Quick Hits: November 23, 2020
1) On Monday's edition of Flyers Daily, Jason Myrtetus and I have an hour-long conversation with Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe. The longtime Flyers defenseman talks about growing up in a famous hockey family, how he learned to play defense after being a winger for most of his early pro career, becoming a Flyer, team chemistry, and much more. Howe brings a lot of down-to-earth wisdom and candor to his every response. It's well worth the listen: click here
2) Today in Flyers History: Spectrum Demolition (Nov. 23, 2010)
Opened in 1967 in time for the start of the Philadelphia Flyers inaugural 1967-68 season, the Spectrum was built on south Broad Street and Pattison Avenue in an area previously known as "East League Island Park." The building was the home of Flyers hockey through the 1995-96 season and later served as the home of the American Hockey League's Philadelphia Phantoms.
Additionally, the Spectrum served as the home of NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and was the site of thousands of events in its history, ranging from collegiate sports to concerts, circuses, monthly professional wrestling cards, boxing, bull riding, indoor soccer, indoor lacrosse, roller hockey and other spectacles.
Named by business vice president Lou Scheinfeld, Flyers' co-founder Ed Snider's first hire, "Spectrum" was an anagram of sorts. The "sp" stood for sports. The "e" embodied entertainment. The "c" stood for circuses. The "t" was for "theatricals." The "r" represented "recreation." Scheinfeld was fond of joking that the final "um" was for "um, what I nice building."
The first event at the Spectrum was the Quaker City Jazz Festival on September 30, 1967. The final one was a Pearl Jam concert on October 31, 2009. On November 23, 2010, a public ceremony was held prior to the commencement of the arena's exterior demolition. Ed Snider, Bob Clarke, Bernie Parent and Julius "Dr. J" Erving were among the speakers at the ceremony.
3). Nov. 23 in Flyers History:
1974: The defending Stanley Cup champion Flyers skated to a 6-3 win at Maple Leaf Gardens over Toronto. The club strafed former longtime teammate Doug Favell for four goals in the opening period as Bobby Clarke, Reggie Leach, Bill Barber and Bob Kelly blew the game open before the first intermission. Philly compiled a 14-4 shot advantage in the first period. Second period tallies by Don Saleski and Rick MacLeish extended the lead to 6-1. Toronto got a pair of meaningless late third-period goals against Bernie Parent (21 saves).
1979: The Flyers led for 59:39 of the game's 60 minutes in a 5-2 road pummeling of the Vancouver Canucks. Reggie Leach opened the floodgates in the opening 21 seconds of the game, and the Flyers never looked back. Al Hill, Bobby Clarke, rookie Brian Propp and team captain Mel Bridgman added to the carnage. The win increased the Flyers' unbeaten streak to 16 straight games (14-0-2).
1980: Pete Peeters flirted with a shutout until the latter stages of the third period, settling for a 3-1 win in a 27-save performance at the Spectrum against the Winnipeg Jets. Hard-shooting defenseman Bob Dailey found the net twice while Bobby Clarke had a goal and an assist.
1984: Stellar performances by goaltender Pelle Lindbergh and the top defensive pairing of Mark Howe and Brad McCrimmon highlighted a 4-2 road win at the Aud in Buffalo. Lindbergh made 24 saves, including stopping a pair of breakaways, and Howe and McCrimmon each logged well over 30 minutes of ice time for coach Mike Keenan's team. Goals by Tim Kerr, Howe, Brian Propp (shorthanded) and Lindsay Carson provided all the offensive support Lindbergh needed.
1990: A three-goal outburst in the third period made a winner of second-stint Flyers goaltender Pete Peeters (21 saves) in 4-1 win at the Spectrum against the Toronto Maple Leafs. After future Flyers defenseman Luke Richardson and Rick Tocchet (15th goal of the season) traded tallies in the first period, the game remained deadlocked at 1-1 until the third period. Finally, goals by Scott Mellanby (power play), Derrick Smith and Dale Kushner (power play) broke open the game in Philadelphia's favor.
1996: Goals by Rod Brind'Amour and Dale Hawerchuk (power play) were just enough for the Flyers to win a tight-checking 2-1 road game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ron Hextall made 20 saves for the win.
