I don't get why the Broad Street Bullies are so celebrated

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Roomtemperature, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Roomtemperature

    Roomtemperature Registered User

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    Seems more like a team that had enough talent to goon their way to Cup wins that the refs were compliant in letting them do so. But like when the HBO doc came out it seemed like every place that wrote about it was like "Old Tyme Hockey Yeah". (not I did not see it so I can't speak to the doc itself just the coverage like a year ago about it) And sometimes you get the people who miss the bench clearing stuff and the fighting that happened alot then and as an aside I don't get how people miss those. I watch footage of them and they seem tedious. Maybe I'm weird in that I like the playing of hockey and that the physical play is not the end all be all of it.
     
  2. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    Winning 2 cups in a row is why they are celebrated and there definitely is a mystic about them.

    Bobby Clarke was my favorite player at a young age as I admired his work ethic but like most heroes he has warts.
     
  3. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    One of the best teams of that era. First of the post-1942 expansion clubs to win the Stanley Cup. All around good team.
     
  4. BubbaBoot

    BubbaBoot Registered User

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    They were a team of the era. There was a lot of Rock-Em-Sock-Em play back then and they out bullied even the Big Bad Bruins more times than not.

    They were swashbucklers led by Bobby Clarke, a player you loved to hate and wished he was on your team.

    They were big, mean as well as talented.....Gary Dornhoefer, Rick MacLeish, Bill Barber, Ross Lonsberry, Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, Orest Kindrachuk, Andre 'Moose' Dupont, Jim and Joe Watson, Ed Van Impe, Bob "Battleship" Kelly, Reggie Leach, Bill Clement, Bernie Parent, Don Saleski, Barry Ashbee, Doug Favell, Mel Bridgeman, Wayne Stephenson....

    This was a loaded team for a good stretch of the 70's.
     
  5. Analyzer*

    Analyzer* Guest

    I'm not sure if it was their play, or how the refs let it go on, or both, but they caused a team to forfeit.
     
  6. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Anomaly

    The Flyers, 1974 and 1975 SC Champs were an anomaly.

    They won the SC in their 7 and 8th seasons in the NHL which surprised many since a few of the O6 teams - the Rangers, Boston and Detroit had not won in at least a generation.

    They were led by a coach, Fred Shero, who had been written off as a bit of an odd duck until he was given a chance in Philadelphia.

    Their best player was Bobby Clarke. Talented - would have been the top player chosen after Montreal picked Tardiff and Houle had he not been diabetic.

    Beyond that the team was a collection of talented but somewhat flawed players that had passed thru various organizations and a few just drafted youngsters just drafted.

    Toughness. Somewhat puzzling. Two of their tough guys - Dave Schultz and Andre Dupont had played junior in Quebec. Schultz had taken a couple of beatings - Kevin Morrison being the most notable one.Dupont was willing but could be had. The former OHA players were not that tough in junior - Kelly,Dornhoefer. Simon Nolet who had beaten John Ferguson in a fight, hardly ever fought.

    Regardless, they managed to come together as a team for a few years and win two consecutive SCs when others could not.

    Celebrated today. Interesting description. Imitation would be the highest honour, a tribute that their style of hockey made a difference in the history of the game. Fortunately it did not and they are celebrated within the confines of their fan base, because ther is little else for the fan base to celebrate.

    The team did not build on the foundation that was established. In the seasons since there have been sufficient opportunities to win but the team did not win. Which in a certain sense contributes to the perception that the 1974 and 1975 SC Flyers were even greater.
     
  7. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    It's nostalgia, coupled with the same adulation that bad boys often get. It's maybe the most macho team ever in a very macho sport.
     
  8. Rob

    Rob Registered User

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    I don't see why their dirty victory over the Soviets is celebrated either. It was really shameful.
     
  9. Peter9

    Peter9 Registered User

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    Re your second sentence, the Bruins had not at that time gone a generation without winning the Stanley Cup; they had just won it twice, in 1970 and 1972. And that was among the reasons the Flyers victory over the Bruins to win the Cup was so celebrated; the first Cup win by an expansion team came against a Bruins team loaded with Esposito, Orr, Bucyk, Hodge and company. Their bullying style of play attracted a lot of attention, particularly from U.S. fans, and their penalty minutes totals were truly phenomenal.

