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Were the Broad Street Bullies good enough to win...

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Old
06-08-2010, 10:23 PM
  #1
Roomtemperature
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Were the Broad Street Bullies good enough to win...

... without the dirty play? Or was "gooning" it up what made them a good/ very good team to a great cup winning team.

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06-08-2010, 11:29 PM
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Well, you'd think that in the 1974 SC finals, for example, the 'Big Bad Bruins' weren't afraid of them or anything, but all in all, I'm pretty sure it was a big part of their success. Take away Shero, Clarke and Parent, and what you've got left? Not awfully lot.

The intimidation and dirty play certainly was a huge factor when they faced CSKA Moscow in '76, but the Flyers also managed to totally confuse the Soviets and stop their passing plays as well as fully dominating them in the corners; a very 'skilled' performance IMO (in its own way).

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06-09-2010, 11:50 AM
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In my opinion, the broadstreet bullies would not have won today. They were lucky enough to play in an era were you slash your way to success. Their bottom 9 werent good and the defense could be compared to Canes 06 team. Bernie Parent was the difference for that team together with the first line. I owuld also say that their Conference made it alot easier for them.

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06-09-2010, 01:15 PM
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Ogie Goldthorpe
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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Well, you'd think that in the 1974 SC finals, for example, the 'Big Bad Bruins' weren't afraid of them or anything, but all in all, I'm pretty sure it was a big part of their success. Take away Shero, Clarke and Parent, and what you've got left? Not awfully lot.

The intimidation and dirty play certainly was a huge factor when they faced CSKA Moscow in '76, but the Flyers also managed to totally confuse the Soviets and stop their passing plays as well as fully dominating them in the corners; a very 'skilled' performance IMO (in its own way).
Well, the '74 squad also had above average players like, Rick MacLeish, Bill Barber, Ross Lonsberry, Barry Ashbee and Andre Dupont, so they did have some depth of talent.

They could probably have done well playing another style, but that's like asking if the Oilers were good enough to win if they had played a defensive system.


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06-09-2010, 01:37 PM
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If you haven't seen this awesome documentary yet you sure should. You'll get your answer there.

HockeyWebCast uploaded the full documentary on YouTube (7 parts) some weeks ago when it aired on HBO.
I won't post the clips, just the link to them, because for some reason when i posted them before on this site they were taken down.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...1E38517E4D7346

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06-09-2010, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Eastvanmungo View Post
Well, the '74 squad also had above average players like, Rick MacLeish, Bill Barber, Ross Lonsberry, Barry Ashbee and Andre Dupont, so they did have some depth of talent.

They could probably have done well playing another style, but that's like asking if the Oilers were could enough to win if they had played a defensive system.
I think any top NHL team at that time had their fair share of "above average players" [in addition to the superstars], and quite frankly, more of them (the Habs, the Bruins, NY Rangers and maybe even the Sabres), and yet it was the Bullies who were in the SC finals for 3 years in a row, winning 2 Cups. They were a good team on paper too, but should not have been that good in my opinion.


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06-09-2010, 04:18 PM
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The Flyers were a classic example of the total being greater than the sum of their parts. Take their defence for example: Van Impe, the Watsons, Dupont, Bladon, Ashbee (in '74). Not a lot of star power there, but collectively they were arguably the best defence in the league at the time. A lot of that is because of Fred Shero, using the best system with the talent he had rather than relying on a few superstars to carry the team.

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06-09-2010, 04:30 PM
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To be fair, there are a LOT of Cup winning teams that would suffer if you took out their coach, top notch goalie and star center. Not just the Flyers. Other than that there was still Barber, MacLeish and Leach. Barber is of course in the HHOF and the other two were at least playing like they were back then (Leach just the one Cup).

Overall I have always felt that the Flyers get overlooked for just how talented they really were. Intimidation and talent is what made that team so great and IMO they don't win without either one of them. The most recent example is in 2007 when Anaheim won. I had never seen a team use their toughness to win a Cup like that since the Flyers, but of course we all know the raw talent the Ducks possessed too.

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06-09-2010, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Well, you'd think that in the 1974 SC finals, for example, the 'Big Bad Bruins' weren't afraid of them or anything, but all in all, I'm pretty sure it was a big part of their success. Take away Shero, Clarke and Parent, and what you've got left? Not awfully lot.

The intimidation and dirty play certainly was a huge factor when they faced CSKA Moscow in '76, but the Flyers also managed to totally confuse the Soviets and stop their passing plays as well as fully dominating them in the corners; a very 'skilled' performance IMO (in its own way).
Good enough to win without the intimidation?

