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Where do the 70's Flyers rank ?

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10-29-2004, 12:37 PM
  #1
mcphee
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Where do the 70's Flyers rank ?

The cup winning Flyer teams are one of the more intersting teams in their historical perception. It's easy to dismiss them as a goon team that had their way for 2 years before the Habs dominance of the late 70's. Some comments about them in other threads got me thinking. They were a tremendous team and I'm sure Flyer fans [ Hi John ] can correct any errors.

Goalies Bernie Parent [ Bob Taylor ?] an all time great.
Defense Solid but not spectacular. The Watson brothers,Dupont,Ashbee,Van Impe
Forwards Leach Clarke Barber one of the all time great lines over that time period Lonsberry MacLeish Dornhoefer MacLeish is on my all time under rated list and the other 2 are solid gritty talented playersthat you find on any winner. The bottom 2 lines featured solid 2 way guys like Crisp,Clement, [was Nolet still there ?] and tough guys like Saleski, Schultz and Hound Dog Kelly.


I don't think they rank with the top 5 or 6 of all time but they were a great team, and pretty close. Larry Robinson took issue with their style in his book when he mentionned that they didn't respect the Flyers as they did other opponents due to the style they imposed onthe league. I'm paraphrasing but he felt that by ending their reign, the were doing the league a service. Personally, I thought Schultz and Kelly were as tough as they came, but a few of the others, including Dupont and Saleski were basically jump into the pile types, no 3rd man rule then. Does their style, or their reputation keep them from some of the respect they deserve ?

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10-29-2004, 01:09 PM
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Depends on who's asking... IF it's the Hammer, and he's got me in a dark alley, I'm gonna say they were number one all-time.

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10-29-2004, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
Depends on who's asking... IF it's the Hammer, and he's got me in a dark alley, I'm gonna say they were number one all-time.

Bucky, from all I've heard of him, he's the last guy I'd fear, seems like a real gentleman. I wouldn't be as safe around Hound Dog though, he was pretty crazy.

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10-29-2004, 02:19 PM
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They were very good team for sure. They won in '74, '75 and reached the final to be swept by Montreal in '76. And yes they were the Broad Street Bullies and everyone was afraid of them but what gets lost is the talent they had on that team. Clarke regularly got over 100 points at that time and Barber once hit 112, while Leach hit 61 goals to lead the league. Parent was a stellar goalie comparable to Dryden.

So even though they were tough teams you'd have to put them in the all time best catergories. In the seasons of '74-76 they had 112, 113 and 118 points. Of all the dynasties you have the 50s Canadiens and Red Wings, the '70 Canadiens, the 70s Bruins, the 80s Islanders, 80s Oilers and the early 90's Pens. After that you'd have to put the Flyers of the mid 70s there. IU cant think of any other team that would be there.

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10-29-2004, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
The cup winning Flyer teams are one of the more intersting teams in their historical perception. It's easy to dismiss them as a goon team that had their way for 2 years before the Habs dominance of the late 70's. Some comments about them in other threads got me thinking. They were a tremendous team and I'm sure Flyer fans [ Hi John ] can correct any errors.

Goalies Bernie Parent [ Bob Taylor ?] an all time great.
Defense Solid but not spectacular. The Watson brothers,Dupont,Ashbee,Van Impe
Forwards Leach Clarke Barber one of the all time great lines over that time period Lonsberry MacLeish Dornhoefer MacLeish is on my all time under rated list and the other 2 are solid gritty talented playersthat you find on any winner. The bottom 2 lines featured solid 2 way guys like Crisp,Clement, [was Nolet still there ?] and tough guys like Saleski, Schultz and Hound Dog Kelly.


I don't think they rank with the top 5 or 6 of all time but they were a great team, and pretty close. Larry Robinson took issue with their style in his book when he mentionned that they didn't respect the Flyers as they did other opponents due to the style they imposed onthe league. I'm paraphrasing but he felt that by ending their reign, the were doing the league a service. Personally, I thought Schultz and Kelly were as tough as they came, but a few of the others, including Dupont and Saleski were basically jump into the pile types, no 3rd man rule then. Does their style, or their reputation keep them from some of the respect they deserve ?
Always underlooked.

When people talk about those teams they always talk about the fighting etc. etc.

