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Remembering the 03-04 Flyer Run


Mad Dog

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   You can never have enough veteran defensemen for the long playoff haul. I'd rather have Kimo coming in that the 3rd call up from the AHL, who would be guaranteed to get burned almost every time on the ice. I remember the Conference final between TB and the Flyers, we lost 3 regular defensemen and WHAM....that series was over....we just could not overcome the loss of the regular d-men. As good as Sami Kapanen was as a forward turned d-man....in the playoffs, that does not cut the mustard.

 

  I'd say giving up a second rounder for a legit contender to add depth and skill to the back end is well worth the cost. If Duncan Kieth or Seabrooke went down, Kimo could step up and provide some nice depth as a pp qb....that kind of skill set is hard to come by.

Not to hijack this thread, but every time I think of that series, it gives me goosebumps.  That was the deepest, the best-coached, and the most ready Flyers team I can remember for a long time who was primed to take the Cup.  I am convinced if it wasn't for those injuries, we woudl have won.  We lost Ragnarsson, Desjardins and Kim Johnsson.  Amonte and Zhamnov played injured.  Hitch was forced to play Kapanen at D and double shift Primeau.  I don't know how would ANY team overcome that.  But damn, that was a really, really good Flyers team which was a pleasure to watch.

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Not to hijack this thread, but every time I think of that series, it gives me goosebumps.  That was the deepest, the best-coached, and te hmost ready Flyers team I can remember for a long time who was primed to take the Cup.  I am convinced if it wasn't for those injuries, we woudl have won.  We lost Ragnarsson, Desjardins and Kim Johnsson.  Amonte and Zhamnov played injured.  Hitch was forced to play Kapanen at D and double shift Primeau.  I don't know how would ANY team overcome that.  But damn, that was a really, really good Flyers team which was a pleasure to watch.

 

It was a great series and a great run, but that team was a lot of spit and bailing wire before it got to the playoffs.

 

They made the Williams for Markov deal because they needed defensive depth. Commander Timander was acquired for the same reason. They even resurrected Vlad Malakhov.

 

A last, desperate run before the lockout they knew was coming.

 

And another run where they moves they "had to make" still came up short.

 

For me the most "memorable moment" wasn't the Tampa series - it will always be the Tucker hit on Kapanen followed by Roenick scoring the series winner in OT.

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Not to hijack this thread, but every time I think of that series, it gives me goosebumps.  That was the deepest, the best-coached, and the most ready Flyers team I can remember for a long time who was primed to take the Cup.  I am convinced if it wasn't for those injuries, we woudl have won.  We lost Ragnarsson, Desjardins and Kim Johnsson.  Amonte and Zhamnov played injured.  Hitch was forced to play Kapanen at D and double shift Primeau.  I don't know how would ANY team overcome that.  But damn, that was a really, really good Flyers team which was a pleasure to watch.

 

I was almost more depressed about that game 7's outcome vs. Tampa than I was about game 6 vs. Chicago in 2010.   It's close.   This will probably come across as strange to folks since we were game 6 in the FINALS, but I actually thought the team that lost to Tampa had a much better chance of winning it all, barring the injuries.  I'll never forget the utter dejection of the players on the ice in the Flyers end when the final horn sounded.  You could tell they were heartbroken.  They absolutely were in 2010, but given the way that ended their dejection was somewhat masked by the "WTF just happened?" look on their face.

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I was almost more depressed about that game 7's outcome vs. Tampa than I was about game 6 vs. Chicago in 2010.   It's close.   This will probably come across as strange to folks since we were game 6 in the FINALS, but I actually thought the team that lost to Tampa had a much better chance of winning it all, barring the injuries.  I'll never forget the utter dejection of the players on the ice in the Flyers end when the final horn sounded.  You could tell they were heartbroken.  They absolutely were in 2010, but given the way that ended their dejection was somewhat masked by the "WTF just happened?" look on their face.

I hear you. I felt almost nothing when they lost to Chicago - not sure why... probably because that whole playoff run was a fool's gold, hence not so much dissapointment.  But never before I really felt so down and so bad for the players like after that game 7 loss to Tampa. Recchi in particular was hardly able to fight tears in the interview after they lost that game. I even remember someone asked Hitch at the post-game how *he* felt.  And he said something like (paraphrasing of course) we, coaches, will be fine.  We win games, we lose games, it's part of our job.  But the players are the ones who take it hard. Knowing how well we played and what we've been through, it will sting for a while. And that was the season before the lockout with so much of uncertainty just about everything. 

