New Smurfs Coming Up Big
The Herb Brooks-coached 1982-83 New York Rangers got big playoff performances from an undersized line featuring Mark Pavelich and Rob McClanahan, both of whom had played for Brooks on the famous 1980 U.S. Olympic team, along with canny Swedish import Anders Hedberg.
That line was known as “The Smurfs”, and it led the Blueshirts, a .500 team during the regular season, to a stunning first-round sweep of the Patrick Division-champion Philadelphia Flyers.
Some 30 years later, a Connecticut Whale front line evoked images of the Smurfs this past weekend, as a grouping of Kelsey Tessier centering Micheal Haley and Christian Thomas helped the Whale to a pair of convincing road victories in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
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