Sunday, November 29, 2015

First-Goal Flyers

The Flyers' first goalscorer each season.

First-Goal Flyers


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.

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♦ 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
 1967-68    Bill Sutherland  60  20  
 1968-69  Rosaire Paiement    27   2
 1969-70  Larry Hillman (D)  76   5
 1970-71  Gary Dornhoefer  57  20
 1971-72  Bobby Clarke  78  35*
 1972-73  Bill Flett  69  43
 1973-74  Terry Crisp  71  10
 1974-75  Tom Bladon (D)  76   9
 1975-76  Bobby Clarke  76  30
 1976-77  Gary Dornhoefer  79  25
 1977-78  Bill Barber  80  41*
 1978-79  Bobby Clarke  80  16
 1979-80  Rick MacLeish  78  31
 1980-81  Bill Barber  80  43*
 1981-82  Bill Barber  80  45*
 1982-83  Bill Barber  66  27 
 1983-84  Rick MacLeish  29   8
 1984-85  Ilkka Sinisalo  70  36
 1985-86  Ilkka Sinisalo  74  39
 1986-87  Ron Sutter  39  10
 1987-88  Ilkka Sinisalo  68  25
 1988-89  Rick Tocchet  66  45
 1989-90  Mike Bullard  70  27
 1990-91  Rick Tocchet  70  40*
 1991-92  Mike Ricci  78  20
 1992-93  Brent Fedyk  74  21
 1993-94  Rod Brind'Amour  84  35
 1994-95  Rod Brind'Amour  48  12
 1995-96  Patrick Juhlin  14   3
 1996-97  Dainius Zubrus  68   8
 1997-98  Chris Gratton  82  22
 1998-99  Alexandre Daigle  31   3
 1999-00  Mark Recchi  82  28
 2000-01  Justin Williams  63  12
 2001-02  Eric Weinrich (D)  80   4
 2002-03  John LeClair  35  18
 2003-04  Mark Recchi  82  26*
 2005-06  Simon Gagne  72  47*
 2006-07  Peter Forsberg  40  11
 2007-08  Danny Briere  79  31*
 2008-09  Scott Hartnell  82  30
 2009-10  Jeff Carter  74  33*
 2010-11  Danny Briere  77  34
 2011-12  Claude Giroux  77  28
 2012-13  Claude Giroux  48  13
 2013-14  Brayden Schenn  —  
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Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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Bob Vetrone Jr.
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