Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Morning becomes electric for Flyers on Black Friday

When the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Winnipeg Jets on November 29, it won't be your ordinary day-after-Thanksgiving matinee.

Think more along the lines of brunch.

The NHL announced it, and the Flyers made the correction on their master schedule on Wednesday, that the aforementioned contest will have an 11:30 AM puck drop, one of the earliest known starts in franchise history.

Begun as a gimmick for fans who bought into the matinee ticket plans and as a way to provide several extra hours of set-up for the Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival which would be scheduled the next day back in the late 1980s, there were several years in a row of pre-noon hockey for the Orange and Black. Those particular games had an 11:05 AM beginning.

The first and last times the Flyers skated in a Saturday morning contest, came against the New York Islanders, in both 1989 an 1993. A morning contest was not on the schedule in 1993-94, then the practice was discontinued after the first lockout shortened the 1994-95 season.

Below are a list of results from those pre-Carnival Saturday morning starts:

January 28, 1989: Flyers 7, Islanders 4.

February 3, 1990: Flyers 7, North Stars 6 (OT)

February 2, 1991: Whalers 2, Flyers 0 

March 14, 1992: Flyers 3, Capitals 1

February 27, 1993: Islanders 3, Flyers 2

On Black Friday, the Sixers will also play at home, hosting the New Orleand Pelicans at 8 PM, making for a veritable scene down on Pattison Avenue.

The City of Boston has had something like this for years, called "Causeway Day," where the Bruins play at noon and Celtics at night, with revelry in the area surrounding Causeway Street in between games.

The Flyers were part of it back in 2005, taking away a 5-3 victory at TD Garden in what proved to be Joe Thornton's last game with the Bruins before the blockbuster trade which shipped him to San Jose.

In a later schedule adjustment, the 8 PM start against Dallas on December 7 has been pushed up to 2 PM.

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