Three reasons why they could afford to do whatever they wanted on the ice:

#1. Bernie Parent
#2. Clarke & Barber -- incredible penalty killing duo.
#3. Fred Shero

==============================================

Another thing that gets overlooked is that the team may have been even better in 1976 than they were in 74 & 75.

In January of 1976 they were clearly the undisputed best team on the planet. Coming off back-toback Stanley Cups they met the Soviet Red Army team that was finishing off an undefeated run through the NHL clubs.

The Habs-USSR team 3-3 tie is considered one of great games of all time, because it was the HAbs.

The Flyers went out and DOMINATED that Red Army team, winning 4-1 and outshooting them something along the lines of 50-12.


The Habs ended up sweeping the Flyers in the finals that year, three one goal games and a 5-3 game four.

The Flyers went into the playoff that year missing two of their most important pieces.

Bernie Parent, at the time clearly the best goalie on the planet, and coming off back-to-back Conn Smyth wins.

Rick MacLeish - who lead the Flyers in postseason scoring during both Cup years.

It would hae been very diffcult and probably gone 7 games, but I think a healthy Parent and MacLeish, win a 3rd Cup for the Flyers.

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10-29-2004, 03:11 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
So even though they were tough teams you'd have to put them in the all time best catergories. In the seasons of '74-76 they had 112, 113 and 118 points. Of all the dynasties you have the 50s Canadiens and Red Wings, the '70 Canadiens, the 70s Bruins, the 80s Islanders, 80s Oilers and the early 90's Pens. After that you'd have to put the Flyers of the mid 70s there. IU cant think of any other team that would be there.
IMO the Flyers 70's teams were every bit as good if not slightly better than the 70's Bruins and 90's Pens.

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10-29-2004, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
The cup winning Flyer teams are one of the more intersting teams in their historical perception. It's easy to dismiss them as a goon team that had their way for 2 years before the Habs dominance of the late 70's. Some comments about them in other threads got me thinking. They were a tremendous team and I'm sure Flyer fans [ Hi John ] can correct any errors.

Goalies Bernie Parent [ Bob Taylor ?] an all time great.
Defense Solid but not spectacular. The Watson brothers,Dupont,Ashbee,Van Impe
Forwards Leach Clarke Barber one of the all time great lines over that time period Lonsberry MacLeish Dornhoefer MacLeish is on my all time under rated list and the other 2 are solid gritty talented playersthat you find on any winner. The bottom 2 lines featured solid 2 way guys like Crisp,Clement, [was Nolet still there ?] and tough guys like Saleski, Schultz and Hound Dog Kelly.


I don't think they rank with the top 5 or 6 of all time but they were a great team, and pretty close. Larry Robinson took issue with their style in his book when he mentionned that they didn't respect the Flyers as they did other opponents due to the style they imposed onthe league. I'm paraphrasing but he felt that by ending their reign, the were doing the league a service. Personally, I thought Schultz and Kelly were as tough as they came, but a few of the others, including Dupont and Saleski were basically jump into the pile types, no 3rd man rule then. Does their style, or their reputation keep them from some of the respect they deserve ?
I dig the 70's Flyers for obvious reasons also they were one hell of a team.

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10-29-2004, 03:51 PM
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John, I'd forgotten about MacLeish and Parent. Was Stephenson in nets ? I'd come back with a snappy retort as to why the Habs would have won anyways, but why bother, somehow, I think we'll keep our opinions on this one. I remember the Flyer - Red Army game like yesterday. I've probably heartd Bob Cole's call 100 times. "They're goin' home. Can you imagine' I could tell you the Habs softened them up for you, but from what Van Impe and co. laid on them, you didn't need it.
I'd forgotten Shero in my post and he was obviously one of their keys. Seldom has a coach matched his team like that, maybe Imlach with the early 60's Leafs or the Cherry Bruins possibly. The only criticism was maybe they didn't have that 1 stud D man, though they played great team D. I always thought Jim Watson was their best, another underrated guy.