    The sweep of the Canadiens over the Broad Street Bullies in the 1976 Cup finals was widely celebrated at the time as a victory for ice hockey, a return to the way the game should be played. I watched those four games on the television. While the series was much more closely contested than the four-game sweep indicates, it was plain the Canadiens were the superior hockey team. At the end of game four at the Spectrum, the Flyers and their fans almost seemed resigned to their loss of status; they seemed to accept that their two-year run as the leading force in the NHL was over. Most of the Philadelphia fans were sporting enough to applaud the Canadiens, who combined superb hockey talent with strength and toughness that enabled them to overcome the Flyers bullying version of the game. I was happy to see the Flyers' reign end, not merely as a Canadiens fan, but as a hockey fan.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  10. brianscot

    brianscot Registered User

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    An unfortunate thing about the 70's Flyers is that the goon imagery tends to gloss over some very good hockey players.

    Then again, perhaps that's appropriate since the organization often did everything it could to foster that imagery.

    They had four top notch offensive forwards (Clarke, Barber, Macleish, Leach); a solid team defense, despite not owning a true number one defenseman; and an excellent bunch of grinders with great competitive drive.

    Most importantly, Philadelphia had a goaltender whose back to back seasons 73-75 ranks favorably with any goaltending seasons.
     
  11. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    I think the real question is rather why that Philly team is treated like the black sheep of hockey history. They were given a scenario and tools to work with and they made the best of it. It's not like they introduced brutality to the NHL, it's not like they were the only team gooning it up either. The Bruins were the Flyers before the Flyers but it's swept under the rug because people would rather think of Orr's end-to-end rushes, Maurice Richard was essentially a lunatic escaped from an asylum and of course the Habs utilized that fear factor to their advantage (Dick Irvin himself singled out Richard sucker punching Lindsay as the moment that won the Habs the Cup in one of those years). Habs lore has somehow managed to re-write that into something noble.

    You may say, but the Flyers were much more violent than even all of that and that's possibly true. But they were also handed a bit of a crappy card. It's no coincidence that of the eight teams added in 1967 and 1970 only two have won the Cup and the Flyers were the first to do so by about 20 years.

    The Flyers simply made the best of what they had and won Cups that way. The success spoke for itself and really it's a unique phenomenon of the immediate post-expansion era and a unique combination of players. I think if anything the vilification of the Flyers was at least partially related to the fact that these were brash "new kids on the block" who didn't hesitate to throw their weight around. They simply lacked legitimacy in the eyes of a hockey establishment closely attached to the Original Six teams and thus it was easy to vilify them to an extent no other team had ever been vilified. The Flyers, instead of apologizing and changing their ways, took the label and made it their own and that's a big reason for the legend of the Broad Street Bullies.
     
  12. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    Good description, but you should add they had a great goaltender in Bernie Parent.

    Kevin Morrison played in New Haven for the Blades & Nighthawks and later in the WHA. Then 1/2 a season with Colorado Rockies. When I'd see him play in New Haven, no one went near him. When on the penalty kill, he'd just stand in front of the net and no one dared enter his domain. Battleship Kelly was the only guy I remember willing to go with him.
     
  13. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    The fact that no other NHL team got the job done is a good enough reason.


    No win is dirty. When you win, you don't really give a damn what everyone else thinks about it since they did not win. The Flyers did anything for each other, but most importantly they did anything to win.
     
  14. RorschachWJK

    RorschachWJK Registered User

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    That exactly is what is wrong here. I have a problem with glorifying clearly criminal acts (Clarke on Kharlamov etc.). This is only a sport, not war. Giving your all to win is way better than doing anything to win. I think there's a huge difference between the two statements. Not saying that 70ies Flyers only did the dirty part, they could play too and kudos for that.
     
  15. AllByDesign

    AllByDesign Who's this ABD guy??

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    Well... back to back Stanley Cup wins requires more than intimidation. The 76 team had a 60 goal scored and a 50 goal scorer. Two players over 100 points and a third just under.

    The Hammer is also a 20 goal scorer (granted prior to the cup wins). This is a team that had depth, passion, and worked as a unit. Of course what is any different today for the Cup recipe?

    I am no Flyer's booster, but whend credit is due it should be stated.
     
  16. AllByDesign

    AllByDesign Who's this ABD guy??

