Flyers

The Flyers' last Sports Illustrated cover is likely covered in dust

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USA Today

The Flyers' last Sports Illustrated cover is likely covered in dust

First it was Nick Foles.

Then it was the Sixers' starting five.

And now most recently, the retooled Phillies with the $330 million man Bryce Harper.



Three Philadelphia sports teams on the cover of Sports Illustrated within the first three months of the 2019. The Flyers could have made it a perfect 4 for 4, but that would have required an almost unthinkable run that culminated with a Stanley Cup championship.

And even that may not have grabbed SI’s attention considering its neglect for the game of hockey.

Still, it had me wondering when the last time the Flyers were Sports Illustrated’s cover boys.

The 2010 Stanley Cup Final when Patrick Kane scored the unsuspected Cup-clinching goal?

Sometime during the Eric Lindros era?

Definitely during the 1980s you might think?

That would be a big no, no and no.

Would you believe the last time the Flyers graced an SI cover came a year after their second Stanley Cup championship? 

Dig through the archives to May 24, 1976, when the Montreal Canadiens took down the Flyers in four straight games to deny the Broad Street Bullies a three-peat, back when the magazine could be purchased for a dollar.

It has been nearly 43 years. I’d like to find a subscriber who’s still around from back then.

The last time the team itself was prominently featured on the cover came just three months earlier with Bobby Clarke flashing his toothless smile on the bench as the “Fiery Leader of the Flyers.” You won’t even find an SI cover with the team hoisting the Cup.

The last time the Flyers even had a feature article written about the team was Oct. 3, 2005, after signing Peter Forsberg.

These days, now that the magazine is published biweekly, the NHL may have one hockey cover a year, usually in celebration of the champion. 

Alex Ovechkin was the last.

Sidney Crosby has four covers in the past 10 years.

And the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team had three of its own in the span of a year.

If the Flyers ever grace the cover in our lifetime, frame it, hang it or laminate it, because it may never happen again.

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Subpar start leads to Flyers loss vs. Lightning but doesn't hurt spot in NHL playoff race

Subpar start leads to Flyers loss vs. Lightning but doesn't hurt spot in NHL playoff race

BOX SCORE

The Flyers didn't bring their A-game to a game they needed it.

There would be no giant killing Saturday as the Flyers lost to the Lightning, 5-3, at Amalie Arena.

Goals from Ivan Provorov, James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux weren't enough for the Flyers (32-20-7), who are 6-3-2 against the Bruins, Lightning, Capitals, Penguins and Blues, the league's top five clubs.

Tampa Bay is the only one the Flyers haven't beaten. They'll get a final crack at the Lightning on March 12 in the same building.

The Lightning (39-15-5) have won 10 straight games.

• This really wasn't a bad loss for the Flyers.

They were at the end of a road trip and playing the NHL's hottest team. Tampa Bay is 22-2-1 over its last 25 games and hasn't lost at home since Dec. 19.

The Flyers entered Saturday with a 66.9 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Hockey-Reference.com, and still hold an Eastern Conference wild-card spot (see standings).

Alain Vigneault's team just needs to recharge and be ready for a big home-and-home set against the Blue Jackets next week.

• Things got chippy in the second period. Travis Konecny was right in the middle of it all.

Steven Stamkos appeared to trip Giroux before a faceoff. Giroux didn't even look to be that mad about it.

During the final 6:09 of the middle frame, 22 penalty minutes were accrued.

• Brayden Point (10-game point streak) is good at hockey.

• Carter Hart, who was coming off his first road victory since Nov. 10, allowed four goals on 23 shots.

The 21-year-old wasn't the problem.

The first goal was a fluky one by Alex Killorn. On the second, Provorov was sloppy with the puck in the defensive zone and Tampa Bay capitalized to take a 2-0 lead into first intermission.

In the middle stanza, the Lightning beat Hart on a 3-on-2 to grab a commanding 3-0 advantage. Tampa Bay improved to 33-4-3 when it scores three or more goals.

Not only are the Lightning really good, but the Flyers also didn't play their typical forechecking, possession-based game until it was too late.

• Outside of the van Riemsdyk's third-period goal, Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy was strong with 30 saves, 15 of which came in the final stanza. 

Vasilevskiy improved to 18-0-1 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .940 save percentage over his last 19 starts.

• Provorov was far from his best against Tampa Bay but he did score the Flyers' first goal to trim the Lightning's lead to 3-1 in the second period. He also had an assist.

The 23-year-old has grown into a power play quarterback this season. He leads all NHL defensemen with seven man advantage goals after scoring only two over his first three NHL seasons.

• Travis Sanheim played 19:43 minutes Saturday after missing almost the entire third period of Thursday's 6-2 win over the Panthers because of a lower-body issue.

• The Flyers are off Sunday, practice at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Voorhees, New Jersey and host the Blue Jackets Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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Flyers, Lightning have 4 p.m. start on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Flyers, Lightning have 4 p.m. start on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Saturday's game should be a good one.

The Flyers and Lightning are two of the hottest teams in the NHL. Since Jan. 8, the Flyers have the league's most goals (52) and only one team has more points (21) — the Lightning (27).

Tampa Bay is also on a nine-game winning streak and 21-2-1 over its last 24 games.

The big showdown comes a little earlier than usual. Puck drop will be shortly after 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, with Flyers Pregame Live set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

The matchup finishes off a three-game road trip for the Flyers, who then play four of their next five games at the Wells Fargo Center.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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