2012 Winter Classic: Memorable Moments in the Flyers vs Rangers Rivalry
For the Flyers, it will be the second time they have played in the Classic, losing to the Boston Bruins in Overtime by a score of 2-1 at Fenway Park on January 1, 2010. As far as the Rangers are concerned, their trip down the Jersey Turnpike for the January 2 contest will mark the first time they will play in a Winter Classic.
Compared to some NHL rivalries, the Flyers and Rangers rivalry is still relatively young, but that does not mean that it is without its significant moments on the ice. Off the ice, the rivalry between the team's fans is very pronounced.
What follows are a few of the memorable moments of a rivalry that has been more than 30 years in the making.
The Flyers and the Rangers have met a total of ten times during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the Flyers getting the better of the Rangers in six of those series. In all the Flyers have the edge 27-20 over the course of those 10 playoff series.
The start of the rivalry may very well be traced to the first playoff series between the team. That series took place in 1974 and the Flyers won that series four games to three with the home team winning each game.
The win would mark the first time an expansion team would defeat an original six team in the playoffs. The Flyers would ride that momentum into the Stanley Cup Finals where they would defeat another original six team, the Boston Bruins, becoming the first expansion team to raise the Stanley Cup.
Fred Shero Leaves the Flyers for the Rangers
Fred "The Fog" Shero coached the Philadelphia Flyers from 1971-72 through 1977-78, delivering two Stanley Cup titles to "The City of Brotherly Love," during his tenure. Following the 1978 season Shero submitted his resignation to the Flyers, who initially refused to accept the resignation. The team hoped that they could work something out with Shero.
Reports at the time had Shero stating that he had not spoken to the Rangers about taking a job with the team. However, the book Full Spectrum tells a much different tale, one that could have led to tampering charges being filed by the Flyers.
Eventually the two team worked things out and Shero moved on to become coach and general manager the Rangers while the Flyers received cash and a first round pick for allowing Shero out if his contract.
While this may not be the most glamorous aspect of the rivalry, but it surely helped the Flyers players and management toward developing hatred for the Rangers.
Eric Lindros Debacle
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During his draft year Eric Lindros made it know that if taken by the Quebec Nordiques with the first pick, he would not report to the team. Lindros' statement fell on deaf ears on the Nordiques drafted him. Lindros stood his ground and did not sign with the team spending the 1991-92 season with the Canadian National team.
When it became clear that the Nordiques would not be able to sign Lindros, they traded him, but to who? The Flyers and the Rangers both made offers for Lindros and Quebec, who had initially accepted the Flyers offer attempted to renege and go with the Rangers. The Flyers were having none of it and took the case to arbitration, where their trade stood.
The price was steep for the Flyers as they gave up Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, a 1st round draft pick in 1993, a 1st round draft pick in 1994, and $15,000,000 cash.
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According to HockeyFights.com the Flyers and Rangers have had 222 fights over the course of their rivalry. That number is not to shabby when you consider that the teams have met just over 300 times during the course of the regular season and playoffs.
Maybe it's the proximity of the cites, maybe it's the fact that both teams carry a swagger based on the cities they represent or maybe it's just the fact that the teams genuinely dislike each other. Whatever the reason when these teams get together, more often than not, they are going to scrap.
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The Rangers Sean Avery seems to enjoy being the focal point of the opposing team. With the Flyers he has done so on a few occasions as of late. In a preseason game this season Avery accused the Flyers Wayne Simmonds of using a homophobic against him. The incident was caught on camera, but no sound was available and due to the lack of audio there were no disciplinary repercussions.
Sound was available during the same game when Avery, angry at the play of the Flyers Tom Sestito, told the Flyers bench to get Sesisto under control or he would (expletive) kill (Claude) Giroux.
Love him or hate him, Sean Avery is a part of many rivalries, with the Flyers and Rangers rivalry being his latest.
When the Flyers and the Rangers met in the final game of the 2010 regular season, the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference was on the line. After 65 minutes of hockey, that spot remained vacant as the teams were knotted at one after overtime.
For the first time in NHL history a spot in the playoffs was going to be decided by a shootout. The Flyers took the shootout 2-1 and started their trip to the Stanley Cup Finals where they would be eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks.
That shootout loss most likely remains fresh in the minds of the Rangers.