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    That's just what the losing teams say. ;)
     
  17. HabsByTheBay

    HabsByTheBay Registered User

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    The gung ho comments about their style of play ring very hollow when one recalls the ass-kicking they received in 1976 by a considerably fairer team in the Canadiens, who then proceeded to build a dynasty. The Broad Street Bullies became obsolete in their prime, which I feel is significant.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't especially hate them and any hockey fan should respect a tremendous competitor like Bobby Clarke and a tremendous goalie like Bernie Parent. But it's probably a good thing their style of play got rejected quickly in favor of teams with toughness but a sense of dignity like the Canadiens and later the Islanders.
     
  18. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    :shakehead

    If you really believe that then we can scrap the rulebook because there's no point in having regulations and penalties. Let them do what they want, anything goes.

    Could anyone possibly want that? :help:
     
  19. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    There was a quote from Bobby Clarke saying they didn't respect the Soviets. It makes sense that there was so much animosity during the Cold War era, but the lack of sportsmanship/dignity was pretty appalling. Not a fan of that era or the Flyers.
     
  20. BubbaBoot

    BubbaBoot Registered User

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    The Flyers also own the distinction of being the most penalized team through the 70's, literally leading the NHL in total PIMs from 71-72 through 81-82.

    Ironically, from 71-72 through 74-75, the second in PIMs was the St. Louis Blues, not my Big Bad Bruins, which surprised me. In fact, during the reign, (of terror), by the Flyers, the Bruins were never higher than 3rd most in PIMs, often down farther toward the middle of the pack half the time, even with Don Cherry as coach.

    !980-81 the Flyers had 11 guys with 100+ PIMs that season.
    1981-82 they did it again, and Jimmy Watson had 99 PIMs.

    The NHL record for most PIMs by a team? The 91-92 Buffalo Sabres (2713)....they had 3 guys with 300+ PIMs that season. Rob Ray 354 / Brad May 309 / Gord Donnelly 305. Coeelctively they scored 18 goals and were a -28. (Brad Miller had 192 PIMs).

    2nd place? the 88-89 Penguins(2670)....they had 15 guys with 100+ PIMs, including Mario Lemieux with 100....(and Phil Bourque had 97)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  21. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

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    Bobby Clarke and his Flyers played to win by any means necessary. Really, winning is all there is. You don't win trophies for abiding by the rules more than everyone else.

    Well, I guess there's the Lady Byng, but nobody wants to win that.
     
  22. Blades of Glory

    Blades of Glory Troll Captain

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    The Broad Street Bullies played a style built around physical play and defense. They were heart and determination, not speed and skill. The Flyers were not an aesthetically-pleasing team in any way, whether it be their style of play or the toothless face of the organization. They were the red-headed step child of a league that preferred it's public image to be that of one of it's older, more handsome, and more polite children. There were only three teams that won the Stanley Cup during the 1970's. The Broad Street Bullies were the antithesis of Bobby Orr's Boston Bruins and Guy Lafleur's Montreal Canadiens. They were that third team, the miscreant in a group with two golden boys.

    The 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup Finals were the ultimate showcase for the two dominant contrasting styles in the NHL. It was the speed, skill, and skating against physicality and defense. In 1974, the Flyers were supposed to be crushed by Boston Bruins, who featured the top four scorers in the league, including a 25-year old Bobby Orr and a Hart-winning Phil Esposito. The Bruins had scored 73 more goals than the Flyers in the regular season. Bobby was the dominant player in the Finals. But it was the wrong Bobby, the one everyone forgot about. The Flyers got physical with Orr, with Bobby Clarke leading the charge. Orr was neutralized (for his standard), and Bernie Parent took care of everything else. The next year, Philadelphia avoided both Boston and Montreal en route to the Cup Finals, and faced a highly-skilled Buffalo Sabres team led by the French Connection. Just like Boston the year before, the powerful Sabres' offense vanished against Clarke, Parent, and company.

    The immortality of the Broad Street Bullies is not a result of their style of play by itself. Maybe they were goons". But they were "goons" that played outstanding team defense and proved that the combination of physicality, defense, and Bernie Parent could shut down anyone. They proved that they could sustain that type of style long-term. That is why they are special.
     
  23. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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  24. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    Look at the hype the fans get out of a hometown player wins a fight today?
     
  25. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    That's pretty much the answer here.

    Also, I think the Flyers did have a legitimately important role in the arms-race mentality regarding goons/enforcers that developed through the 1980s and early 1990s. In an alternate reality where the Flyers were a wimpy team of losers, the league's attitude toward fighting might have turned out differently.
     

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