The 5 Most Painful Seasons in Philadelphia Flyers History

Dan Fremuth@@hometownphanContributor IIIOctober 22, 2013

The 5 Most Painful Seasons in Philadelphia Flyers History

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    Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Flyers are off to their worst start in franchise history.

    At 1-7, the Orange and Black have claimed just two of a possible 16 standings points through the club's first eight games and are a full three standings points behind the fellow one-win Buffalo Sabres

    What's worse, the Flyers are the first team in nearly 50 years to have failed to register three goals in any of their first eight contests.

    With 74 games remaining, there's time to turn things around in Philadelphia. So while this may be one of the team's most painful starts in franchise history, it's not yet one of the most painful overall campaigns in the storied history of the Flyers.

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


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    Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    The 2012-13 season may have just been a lockout-shortened 48-game campaign, but it saw the Flyers earn just 23 victories en route to missing the playoffs for the first time in five seasons and just the second time over the past 19 years.

    After three straight seasons in which Philadelphia made it to the Eastern Conference semifinal, the Flyers couldn't even qualify for the postseason after a 23-22-3 regular-season mark.

    Philly's defense was riddled with injuries (Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann and Andrej Meszaros missed a combined 70 games), and Ilya Bryzgalov's inconsistent and enigmatic play made him a clear target for one of the team's compliance buyouts in the offseason.

    It may have been a winning season on paper, but any campaign in which the Flyers fail to qualify for the postseason is one to forget.


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    Denis Brodeur/Getty Images

    The 1971-72 season marked just the second time in franchise history that the Flyers missed the playoffs, but it was the manner in which the Orange and Black missed out on the postseason that made this season so painful.

    In the season's final game, Philadelphia needed a win or a tie against the second-year Buffalo Sabres (who won just 16 of 78 games that year) to beat out the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final playoff spot.

    The game was tied late, but with just four seconds left in regulation, former Flyer Gerry Meehan took a shot from just inside the blue line that slipped past Philly goaltender Doug Favell. With identical records, the postseason berth was determined by goals scored and went to the Penguins.

    While the end of the 1971-72 campaign might have been a painful one, the silver lining was that it would be the final season over the next 18 years in which the Flyers missed the playoffs.


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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    The 1968-69 season saw the Flyers win just 20 games, the second-fewest in franchise history.

    At 20-35-21, Philadelphia finished 15 games under .500 and ended the year with a minus-51 goal differential.

    Despite their pedestrian totals, the Flyers made the playoffs only to be completely dominated in a four-game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Blues. In fact, St. Louis outscored Philadelphia 17-3 in their four-game postseason meeting.

    After being manhandled so thoroughly, Philadelphia shifted its philosophy to attracting bigger and tougher players to the City of Brotherly Love.


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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    The Flyers had made the playoffs for 11 straight seasons. Until the 2006-07 season.

    Over the 82-game calendar, Philadelphia earned just 22 victories en route to a 22-48-12 overall mark. The Flyers finished dead last in the Eastern Conference that year and were the only team in the East to surrender most than 300 goals against.

    Every team in the Atlantic Division won at least 40 games that season except the Flyers.

    What's worse, Philly wasn't even close to fighting its way out of the cellar, as the Orange and Black finished a full 11 points behind the 29th-place Phoenix Coyotes.

    Adding insult to injury, the Flyers didn't even win the draft lottery that summer, leaving the club with James van Riemsdyk instead of Patrick Kane.


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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    The 1969-70 season marked the first time in franchise history the Flyers failed to qualify for the postseason.

    What's worse, with just 17 wins, it remains the season that has produced the fewest victories in Flyers history.

    Despite the team's struggles, Philadelphia still had a chance to secure a playoff berth thanks to a seven-point lead over the Oakland Seals with just six games remaining. The Flyers lost each of those six games, however, and Oakland made up the deficit, bumping the Orange and Black from postseason contention for the first of just nine times in franchise history.


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