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GREENBERG: Top 10 Storylines from 2016

As we close out 2016, Flyers columnist looks at the top moments & storylines of the year

by Jay Greenberg @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

10) OCTOBER 10: A pair of 19-year-old rookies force their way onto the Flyers roster and earn full-time positions with the club after impressive training camps and preseason. 

Forward Travis Konecny, led the team with six points (3g-3a) playing in six out of a possible seven preseason games, while defenseman Ivan Provorov also appeared in all six preseason outings, posting two assists and logging a heavy amount of ice time.

9) JUNE 22: Shayne Gostisbehere finishes second in the Rookie of the Year balloting behind Chicago's Artemi Panarin, tying Ron Hextall (1987) and Bill Barber (1973) for the highest Flyer finish ever for the award. Bobby Clarke, Mikael Renberg and Pete Peeters came in third. Eric Lindros, Brian Propp, Simon, Gagne and Behn Wilson were fourth. 

8) FEBRUARY 25: Michal Neuvirth's diving stick save on Minnesota's Charlie Coyle with three seconds remaining preserves a 3-2 victory, puts Philadelphia within three points of a playoff spot with 22 games to go, and saves the Flyers from being tied or beaten in the final seconds of regulation for a fourth time in 11 games. Considering the circumstances and Neuvirth's athleticism, it was one of the most memorable saves in franchise history.

7) MARCH 24: Two nights after blowing a 2-0 lead with 65 seconds remaining into a 3-2 overtime loss in Columbus, Flyers fall behind 2-1 six minutes into the third period, then rally for a 4-2 win in Denver that pulls the club into a tie for the final playoff spot with nine games remaining. "There was no waver," says Coach Dave Hakstol.

6) MARCH 30: Brayden Schenn's power play tip-in, a redirection of a Gostisbehere drive, beats Washington goalie Braden Holtby to tie the game, 1-1, with 5:28 left before Steve Mason stones the league-leading Caps for only the Flyers' third win in 11 shootout tries on the season. Nick Cousins and Sam Gagner beat Holtby at a roaring Wells Fargo Center to give Philadelphia a 2-1 victory that moves it into the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot with six games to go.

5) APRIL 22: Neuvirth's 44 saves make a second-period goal by Ryan White standup for a 1-0 victory in Game 5 at the Verizon Center that narrows Washington's series lead to 3-2. It is one of the most clutch goaltending performances the team of Bernie Parent ever has received in the post-season.

4) FEBRUARY 20: Gostisbehere's overtime goal in a 5-4 victory in Toronto extends his scoring streak to 15 games, the longest by an NHL defenseman since one by the Red Wings' Chris Chelios in 1995-96. It is Gostisbehere's fourth overtime winner during the run.

3) APRIL 24: Flyers' just-failed second attempt at a rally from a 3-0 series deficit in six seasons is thanked by an ovation from the Wells Fargo Center fans at the buzzer of a 1-0 Game Six loss to Washington.

2) APRIL 9: With Flyers founder and chairman Ed Snider's health failing, Wayne Simmonds' two goals produce a 3-1 victory in Game 81 over the Pittsburgh Penguins climaxing a 35-18-9 turnaround that gives the Flyers their 40th playoff spot in 48 seasons. The team won just six of its first 20 games. 

"It's unfortunate Mr. Snider couldn't be here with us today so we played our hearts out," says Simmonds. "We owe him a lot. We're real proud to put on a sweater that he created."

1) APRIL 11: Thirty-five hours later, Snider, the Flyers' Chairman, Founder and owner for 50 Years, dies of cancer at age 83. 

"Mr. Snider's passion and drive to be the best has made the Flyer brand one of the most recognizable in sports," said team President Paul Holmgren. "His spirit and the culture he created will live on with the organization forever."

Eight days following his death, Flyer Chairman Ed Snider's life is celebrated in a memorial service at The Wells Fargo Center. 

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