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10-29-2004, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
John, I'd forgotten about MacLeish and Parent. Was Stephenson in nets ? I'd come back with a snappy retort as to why the Habs would have won anyways, but why bother, somehow, I think we'll keep our opinions on this one. I remember the Flyer - Red Army game like yesterday. I've probably heartd Bob Cole's call 100 times. "They're goin' home. Can you imagine' I could tell you the Habs softened them up for you, but from what Van Impe and co. laid on them, you didn't need it.
I'd forgotten Shero in my post and he was obviously one of their keys. Seldom has a coach matched his team like that, maybe Imlach with the early 60's Leafs or the Cherry Bruins possibly. The only criticism was maybe they didn't have that 1 stud D man, though they played great team D. I always thought Jim Watson was their best, another underrated guy.
Yes, Parent only played in 11 games that year. Stephenson was in goal.

Van Impe's hit was actually overrated. Shero was a huge fan of Anatoli Tarasov (sp?) and probably knew the Russians better than any other coach.

The Flyers knew that the Russians would never try to dump and chase, so they just lined up 4 across the blueline, and the Russians would come to the line and just circle and circle.


The Flyers didn't have a stud defenseman, and yes Jimmy Watson was their best. Losing Ashbee to the eye injury in 1974 was a blow.

Shero and his system, one of the first to coninuously practice breakout systems, and it was something they did religously. Also one of the first to go to shorter shifts.

In the finals against Boston Espo wasn't much of a factor because he was playing 2 minute shifts, where the Flyers were changing every 45-50 seconds or so.

Also the Flyers went away from the thought of lets try and keep the puck away from Orr. Shero's theory was dump it in Orr's corner every chance we get, and hit him, and he'll wear down eventually

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10-29-2004, 04:22 PM
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John, I remember Steve Shutt on Mtl. radio talking about how Bowman prepared them for their New Year's Eve game. They stressed taking out the first forward to handle the puck as they relied on the give and go. I think tactically Shero and Bowman were ahead of the curve. Mtl. had the same philosophy against Orr. They would dump to his corner and try and force him away from the middle. Sounds like the trap doesn't it ? I always chuckle when I hear how Lemaire invented it. Mtl. did the same thing with Bourque and had some playoff success with it. Of course, with guys that great you could only hope to limit the damage.

Did Shero promote the brawling style ? Or did he just sort of benefit from the swagger it gave his team ? Teams often take on the coach's personality, was that the case ? I can't say Bowman's team in Mtl. did, but the talent level more defined that team.

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10-29-2004, 04:36 PM
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You Have The 1950s Habs + 1980s Oilers...

Then You Get The 1950s Red Wings + 1960s + 1970s Habs + 1960s Leafs +(ugh) 1980s Isles...

Thats When You Get To Where The Flyers Rank...with The 1970s Bruins...and 1990s Pens...very Worthy Cup Winners...but No Way All Time Great Teams...

But They Sure Whipped Central Red Army : P

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10-29-2004, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
John, I remember Steve Shutt on Mtl. radio talking about how Bowman prepared them for their New Year's Eve game. They stressed taking out the first forward to handle the puck as they relied on the give and go. I think tactically Shero and Bowman were ahead of the curve. Mtl. had the same philosophy against Orr. They would dump to his corner and try and force him away from the middle. Sounds like the trap doesn't it ? I always chuckle when I hear how Lemaire invented it. Mtl. did the same thing with Bourque and had some playoff success with it. Of course, with guys that great you could only hope to limit the damage.

Did Shero promote the brawling style ? Or did he just sort of benefit from the swagger it gave his team ? Teams often take on the coach's personality, was that the case ? I can't say Bowman's team in Mtl. did, but the talent level more defined that team.
Shero didn't promote the brawling, but he wasn't against it.

The thing that Shero promoted more than anything was the idea of team, and everyone sticking up for everyone else. The Flyers teams were as tight as any I've seen. If one man was in trouble, everyone was coming off the bench.

The Broad St. Bullies came from when they got the **** kicked out of them by the St. Louis Blues with the Plager Brothers. Keith Allen and Ed Snider vowed that the would NEVER happen again.

Thus came Shultz, Saleski, Kelly etc.

Shero was the one that pushed for them to Aquire "Moose" Dupont. Shero had coached him in the minors and thought that the Flyers needed some toughness on the blueline.


Last edited by John Flyers Fan: 10-29-2004 at 04:53 PM.
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10-29-2004, 04:45 PM
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I saw Dupont play his Jr. hockey. He had a tough guy rep. but I always thought he rode coattails and ducked a few challenges. Great 3rd man in though. In Jr. I always thought his partner, a guy named Serge Lajeunesse would be the one to make it. You'll note that no one ever hired me to scout.

