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Philadelphia Flyers

Conference: Eastern

Division: Metropolitan

Stadium: Wells Fargo Center (capacity 20,478)

Head Coach: Text (Text-present)

Starting Goaltender:

Star Players: Travis Konecny (RW), Sean Couturier (C), Travis Sanheim (D)

2022-23 Regular Season: 31-38-13 (14th in Eastern Conference)

2023 Playoffs: Did not qualify

Legendary Former Players: Ron Hextall (G), Bobby Clarke (C), Bernie Parent (G)

Stanley Cups (NHL Championships): 2 - 1974, 1975

Philadelphia Flyers

When the Philadelphia Flyers joined the NHL in 1967 as part of the league’s initial expansion after the 25-year period of the Original Six, hockey fans were skeptical as to whether expansion teams would be able to compete against traditional powerhouses like the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings (this proved to be ill-founded concern when it came to the Leafs, who have never been back to the Stanley Cup Finals since winning the final pre-expansion Cup of 1967). The Flyers did little to shake this preconception in their early seasons, failing to make the playoffs or losing to other expansion teams when they did, and even after they won their first playoff series over the Minnesota North Stars in 1973, the Flyers were swiftly dispatched by the Canadiens in the next round in five games. Led by a second-round draft pick named Bobby Clarke famous for his toothless grin, the Flyers began to gain a reputation for aggressive (some would say thuggish) play, acquiring the sobriquet “The Broad Street Bullies” as they beat up on teams around the league. This behavior did not endear the team to hockey fans (or players) from other cities, but Philadelphans loved it, embracing the Flyers as the embodiment of their local rough-and-ready streets (so brilliantly depicted in Sylvester Stallone’s Oscar-winning film Rocky). Incredibly, the determination and grit of Clarke and the other skaters coupled with the incredible Bernie Parent in goal, bolstered by the huge home advantage of playing at the frightening Philadelphia Spectrum (one infamous playoff game was played there in a strange sort of fog during which a visiting player actually killed a bat with a swat of his stick), inspired the Flyers to reach the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals, where they defeated Bobby Orr’s star-studded Boston Bruins to win not only their first-ever Stanley Cup, but the first championship trophy won by a post-Original Six expansion team. The feathers of the NHL’s elite had been well and truly ruffled, and the Flyers ruffled them again in the very next year, bruising and battering their way to a second Finals and winning a second Cup in six games over the Buffalo Sabres (a series that gave plenty of credence to the old saying, “I went a fight and a hockey game broke out”). They nearly went one further, attempting a three-peat against the Canadiens in 1976, but were swept by the crafty old masters of the league. In 1980, the Flyers were the first victims of the great New York Islanders Cup dynasty. The Flyers remained a very competitive team from the rest of the 1970s and through the 1980s, reaching two more Stanley Cup Finals on the back of standout goaltender (and occasional lumberjack…) Ron Hextall, who was even better at stopping the puck than he was at chopping down opposing players. They were soundly beaten by Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers in 1984 but pushed the Great One’s Oilers team to an epic seven-game series in 1987. Apart from a blip in the early 1990s, the Flyers have remained one of the league’s most consistently strong teams, always in playoff contention but never quite able to push through to ultimate victory. Since 1995, the team has lost out in the Conference Finals on several occasions and made two more appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to the Red Wings in 1997 and Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. With six losses in the Finals since their first two glorious wins in the 1970s, the Flyers, and their devoted fans, must be thinking that their next trip to the Stanley Cup Finals has to be the one where the City of Brotherly Love gets its hands on a third Cup.


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