No.

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06-09-2010, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
To be fair, there are a LOT of Cup winning teams that would suffer if you took out their coach, top notch goalie and star center. Not just the Flyers. Other than that there was still Barber, MacLeish and Leach. Barber is of course in the HHOF and the other two were at least playing like they were back then (Leach just the one Cup).

Overall I have always felt that the Flyers get overlooked for just how talented they really were. Intimidation and talent is what made that team so great and IMO they don't win without either one of them. The most recent example is in 2007 when Anaheim won. I had never seen a team use their toughness to win a Cup like that since the Flyers, but of course we all know the raw talent the Ducks possessed too.
Well you make your bed succeeding in a certain way and the way they did it in the 70's means no one will truly know how much talent you had in a pure hockey sense.

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06-09-2010, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
To be fair, there are a LOT of Cup winning teams that would suffer if you took out their coach, top notch goalie and star center. Not just the Flyers. Other than that there was still Barber, MacLeish and Leach. Barber is of course in the HHOF and the other two were at least playing like they were back then (Leach just the one Cup).

Overall I have always felt that the Flyers get overlooked for just how talented they really were. Intimidation and talent is what made that team so great and IMO they don't win without either one of them. The most recent example is in 2007 when Anaheim won. I had never seen a team use their toughness to win a Cup like that since the Flyers, but of course we all know the raw talent the Ducks possessed too.
They did not just win a Cup, they won 2 in a row and were in the finals 3 times in a row. Again, with that roster, no, I don't think they should have been that succesful nor were they that "talented" ...

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06-09-2010, 11:44 PM
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They did not just win a Cup, they won 2 in a row and were in the finals 3 times in a row. Again, with that roster, no, I don't think they should have been that succesful nor were they that "talented" ...
You know there was one major fight in the entire 1974 finals vs. Boston. O'Reilly vs. Schultz. You weren't going to intimidate the Bruins anyways, they were just as tough as Philly at that time. So in order to stop a prime Orr and Esposito you would have to have some talent right? Think of stuff like the hat trick for Clarke in Game 2 and the overtime winner.

Then in 1975 they beat the Sabres and the ever dangerous French Connection line. To be honest, the sentiment among many at that time was that the Sabres were favoured in that final. You need talent to beat Perreault and co. Not to mention Bernie Parent shut out Boston AND Buffalo in the Cup clinching wins in back to back years.

I couldn't stand the Flyers, but they had three HHOFers on their team and two other guys who were playing like HHOFers at the time in Leach and MacLeish. Yes, they had the talent. Their 1975 team had the Hart and Vezina winner that year.

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06-09-2010, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
You know there was one major fight in the entire 1974 finals vs. Boston. O'Reilly vs. Schultz. You weren't going to intimidate the Bruins anyways, they were just as tough as Philly at that time. So in order to stop a prime Orr and Esposito you would have to have some talent right? Think of stuff like the hat trick for Clarke in Game 2 and the overtime winner.
Take a look at the post #2 and the 1st paragraph, where I suggest the EXACT same thing. Maybe I said it unclearly?

Now, where have I badmouthed them so much that I get these responses? Did I say that they didn't have ANY talent, or they won ONLY because of the intimidation and gooning???

My point again: they had some talent & skill, but not so much compared to the other top teams around that time, so that it should have been them who were in the Stanley Cup finals THREE YEARS IN A ROW and WINNING 2 CUPS.

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06-10-2010, 12:08 AM
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... without the dirty play? Or was "gooning" it up what made them a good/ very good team to a great cup winning team.
Bernie Parent made them a great cup winning team. He was the key.

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06-10-2010, 12:57 AM
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If you were to go into the playoffs today with the best goalie in the league, a solid group of defensemen, two future Hall of Famers on the first line and a 50 goal scorer on the second line along with a half a dozen grinders who were totally committed to the team's system and if that team had the top penalty killing unit, the number three power play in the league and allowed the fewest goals against I think you would stand an excellent chance to win a Cup or two. That was basically Philly in 73/74 and they added Reggie Leach's offense in 74/75.

It was a pretty good team and I'm not a Flyers fan either.

Another thing is that I'm sure all the nastiness helped and you can talk about Schultz, Saleski, Dupont and company as being goons but sometimes people forget that, unlike the typical goons of today who average about 3 or 4 minutes of ice time a night if they are lucky and watch the playoffs from the pressbox, those guys could actually play a little if they had to and were reliable enough to take a regular shift in a playoff game.

