the history of clutch/grab NHL hockey...

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by puckhead103*, Oct 10, 2005.

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  1. puckhead103*

    puckhead103* Guest

    i get the feeling by reading fans comments that clutch grab hockey started when the new jersey devils won the cup in 1995....

    however clutch/grab hockey has been around since time immortal...

    i can remember reading some book mentioning the leafs of late 40's and early 60's clutched and grabbed to several stanley cups....

    i also remember reading a quote from king clancy, i guess the late 40's, mentioning it was unrealistic to call EVERY penalty........

    i know rocket richard was constantly "clutched and grabbed" which made him even more madder......

    am i wrong here?
     
  2. Forever27

    Forever27 Registered User

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    As I understand its gone up and down. The 50s and 60s were a very defensive era for instance, then the 70s and 80s got more offensive, then late 90s back to defensive hockey. Cyclic I guess.
     
  3. +73*

    +73* Guest

    Scotty Bowman employed a neutral zone trap during the late 70s Habs Cup runs (even though it wasn't called that at the time)... but the defensive scheme dates back to Toe Blake, who passed the system on to jr., and so on... it's teams like the NJ Devils that turned defensive systems into a bore-fest (Lemaire, product of Bowman, pretty much doing the same thing in Minnesota).
     
  4. Little Wing

    Little Wing Registered User

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    Not for long
     
  5. Snap Wilson

    Snap Wilson Registered User

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    You are not, at least as far back as I can remember.
     
  6. JV

    JV Registered User

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    When did "cycling the puck down low" become a major element of generating scoring chances?

    Personally, I don't think the phrase was coined until sometime after 1990.
     
  7. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    Close checking was always a part of the game but if you are asking when the interference and hooking and other obstruction started to become prevalent, then it was in the mid-70's with the Fred Shero coached Flyers. Those teams started the rampant interference that wasn't in the game before.

    Also, prior to the 'style' of the 'Broad Street Bullies' there was very little grabbing, hooking or cross-checking in front of the net. Ed Van Impe was the first to regularly take his stick and hook it around the opposing player's neck. The Flyers got away with it because the referee couldn't call it everytime.

    So, blame Shero and the Flyers. All this is confirmed in video.

    King Clancy said that if he was refereeing when the Flyers played in the 70's that they would have been in the penalty box all night.











     
  8. jiggs 10

    jiggs 10 Registered User

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    Have to agree with this. I started watching hockey in 1970, and read about earlier eras, but the horrible Flyers era of 1973-77 started the current trend of hooking when you aren't good enough to do anything else. Yes, there was some of this crap in the game before then, but it wasn't as wide-spread. And for some stupid reason, it became accepted as the norm. Even when the Canadians/Islanders/Oilers won the next 20 years' worth of Cups, it was still seen as the way to be "competetive" by some losers. How? The teams that played this way didn't win! Not until the Devils lucked into their first Cup. Then the cream (Red Wings) of the NHL rose up and won 3 Cup in the next 6 years to off-set this mess. The poor expansion teams seemed to think they didn't have any other way to compete (which is crap, but...), and the league seemed to agree. As long as you have refs like Kerry Fraser NOT calling obvious penalties like hooking, tripping, interference, slashing, boarding, etc. the game will not be as good as it was designed to be. Get rid of the stuff that wasn't allowed when the game came over from England, and it will just get better.
     
  9. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    A few years ago,someone re-printed an old Andy O'Brien article about how the clutching and grabbing,and the targeting of stars for special abuse, was ruining the game. It was written in the mid 50's. I remember when Mats Naslund left the game,at least left Mtl., in about 1990, I think he lost the taste for the NHL game and the forest of sticks they'd have to get thru in the neutral zone. I remember Hartford as being the worst in those days. There have always been teams that played that style and teams that forced them into it. Now you can't see the clutching,but you'll find teams playing a modified trap of some kind in the next few months. Like a few posts ago pointed out,it's cyclical, and coaches coaching to what they have on the ir rosters.
     
  10. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Yeah but the difference in those days was that Montreal was still exciting to watch. Sure they may have allowed 20 shots against Dryden but they had offensive players like Shutt, Mahovolich P., and then the big three on defence was exciting to watch. Not to forget Lafleur either any team with him on it cant be boring. They once scored 389 goals in a season. Who cares if they played the trap, they didnt need to.
     
