Philadelphia Flyers: A decade of Black Fridays in review

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

As the Philadelphia Flyers prepare to play in their final Black Friday game of the decade, we take a look back at how they’ve fared in the last ten years.

In their half-century of existence, the Philadelphia Flyers have been unfailingly dedicated to the idea of tradition, sometimes to a fault.

But one tradition that is seemingly appreciated by everyone in the team’s annual Black Friday afternoon game, which has been a staple for years. Even in a decade like this one, where the Flyers have had a lack of team success, there is a buzz around the game unequaled by almost any other regular-season game they play.

So as the Flyers hit the ice against the Detroit Red Wings on Black Friday for the last time this decade, it’s worth looking back at how the team has fared on its own, self-imposed big stage since 2010.


This game acted as a microcosm of the decade to come, as the Flyers lost a 3-2 shootout decision to the Calgary Flames. The Flyers held a 2-1 lead for most of the game thanks to a James van Riemsdyk go-ahead goal before Calgary tied things midway through the third.

Claude Giroux was successful in the shootout, but Sergei Bobrovsky surrendered a pair to the Flames in the defeat. This game also had an eerily similar script as the Flyers’ 3-2 home shootout loss to the Flames just last week. Full circle.


The Flyers nabbed their first Black Friday win since 2006 as they topped the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. They peppered Carey Price all afternoon, managing to net all three of their goals in a span of 6:43 late in the second period.

Giroux had two of those goals, with Jakub Voracek providing the other. Bobrovsky made amends for his Black Friday failure the year before, stopping 23 shots in the win.


It didn’t happen, as the NHL lost half of its season thanks to yet another incident of labor strife. Maybe it’s just as well because the Flyers eventually started that 48-game season by losing six of their first eight games, never making any kind of serious playoff push whatsoever.


Steve Mason shut the door on the Winnipeg Jets, as the Flyers won 2-1 behind tallies by Sean Couturier and Scott Hartnell. It was far less entertaining than the Flyers’ 9-8 loss to the Jets that came two years earlier, but at least they won this one.


In what might have been their worst Black Friday performance in a generation, the Flyers looked totally punchless during a 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers. Future Flyer (barely) Cam Talbot made 26 saves to earn the shutout, while Mason allowed three goals on 24 shots.

The Flyers went 0-6 on the power play in a game that was all too typical during that lost season where the team finished well out of the playoff mix. But they brought in Dave Hakstol after the year, so things worked out great in the end.


The Flyers pulled off an exhilarating 3-2 overtime win, as they beat the Nashville Predators. It shouldn’t have even gotten that far, as the Preds tied the contest with 20 seconds to play in regulation.

But Shayne Gostisbehere won the day by scoring a power-play goal in the final minute of overtime, saving us all from the misery of the shootout. On a related note, what ever happened to Shayne Gostisbehere?


A partial carbon copy of their meeting two years earlier, the Flyers again went down in defeat against the Rangers. But this time, legitimate credit went to Henrik Lundqvist, who made 40 saves for the Blueshirts.

Just like two years before, the Rangers built a 3-0 lead. This time, however, the Flyers scored a pair of third period goals to at least make things interesting before losing 3-2. Steve Mason allowed three goals on 23 shots. Solid.


This one was terrible. The Flyers built a 4-2 lead over the New York Islanders thanks to a second period onslaught that saw goals from Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Gostisbehere and Couturier. Things looked safe and tucked away.

But a pair of Islander goals in the third forced the extra session, and the Islanders won the game midway through overtime by a score of 5-4.


Last season, the Flyers were able to flip the script and exact some revenge against the Rangers in their “biennial on even-numbered years for some reason” Black Friday matchup. They dragged the Rangers up and down the ice all day, yet only held a 1-0 lead late into the third period.

But the Flyers finished strong and eventually won 4-0. They poured it on against Lundqvist to the tune of 45 shots, and Calvin Pickard stopped 31 Ranger attempts to register what was obviously his only shutout as a Flyer, considering that even diehard fans have forgotten that he even played for the team just one year later.

The Flyers enter their final Black Friday game of the decade with a 4-2-2 record since 2010 (thanks again to Gary Bettman and company for missing that one season), having outscored opponents 20-18 over those eight contests. For some reason, it appears that offense is scant on the day after Thanksgiving. Blame the turkey, I guess.

It’s a tradition that’s as much a part of the season as pumpkin pie and mobs of people raiding big box stores. As the Flyers look to conclude this decade of Black Friday games on a high note, let’s give thanks for one of the more solid Philadelphia sports traditions.

Next. What should the Philadelphia Flyers do with Shayne Gostisbehere?. dark

A win would help, too.