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10-29-2004, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
I saw Dupont play his Jr. hockey. He had a tough guy rep. but I always thought he rode coattails and ducked a few challenges. Great 3rd man in though. In Jr. I always thought his partner, a guy named Serge Lajeunesse would be the one to make it. You'll note that no one ever hired me to scout.
The Moose wasn't a great fighter, but he was a warrior.

Also he scored one of the biggest goals in team history.

1974 Finals, game 2 in Boston, where they hadn't won in 20+ games ... trailing by a goal with under a minute to go ... with parent pulled ... the "Moose" blew one past Gilles Gilbert. Clarke in OT ... and that was the difference in the series.


And the "Moose" Shuffle was one of the great celebrations in NHL history.

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10-29-2004, 06:31 PM
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Didn't perhaps the greatest coach of all time Scotty Bowman call the LCB(Leach- Clarke-Barber) line, the greatest line ever?(thier line holds the all time +/- record)
I agree with the above poster, they had to be one of the CLOSEST teams ever, in any sport.....you f'd with one Flyer, you had the rest of team in your face, literally.

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10-29-2004, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
IMO the Flyers 70's teams were every bit as good if not slightly better than the 70's Bruins and 90's Pens.

I think this is a very fair summation.

Kills me to say it...

But they were a helluva team...considering mostly Bruins cast offs .

and i agree with John on Parent, ..he was in a zone that was unbeatable.


effin Kate Smith..


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10-29-2004, 07:33 PM
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Yes, they are rank.

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10-29-2004, 08:24 PM
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Good timing for this thread, as with no hockey Comcast Sportsnet is replaying Classic Flyers games from the past once a week.

Tonight's game Game 2 vs. the Bruins in the 1974 Finals.

Some observations:

Schultz using his best move with a head butt of Terry O'Reilly early on in their fight. Ended up not being much of a fight.

Schultz played a regular shift and ends up with two assists, including one on the game winner in OT.

Carol Vadnais, quility defenseman.

Ken Hodge was a horse.

Clarke was just everywhere ... and Parent outstanding as usual.

Bill "Cowboy" Flett .. looking like Johnny Damon.

Gillies Gilbert's arms with his pads are about as wide as a goal post.

The Espo line played about 35 minutes.

Cashman got tossed for being 3rd man in at the end of the 2nd period.

How great it was to see someone flying up the ice with their hair floating behind them, not trapped down by a helmet, in this case Rick MacLeish.

Dallas Smith playng with a comb-over. :lol :lol

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10-30-2004, 12:21 AM
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Yup even though I'm a big habs fan especially of the 70-s I do think that Flyers were a great team and probably along with Boston, the best team in the league during the 70-s after Montreal. While Reggie Leach, Bobby Clarke and Billy Barber dominated the score sheet, there were plenty other tough players on the team and their goalie was great as well. Oh and even though they were tough players and somewhat "bullies" in my opinion they were very respectful towards their competition. They never whined or complained when they were swept by MTL in 76 or any other time at that matter. However I do not think they wouldve beaten the habs in 76 in the playoffs even with their best players dressed as Lafleur, Lemaire, Shutt, Cournoyer, Gainey, Larouche on offense, Savard- Robinson and Lapointe on D and Ken Dryden in net, HABS were made to have a dinasty.

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10-30-2004, 07:26 AM
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John, I had forgotten that Flett was on that team. 04's comment about how one Flyer's battle was the team's battle is well taken. Didn't Schultz comment in his book that he resented Clarke for instigating so many of those battles ? I remember some talk about that . Did the 2 of them ever kiss and make up ? Cashman was a maniac against the Flyers, he was one terrifying player on the ice as far as doing anything it would take in a given situation. One of the best corner men of all time and easily one of the toughest. Funny, you mention Vadnais. My Dad had an irrational hatred of that guy. Maybe he just didn't like his face, but as soon as his name was mentionned, he'd start to erupt. Kind of like Ribeiro for B's fans, except I have no idea what Vadnais ever did to deserve it. Friends would mention what a great player he was just to get him going.

John, I always remember the Habs [Gainey or Savard] giving flowers to Kate Smith before the anthem in one of those games, a great pysche move, if you put much stock in that stuff.

