The Philadelphia Flyers will finally return to action when they face off against the New York Rangers Thursday night at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia after a COVID-19 breakout forced an 11-day hiatus for the Flyers.
The Flyers versus the Rangers, like many Philadelphia versus New York sports matchups, is typically considered a historic rivalry. However, the Rangers are in many ways our fathers’ rival. The Blue Shirts are still a division foe, but the memories of this rivalry, like way too many memories of Flyers glory, have faded in the modern NHL.
The Flyers are amidst their most favorable organization in over a decade. The Rangers, albeit with suspiciously fortunate draft lottery luck, have top-tier prospects Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafrenière joining integral pieces like Artemi Panarin already in place. The respective franchises appear to be headed upward while the talented core of the Pittsburgh Penguins is finally showing signs of aging.
Recent seasons have brought some classic moments against the Rangers like the 2012 Winter Classic and the vicious and controversial grudge between Wayne Simmonds and Ryan McDonagh in 2016. Philadelphia and New York also squared off in a 7 game playoff series in 2014, the second season Claude Giroux’s captaincy.
However, battles with the New York Rangers are sure to escalate as young Flyers like Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, Carter Hart, and Joel Farabee enter their prime. The rivalry is due to be reignited, and Philadelphia is due to rejoin the top ranks of the NHL.