  11. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Was with you 100% until the final sentence. If you are suggesting that they could have been a successful team without playing the trap, we agree. However, the stifling defense combined with elite offensive firepower made those teams special, unbeatable.
     
  12. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    I always laugh when people consider cycling an offensive weapon. I have a friend that said "The Sedins are good at cycling..." My question to him was "But can they actually play hockey?"

    Cycling is what you do when you can't do anything creative.
     
  13. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    The Flyers were in the box all the time .... but were good enough on the PK to fight through it.

    Damn those no talent goons .... :shakehead

    72-73: Clarke & MacLeish two of four players to score 100 points. 4th in the NHL in goals scored

    73-74: 5th in the NHL in goals scored

    74-75: 6th in the NHL in goals scored

    76-76: 2 of the top 4 points getters, 2 of the top 5 goals scorers, top assist man, and 1st in goals scored.


    Best goalie on the planet + 2-4 elite skaters + great coaching + outworking everyone else = 2 Stanley Cups.
     
  14. crump

    crump ~ ~ (ړײ) ~ ~

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    The NHL players really got a taste of interference from the Canada-Russia series, although the Soviets made it look like Swan Lake compared to Shero's crew. Although the soviets didn't "clutch and grab" per say, they clearly used to trap and picks to interfere with Canadian players.

    I think Tim Horton invented the clutch and grab. (I not talking about a double-double and a cruller here)
     
  15. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Another item to note ... the Flyers became whoe they became as a direct result of Scotty Bowman's St. Louis Blues.

    During the first few seasons in the NHL the Flyers were generally small, somewhat skilled and French-Canadian. It worked somewhat during the regular season, but the they'd play the Blues ... and get their asses kicked by the Plager brothers and the rest.

    Ed Snider had seen enough, and vowed that would never happen again.
     
  16. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    Since you are and probably have been a Flyers fan for years, what I'm going to say probably won't change your mind.

    The Flyers in 1967 were not that small - they had Van Impe, Zeidel and a few others. The Blues were not a goon team and they really only had a few tough guys like the Plager brothers and Noel Picard. What you are referring to is the Noel Picard and Claude Laforge incident. its true that Ed Snider wanted to change his team into a more aggressive team. But the Flyers went extremely overboard in their style of play. What they did in the 70's was utterly disgracefull and a black mark on the game. Some fans came to the game to see the intimidation and violence but a whole generation of fans in the States were turned off.

    Yes, the Flyers were successful and won 2 Cups. But they won on their intimidation and the stretching of the rules and infractions that the referees could not all call. They interfered a lot which gave them a tremendous advantage and of course, they had the best goalie in the NHL.

    For their disgusting antics on the ice, goons like Schultz and Saleski and Kelly RARELY got thrown out of games. Don't believe me? Just check the NHL game sheets.

    The Flyers 'tough guy's were mostly cowards and were agggressive in a pack. They also knew the league would not stop them and they had the referees intimidated as well. If you don't believe me, then ask those same referees as I have.

    I said the Flyers were cowards. When the Flyers felt they used up their players, they were sent to other teams in the NHL - Schultz, Saleski, Dupont, Kelly, Van Impe, Kindrachuk, Bladon etc. The opposing players on the other teams were salivating at the thought of getting back at these guys for their deplorable conduct on the ice. Except for Schultz, they all became pussycats and were chased out of the NHL entirely in short order.

    Talk to the players who had to play the Flyers back then. There is still some absolute hatred - the Flyers were that BAD.

    I could on and on but it burns me when I hear about the so called great Flyer teams who had the huge intimidation advantage to win games and set back the game of hockey.

    There is a 'history' here and its not entirely favourable to your Flyers.


     
  17. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Did the Flyers use intimidation ??? Certainly.

    Did the Flyers have a bunch of great fighters ??? Not at all. Schultz was very good fighting someone his size or smalelr, but had major problems fighting bigger guys (Gillies etc.)

