With this NHL suspension of play having no end in sight, I am looking to do things a bit differently. For the next few weeks, I will be doing Top 5 list’s of all things Philadelphia Flyers related. Today, we begin with the Top 5 Flyers Killers of recent memory.
Inclusion on this list is simple. Players who come to mind in regards to being a thorn in the Flyers side, or just simply guys with outrageous numbers against Philadelphia qualify.
DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind, I was not around throughout the 70s, 80s, and the majority of the 90s. So, read this list while keeping an open mind. Let’s get started!
Number Five: Patrik Elias
Growing up in the new millennium as a Flyers fan, I have had the opportunity see plenty of great players face off against the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrik Elias is one of the first guys who came to mind when I decided to do this list. Having spent the entirety of his 20 year career with the New Jersey Devils, Elias is a guy we saw a lot of over the years. Over those 20 seasons, Elias racked up some really impressive numbers. This included over 1200 games played, surpassing 400 goals and racking up over 1000 career points.
Elias did more damage against the Flyers than any other team in hockey. His career numbers against the Flyers ended up being utterly ridiculous. In 86 games against the Flyers, Elias finished with 37 goals 47 assists and 84 points. He even included 8 goals 9 assists and 17 points in 22 career playoff games against Philly. His 37 goals against Philly were the most against any team. His 84 points were the second most, behind the 86 points he had against the Islanders. Simply put, Elias fed off the opportunity to face the Flyers.
Number 4: Ruslan Fedotenko
Now this may surprise some people, but Ruslan Fedotenko was a bonafide Flyer killer. He began his career with the Flyers, playing 2 seasons (2000-01 and 2001-02) with the team before being traded away. The Flyers sent Fedotenko to the Tampa Bay Lightning along with a couple draft picks in exchange for the Lightnings first round pick in the 2002 NHL Draft. For what it’s worth, the Flyers ended up selecting Joni Pitkanen with that pick who ended up being a pretty darn good player.
In his career, Fedotenko ended up playing 42 regular season games against the Flyers totaling 16 goals and 12 assists. Spending most of his career as a role player, Ruslan sure brought his “A” game against Philadelphia.
While his regular season numbers were impressive, Fedotenko dealt a large chunk of his damage in the postseason. In 13 career playoff games against Philly, he wound up scoring 8 goals and 3 assists to total 11 points. To make matters worse, 6 of the 8 playoff goals Fedotenko scored against the Flyers came in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals; including a backbreaking goal to open the scoring in Game 7 of that series.
Number 3: Evgeni Malkin
It should come as no surprise that the Penguins’ version of “Robin” makes an appearance at number 3 on this list. Malkin has made a living out of being an incredibly ugly human being, as well as being a thorn in the side of the Flyers. In 58 career regular season games against Philly, Malkin has managed to produce 28 goals to go along with 45 assists totaling 73 points. The number that jumped out to me most was the 94 career penalty minutes Malkin has accumulated against the Flyers. His next highest total is 74 penalty minutes against the Maple Leafs.
As many of you know, the Flyers and the Penguins have matched up quite frequently in the post season the last decade. In 22 career playoff games against Philly, Malkin has managed 13 goals and 14 assists totaling 27 points. The Penguins have proceeded to go 3-1 in those 4 playoff series, further proving how much of a killer Malkin has been since he entered the league.
Number 2: Scott Stevens
The image above is probably the best example I can give you on why Scott Stevens was a Flyer killer. As a member of the New Jersey Devils for parts of 13 seasons, the Flyers sure saw a lot of Stevens. In 119 career games against Philly, Stevens would score 15 goals along with 50 assists for 65 points. He would also chip in 1 goal and 13 assists in 25 career post season games against the Flyers.
Aside from racking up a fair amount of points as a defenseman, Stevens and the Flyers will forever be linked due to the Eric Lindros incident. As seen above, on May 26th, 2000 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals Stevens laid an enormous hit on Lindros as he crossed the blue line. With his head down, Lindros never saw this hit coming and some would say he was never the same player after this hit.
Lindros sat out the entire following season, before being dealt to the New York Rangers in the summer of 2001; he never played for the Flyers again. In a matter of a few seconds, Stevens went from disliked but respected, to public enemy number 1.
Number 1: Sidney Crosby
It should come as no surprise, to Flyer fans, who holds the number 1 spot. Sidney Crosby has been a hated figure in Philadelphia since he joined the NHL in the 2005-2006 season. After being drafted 1st overall by the Penguins in the 2005 NHL Draft, it really was expected he would be a headache for years to come for the Flyers.
In 70 career regular season games, Crosby has racked up an insane 43 goals and 62 assists totaling a whooping 105 career points against Philly. His 43 goals are his most against any team in hockey, and his assist and point totals are his second most behind the the 77 assists and 113 points he has against the Islanders.
On top of killing the Flyers during the regular season, he has done his fair share of damage in the playoffs as well. In 23 playoff games against Philly, Crosby has tallied a ridiculous 15 goals 21 assists totaling 36 points. This included an outrageous 2018 series where he had 6 goals and 7 assists in 6 games including a Hat Trick in game 1.
Crosby was interviewed following a 8-4 Flyers win in game 3 of a 2012 playoff series. Crosby went on to explain how much he dislikes the Flyers and their fans. That night, Crosby knocked the glove away from Flyers forward Jakub Voracek as he went to pick it up. When asked post game, Crosby responded “what else was I supposed to do?”
As the years have gone on, I can honestly admit I have grown to respect the career of Crosby. Having suffered numerous concussions, he has continued to be one of the best players in the world. While I respect the player he is today, I can still admit that I do not like Crosby or the Penguins.
Only 32 years old, and still playing at a high level, it’s safe to assume Crosby will continue to be a Flyers killer for years to come. He will also add to his already ridiculous stat line against Philly. It will be interesting to see what he finishes with against the Flyers when he hangs up the skates. If there is one thing for sure, Sidney Crosby truly is the ultimate Flyers Killer.
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