Philadelphia -- Hollywood might not come up with a better script than the Philadelphia Flyers have written so far in the Stanley Cup playoffs, entering the finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Consider this for a moment. The Flyers needed an overtime goal against the New York Rangers on the final day of the regular season just to get into the playoffs. Then, after splitting two games in the first round with New Jersey and going on to take that series 4 games to 1, they went out against Boston and lost the first three games to the Bruins. All but written off, the Flyers rebounded in historic fashion and won the final four games.
That set up the series with Montreal, which by Flyers standards was a breeze, winning it in five games. So what is next for these Comeback Kids? The never say die men on ice will be looking for their third Stanley Cup in franchise history--and first since the back-to-back Cups in 1973-74 and 1974-75, when they were known as the Broad Street Bullies. Recently, HBO made a movie on that group. This will be the Flyers first appearance in the Cup Finals since 1996-97.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation? of Philadelphia & Susquehanna Valley is excited about all the hockey uproar as well, as it was announced that Nikco Sports will be promoting a special, limited edition commemorative Stanley Cup Finals 2-puck set manufactured by Sherwood Hockey, the official hockey puck of the NHL, complete with display cases, to preserve this special time in Philadelphia sports history. Only 5,000 sets will be produced, with the goal of adding to the more than $1.7 million that Nikco Sports has raised for children's charities in recent years.
The Flyers team puck will feature the historic and colorful Flyers official team logo, and salute their two Stanley Cup championships won in 1973-74 and 1974-75. It will also list the 8 Conference titles and 15 Division titles won over the years.
The second puck is a tribute to the 2009-2010 season and the Road To The Cup Finals and will feature the official Stanley Cup logo and Eastern Conference logo. It also recaps each playoff series triumph over New Jersey, Boston and Montreal, and includes the final regular season mark of 41-35-6 (OT) for 88 points, giving Flyers fans a great way to reflect back on the post-season highlights leading up to the Cup Finals. If the Flyers go on to win the Cup, that information will also be added to this area.
"Certainly the way they finished the season by qualifying for the last playoff spot on the final day of the regular season--in overtime, no less--and then that dramatic comeback series against the Bruins when they were down 3 games to none has to make this one of the most memorable hockey seasons ever for a Flyers fan," noted Nikco Sports president and CEO Craig Bidner. "This should be a very exciting Cup Finals, and I am very pleased to be a small part in the celebration that is taking place these days throughout Pennsylvania and into Delaware and southern New Jersey.
"The way this team battles reminds me of how so many youngsters who are involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation? of Philadelphia & Susquehanna Valley also battle on an ongoing basis. It makes our staff at Nikco Sports proud to play a small part in this special Stanley Cup commemorative program that is raising funds for these deserving youngsters."
During the past several years, Nikco Sports has raised more than $1.7 million for charitable organizations across the nation with the issue of limited-edition sports memorabilia that has honored amateur and professional teams, as well as select athletes such athletes as Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Jerome Bettis, Ben Roethlisberger, along with Peyton Manning, Jim Kelly, Carson Palmer, Steve Young, John Elway, David Robinson, John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Roger Clemens, Ryne Sandberg, Paul Molitor, Kirby Puckett, Edgar Martinez, Ichiro, Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr., Nolan Ryan, Tony Gwynn, Craig Biggio and Cal Ripken Jr.
The two pucks are licensed by the National Hockey League and can be ordered for $39.95 on a first-come basis by calling 1-800-345-2868 or ordering online.