    What they had was a willingness to to go anytime, any place., and did they often use a pack mentallity ??? Absolutely, if you were going to fight one, be prepared to fight them all.


    Ahhhh, so now it's the Flyers fault that the US doesn't like hockey :shakehead ..... funny that they were he biggest road draw during that time ... and that some of the best hockey ratings in history involved those Flyers .. game 6 vs. Boston in 74 and game 6 vs. Isles in 80.


    Ahhh so the Flyers should have kept aging players that they felt weren't too useful anymore ???

    You conveniently neglected the fact that:

    #1. Dupont was given a fat 3-year contract before he was dealt, and sent home to Quebec, where he wanted to go.

    #2. Van Impe lwas 36 years old when they traded him and later worked as a Flyers broadcaster, lives in the Philly area.

    #3. Schultz played 238 games of 535 as ex-Flyer. Now lives in the area, and has worked for the Flyers off & on during the last 15 years.

    #4. Saleski was traded for a 2nd rounder, which later helped grab the 4th overall pick (Ron Sutter)

    #5. Bob Kelly actually had the best season of his career in Washington, scoring 26 goals for the Caps, and still playing his physical brand of hockey. His career abruptly ended the following year ... I believe it was due to a knee injury. he curently works as the Flyers director of community relations.

    #6. Bladon and Kindrachuk were traded for a 1st round pick (Behn Wilson). A good deal for players that were well past their prime. On a side note neither Bladon or Kindrachuk were fighters at all. Bladon was an offensive defenseman who never was quite as good as his talent. Kindrachuk was a nice 3rd line center, and was never known for his pugilistic abilities.

    Snider has always treated the Flyers like family, almost all of the Cup winning Flyers live in the Philly/South Jersey area ... and a large group either work for the Flyers or did at one point.

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

    The Flyers epitomized the following three quotes:

    Barclay Plager: "It's not who wins the fight that's important, it's being willing to fight. If you get challenged and renege, everyone wants to take a shot at you."

    Fred Shero: "Take the shortest route to the puck and arrive in ill humor."

    Conn Smythe: "If you can’t lick ‘em in the alley, you can’t beat ‘em on the ice."

    Yes they used intimidation as a took to help them win games .... but let's not also forget that they had:

    Hall of Fame owner
    Hall of Fame GM

    One of the best and most innovative coaches at the time: Fred Shero - was in love with he Russian game and Antoli Tarasov. They were also the first team to hire an assistant coach.

    The best skater of the mid 70's: Bob Clarke
    The best goalie of the mid 70's, with perhaps the highest peak pre-Hasek: Bernie Parent

    Three other elite talents; Bill Barber, Rick MacLeish and Reggie Leach
     
  18. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    I'd like to continue this debate but I'd like to know if you were around when the Flyers were using this intimidation in the 70's. I think you need the perspective from having experienced the emotions and of now having reflected on the history
    of the era. I'll tell you that I was in my late teens and early 20's when the Flyers were created and I've done quite a bit of thinking about that particular era.

    You missed my point about the Flyer players being discarded and not faring too well after they left. Except for Schultz, those players became the ones who became intimidated. You are right about the pack mentality and I've talked to a number of players from that era about opponents going after the Flyers once they left their safe haven. For example, Don Saleski especially had trouble in Colorado. And, actually, while Saleski was playing for the Rockies, he got into a fight with a smaller opponent and was beat quite badly. Remarkably, Saleski's teammates not only did not go to his aid, but actually congratulated the opponent for taking care of Saleski. Sounds strange? It does but that's what I was told by a player on the ice. The hate was so strong. The Flyers were so despicable.

    I could bring up things like the Cummings incident and others but I don't think anyone needs reminding on the Flyers infamous incidents.

    The players and the referees and the linesman of that era are all consistent in their disadain for the way the Flyers played the game and the effect it had on hockey, even into youth hockey.

    This business of the Flyers and their mayhem attracting big crowds is true. But what a stupid way to promote the game. You would attract the people who liked that sort of thing but wouldn't go to the other games who didn't have that nonsense. Hockey was gathering interest after expansion but the way the Flyers were promoted, changed the way many viewers and fans perceived the game. It was a negative effect that hurt the game. You have to look at the overall picture at the time and after.