WE've spoken about the quality of player in different eras and we seem to agree that the quality is there today. I think the difference is that the great players were able to be great in less regimented systems. I'd hate to be one of those, 'it was better in my day' guys, because it's simply not true. 70's hockey just seemed to afford the skill guys more time and space.

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10-30-2004, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
John, I had forgotten that Flett was on that team. 04's comment about how one Flyer's battle was the team's battle is well taken. Didn't Schultz comment in his book that he resented Clarke for instigating so many of those battles ? I remember some talk about that . Did the 2 of them ever kiss and make up ? Cashman was a maniac against the Flyers, he was one terrifying player on the ice as far as doing anything it would take in a given situation. One of the best corner men of all time and easily one of the toughest. Funny, you mention Vadnais. My Dad had an irrational hatred of that guy. Maybe he just didn't like his face, but as soon as his name was mentionned, he'd start to erupt. Kind of like Ribeiro for B's fans, except I have no idea what Vadnais ever did to deserve it. Friends would mention what a great player he was just to get him going.

John, I always remember the Habs [Gainey or Savard] giving flowers to Kate Smith before the anthem in one of those games, a great pysche move, if you put much stock in that stuff.

WE've spoken about the quality of player in different eras and we seem to agree that the quality is there today. I think the difference is that the great players were able to be great in less regimented systems. I'd hate to be one of those, 'it was better in my day' guys, because it's simply not true. 70's hockey just seemed to afford the skill guys more time and space.
Flett was essentially replaced by Reggie Leach.

Flett scored 43 goals playing on a line with Clarke in 72-73 (year before the Cup win).

The year of the first Cup he dropped down to 17 goals. He was traded to Toronto, before the next season.

Leach was aquired after the first Stanley Cup win, basically stolen by Keith "the Theisf" Allen, from the California Golden Seals. As soon as he was reuinited with Clake, teammates from Flin Flon, he became a star.

=============================================

I think Schultz was more bitter at being traded from the Flyers to the Kings, and he lashed out at Clarke in that book. All has been made up and Schultz lives in the area, running an ice rink, and coaching hockey. Also does some work for the Flyers, and is a big part of the Flyers alumni team.

=============================================

IMO of all sports, hockey has clearly improved the most over the last 30 years, it's never more evident than watching games from the 70's, how much the game has changed.

Size, skating ability, goaltending, is all so much better it's incredible. The Philadelphia Phantoms of this year, would have smoked the 70's Flyers or Bruins.

Watching that game last night it was played in the old Boston Garden, which was smaller than the NHL standard, yet it looked like an Olmpic size rink with how much room there was to skate and make plays.

==============================================

Kate only performed live at the Spectrum on four occasions, and the Habs were the only team to beat the Flyers.

It was game 4 in 1976.

The Bruins and Espo originally tried the flowers trick with Kate Smith, in 1974, and they didn't have the same success. The difference ?? Boston faced Parent, while the Habs faced Stephenson.


Kate's overall record 64-15-3.
Kate's record live 3-1.

http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com/history/katesmith.asp


Last edited by John Flyers Fan: 10-30-2004 at 09:33 AM.
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10-30-2004, 09:53 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
I saw Dupont play his Jr. hockey. He had a tough guy rep. but I always thought he rode coattails and ducked a few challenges. Great 3rd man in though. In Jr. I always thought his partner, a guy named Serge Lajeunesse would be the one to make it. You'll note that no one ever hired me to scout.
This is an awesome discussion for me to read because, as a Bruins fan growing up, the Flyers were the first team that I ever truly hated and, as it would turn out, the one that forced me to think the game of hockey rather than just play. They are, for me, the first modern hockey team.
I've been to the HOF and was stunned to watch the 50's Canadiens-Detroit tape in that old, TV living room set and couldn't believe how similar that game seemed to the one I was watching in the 90's that everyone was complaining about. But, until the Flyers, the awareness of systems and disruption styles hadn't invaded my own way of thinking hockey because I was spoiled silly by watching Orr and Stanfield-McKenzie-Bucyk in their prime - bing, bing, bing - goal.

In the 70's, there was a magazine article on Moose and how he said he didn't think it would do him any good in t-camp to hit forwards so he hit other defensemen instead.
Also - why I included the quote - Serge L. was the sixth D in '74 finals after Ashbee got hurt vs. NYR. Larry Goodenough was good enough to take over that role in 74-75, the repeat year.

