Ranking the 5 Most Disappointing Seasons in Philadelphia Flyers History

Dan FremuthContributor IIIMarch 23, 2014

Ranking the 5 Most Disappointing Seasons in Philadelphia Flyers History

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    Early on, the 2013-14 season was shaping up to be an awfully disappointing one for the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Three straight losses out of the gate cost Peter Laviolette his job. The Orange and Black then earned just one win in their first five outings under newly appointed bench boss Craig Berube.

    Fortunately for the Flyers and their fans, that sluggish start is now ancient history.

    But Philadelphia has certainly had its fair share of disappointing campaigns in the team's 46-year history.

    Here's a look at the five most disappointing seasons in Flyers history.

5. 1969-1970

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    Regular-Season Record: 17-35-24, 58 points; fifth in the West Division, 11th in the NHL

    Playoff Outcome: did not qualify

    The 1969-70 season was just the third in franchise history, but it remains the campaign that produced the fewest wins in Flyers history.

    With just 17 victories, Philadelphia had the second-lowest win total in the 12-team NHL that year and missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

    Still in their infancy as a professional team, the Flyers were en route to building a squad that would go on to win a pair of Stanley Cup championships within the next five years but had to first suffer through the only season in franchise history to produce fewer than 20 wins.

4. 2006-2007

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    Regular-Season Record: 22-48-12, 56 points; fifth in the  Atlantic Division, last in the Eastern Conference

    Playoff Outcome: did not qualify

    Going into the 2006-07 season, the Flyers had qualified for the postseason 11 straight times.

    But that run came to a screeching halt when Philadelphia orchestrated its third-lowest win total in team history en route to a last-place finish in not only the Eastern Conference but the entire NHL.

    With just 214 goals scored that year, the Flyers boasted the most anemic offense in the East. What's worse, the Orange and Black surrendered a conference-high 303 goals that season as well.

    In his second and final season in Philadelphia, injury-riddled forward Peter Forsberg managed just 40 games. Meanwhile, not a single Flyers netminder earned double-digit victories that year.

3. 2001-2002

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    Regular-Season Record: 42-27-10-3, 97 points; first in the Atlantic Division, second in the Eastern Conference

    Playoff Outcome: lost conference quarterfinals vs. Ottawa Senators, 4-1

    After a 42-win and 97-point regular season, there was tremendous enthusiasm surrounding the Flyers in advance of the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs.

    Unfortunately for second-seeded Philadelphia, that enthusiasm lasted just 10 days, as the Orange and Black were promptly bounced in the opening round by the seventh-seeded Ottawa Senators in just five games.

    Despite averaging just under three goals per game during the regular season, the Flyers mustered just two goals in the entire five-game set. After an overtime game-winner from Ruslan Fedotenko in Game 1, Philly didn't find the back of the Ottawa net again until a Dan McGillis conversion in a series-clinching 2-1 loss in Game 5.

    To make matters worse, the Flyers' early postseason exit was the fourth such first-round dismissal in the team's last five playoff outings.

2. 1982-1983

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    Regular-Season Record: 49-23-8, 106 points; first in the Patrick Division, second in the Prince of Wales Conference

    Playoff Outcome: lost division semifinals vs. New York Rangers, 3-0

    After an opening-round loss to New York in the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Flyers returned with a vengeance the following year, compiling a Patrick Division-best 49 wins and 106 points. No divisional opponent scored more than Philadelphia (326 goals), and only the New York Islanders allowed fewer goals than the 240 surrendered by the Orange and Black that season.

    But despite a phenomenal regular season, Philly's campaign ended with a playoff whimper.

    In just three games, the Flyers were swept by the rival Rangers in the division semifinals.

    In advance of its postseason matchup, Philadelphia had won 49 regular-season outings while New York had earned just 35 victories. The Flyers produced a plus-86 goal differential during the regular season while the Rangers managed just a plus-19 differential. Philadelphia was led by a trio of 80-point producers while New York's roster was guided by a pair of 70-point-getters.

    But despite all those advantages, Philly still couldn't claim even a single game in its opening-round series with outmatched New York.

1. 1985-1986

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Regular Season Record: 53-23-4, 110 points; first in the Patrick Division, first in the Prince of Wales Conference

    Playoff Outcome: lost division semifinals vs. New York Rangers, 3-2

    Just three years after a disappointing opening-round playoff loss to the rival Rangers, the Flyers and their fans had to endure another one.

    Fresh off a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1985, Philadelphia was once again one of the best teams in the league the following year.

    The Flyers amassed a conference-best 53 wins during the 1985-86 regular season, and Philly's 110 points trailed only the 119 produced by the Edmonton Oilers in the entire NHL. The Orange and Black paced the Prince of Wales Conference in both goals scored (335) and goals allowed (241).

    Meanwhile, New York crept into the playoffs with a regular-season mark two games below .500 (36-38-8) and a goal differential of just plus-four. In fact, the Flyers held a 32-point edge over the Blue Shirts in the standings heading into their opening-round matchup.

    And yet the Rangers had Philadelphia's number once again.

    New York bounced the Flyers in the division semifinals for the second time in four years and third time in five postseason get-togethers.

    An offense that averaged nearly 4.2 goals per game during the regular year produced just two goals in four of the five meetings. Meanwhile Philadelphia's defense surrendered 18 goals in the five-game set, including five or more goals in three of the contests.