Our hope for Flyers' opening night was a simple one, but it didn't work out.
All we wanted was for Claude Giroux to twinkle the twine first so he could become just the second Flyer to score their initial goal of the year in three consecutive seasons. He would have tied Bill Barber (1980-81-82) had he done so. But instead, Brayden Schenn took the honors late in the first period of their 3-1 loss to the Maple Leafs.
Even so, Giroux is just the fourth Flyer that tallied first in back-to-back seasons, Ilkka Sinisalo (1984-85) and Rod Brind'Amour (1993-94) being the other two.
♦ Barber is also the all-time leader with four (1977 being the fourth). Bobby Clarke (1971, 1975, 1978) and Sinisalo (1987) did it three times. Giroux joins Brind'Amour and Gary Dornhoefer, Rick MacLeish, Rick Tocchet, Mark Recchi and Danny Briere with a pair.
♦ Nine times (*), the Flyers' first goal-scorer also became their top goal-scorer for that season. including four times in the last nine seasons.
♦ Only three defensemen (D) have scored the Flyers' first goal of the season.
Here are the Flyers' first goal-scorer each season with their eventual totals for games played and goals:
|Season||First Goal Scorer||GP||G|
|1969-70||Larry Hillman (D)||76||5|
|1974-75||Tom Bladon (D)||76||9|
|2001-02||Eric Weinrich (D)||80||4|