A couple other things: the nucleus of that Flyers team was heavily made up of Bruins prospects and castaways ...
Parent
Joe Watson
MacLeish
Dornhoeffer
Lonsberry
Leach (repeat year)
I might be leaving someone out ...
For the fun of it, I saw Dornhoeffer in the hallway after a game last year and quizzed him on this question - he gleefully came up with the answer.

That said, I don't think Harry Sinden gets any credit for keeping the B's in the 100s (except 74-5 they got 94pts) through the 70's with a team gutted by injury (Orr), the WHA (Cheevers, Green, McKenzie, Sanderson), the '72 expansion (Bouchard-ATL, Westfall-NYI) and the decisions to trade MacLeish and Leach to pad the lineup with more vets like Walton and Vadnais.
One Stanley Cup as a GM and Bruins fans would know this story instead of the history of Harry's stinginess at the negotiation table.
But I digress.

I thought Kindrachuk and Lonsberry, albeit without flashy personality, gave Shero the infrastructure he needed to make that team work. Buffalo sort of parroted that the next year with Luce and Ramsey, but their best guys weren't their best guys against the Flyers, Luce and Ramsey were.
That Buffalo team in 74-75 was also an awesome team, much more talented than the one that made the '99 finals vs. Dallas.

Last point: The Shero's strategy would not have worked on Orr in '72 or prior. Not that he was 100 percent then, but the Rangers had a better team than the one that took the Flyers to seven in '74 and couldn't contain him. A couple of midseason leg checks by Barber, no doubt, played a part in making him a one-legged player in the '74 playoffs. Orr had to change his style somewhat after his '72 postseason surgery and was never the same end-to-end guy. They always show that circle-the-net highlight vs. Atl. in 74-75 but it wasn't the same speed with which he used to run. Classic likes to show Game 6 in '74 and Orr can't even go backwards in that game, he pumps forward a few strides, glides his turns and plays defense like Housley. The more people see this game, the more they think like Fischler when it comes to Orr (i.e. limited player).

I do think, as much as I've grown to like those Flyers in my adulthood that the notion that they could have taken the Habs in '76 is a fantasy - just like my fantasy that the Bruins were going to beat Philly in '74. As my casual-fan friend scolded me on the school bus the next morning: "You couldn't see that coming?!" Everyone has their time and that Montreal team was a huge machine - adding Nyrop in 75-76 to an already large D and cutting GAA by about million (Bowman's first Cup team based on defensive play) - the Flyers couldn't hurt them, nor was there anything they could do that Montreal couldn't do more effectively.

Parent was great those two prior years, but he didn't steal that Cup from the Bruins, Philly won that Cup and the next one as a "team" and every "team" team the goalie gets the accolades.

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10-30-2004, 10:12 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
Size, skating ability, goaltending, is all so much better it's incredible. The Philadelphia Phantoms of this year, would have smoked the 70's Flyers or Bruins.

I've gone back and forth on this and have arrived at the following conclusion: Hockey was mostly art when I was a kid and now it's mostly science.

The modern players are "advantaged" in the way of knowledge, coaching, equipment, training and nutrition, and all manner of professionalism, but as I watch these guys think the game, skate, pass, check and shoot and play the game, I am only enamoured by particular individual players, certainly not by the average player.
If, in fact, an AHL team today could beat an NHL contender of the 70's - and this is a reach because the rules of the game have also changed, if not in the book, then by evolution via lack of enforcement (I'm convinced that, given the routine harrassment that a puck carrier today would shrug off a hit or a hack, a helmetless player wearing yesterday's shoulder pads and pants would drop the gloves and start pounding, setting off a full-scale brawl that would elicit the modern opponent's incredulous but sincere "what'd we do?"
So it's a tough meeting place to conjur up to begin with.
I don't want to say "that aside" because that's what it's about, not who's better. There are players in the AHL today that would be stars in the NHL in the 70's and players that would be an absolute joke on the ice back then.
To the same extent that today's circumstances camouflage talent, they also protect bad players from exposure.
No question, there are way more good players today, and that's obviously compounded by the fact the best players from around the world are in the NHL (when it's back, of course).
But if the 2003-04 Lightning were to don 70's equipment and play by 70's rule enforcement with 70's coaches and conditions, how would they cope without time to get adjusted?

