Come on, TNT.
Even with Philadelphian and hockey fan Charles Barkley on its NBA panel, TNT still overlooked one of the Flyers’ great achievements.
During Game 7 of the Celtics-Heat series Monday night, TNT ran a feature on all of the teams that had overcome an 0-3 series deficit. The package was timely as the Celtics were trying to overcome a 3-0 deficit — and failing miserably.
Only one problem with the package. It neglected to mention the Flyers’ 0-3 comeback against the Bruins in 2010.
— Nasty Knuckles (@NastyKnuckles) May 30, 2023
TNT started its feature with the 1942 Maple Leafs, who stunned the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals.
In 1975, the Islanders roared back to defeat the Penguins in the quarterfinals. Amazingly, in the next series the Islanders trailed the Flyers, 3-0, before winning three consecutive games. More history?
No. The Flyers took care of business in Game 7 at the Spectrum, 4-1. Gary Dornhoefer scored 19 seconds into the game and Rick MacLeish had a hat trick. The Flyers went on to win their second Stanley Cup against the Sabres in six games.
The 2004 Red Sox won four straight to eliminate the rival Yankees in the American League Championship Series. The Red Sox won the World Series in the next round, breaking their 86-year championship drought.
The next 0-3 comeback TNT featured was the 2014 Western Conference first round. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks. The Kings won the Cup that year over the New York Rangers in five games.
That left the Flyers over the Bruins, perhaps the most remarkable of all 0-3 comebacks. After clawing back to tie the series at 3-3, the Flyers trailed 3-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.
I guess if you’re going to fall behind by three goals in the first 14 minutes, 10 seconds, there is plenty of time remaining for a monumental rally.
James van Riemsdyk scored at 17:12 of the first period to make it 3-1. In the second period, Scott Hartnell scored on a beautiful backhander and Daniel Brière scored on a wraparound goal that deflected off a Bruin to tie the score at 3.
In the third period, Simon Gagne scored a power-play goal at 12:52 to give Philadelphia a 4-3 lead. The Boston crowd was stunned.
“After the first period in our dressing room, it was dead quiet. No one was saying a word,” Briere told The Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi for a story published in 2020.
“After the second period, it was the total opposite. It was like we knew we had won. Guys were fired up. Guys were talkative. The energy and momentum we had built in the second period, we knew we were winning that game.”
On the broadcast as the game ended, Flyers broadcaster Jim Jackson said: “This improbable, incredible comeback is complete. History made in Boston tonight.”
The Flyers next defeated the Canadiens, 4-1, in the Eastern Conference finals. Chicago defeated the Flyers in the finals in six games and the Flyers’ magical run was over.
As It Happened
As sports editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, I was responsible for putting out the Back Page the night of Flyers-Bruins Game 7. When the Bruins had that 3-0 lead, the editors kicked around headline ideas.
For our Philadelphia market, all of the potential headlines were grim.
But when the Flyers took the lead, we knew if they held on it would be a historic edition of the newspaper. We tried out a dozen possibilities, maybe more. We weren’t happy with any of them. Nothing struck the right tone and captured the importance of the moment.
Finally, about a minute after the game ended, my Daily News colleague Ed Barkowitz blurted out, “How about ‘Four-ever.’ ”
That was the headline. Print it. Guess TNT didn’t see that day’s paper.
Flyers, In Case You Missed It:
Gold-medal winner Scott Laughton has plenty to celebrate.
Picking the Panthers, with their group of Flyers, to win the Stanley Cup in six games over the Golden Knights.
The Flyers shouldn’t trade their most valuable asset, goalie Carter Hart.
Around The National Hockey Network:
Florida Hockey Now: Former Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette lands Predators’ head-coaching job.
Vegas Hockey Now: Former Vegas coach Pete DeBoer wants to see some of his former players win the Stanley Cup.
Washington Hockey Now: The Capitals have a new head coach, Spencer Carbery.
Detroit Hockey Now: Henrik Zetterberg doesn’t want to join Red Wings’ front office.
Boston Hockey Now: Bruins might not be able to bring back winger Tyler Bertuzzi.
Stanley Cup finals:
Game 1: Florida at Vegas, 8 p.m. Saturday, TNT