The Philadelphia Flyers have participated in four outdoor games in their franchise’s history to this point in time. However, it appears there will be another one on the horizon. According to an article by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Flyers are one of four teams selected to suit up in what will be two outdoor games out at Lake Tahoe in Nevada. The other NHL clubs included in this are the Boston Bruins, Vegas Golden Knights, and Colorado Avalanche; with Philadelphia reportedly taking on their new East Division rival Bruins.
Friedman says in his article that the NHL had looked at other locations that included Park City, Utah, and Lake Louise in Alberta. The destination specifically at Lake Tahoe where the games will play out is Edgewood Tahoe Resort.
Obviously with the coronavirus, fans would be limited if they are able to attend these games. I think it is interesting that the NHL still wanted to try outdoor games this year. They probably could’ve waited until next season with the possibility that fans might be able to attend the games at full capacity by that point. At the same time, though, outdoor games provide a way for fans to be able to attend games in general. Being outdoors provides a safer way for fans to be there, as opposed to going to games in NHL rinks, which is still not happening at this point in time.
Past Flyers Outdoor Games
As previously mentioned, the game at Lake Tahoe would be the fifth outdoor matchup for Philly. They stepped foot outdoors for the first time on Jan. 1, 2010, for what was the third Winter Classic game at the time. The other two Winter Classics that had taken place were the Buffalo Sabres facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, in 2008 (Pittsburgh won in a shootout 2-1) and the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in 2009 (The Red Wings won 6-4).
The Flyers played against the Bruins in the 2010 Winter Classic like they will be doing in February, and they lost by a score of 2-1. Defenseman Danny Syvret notched the only Flyer goal at Fenway Park, with the B’s getting contributions by both Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Recchi and forward Marco Sturm. Sturm’s goal was scored in overtime. Flyers goalie Michael Leighton saved 24 out of 26 shots for a save percentage (SV%) of .923. Bruins netminder Tim Thomas made 24 saves on 25 shots, producing a .960 SV%.
Philly’s first outdoor game victory occurred versus their inner-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. The contest was the NHL’s Stadium Series for 2019. It was a close game that came right down to the wire.
The Penguins were off to a 3-1 lead in third period thanks to tallies by Sidney Crosby, Justin Schultz, and Evgeni Malkin. However, the Flyers battled back with goals by James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek. Voracek’s answer tied the game with less than a minute to go in regulation. In overtime, Philly captain Claude Giroux put the icing on the cake by beating Penguins goalie Matt Murray to grab the win. The final score was 4-3. Flyers goalie Brian Elliott made 40 saves, totaling a .930 SV%, while Murray stopped 33 shots and accumulated a .892 SV%.
The Flyers’ other outdoor games were against the New York Rangers in 2012 at Citizens Bank Park and the Penguins in 2017 in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field (the 2019 Stadium Series was a rematch). Philadelphia currently has an outdoor game record of 1-3. They will look to claim that second win in their rematch against the Bruins in February.
I have been a hockey fan for most of my life, and have played the game myself for more than six years. I graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2018, with a bachelor’s in Broadcasting & Mass Communication. Previous positions held include being a Sports Analyst for Oswego’s student-run TV station, WTOP-10; News/Sports Intern for WIVB-TV Channel 4; and Sports Beat Writer Intern for Pro Player Insiders.