Better With Popcorn

Do Ex-Flyers Always Score on Us?

The red light goes on behind the Flyers net and it’s announced that the goal scorer is a former Flyer. “Typical ex-Flyers, always scoring on us,” is the usual reply from Flyers fans.

But do ex-Flyers have good luck against their former club, or is it just in our minds?

In the 189 regular season games since the 2011-2012 season began, the Flyers have faced old mates in 116 of those games. Many of the games featured multiple former Flyers and many players have played against their former club multiple times.

Of the 141 appearances, 95 were by forwards, 41 were defensemen and five were goaltenders.

Only 23 goals were scored by former Flyers against Philadelphia in those 116 games. Between 23 goals and 28 assists, only 51 points were totaled in 136 skater appearances. Projecting those numbers to a full 82 game schedule, the “Former Flyer Skater” would average 14 goals, 31 points over a “season”.

In one game, a trio of Blackhawks (Michal Handzus, Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg) combined for three goals and seven points in a Dec. 11 rout of the Flyers. Against Los Angeles in 2011, three Kings (Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Justin Williams) scored two goals and three assists in a win over the Flyers.

R.J. Umberger has scored two goals in one game, while James van Riemsdyk, Ville Leino, Kris Versteeg and Ruslan Fedotenko have scored two goals in two separate games.

Other players scoring goals against their former club include Joffrey Lupul, Steve Downie, Joni Pitkanen, Randy Jones, Dan Carcillo, Tom Sestito, Jaromir Jagr, Darroll Powe and Pat Maroon. (note: Maroon never actually played for the Flyers, but was a prospect from 2008-10)

Lupul has been the most successful, getting on the scoresheet in all four games against the Flyers, scoring one goal and five assists, with the Leafs winning three of those matchups.

Only four defensemen have gotten points against the Flyers. Matt Carle, despite playing in five games, has two assists (both in one game). Randy Jones picked up a goal in a wild 9-8 Flyers loss to Winnipeg in 2011. Joni Pitkanen and Dennis Seidenberg both appeared twice.

However, in 96 appearances (71%), former Flyers came out of the contest with no points.

As for the least successful player, Mark Eaton had seven appearances between the Islanders and Penguins and registered zero points. Among forwards, Arron Asham only scored one assist in nine games against his former club. Danius Zubrus had the most appearances (ten) and only has two assists.

Against five former goaltenders, the Flyers came out victors in four games, only losing to Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky earlier this season. Ray Emery, Ilya Bryzgalov and Brian Boucher all got a loss in their games against the Flyers, while Boucher also made a relief appearance with the Hurricanes.

All in all, the main goal of the game is to win.  In those 116 games, the Flyers have come out as victors in 53 of them (46%). While that may seem like a low number, the Flyers have only won 52.9% of their 189 games over the past three seasons (numbers not including overtime points, just win/loss).

It may seem former Flyers give their new team a slight edge, but keeping a player off of the scoresheet is most important. The Flyers have won 15 of 35 games (43%) when a former player gets a point, compared to winning 51% of the time when those players have been held pointless. With 71% of the players being held scoreless, it appears that having a former Flyer in the lineup makes no difference on the outcome of the game.


Dan MacNeal
Staff Writer
Twitter: @Realdeal411@TCLFlyers