consistent hockey for the Flyers. In 28 games so far, the Oakville, Ontario, native has a 14-9-4 record with a 2.35 GAA and a .923 save percentage and has established himself as the No. 1 goalie in Philadelphia.
5. November 13: Brayden Schenn Scores Twice as Flyers Edge Penguins, 2-1
Brayden Schenn scored twice and Ray Emery made 30 saves as the Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in Pittsburgh on November 13.
The win left the Flyers with a 9-2-1 record at the Consol Energy Center and gave the team a much-needed boost of confidence after a slow start to the 2013-14 season. The victory improved the Flyers' 10-game record to 6-3-1.
A road win is always sweet, but a road win against the Penguins is special.
4. Flyers Sign Free Agent Vincent Lecavalier
Lecavalier was the first overall pick in the 1998 NHL draft and later won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004. His best season came in 2006-07, when he led the league with 52 goals and finished with 108 points.
So far, Lecavalier has been a consistent offensive performer for the Flyers. In 24 games, he has scored nine goals and 15 points.
3. February 20: Jakub Voracek Records a Hat Trick vs. Pittsburgh
Jakub Voracek scored three goals to lead the Flyers to a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh.
Voracek's final goal broke a 5-5 tie with just 1:31 left in the third period. Earlier in the game, he recorded his 200th career NHL point when he scored his second goal of the game late in the second period.
Wayne Simmonds added a pair of goals and an assist for the Flyers.
2. October 26: Lecavalier Lifts the Team with a Hat Trick on Long Island
The Flyers were really struggling to score early in the 2013-14 season. In their first nine games, the entire team had scored only 13 goals before finding the net five times against the New York Islanders on October 26.
Vincent Lecavalier led the way, scoring three goals in a 5-2 win over the Isles. It was the fourth hat trick of Lecavalier's NHL career.
Former Islander Mark Streit added two assists as the Flyers' two biggest off-season acquisitions contributed to the team's road win.
This win was a turning point as the Flyers played well enough to reach the .500 mark and reach third place in the Metropolitan Division by the NHL's Christmas break.
1. 9-Game Home Winning Streak
The Flyers ended 2013 on a high note, at least when they played at the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia won its final nine home games in 2013.
Craig Berube's club last lost at home on November 7, when it lost to the New Jersey Devils, 3-0. The streak started two days later when the Flyers defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2, and continued through the final home game of 2013, a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on December 23.
The Flyers need to make their home ice a tough place for opponents to play if they hope to reach the playoffs this season. They accomplished that goal during the last nine games of the year.