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11-12-2010, 11:47 PM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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Originally Posted by PycckuuRocket10 View Post
Before the first cup.
They were in the mix. Clarke won his first Hart Trophy and the team went to the semifinals in 1973, even led Montreal (eventual Champs) 1-0 in games which garnered some attention. But the key was the reacquisition of Bernie Parent, who played in the WHA but whose NHL rights were held by Toronto, during the offseason.

Among the chief comeptitors: Boston had a new but mostly unproven goalie in Gilles Gilbert and Montreal's Ken Dryden quit over a salary dispute and joined a law firm. Chicago's Bobby Hull was in the WHA. So, there was an opening.

The team was steady in its performances but really took off in the last couple of months. There was an incident that Fred Shero lauded later in Montreal, national TV, Canadiens up 2-0 after two periods and a brawl erupted in which Larry Robinson decimated Dave Schultz at the end of the period. NBC, the broadcast carrier was irate, too. But the Flyers used it to their advantage scored twice in the first five minutes and the game ended in a tie. Shero said he couldn't believe how the Flyers were unified and actually joking about the fight and that he assumed the life would be taken from them. The opposite happened. The team lost something like only four times the rest of the way.

The Rangers took care of Montreal in the playoffs and they had much of the attention at that point. The Flyers and Rangers each won three home games in their PO round, then Game 7 happened which shocked the NHL world. It is a horribly forgotten game and effort but it really was the performance that established the Flyers as an expansion threat. IIRC, Boston's Phil Esposito even said before game 7 that he didn't want the Rangers to win because the thought was they had the PO experience and were the better team. Then came the Finals and the Flyers had to overcome their poor history in Boston Garden by winning at least one game. Clarke made sure of that.

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