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2015: A look ahead

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

With 2014 in the books, a new year is on the horizon. Below are some exciting things Flyers fans can look forward to and be apart of in 2015.

Sure, there are still two games left on the current road trip, but the Flyers will return home… eventually.

The team returns to the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, Jan. 6 when they take on the Ottawa Senators. The game will also kick off a four-game homestand and a stretch of nine games in a 15-day span - six of which are on home ice.

The Flyers have 45 games remaining, 25 of which are at home and a race for the playoffs and NHL scoring title will no doubt heat up. For the first time in franchise history, the Flyers will end the regular season with a four-game homestand, and at 8–5-3, they are on pace for their eighth straight winning season on home ice and 20th winning season at home in the last 21 years.

The second half of 2014-15 will also see some of the more popular match ups for Flyers fans.

The team takes on their intra-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins three times, including twice on home ice beginning on Jan. 20 (Apr. 5th being the other). The game will feature four of the highest scoring players in the NHL with Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux in a race for the NHL scoring title with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The Flyers will also get one more chance at revenge against the New York Rangers in a Feb. 28th meeting at the Wells Fargo Center.

The last Metropolitan Division opponent the Flyers have yet to face is the Washington Capitals. The team will face Alex Ovechkin and company four times, including two within a span of a week beginning Jan. 8 at home and Jan. 14 in DC.

Two outstanding members of the Flyers 90’s and early 2000 teams have already been enshrined into the Flyers Hall of Fame with the induction of Eric Lindros and John LeClair on Nov. 20.

On Feb. 19, one of the best defensemen in franchise history will take his place in the rafters among Flyers greats when Eric Desjardins becomes the 23rd member of the team’s Hall.

Desjardins is one of the highest-scoring defensemen in Flyers history, recording 93 goals and 303 assists for 396 points in over 738 career games to rank second in franchise history among blueliners, behind only Mark Howe.

He was a seven-time Barry Ashbee Award winner as the Flyers’ best defenseman - the most of any Flyer in franchise history - and was a two-time NHL All-Star with the Flyers. He was named the 12th captain in Flyers history on March 27, 2000 and will become the fifth captain in Flyers history to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame.

With a majority of the games coming at home, Flyers fans also have plenty to look forward to in special events coming to the Wells Fargo Center.

Perhaps the most celebrated is the 38th annual Flyers Wives Carnival on Sunday, Mar. 1. It is one of the oldest and most successful one-day charity events hosted by a professional sports franchise.

The Carnival gives all Flyers fans and families the opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon with games, prizes and the unique opportunity to get autographs, take photos and meet Flyers players on a very personal level — all for a good cause.

The team will celebrate ‘Fan Appreciation Night’ presented by Toyota on Apr. 7 and as in year’s past, fans will receive a team poster giveaway and the opportunity to win great prizes.

The Flyers will also host one final Dietz & Watson Dollar Dog night on Jan. 12 as well as SuperPretzel Dollar Pretzel Night on Mar. 10.

The regular season will come to a close on Apr. 11, which will also feature the Flyers Team Awards presentation prior to puck drop.

The Flyers will play 19 games against Metropolitan Division opponents from now until the end of the regular season on Apr. 11, including five of the final six games. Needless to say every point will be crucial heading down the stretch.

The NHL Trade deadline is also hot topic around the NHL as teams gear up for a run at the postseason. The date this year is Monday, Mar. 2, and in a tightly packed Eastern Conference, it’s always interesting on what teams will or won’t do by 3 p.m. ET.

Speaking of points, a pair of Flyers will be also be chasing history in the race for the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer.

Through 37 games, Jakub Voracek has taken the NHL by storm, leading the pack with 47 points with teammate (and linemate) Claude Giroux close behind him at 43 points sitting in the third position.

The Flyers have never had an NHL Scoring leader, the closest coming in the shortened 1994-95 season when Eric Lindros tied Jaromir Jagr with 70 points, but finished second to Jagr’s 32 goals as was the tiebreaker for the trophy.

Among the names threatening, Dallas Stars’ Tyler Seguin is directly behind him at 44 points, while Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf has finished in the Top 5 in recent years. But don’t discount the Penguins’ duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who have taken home the Ross in four of the last eight seasons.

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