2011: Danny Briere's overtime goal capped off a 4-3 comeback road win over the New York Islanders. Philly actually trailed 3-1 at the first intermission, and replaced starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov with backup Sergei Bobrovsky (who stopped all 23 shots he faced) in the second period. Briere sent the game to overtime with a goal late in the third period and then scored again to win it in the extra frame. Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro allowed several questionable goals in the game, while Bryzgalov struggled in the first period. Andrej Meszaros and Scott Hartnell tallied for Philadelphia in the first and second periods respectively.
2013: After a scoreless first period, the Flyers rattled off three consecutive goals in the middle stanza to key a 5-2 home win over the New York Islanders. Matt Read scored even strength and empty net goals, while Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux (two points) and Brayden Schenn all notched one goal apiece. Jakub Voracek earned a pair of assists. Victorious goaltender Steve Mason was strong in net, stopping 36 of 38 shots.
2015: Unable to protect a two-lead in the third period, the Flyers rescued a 3-2 home win in overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes as Shayne Gostisbehere scored 24 seconds into the extra frame. Brayden Schenn (power play) and Claude Giroux (shorthanded) notched second period goals while Michal Neuvirth made 31 saves.
2018: There were not many highlights during Cal Pickard's short stint as a Flyer but this 31-save home shutout on Black Friday against the New York Rangers was the high point. Two goals by Sean Couturier and one apiece from Travis Konecny and Jordan Weal (empty net) led the way offensively.
2019: The Flyers sustain a 3-2 home shootout loss to the Calgary Flames in a frustrating game that saw Philadelphia dominate much of the territorial play and struggle to finish multiple two-on-one opportunities in a scoreless first period. Elias Lindholm scored with 1:23 remaining in regulation to force OT. Jakub Voracek and Kevin Hayes scored for the Flyers.
4) November 23 Flyers Alum birthday: Simon Nolet
Skilled and hard-working forward Simon Nolet was born on November 23, 1941 in St. Odilon, Quebec. The affable Nolet was a sometimes overlooked but valuable member of the Flyers organization as both a Stanley Cup winning player and, many years later, a scout.
The Flyers acquired Nolet's rights on May 8, 1967 when they purchased the American Hockey League's Quebec Aces to be their top farm team. A two-time 20-goal scorer during the early years of the Flyers franchise, Nolet dressed in 358 regular season games and 31 playoff tilts for Philadelphia over parts of seven seasons. Best known as a two-way forward with good skating ability, Nolet had 93 goals and 108 points for the Flyers. He was a member of the 1973-74 team that won the Stanley Cup.
Nolet, who had three career hat tricks, also represented the Flyers in the 1971-72 NHL All-Star Game. That season, Nolet tallied 23 goals and 43 points in a season limited by injury to 67 games.
With Nolet's role starting to diminish in his 30s, the Flyers left the French-Canadian forward exposed to the 1974 expansion draft. He was claimed by the Kansas City Scouts (who later twice relocated to become first the Colorado Rockies and then the New Jersey Devils). Nolet played out his career with the Scouts, Pittsburgh Penguins and Rockies.
After his playing days ended, Nolet returned to the Flyers in 1990 when he was hired as a scout after years of scouting for the Quebec Nordiques. It was a role at which he'd excel over the next 20 years, heavily scouting the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and doing extensive cross-over work in various other junior leagues as well as international tournaments.
Most notably, Nolet's scouting career is best remembered as being one of the Flyers' scouts who, along with Dennis Patterson and others, strongly recommended the Flyers' first-round selections of Simon Gagne with the 22nd overall pick of the 1998 NHL Draft and Claude Giroux with the 22nd pick of the 2006 Draft.
Coincidentally, Nolet and Gagne's father, Pierre, were old friends and teammates with the Quebec Aces in the 1960s (Quebec was the Flyers first farm team). That did not directly influence Nolet's opinion of the player, but it did give the scout some background on the character of the player's family upbringing. In the 2010s, Nolet started to do less traveling and focused his scouting efforts within Quebec. He retired in 2018.