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10-30-2004, 12:25 PM
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Doc, I taped something a few years back, highlighting the Habs 50's team. There was a lot of game footage of Mtl-Detroit, Mtl- Boston etc. The same thing is always evident, the ammount of space on the ice. How many times in a game 30-410 years ago would a winger take a pass cross the blue line a nd shoot ? You seldom see that now, a winger never has the time and space to wind up and lean into one.

Doc, one thing that really damaged the Bruins and probably kept them for achieving what they could have was the WHA. The Bruins got raided and eventually had to become the Cherry lunch pail gang rather than the 69-74 elite talented team. The Bruins got hit the hardest and the Rangers paid the biggest price. They overpaid to keep a lot of guys and got the result you get when you create a country club atmosphere.

When you watch a game, you sort of have an opinion as to whether the opponent is more talented. As a Hab fan, I always felt they were underdogs against the Bruins during those 4 or 5 years. Sometimes the Rangers of that era gave you that same feeling. I always felt the Habs should beat the Flyers, though they often didn't. You're right when you mention the Flyers being a 'modern' team because they were more than the sum of the parts. Not to downplay their talent, but I remember not buying into how good they were until before you knew it, they won 2 straight. As a kid, you see the names on paper and figure who should win, and I just didn't believe they'd beat the B's until they actually did.


John, the Flyers should have put Kate Smith in uniform. She would've made a solid D. I didn't know Boston had done that with the flowers. Which Bruin ? It sounds like Esposito's style to me.

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10-31-2004, 09:28 AM
  #25
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Originally Posted by mcphee
John, the Flyers should have put Kate Smith in uniform. She would've made a solid D. I didn't know Boston had done that with the flowers. Which Bruin ? It sounds like Esposito's style to me.
And the answer is: Orr and Espo together. It's a wonder they trotted out Kate for the Habs in '76 because that '74 moment sort of diffused it. You know Bucyk hit the post in the second period of that game? If that goes back to Boston ...

The awesome second-line chemistry that Bucyk enjoyed with Stanfield and McKenzie wasn't around for the Flyers. McKenzie was in the WHA and Stanfield was dealt for Gilbert (more WHA fallout).
I was a big Gregg Sheppard fan, but Schmautz was freelancing - seemed like Cherry made him a much better team player a few seasons later, as he would Middleton.
I believe Espo played too much which made him too tired/slow (a post-Bruins interview would suggest that Guidolin would have preferred to do otherwise but was trumped), but, overall, the Flyers had better chemistry in their depth. The Bruins relied on fewer guys for scoring threat, while O'Reilly and Marcotte just banged away and tried to wear down the Philly D.

I agree with your point about space. Puck carriers were not confronted nearly as aggressively as they are now (in the so-called trap era!). The similarity I was pointed to was the flow/pattern of team defense and forecheck (1-2-2), not the time-space issue. So I wasn't trying to assert something contrary to your point. I'm on board.
IMO, tempo made its major advancement mostly in the 80's across the league. Edmonton gets credit and rightfully so, but I look at what Pat Quinn did with the Flyers in 79-80 - they played a much faster game than before and changed enough personnel to make it work - a blatant response to the Hedberg-Nilsson Ranger debacle of '79.
And in the '80 Cup final, Philly - here you go, John Flyers Fan - got royally screwed on - how many offsides goals was it? ... including Duane Sutter's roofer in Game 6 (the difference in the game ... the series?).
IMO, the Isles were the better team, esp. after the Goring acquisition, but even vs. the Bruins they got some help from the linesmen. Not sure what that was about.

Since I'm back on the subject ... as for the '74 Flyers ...
I could always get over the Bruins losing to the Canadiens and their mystique, as hard as '71 was, but the Flyers destroyed my romance with the Bruins and challenged my whole way of thinking the game. So I actually welcomed Sinden's rebuilding of the Bruins via the Park-Ratelle blockbuster, and Cherry was the perfect coach to grow the new group.
The '77 sweep of the Flyers, of which I attended games 3 and 4 in Boston, was the culmination of their transformation from a glamour team into the blue-collar industrial image that they'd try to live up to until the Garden closed in '95.

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