 

And I actually *do* feel bad for Hicth also. I am not a huge fan of the guy in general (for several reasons, which is outside this topic), but he did an absolutely unbelievable, beyond unimaginable coaching job with that team during the season and in the playoffs. 

 

That was a special team and a special year.  I can honestly say that at least from my perspective, this was my favorite Flyers team EVER.

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I came back from Iraq into that run. I'd been able to follow the team through the newspapers and then watch some of the games while I was in Kuwait prior to coming home. Had to find a sportsbar in Colorado Springs to watch the first couple games against Tampa, and then managed to get a ticket and went to game 3 the day I flew home on leave. That's the series that really stung for me - more than either of the Cup Finals that I have been around for.

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One of my favorite photos of that run had the Russian trio of Malakhov, Zhamnov and Markov coming together after scoring a goal.

 

Three guys who hadn't even played half a season for the Flyers, but making a serious impact in the post-season.

 

And three Russians wearing Flyers colors was like something straight out of a Bobby Clarke nightmare :)

 

But he put the whole thing together!

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I came back from Iraq into that run. I'd been able to follow the team through the newspapers and then watch some of the games while I was in Kuwait prior to coming home. Had to find a sportsbar in Colorado Springs to watch the first couple games against Tampa, and then managed to get a ticket and went to game 3 the day I flew home on leave. That's the series that really stung for me - more than either of the Cup Finals that I have been around for.

 

Yes.  For much the same reason as @Mad Dog said regarding 2010.  Don't get me wrong, I'd have gone to the parade had they won and, with multiple drinks in hand, would have claimed next to everyone else that "I knew it all along!"   But I spent the entire second half of that season and almost all playoffs waiting for the clock to strike 12 and the team to become a pumpkin.  So, when the inevitable happened (and I finished with my own "WTF just happened?" moment), I was kind of like, "Well, that was a fun ride."

 

They were never really in the 1997 finals.   And Terry Murray and his players (and the Red Wings) made it so unenjoyable that by the time it was over I was glad.

 

The Tampa series stung.  (@Mad Dog, great description of it.  Recchi is the one I remember most, as well.  But he was one of several bent over his stick facing the ice when the final horn sounded.  That team gave all it had; it just wasn't meant to be)

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Tucker hit on Kapanen followed by Roenick scoring the series winner in OT.

 

That was brilliant.  Seeing Primeau leaning out from the bench door with his stick trying to drag Kappy to the bench so they could replace him without a too many man penalty while Sammi skittered around on his knees, struggling to stay conscious... then after JR won it, the shot of Kappy barely conscious realizing that they won and Primeau just holding Kappy's head with one hand at the bench and telling him god knows what helmet to helmet like a damn captain should... if they'd have won the cup that year, someone should have made a damn movie.  And the first scene IMHO would be the Rangers game in the spring when Primeau got knocked out and Roenick took that puck to the face.  It looked like a career threatening injury to Roenick and barely a bump for Primeau, but it cost JR much less time and was the beginning of the end for Primeau and his Post Concussion symptoms that ruined his career, arguably at its peak.  Neither player was ever the same, but Primeau had one amazing playoff run with the team on his shoulders before the whole thing fell apart. 

 

Primeau tying game 6 in the last minutes and then Gagne winning it was a pretty triumphant pair of moments.  It felt like Primeau could do anything at that point.   I remember at the end of game 7 when it was over, seeing Johnsson on his knees on the ice just trying to breath and realizing that the whole team had nothing left.  They'd literally put everything they had out there and it just wasn't enough. 

 

Too many old guys, too many injuries.  But oh the memories none the less.

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It looked like a career threatening injury to Roenick and barely a bump for Primeau

 

I remember Roenick trying to line up Mats Sundin for a check only for him to step out the way at the last second to watch Roenick land a check on Eric Desjardin and put him out with a broke arm. I also remember the Flyers getting lucky the Leafs were missing Owen Nolan, Alex Mogilny, Ken Klee and Tomas Kaberle as well.