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06-11-2010, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
The Flyers were a classic example of the total being greater than the sum of their parts. Take their defence for example: Van Impe, the Watsons, Dupont, Bladon, Ashbee (in '74). Not a lot of star power there, but collectively they were arguably the best defence in the league at the time. A lot of that is because of Fred Shero, using the best system with the talent he had rather than relying on a few superstars to carry the team.
Shero was probably the biggest factor after Parent. I have never seen a coach so universally praised for the heights he was able to make that team climb.

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06-11-2010, 02:33 PM
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It's a bit like asking whether Howe and Lindsay could dominate if they hadn't also thrown their weight (and fists/elbows) around or if Rocket Richard had been the same player without his violent temper. It's part of what the Flyers were and it was part of hockey at the time so obviously they were "good enough". Whether they were good enough to win by IIHF rules is a moot point, that's not the rules that group was assembled for.

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06-11-2010, 03:57 PM
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My point again: they had some talent & skill, but not so much compared to the other top teams around that time, so that it should have been them who were in the Stanley Cup finals THREE YEARS IN A ROW and WINNING 2 CUPS.
Based on pure talent alone I would say the Sabres had more with the French Connection line. The Habs had more for sure. The Bruins even just with the prescence of Orr had more but other than Esposito they were pretty much a lunchpail gang by then in 1975.

So there is three teams who had more pure talent than them. But Buffalo didn't have a goalie that could win, I guess you could say the same thing about Boston too and then Montreal, well, in all honesty no one would have been surprised if they had won the Cup, they just couldn't get past Buffalo. Other than that I think Philly had the most talent in the NHL. Clarke, Barber and MacLeish not to mention Leach. Those were their stars and then of course Parent. They had more talent than one might think.

Plus hard work and defense goes a long ways in helping a team win also. Philly had that, along with coaching. As far as I am concerned it wasn't unusual to see a team like Philly make three straight finals.

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06-11-2010, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Based on pure talent alone I would say the Sabres had more with the French Connection line. The Habs had more for sure. The Bruins even just with the prescence of Orr had more but other than Esposito they were pretty much a lunchpail gang by then in 1975.

So there is three teams who had more pure talent than them. But Buffalo didn't have a goalie that could win, I guess you could say the same thing about Boston too and then Montreal, well, in all honesty no one would have been surprised if they had won the Cup, they just couldn't get past Buffalo. Other than that I think Philly had the most talent in the NHL. Clarke, Barber and MacLeish not to mention Leach. Those were their stars and then of course Parent. They had more talent than one might think.

Plus hard work and defense goes a long ways in helping a team win also. Philly had that, along with coaching. As far as I am concerned it wasn't unusual to see a team like Philly make three straight finals.
You have to look at the Philadelphia Flyers competition in the first half of the seventies. In alphabetical order.

Boston. Orr and Esposito, good supporting cast of skaters, weak to average core goaltending, well below average coaching. Of all the Stanley Cup championship teams I have seen the 1970 and 1972 Bruins were the only two that relied on talent, never coming together as a team.

Buffalo. Did surprisingly well for an expansion franchise but lacked goaltending and defense. Their small rink masked the weakness of a slow defenseive core. Coaching was far from the best.

Montreal. Transition team between the old guard that won regularly between the sixties and 1973. Dryden's sabbatical did not change all that much. Needed time for Robinson, Gainey, Lafleur, Shutt to find their NHL level and young replacements - Jarvis, Tremblay, Lambert, Risebrough to arrive. When Glen Sather(1974-75) is a depth player you do not have sufficient depth.

New York Rangers. Sizzle but no steak. Sufficient offense adequate defense, over rated goaltending, so-so coaching, never came together as a team.

Chicago/Detroit/Toronto. Varying levels of dysfunctional ownership / management.

New York Islanders. Young expansion franchise that was not ready for a few seasons.

Remaining teams. Basically expansion teams playing from season to season without any real stability.

Philadelphia had a few things going for them. Management that was astute enough to take advantage of other teams mistakes - Parent, Leach, MacLeish,Dupont were all obtained for very little in return as were supporting veterans - Crisp, Lonsberry, Flett. They had an elite coach in Fred Shero and a great team work ethic with great leadership from Bobby Clarke.

Their top 6 - Clarke, Leach, MacLeish, Barber, Parent, Joe Watson, throw in Dupont could not be matched between 1973-1975.

