The 2022-23 season was pretty much a dud for the Flyers, but around the league, this was a historic season filled with plenty of milestones. This will take a look back on the historic moments that happened this past season, along with other major milestones.
Phil had three major milestones. The first one was his 400th NHL goal on October 25, 2022, against the Sharks, and this milestone happened during the same game as one of his bigger milestones, playing in his 990th straight game, breaking the Iron Man streak that had been set the previous season by the Flyers’ own Keith Yandle. 10 games later, Phil would become the first, and only, player to play in 1,000 games straight. His streak is currently at 1,064 games. Phil Kessel was also close to scoring his 1,000th point.
James van Riemsdyk
On April 11, 2023, against the Columbus Blue Jackets, James van Riemsdyk scored his 12th goal of the season which also happened to be his 300th career goal.
Stamkos is another player who reached some major milestones this past season. On December 1, 2022, Stamkos would get his 1,000th point against the Flyers. About a month later, on January 18, 2023, Stamkos would pot his 500th NHL goal against the Vancouver Canucks. Stamkos is just the 47th player to ever reach the mark and is only the third active player to have 500 goals behind only Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. Late this past season, on April 6, 2023, Stamkos would skate in his 1,000th game against the Islanders to become the first player to play 1,000 games with the Lightning.
On November 21, 2022, Patrice Bergeron would get his 1,000th point against the Lightning. Patrice Bergeron was close to having another major milestone, but he scored his 400th career goal in the last game of the 2021-22 season. He did move into top-3 in Bruins history for goals scored at 403. He currently has 427, 32 behind #2 Phil Esposito and his 459 goals. He could become the second-best goal scorer in Bruins history if he plays next season.
Joe Pavelski also hit 1,000 points this season. On April 10, 2023, Pavelski got a goal against the Red Wings for his 1,000th point. This came on a pretty historic night with a major NHL milestone to be mentioned later, and. he did this only minutes after another player got his 1,000th point.
Claude Giroux also got his 1,000th point on April 10, 2023, in his game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Giroux played in his 1,000th NHL game last season with the Flyers. After signing with his hometown Ottawa Senators, Giroux had a great season scoring 78 points, including his 1,000th point.
Giroux’s cross-state rival for years also hit a major milestone. Crosby became just the 15th player in NHL history to notch 1,500 points, which he did with a power play goal on April 8, 2023. Crosby is the sixth fastest player to reach the mark, doing so in his 1,188th game. Sidney Crosby also became the 2nd player ever to have 18 straight point-per-game seasons, only one behind Wayne Gretzky. It should also be mentioned that Crosby has not had a season under a point-per-game, just like Gretzky. Gretzky had 19 straight seasons before he had his 20th, and final season, with a 62-point season in 70 games for a .89 points-per-game.
1,000 Games Played
I wanted to make this just one little heading itself since I don’t feel like making a little blurb for each of the rest of the players to hit 1,000 NHL games this past season. First, on October 19, 2022, Alex Goligoski played in his 1,000th NHL game. On October 28, 2022, Josh Bailey became the third Islander to play in 1,000 games. About a month later, Malkin played in his 1,000th game on November 23, 2022. Then on January 29, 2023, John Tavares played in his 1,000th NHL game.
Jason Robertson is making a good case for becoming the best Stars forward ever. On March 31, 2023, Robertson tied Mike Modano’s record of 93 points in a season by a Dallas Star when he assisted on a Roope Hintz goal against the Coyotes. Later that period, he would score a goal and get his 94th point of the season, the most by a Dallas Star ever. Just three days later, on April 3, 2023, against the Nashville Predators, Robertson would score a power play goal to be the first Dallas Star to get 100 points in a season. Robertson will need a 117-point season to have the franchise record for points in a season by a Dallas Star and Minnesota North Star, a record held by Bobby Smith.
David Pastrnak got his 60th goal of the season on April 9, 2023, with a hat trick against the Flyers. Pastrnak was the second player this season to score 60 + goals, the first time two players have scored 60+ goals in the same season since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did it in 1995-96.
Erik Karlsson seemed to be washed and in the twilight of his career. But this season was anything but that. Karlsson started off the year strong and kept strong all year. And on April 10, 2023, against the Winnipeg Jets, Karlsson scored two goals to notch his 100th point of the season. This is the first time since 1991-92 when Brian Leetch got 102 points that any defenseman has gotten 100 points. Roman Josi came close last year tallying 96 points. This beat his previous high of 82 points in a season back in 2015-16.
Connor McDavid is having probably the most dominant season since Gretzky’s 1986-87 season. That was the last time a player was alone at the top of all major scoring categories: goals, assists, and, of course, points (Lemieux did lead in all categories in the 1995-96 season, but he was tied with Gretzky for assists that season). He got the record for most points in a season by a player since the lockout when he got his 129th point on March 14, 2023, with a goal against the Ottawa Senators. McDavid got his 50th goal of the season, the first time he’s done that, on February 27, 2022, against the Boston Bruins. Then he became just the fourth player since the lockout to score 60+ goals, which he did on March 22, 2023, when he scored the OT goal against the Arizona Coyotes. On April 8, 2023, against the Sharks, Connor McDavid scored a goal to become the first player since Lemieux in the 1995-96 season to get 150 points and only the sixth-ever player to do so. McDavid would finish the season with 64 goals and 89 assists for 153 points.
It felt like Ovechkin was making news in almost every game. For several years, the question on every fan’s mind was if he could catch Gretzky. Now the question appears to be WHEN will he catch Gretzky. Ovechkin came into the season tied with Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky for most 50+ goal seasons at nine each. He ultimately will not reach 10, at least not this season, but he did get the record for most 40+ goal seasons with the 13th of his career when he scored his 40th on March 21, 2023, against the Columbus Blue Jackets. But the big thing that he did this season was when he scored his 20th goal of the season on December 13, 2022, he completed a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks to get to goal 800, only the third player to get to the mark, after Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. 10 days later, against the Winnipeg Jets, Ovechkin would score two goals which would be goal number 802, tying Gordie Howe, and then 803 to pass Howe and take sole possession of the second-most goals ever. Ovechkin currently sits at 822 goals, only 72 goals behind Gretzky. Ovechkin has four more years on his current contract and could very well get the record within the next two years as long as he stays as consistent as he has, both in terms of goal-scoring and health.
The Edmonton Oilers are the first team since the 1995-96 Penguins to have three 100-point players in Connor McDavid on February 17, 2023, Leon Draisaitl on March 14, 2023, then finally Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on April 6, 2023. Lots of things that Oilers players did that haven’t been done since a player on the 1995-96 Penguins did them.
The 2022-23 Boston Bruins are officially the most dominant regular season team ever. The Bruins broke the record for most wins in a season when they got their 63rd win of the season against the Flyers on April 10, 2023, breaking the previous record held by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning. Then, two days later, they would beat the Washington Capitals for their 64th win, would win their last game against Montreal to get to 65 wins, and broke the record for most points in a season with 135 points, beating the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens’ record of 132 points. The President’s Trophy Curse stayed alive as the Bruins would lose in game 7 to the Florida Panthers in the first round.
By Noah Caplan (@Phlyers24)
Photo creds: The Hockey News