    By the way, Kindrachuk may not have been a fighter but he sure was a 'brave' trash talker in Philly who felt the wrath of opponents after he was traded.

    Excuse me for being blunt about the Tarasov link to Fred Shero. Can you tell me anything about Tarasov's methods? Or do you just remember reading that somewhere. That was mentioned once during the reign of terror by the Flyers in the 1970's. The reaction among the writers was to 'throw up'. Tarasov would be spinning in his grave if he knew that he was compared to a goon coach. Shero had some ideas that were different. But don't mention Tarasov, the 'father of hockey' in Russia with a guy like Shero. Please.

    You keep pointing out the 'talents' of the Flyers in that era. Yes, Parent was exceptional. Clarke was a great leader, MacLeish and Barber were great offensive talents. But if you want to compare pure talent in that era, then the Flyers would fail to measure up to the Canadiens, Bruins and Sabres, to name a few.

    Also, I've heard that convenient 'excuse' about why the Flyers became the way they were. The incidents with St. Louis happened in the '68 playoffs and the Flyers didn't start to get tougher and intimidate until the early 70's, especially 1973.
    As Snider gained control of the team, and knowing his character, it was only a matter of time before the Flyers evolved into the type of team they had. The 'St. Louis' excuse is quite weak considering the bloodshed that the Flyers caused in later years.
    The Flyers won because they had the advantage of the intimidation.
    I know you are a Flyers fan and you have your 'vision' of those teams but I can't think of anything positive out of the way the Flyers acted and helped the game. Can you?

    Its admirable that the Flyers all retired back to the Philly area as they were a close group, yet isolated from the rest of the brotherhood of the NHL.
    Even Schultz has been welcomed back after the Flyers (Clarke) forgave him for trying to set the record straight in his book.

    Your reference to the owner and GM being in the HHOF is absolutely worthless, considering how some owners as 'builders' entered the HHOF.

    The quotes are nice but of course you used quotes by tough minded men. That's just like asking goalies if they should wear smaller equipment.

    Give me the style of play of talented teams in the era like the Montreal Canadiens.

    When Montreal finally wrested the Cup from Philadelphia in 1976, the quote was,
    "a triumph of good over evil'. Looking at it objectively, how can anyone defend the Flyers of that era. I guess a diehard Flyer fan could. But who else considering the damage they did to the game.



     
  19. Marcus-74

    Marcus-74 Registered User

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    You gotta be kidding?

    Or does "best skater" mean the best player who was not a goalie? Me English not so good :help:
     
  20. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Yes, best non-goalie. Not best/fastest actual skater.
     
  21. JimmyPage

    JimmyPage Registered User

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    Great debate, guys. :clap: I applaud you both for making really intelligent arguments for your case, it made for sure good reading. I side with Classic on this issue though. I read somewhere that in the season where the Canadiens wrested the Cup from the Flyers, there was a fight-filled pre-season game between the Flyers & Canadiens where the Canadiens beat up the Flyers. This supposedly was a turning point in that season; the loss of the intimidation factor.
     
  22. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    There was no particular turning point in the season, they big change was that the Habs were getting better, and the Flyers lost two of their four most important pieces to injury, Bernie Parent and Rick MacLeish (who led the Flyers in playoff scoring during both Cup years).

    The Flyers may have intimidated the lesser teams, but the Bruins & Sabres weren't beaten because they were intimidated, they were beaten by the better hockey team.
     
  23. tinyzombies

    tinyzombies Registered User

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    I saw an interview with Bowman awhile back and he admitted using the neutral zone trap and I seem to remember he did learn it from Toe Blake's late 60s teams that employed the trap consistently. But Bowman only used the trap occasionally. The Canadiens were one of the few teams in the league using systems play at the time, but he generally let his scoring lines off the rope and let them wander. Lafleur could go anywhere he wanted on the ice and did. Of course it helps to have the Big Three back there to cover up for your mistakes.

    Richard and Howe did complain back in the day about being shadowed, which implies clutching and grabbing I would guess. Chico Maki comes to mind for Chicago. A bunch of guys on the Leafs were variously assigned to Richard. Claude Provost did the same job for Montreal with Bobby Hull, tho Provost was previously a scoring winger. The famous story of Richard coming back to score five goals after having moved his family from one house to another that same day also dwells on the fact that the Leafs had to change his shadow a couple times but nothing worked.

