Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra and Jordan Hall.
The topic: With the decade nearing its end, we wonder what if the Flyers had won Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final?
To say I think about this moment in Flyers history a lot is an understatement. It was the first time in my life that I was able to witness the team I grew up watching to go the Final. I remember who I was with, exactly where I was sitting and the feeling of sheer disappointment the moment Patrick Kane started celebrating — and to this day, I cannot rewatch that goal without feeling that same way all over again.
So, it makes sense to think about what would’ve happened if the Flyers were able to come back and win Game 6 and force that final game in the series. What would’ve happened if they somehow came back and won it all? This past decade certainly would have been more bearable but here are some things I believe would have drastically changed if that dark horse 2009-10 team rose to the occasion to beat Chicago.
• When the Flyers are at their best, Philadelphia becomes a hockey town — especially when the season finds it way to May and beyond, but the electric atmosphere hasn’t been around as much since this season. A few seasons in past years with that playoff-like atmosphere came with the overtime Claude Giroux goal in the Stadium Series in the 2018-19 season, Carter Hart’s professional debut with the team and the Flyers vs. Devils season opener back in October.
It’s taken a while to sense that type of environment in the Wells Fargo Center again, but it’s finding its way back slowly but surely. If the 2009-10 team won, would that energy have ever gone away in the first place? Even with the team constantly making a push to the postseason five other seasons in the decade? — Probably not.
• Peter Laviolette’s time in Philadelphia most likely would have extended, basically altering how the current coaching staff is today. After Laviolette was fired just three games into the 2013-14 season while his team went 0-3-0 … it makes you wonder if he would have had much more leniency if he had brought Lord Stanley down Broad Street. The answer is, yes he would’ve, especially considering his Flyers made it to the postseason his first three years while he was head coach.
But as all things are, a domino effect would’ve taken place. Laviolette might have never gone to Nashville in May of 2014, Craig Berube might have never gotten around to coach the Flyers and then move on to the St. Louis Blues team who won him a Cup just last year. Would Dave Hakstol have even been a factor if this team won a Cup? It makes you wonder. Regardless, with the current coaching staff, it at least gives us a lot to look forward to as we head into the new decade.
• Would two of the biggest pieces of that possible Cup-winning team have been traded just one season out of the Cup win? They were moves that completely shook the core and brought in new players and faces that Philadelphia had come to know and love. Jeff Carter was on his way to Columbus in return for Jakub Voracek and two draft picks, while Mike Richards, a move no one originally wanted to believe, was on his way to the Kings in return for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and another draft pick.
Voracek and Simmonds became key parts to the Flyers’ roster in upcoming years, while Schenn was eventually traded to St. Louis for a return of Jori Lehtera and two draft picks — later to be known as Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee.
And it’s possible that the Flyers wouldn’t still be paying off Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract — or it at least it still feels that way.
But like I had mentioned previously, a Cup win would’ve created a different domino effect as opposed to the one we know after that loss in Game 6, but that list could go on and on and on. Instead of hanging on to what could have been in the past, there’s a lot to look forward to in the seasons ahead with the current makeup of the Flyers.
It took a while to get here but now that everyone is, it’s time to get excited.
We all know how Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final ended.
A weird, sudden, heartbreaking way for Flyers fans to see such a memorable run come to an end.
If the Flyers won Game 6 in Philadelphia, they still needed Game 7 in Chicago.
But let’s say they ride the high of a Game 6 win to one more victory and a Stanley Cup title celebration at the United Center. It would have ended the franchise’s Cup drought going back to 1975 and shaped the decade much differently for the club.
What sticks out most is how much this would have impacted the Flyers’ path of coaches. The decade saw five different head coaches. Had the Flyers won Games 6 and 7 of the 2010 Final, you’d think Laviolette would have had a much longer leash than three games in the 2013-14 season before being fired.
A Cup title would have won Laviolette some decent leeway. Because of it, would Hakstol, Scott Gordon or Alain Vigneault ever have coached in Philadelphia? What about Berube — would it have changed his path to St. Louis, where he won it all last season with the Blues?
It’s fun to wonder. And Philly would have been pretty fun had the Stanley Cup found its way to Laviolette’s hands during 2010.
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