Behind the Tough Persona, Ed Snider Was Kind, Compassionate

Ed Snider (left) and Bobby Clarke at the 2010 demolition of The Spectrum. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Ed Snider (left) and Bobby Clarke at the 2010 demolition of The Spectrum. Photo | Jeff Fusco

You could get a crippling case of carpal tunnel syndrome trying to list all of Ed Snider‘s accomplishments.

That’s what usually happens on a day like this, when a man of Snider’s immense stature dies — news stories fill with paragraph after paragraph about the professional mountains he conquered, the organizations he improbably brought to life, the honors he collected over the years.

Yes, Snider will forever be known as the wealthy visionary who brought the Flyers to Philadelphia. He was the face of the franchise for nearly 50 years, silver-haired and impeccably dressed, but every bit as hungry for a Stanley Cup championship as orange shirsey-clad diehards who yell at TVs in neighborhood dive bars.

But Snider’s obsession with winning on the ice isn’t what stands out the most in talking with people who knew him well. The anecdotes they shared today, after word spread that Snider had died in California at age 83 from a second bout with cancer, offered a glimpse at a kind and compassionate figure who sometimes emerged from behind a tough-as-nails public persona. Read more »

#WinItForEd: Social Media Reacts to the Death of Flyers Owner Ed Snider

Beloved Flyers chairman Ed Snider has died, his children announced this morning. As the Flyers gear up for the playoff run they clinched just days earlier, social media erupted with fond remembrances of Snider and encouragement for the franchise he built. Here are some of the best:

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Ed Snider, Flyers Chairman, Has Died

Ed Snider at the 2010 demolition of The Spectrum. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Ed Snider at the 2010 demolition of The Spectrum. Photo | Jeff Fusco

The children of Ed Snider announced this morning that Snider, the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor and founder and longtime face of the Philadelphia Flyers franchise, has died after a two-year battle with cancer. His death comes just days after his Flyers clinched a playoff berth that most thought was unlikely when the season began.

“He fought his last years, months and days with courage and grace and recounted his love for many including his Flyers family and fans,” read the statement from his family. “We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community, his friends and all those who were fortunate to have been touched by him in some way, large or small.” Read more »

If the Flyers Win Their Last 2 Games, They Make the Playoffs

The Flyers looked like they were about to crash out of the playoff chase last night. They trailed the worst team in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs, by two goals entering the third period. But Andrew MacDonald scored halfway through the period to cut the deficit to one. Then, with the goalie pulled in the final minute, Wayne Simmonds redirected a Mark Streit shot into the net to tie the game and send it to overtime.

The Maple Leafs ended up winning the game in OT, but Simmonds’ goal was huge: The Flyers now control their own playoff destiny. Regardless of the other results, the Flyers make the playoffs if they beat the Penguins on Saturday and the Islanders on Sunday. Read more »

Missanelli: The Flyers — Yes, the Flyers — Are Philly’s Best Franchise Right Now

The Flyers celebrate after winning against the Washington Capitals Wednesday, 2-1.

The Flyers celebrate after winning 2-1 against the Washington Capitals Wednesday. | AP Photo/Matt Slocum

It was a bleak sports decade, the 1970s in Philadelphia, until the Philadelphia Flyers won two Stanley Cups.

The Flyers’ Cups were a kickstart to what would turn out to be a golden winning era in Philly. From there, the Phillies, with a maturing lot from their farm system, became contenders, culminating in a 1980 World Championship. The Eagles, under Dick Vermeil, went to a Super Bowl. The Sixers were in a hunt every year until finally pushing through in 1983.

What does that have to do with today? Perhaps, as Yogi would have said, it’s déjà vu all over again.

I’m on the record saying that in the year 2020, all four of Philadelphia’s major sports teams will be contenders. But the Flyers may be way ahead of schedule. Read more »

After Rare Shootout Win, Flyers Playoff Chances Look Really Good

The other day we wrote about how bad the Flyers are in shootouts. Last night, a third-period tip-in goal from Brayden Schenn helped the Flyers tie the Washington Capitals at 1 in regulation. The game was scoreless through the 3-on-3 overtime, and so the Flyers were headed to a shootout.

The Caps have already clinched the President’s Trophy for the best record in the league. They were 4-1 in shootouts going into last night’s game; the Flyers were 2-8. Wouldn’t you know: Nick Cousins and Sam Gagner scored for the Flyers in the shootout and the Flyers upset the Capitals last night. Read more »

WATCH: Flyers Win on Claude Giroux’s Goal With Seconds Left in Overtime

The game-winning goal by Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux.

The game-winning goal by Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux.

The Flyers are horrible in shootouts. Just terrible. They’re 2-8 in them this season, the most losses in the league and the second-fewest wins. And it looked like last night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets was headed to another shootout.

But then Shayne Gostisbehere and Claude Giroux stepped in. NHL overtimes are 3-on-3, and the Flyers had a 2-on-1 break with about 20 seconds left. But as Giroux attempted to pass it to Gostisbehere, the Jets’ Mark Scheifele tipped the pass into the air. But Gostisbehere dove for it, hit it with his stick, stopped it with his glove, then passed it to a wide open Giroux in front of the net. He scored, and the Wells Fargo Center crowd went wild. Read more »

Can Flyers Goaltenders Recreate Team’s Surprising 2010 Stanley Cup Push?

Flyers goalies Michal Neuvirth (left) and Steve Mason.

Flyers goalies Michal Neuvirth (left) and Steve Mason.

Last night, as we discussed yesterday, the Flyers had a chance to move into playoff position with a win over Chicago. The Blackhawks, though, are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference — just three points behind the conference leader.

It didn’t matter. Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves on 26 shots and a third-period Radko Gudas goal, just his third of the season, gave the Flyers a 3-2 win. If the season ended now — and that would be really weird, because there are still have 13 games left — the Flyers would be the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.

Many Flyers fans, relentlessly upbeat as far as Philly sports fans go, are starting to get excited. Some are even comparing the team’s recent form to that of 2010. That year, the Flyers made the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and went all the way to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final before being eliminated. Read more »

The Flyers Can Actually Move Into Playoff Position With a Win Tonight

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds  celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings.

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Flyers edged the Red Wings last night, 4-3. Shayne Gostisbehere’s third-period pass deflected off a Detroit skater and went into the net, giving the Flyers a two-goal lead. When the Red Wings scored to cut the deficit back to one, the rookie gave the Flyers the eventual margin.

Michael Raffl also scored twice for the Flyers, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. Philly outshot Detroit 23-3 in the first.

“I think it was the best start I think we’ve had all year,” said Wayne Simmonds. “It’s the biggest game of the year for us. And everyone was pretty damn pumped.” Simmonds scored the Flyers’ other goal. Read more »

Shayne Gostisbehere Is Your New Favorite Flyer

The Flyers won again last night, moving them just two points back of the final playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. They were almost perfect on their six-game home stand, going 5-1; they’ve passed all the other teams vying for a playoff spot and are now squarely in ninth in the conference.

Last night’s win over the Lightning was by far the most exciting game of the Flyers’ recent stretch. Tampa Bay, in first place in the Atlantic Division, was on a nine-game winning streak heading into the game. The Lightning took a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game; it looked like it could be a long night.

But then the Flyers turned up the heat on defense: They allowed just nine shots through the first two periods, while putting the puck on net a whopping 31 times themselves. Finally, rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere put one past Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to tie the score. Read more »

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