    Don't forget the Larry Robinson-Dave Schultz fight. That literally changed the momentum between the two teams and many fans from back then point to that as the start of Montreal's late 70s Cup run.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2005
  24. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    Thanks, and you are correct about your interpretation of the intimidation issue. Scotty Bowman realized that someone had to stand up to the bullies and he dressed enough tougher players that night that the Flyers were the ones who were on the wrong end of the punches. That game was surely understood right around the league for its importance in knocking down the Flyers and their intimidation advantage.
    The Habs were never going to lose to the Flyers even if the Flyers had Parent in goal. Fred Shero was asked afterwards about that and he readily acknowledged that his team would have lost to Montreal regardless of who was in net. He also knew that with no intimidation factor present, his Flyers were no match for the supremely talented Canadiens.

    The Flyers won the Cup in 1975 with the help of their intimidation. Richard Martin was asked his thoughts on why the more talented Sabres lost the Cup. He said, "Parent was tough to beat, but hell, it was the intimidation".
    Its pretty hard to play your game when opponents with no conscience crack their sticks on your back when you had a breakaway.

    In 1974, the Bruins may not have been as intimidated as other teams, but the Flyers wouldn't even have made the finals if they didn't use their planned violence against the Rangers in the semis. Schultz beating on a non-fighter Rolfe was utterly classless (although Schultz reported apologized to Rolfe many years later). It almost matched one of the most cowardly acts in NHL history of Mel Bridgman beating on Borje Salming in the 1976 playoffs.
    Chico Resch and I had a long discussion about the Flyers in the 70's. He told me that Rod Gilbert is still angry with Emile Francis for not obtaining a pure goon to combat the Flyer's thuggery. The Ranger skilled players would have performed better and the outcome would have been surely different.

    And lets be objective when discussing who the best 'skater' was in the 1970's. Bobby Orr was so far ahead of anyone else, its crazy to think he wasn't the top player up to 1975. After 1975, Guy Lafleur was more dominating than anyone on the Flyers ever was.

     
  25. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Just wondering if Clarke won those 3 Hart trophies because he intimidated the voters ???

    Were the Sabres more talented because they had pretty French Canadians ??? How about that Clarke was better than Perreault, Martin or any Sabre, and Parent was miles better than Desjardin/Crozier.

    There was one skirmish in the entire series Schultz/Kelly vs. Dudley/Schoenfeld.

    I'll take the comments of Eddie Giacomin and Bobby Orr after losing series in 1974:

    Giacomin - after giving up a goal "I can't spend all my time slashing at guys like Dornhoeffer, if I do that the puck gets by me. I need some help. You don't see our forwards screening their goalie."

    after the series - "Every time you think you're about to gain some ground on them, they kick everything out from under you, they won because they were all over us all the time.

    Orr - after Barber won game 4 in the 3rd period "The best wrist shot I've ever seen .. maybe the best ever."

    after the series "We went in spurts, when you go to the finals, you don't play in spurts. Call it momentum or desire, whatever it was, they had more of it than we had."

    Rolfe shoved Kindrachuk early in game 7, and Schultz pummelled him. The rrest of teh rangers stood there and watched, not one attempted to jump in to the aid of a teammate, to me that is disgraceful. Flyers outshot the Rangers 37-19 through the first 40 minutes of that game 7. Flyersgoals against was more than a full goal better than the Rangers during the season ... that also had just a bit to do with the victory.

    while you're watching those old videos put in a tape from the 1974 finals, and take a look at the Bruins using Esposito for shifts that often exceeded 2 minutes, while the Flyers would have 2, and sometimes three different lines out for one Espo shift. There is a reason Clarke dominated Espo in that series, and embarassed him in the face-off circle. The Flyers used their entire team ... Espo had nothing left in the tank.


    Would the Flyers have defeated the Habs in 76 with a healthy Parent & MacLeish ??? Possibly. It certainly would have gone at least 6, and quite possibly 7.
     
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