It has been 47 days since the NHL postponed the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time where we would normally be tuning into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and perhaps watching our beloved Philadelphia Flyers make a run for the Cup, we find ourselves on lockdown and attempting to make do with replays and highlights of games past. As we grasp firmly to the hope that the season and/or playoffs will still occur at some point in the near future, allow me to stoke the fire of optimism with some upcoming Flyers milestones for us to start getting excited about.
Claude Giroux – 900th Game
Claude Giroux has played 889 NHL games; all of them while donning the orange and black. That puts the captain in third place on the Flyers’ all-time career games played list. Had the NHL been able to complete the 2019-20 season, G would have reached the 900-game mark provided he remained healthy and was on the roster for the remaining games on the schedule.
Giroux is just 15 games away from overtaking Hall of Fame left wing Bill Barber (903 games played as a Flyer) for second place on the list. Another Hall of Famer by the name of Bobby Clarke leads the pack with 1144 career games played as a Philadelphia Flyer.
Alain Vigneault – 700 Wins
Head coach Alain Vigneault has had a tremendous showing in his first season as the bench boss for the Flyers. He led the team to a record of 41-21-7, a total of 89 points and second place in the Metropolitan Division. Those 41 wins give A.V. a total of 689 as an NHL coach. That puts him in tenth place on the all-time NHL coaching wins list and just three wins away from Dick Irvin (692 wins) and 9th place. When Alain Vigneault records his 700th NHL victory, he will be tied with Mike Babcock for 8th place on the list.
Shayne Gostisbehere – 200 Points
Despite a 2019-20 season riddled with injury and some subpar play, Shayne Gostisbehere finds himself just one point away from 200 career NHL points. This may seem somewhat insignificant, but keep in mind that this was only Ghost’s fifth full season in the league. On top of that, at 199 career points, he is currently in 6th place among Flyers defensemen all-time in points.
Gostisbehere had a solid performance on March 10th against the Boston Bruins; in his first game back on the ice since February 6th. Despite not recording a point, Shayne looked confident and aggressive defensively, making some good stops and keeping the Bruins in check. The defenseman also did a great job holding the blue line, even under pressure. He made some classic Ghost moves of old, including one about six minutes in to the first period where he drew a penalty and even got a shot off from his knees.
Jakup Voracek – 700 Points & 500 Assists
Jakub Voracek (695 points) finds himself just five points shy of 700 career NHL points. 488 of those points have been of the apple variety. Jake has two very significant milestones ahead and will join elite company in the NHL with 700 career points and 500 career assists. Even though some of those points were recorded during his time as a Columbus Blue Jacket, it goes without saying that these two achievements will be special moments in Philadelphia Flyers history.
Notwithstanding the fact that the future is still uncertain, there is so much to look forward to as a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers. It will not be long before we are all back together watching our favorite team play the greatest game known to man. Witnessing these accomplishments will make those moments even more special.
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