The 5 Most Impressive Scoring Seasons in Philadelphia Flyers History
Claude Giroux is having one of the greatest second halves in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers.
After zero goals and just seven points through his first 15 games, Philadelphia’s captain has recorded 25 goals and 72 points in just 62 outings since. What’s more, Giroux is coming off a month of March in which the 26-year-old pivot produced 21 points and seven multipoint efforts in just 14 total games.
Despite the slow start, Giroux will pace the Flyers in scoring for the fourth consecutive campaign and enters the season’s final week fifth in the league in overall scoring.
And yet, as impressive as Giroux’s season has been, it’s not one of the handful of most impressive scoring seasons in Philadelphia’s 46-year history. Here’s a look at the five most impressive scoring campaigns in Flyers history.
5. Reggie Leach, 1975-76
Scoring Totals: 80 games, 61 goals, 30 assists, 91 points, 11 game-winning goals
The 1975-76 season was the most impressive campaign in the 13-year NHL career of Reggie Leach.
Even though he finished third among all Philadelphia skaters in overall scoring that year with 91 total points, Leach paced the Orange and Black with a career-best 61 goals.
The Riverton, Manitoba, native was the primary finisher on the LCB line, featuring Leach at right wing, Bobby Clarke at center and Bill Barber at left wing, which set an NHL record for goals scored by a single line with 141 conversions.
Of his 61 markers that season, Leach netted a career-high 11 game-winning goals and deposited another 19 tallies in just 16 playoff outings to boot.
His 61 goals remain the Flyers’ franchise record for most goals in a single season.
4. Bobby Clarke, 1975-76
Scoring Totals: 76 games, 30 goals, 89 assists, 119 points, plus-83
The face of the Flyers, Bobby Clarke had more than a few impressive seasons during his 15-year career in the City of Brotherly Love, but none was more impressive than his 1975-76 campaign.
While linemates Leach and Barber combined for 111 goals that season, Clarke matched his career high and equaled the franchise record for assists in a single season with 89 helpers. What’s more, the Flin Flon, Manitoba, native reached the 30-goal plateau for the fourth and final time in his career and posted a career-best 119 total points.
The Hall of Fame center was a plus player in each of his 15 NHL seasons but never more so than in 1975-76, when Clarke compiled a career-high plus-83 rating. His plus/minus rating paced all NHLers that season, while Clarke’s 119 points was second-best, just six points behind the Montreal Canadiens’ Guy Lafleur.
3. Mark Howe, 1985-86
Scoring Totals: 77 games, 24 goals, 58 assists, 82 points, 7 short-handed goals, plus-85
One doesn’t often think of offense coming from defense, but it’s that which makes Mark Howe’s 1985-86 campaign so impressive.
In just 77 games that year, the Detroit native matched a career high with 24 goals and set new career bests with 58 assists and 82 points.
Howe’s 24 conversions remain the Flyers’ record for most goals scored by a defenseman in a single season, while his 82 total points are still the most points ever produced by a Philly blueliner in a single campaign. What’s more, his 58 assists are just two off the franchise mark for helpers by a defender in a single year set by Garry Galley during the 1993-94 season.
But Howe’s impressive season goes far beyond the three most attractive scoring statistics.
During the 1985-86 campaign, the 16-year NHL veteran set a career high and Philadelphia franchise record with a jaw-dropping plus-85 rating. An offensive threat every time he hit the ice, he even managed a career-best seven short-handed goals that year.
Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011, Howe finished second to the Edmonton Oilers’ Paul Coffey in Norris Trophy voting as the league’s top defenseman following the 1985-86 season.
2. Eric Lindros, 1995-96
Scoring Totals: 73 games, 47 goals, 68 assists, 115 points, 15 power-play goals
Eric Lindros may not have fully lived up to the hype surrounding his trade to Philadelphia in the summer of 1991, but at least for one season, the Big E put it all together.
In 73 games during the 1995-96 campaign, Lindros recorded career highs in goals (47), assists (68), points (115) and power-play goals (15). After averaging 1.52 points per game in a Hart Trophy-winning season as league MVP the year before, Lindros managed an even more impressive 1.58 points per game while missing just nine games the following season.
In just his fourth NHL campaign, the 6’4”, 240-pound power forward paced the Orange and Black in scoring for the second straight season and finished sixth among all NHLers in total scoring. Meanwhile, the London, Ontario, native finished tied for ninth in the league in both goals and assists.
The 1995-96 season proved to be the only 100-point campaign in Lindros’13-year NHL career. In fact, he only ever eclipsed 90 points one time after 1996, when the pivot managed 93 points four years later.
For his efforts, Lindros finished third in Hart Trophy voting following the 1995-96 season behind Mario Lemieux and Mark Messier.
Mark Recchi, 1992-93
Scoring Totals: 84 games, 53 goals, 70 assists, 123 points, 34 even-strength goals
No player in the 46-year history of the Philadelphia Flyers has scored more points in a single season than the 123 produced by Mark Recchi during the 1992-93 campaign.
At just 5’10”, 195 pounds, Recchi put forth the most prolific scoring season in Flyers history with career highs in both goals (53) and points (123). Meanwhile, the 70 assists registered by the Kamloops, British Columbia, native were the second-highest such total of his 22-year NHL career.
A reliable contributor on special teams (15 power-play goals, four short-handed markers), Recchi did the majority of his damage that year at even strength, where he compiled a career-best 34 even-strength strikes. In fact, the 1992-93 season was the only one of Recchi’s illustrious career in which he managed better than 30 goals at even strength.
For the Flyers overall, it was a rather forgettable year, as Philadelphia finished fifth in the Patrick Division and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. For Recchi, though, it was a campaign to remember, as he paced the Orange and Black in scoring by a full 37 points over the squad’s second-leading scorer, Rod Brind’Amour.
Overall, Recchi finished 10th among all NHLers in total scoring and didn’t receive a single Hart Trophy vote for league MVP.