In April 2010, the Flyers snuck into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, finishing with 41 wins and 88 points.
The 2009-10 regular season was nothing to write home about for the Flyers. Game 82 and the playoffs, though, will always be remembered.
The Flyers had a never-say-die group that clicked when its back was up against the wall. Intangibles like belief and togetherness were prevalent among that team.
“Timing is everything," Brian Boucher said Monday. "You can have a great roster on paper and it may never work out or maybe there are bumps in the road at certain times where you can’t get your game going. But if you can find your game at the right time, I think that is key. That’s what happened for us in 2009-10. We kind of stumbled around all year long, we had a coaching change, we had injuries and were able to get in and find confidence. Even in the midst of adversity through the playoffs, we had a lot of injuries in the playoffs but still worked our way through it.”
Boucher propelled that club into the postseason with an epic 2-1 shootout win over the Rangers in Game 82. The team then made history by erasing a 3-0 series deficit against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, punctuated by overcoming a 3-0 hole in Game 7 to win, 4-3, at TD Garden.
Talk about a no-quit bunch.
The iconic Game 7 was 10 years ago today, May 14, and will re-air at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The 3-0 rallies were a perfect microcosm of that team, which ran all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before falling short in six games to the Blackhawks.
Now is a fitting time to relive the 2009-10 club because the 2019-20 squad had a similar feel before the NHL was forced to suspend the regular season on March 12 amid the coronavirus outbreak. While this year's team already had 41 wins and was projected to finish with 104 to 105 points prior to the hiatus, it was just starting to build an identity.
Boucher and Danny Briere compared it to the 2009-10 team.
“That’s what makes it so disappointing to not have the playoffs right now," Briere said in a video interview last week with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Taryn Hatcher. "It was that swagger that the Flyers were playing with the last two months of the regular season before it stopped. It reminded me of 2010 — kind of a slow start but then after the holidays, kind of coming together, gelling, having that swagger that, ‘We’re up there, we’re with the best teams in the East, we know we can surprise a lot of people.’
"On a nightly basis, they just went out and dominated. I hope we get to see it, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But it definitely reminded me of the 2010 team.”
That team made indelible memories for the city of Philadelphia. For now, many can only wonder if the 2019-20 team was on the verge of doing the same.
And wonder when Philly will live — not relive — another run to the Cup.
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