 

Wonder how it might have been versus the Lightning with a healthier blueline....guess we'll never know.

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 It felt like Primeau could do anything at that point.  

 

That performance by Primeau was the one for generations.  This was as dominant as I have ever seen.  And just like the case with Hitch (at least for me), I deslike the guy, and I deslike him a lot, but that was special.

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And just like the case with Hitch (at least for me), I deslike the guy, and I deslike him a lot,

 

I know there was a lot of bad blood between Primeau and the city but I feel like that was mostly because everyone loved Rod so much and that made it hard to like the new guy we got for him.

 

Some people talk about rumors of Primeau being a dick here and there, but I feel like that's fairly common.  To me he had me at the epic game 4 OT winner against the Penguins (and subsequent concussion the next game) in '00.

 

I saw him as a pretty good captain even before that run.  It didn't hurt that he was the only guy on the team that seemed to get Hitch (and vice versa).  Hitch I'm not a fan of despite his success.

 

The ay he came in promising to build a system around the skill sets of his existing assets (specifically mentioning LeClair) and then proceeded to do the complete opposite making the likes of Rusty and Williams expendable in the eyes of Clarke really annoyed the hell out of me. 

 

Still... I'd rather have Hitch than Berube. 

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It's not fixed, but it works better for ME.

 

I have no animosity for Chief, I just think he's out of his league (which is what any reasonable person thought when he was put in the job to begin with).

 

He was put in a position to fail by Holmgren... which is pretty much par for the Holmgren course the last few years of his tenure.

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Yes.  For much the same reason as @Mad Dog said regarding 2010.  Don't get me wrong, I'd have gone to the parade had they won and, with multiple drinks in hand, would have claimed next to everyone else that "I knew it all along!"   But I spent the entire second half of that season and almost all playoffs waiting for the clock to strike 12 and the team to become a pumpkin.  So, when the inevitable happened (and I finished with my own "WTF just happened?" moment), I was kind of like, "Well, that was a fun ride."

 

They were never really in the 1997 finals.   And Terry Murray and his players (and the Red Wings) made it so unenjoyable that by the time it was over I was glad.

 

The Tampa series stung.  (@Mad Dog, great description of it.  Recchi is the one I remember most, as well.  But he was one of several bent over his stick facing the ice when the final horn sounded.  That team gave all it had; it just wasn't meant to be)

 

 

If anyone tells you they weren't thinking that way as well, they are a liar or so completely delusional that they have no credibility. It was painfully obvious that team didn't deserve to be where they were.

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If anyone tells you they weren't thinking that way as well, they are a liar or so completely delusional that they have no credibility. It was painfully obvious that team didn't deserve to be where they were.

 

Totally agree with this.....and really, how can anyone disagree...for Heaven's sake, we got into the playoffs on the last game of the season AND still needed a Giroux shoot out goal to make the playoffs. Having said that....I won a thousand dollars that year in a playoff pool where you mark the boxes...picked all Flyers and Habs in the East and all Hawks and Sharks in the West....going into the Conference Finals, I had every player still going!!  A bit of luck there, (especially when factoring in the Boston series...wow) but it was an impressive win to say the least.

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This was a defining moment for the franchise. It represented the best we had in pre-strike NHL life other than our Cups.  It was a courageous group. In some ways I think we've never recovered because the management has never gotten the reality of the New NHL.  This season is living proof.  

 

Howie

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Totally agree with this.....and really, how can anyone disagree...for Heaven's sake, we got into the playoffs on the last game of the season AND still needed a Giroux shoot out goal to make the playoffs. Having said that....I won a thousand dollars that year in a playoff pool where you mark the boxes...picked all Flyers and Habs in the East and all Hawks and Sharks in the West....going into the Conference Finals, I had every player still going!!  A bit of luck there, (especially when factoring in the Boston series...wow) but it was an impressive win to say the least.

 

If that wasn't "this shouldn't be happening" enough for ya, we came back in that Boston series. Anyone of these things alone is proof it was a fluke, but all in the same year? The hockey gods were definitely playing chess that year my friend.

 

The core of that team (particularly Richards and Carter) are examples of both what not do to and what can happen if you actually play up to your capabilities. They are an example of both what talent alone can and can't get you.

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