More than enough to win.

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06-11-2010, 11:04 PM
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So basically they did all that gooning for nothing, as they had the talent to do just as well without it; is that the conclusion? Panem et circenses?

It is true, though, that in the 1975-76 season, especially, there wasn't a team outside the Habs, who were going to stop them winning the 3rd SC in a row (which the Canadiens did do of course). Big changes for the Boston Bruins and especially NY Rangers that season (the infamous Espo & Ratelle/Park etc trade).


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06-12-2010, 04:46 AM
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So basically they did all that gooning for nothing, as they had the talent to do just as well without it; is that the conclusion? Panem et circenses?

It is true, though, that in the 1975-76 season, especially, there wasn't a team outside the Habs, who were going to stop them winning the 3rd SC in a row (which the Canadiens did do of course). Big changes for the Boston Bruins and especially NY Rangers that season (the infamous Espo & Ratelle/Park etc trade).
To appreciate and understand the two mid 1970's Flyers Stanley Cup championship teams, one has to look at post O6 hockey as played in the NHL, the minors and junior hockey.

The 1967 expansion opened the NHL doors to a large group of minor league lifers, especially slow, big defensemen who were adept at protecting the slot and in most instances fighting.

Along with NHL expansion came the end of junior sponsorship and a reduction to the extent of minor league sponsorship. The void was filled by independent operators who viewed goon hockey as a viable means of increasing attendance. So they would find disposable goons and coaches who were comfortable coaching that way.

The "Big Bad Bruins" somehow with their collection of talent, the Bruins adopted a style that was the opposite of their skill set and in the late 1960's were involved in a significant number of incidents - stick swinging - Shack / Zeidel, Green / Maki, plus other brawls when they could not take what they liked to dish-out - Orr/Quinn, Bruins vs Forbes Kennedy.

The Shero coached Flyers managed to converge all the necessary elements at the right time. Fred Shero had a history of success coaching in the minors by adapting to flexible roster conditions while instilling a sense of team unity or an us against the world mentality. Given an elite goalie and talent he could more than hold his own coaching in the NHL and was a master at coaching when penalties or a brawl would scramble game plans, match-ups or reduce the game to 4 on 4 or 3 on 3 hockey.

The Flyer goons were pedestrian individually, collectively they were better than the sum of the parts.

Dave Schultz could play some hockey in junior:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...schulda01.html

but he had little impact out west as a goon and had been run out of the MMJHL - Sorel because a few of the tougher players - notably Kevin Morrison had laid beatings on him, Morrison chasing Schultz around the rink.

Dupont and Kelly were serviceable OHA (pre OHL) tough guys who actually played regular shifts in junior.

Don Saleski - reasonably good junior player out west who did not intimidate anyone in the Memorial Cup against the Montreal Junior Canadiens.

Collectively with the advantage of four roster spots left open for such players the Flyers had an edge on the Bruins and most other teams.

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06-12-2010, 06:31 PM
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... without the dirty play? Or was "gooning" it up what made them a good/ very good team to a great cup winning team.
If you put a team in the NHL next season (forgetting about the salary cap) and your core was made up of:

Dominik Hasek (circa 1998) ... (Parent)
Sidney Crosby (Clarke)
Marian Hossa (Barber)
Brad Richards (MacLeish)
Alex Semin that shows up in the playoffs (Leach)

On top of that you have a Hall of Fame level coach

that would be a pretty good start ... the rest of the team, just needs to know their jobs, be physical take the body and play defense.

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06-12-2010, 11:45 PM
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If you are ever fortunate enough to attend a dinner where Dave Schultz (who scored 20 goals in '74-75) is one of the speakers, he'll explain how the Flyers were the first team to use so called "role" players.

Like it or not, their recipe of using role players became a model for many teams since then.

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06-13-2010, 12:45 AM
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They outworked everyone they played.

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06-13-2010, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
If you put a team in the NHL next season (forgetting about the salary cap) and your core was made up of:

Dominik Hasek (circa 1998) ... (Parent)
Sidney Crosby (Clarke)
Marian Hossa (Barber)
Brad Richards (MacLeish)
Alex Semin that shows up in the playoffs (Leach)

On top of that you have a Hall of Fame level coach

that would be a pretty good start ... the rest of the team, just needs to know their jobs, be physical take the body and play defense.
I don't know, I know what you want to say, but a prime Clarke was a LOT more dirty than Crosby.

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