These Flyers vs. the 'Broadstreet Bullies'

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carcillo.jpgIn the last post, I discussed how the current Chicago Blackhawks compare to the last Chicago team that won the Cup. It’s been ages since the Flyers last won a Cup, too. After winning two straight Cups in the Broadstreet Bullies era (last in ’75), the team has been on a serious championship drought.

The league has changed a lot since then, but in vaguer terms, how similar are the current Flyers to those Cup winning bullies? Let’s take a look.

Still bullies?

On one hand, this Flyers team is a far cry from the Broadstreet Bullies. Scott Hartnell and Dan Carcillo (and even more rugged players like Aaron Asham) are no answer for Dave Schultz and his pugilistic peers.

Like I said, though, times have changed. The Donald Brashears of the world are fading into the distance as there are very scarce moments when you can afford to have a “dancing grizzly bear” on ice. Maybe the Toronto Maple  Leafs preach team-wide truculence more now (and maybe the Anaheim Ducks were the closest recent rendition to the Bullies), but the Flyers still put an emphasis on intimidation.

Especially when Chris Pronger’s on the ice.

More comparisons after the jump.


Biggest differences

According to the HHOF.com, the Broadstreet Bullies era Flyers had a combined regular season winning percentage of .715. They won 2 straight Cups, garnered 8 individual awards and the team included three players who would make the Hall of Fame.

While these current Flyers have a shoo-in Hall of Famer in Chris Pronger and a few others who have a shot at having HoF-worthy careers, let’s not forget that they needed to win a shootout in the last game of the season to get into the playoffs.

Despite posting an amazing three shutouts in four games against the Canadiens, Michael Leighton is far from Bernier Parent right now.

Finally, the other big difference is that this team has a player named “Simon.” That just doesn’t seem like it would fly in the 70s.

Some similarities

For some time, it seemed hasty to compare Mike Richards and Bobby Clarke. It might be a stretch at this point, too, but his recent heroics – along with his brutal checks – make the parallels reasonable. Both teams have an interesting mixture of finesse and barbarism.

Overall, the Flyers seem to share a philosophy with its Bully brethren. After all, Chris Pronger is the ultimate embodiment of that spirit. But my feeling is that the team doesn’t exactly elicit the same kind of fear from their opponents anymore.

It’ll be a long time before we see another team quite like the Broadstreet Bullies.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with two games on Thursday night. You can catch tonight’s action via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Dallas at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. ET) 

The TV broadcast of Game 4 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Blues lead the series 2-1.

San Jose at Nashville (9:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 4 will be on CNBC. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Sharks lead the series 2-1.

Here’s some relevant reading material to get you ready for tonight’s games:

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

Blues aim to raise money for victims of Fort McMurray fires

Preds smash Sharks in Game 3 to get back in series

Video: Black cat hits the ice before Sharks-Predators Game 1

Just for Men: Sidney Crosby

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People love star athletes because they can do amazing things. Even so, people also often love to see the occasional moment of weakness.

Aside from the occasional injury hiccup, Sidney Crosby‘s been as advertised after being a super-hyped No. 1 overall pick. He has that “Golden Goal,” two Olympic gold medals, a Stanley Cup ring and plenty of individual accolades.

… Yet he can’t really grow much of a beard.

Granted, his facial hair is thicker now that he’s “Sid the star nearing 30” rather than “Sid the Kid,” but no one will confuse him for Brent Burns and his living-in-a-cabin-in-the-woods beard.

For some, especially Crosby-haters, it’s fodder for mockery.

For the rest of us, it’s merely comforting to see that people like Crosby are human and actually have a few flaws.

Game 5 will be ‘the most important game of our lives,’ says Caps’ Beagle

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Not many people expected the Capitals-Penguins series to be over in five games, but there’s a chance that could happen before the end of the week. After their 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, the Capitals are one loss away from being bounced from the 2016 playoffs.

The Capitals failed to take advantage of the fact that Kris Letang was suspended for Game 4 because of his hit on Marcus Johansson in Game 3. Letang is now set to return for Game 5 which makes Washington’s task even more difficult.

“We didn’t take advantage of it,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said, per NHL.com. “One thing I said to the guys coming into this, and we talked it about it yesterday, was when Kris got his suspension, is that they’re going to rally. Their whole team, their forwards are going to come back. They talked about they didn’t play their best game (in Game 3) and now they have Letang out and everybody had to step up on their side, and I thought they did.”

If you look back at the regular season, the Capitals were head and shoulders above the rest of the Eastern Conference and the league for a good portion of the season. Washington finished 11 points ahead of second place Dallas in the league standings and it looked like they had the team that would finally take them over the hump.

Although things look gloomy, it’s important to realize that the series is far from over. Many NHLers would tell you that the fourth win is always the hardest to come by in a best-of-seven series, and by no means is anyone expecting the Capitals to wave the white flag.

“Whenever you lose a game, it’s obviously an opportunity missed, but it had nothing to do with them missing some of their players,” said Caps forward Jay Beagle, per NHL.com. “We’re looking forward. Our back’s against the wall and the most important game of our lives is coming up.”

Game 5 goes Saturday night in Washington.

PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Shane Doan took a friendly jab at the the movie “Miracle” and the Miracle on Ice. (BarDown)

–The best of the worst Upper Deck hockey cards from 2015-16. (Puck Junk)

–Here’s a list of the top 50 players in WHL history. (WHL)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A sad story about how Chris Phillips feels helpless as his hometown of Fort McMurray burns. (CBC)

–“You want to get back into things right away (but) I think these last four or five months have been good for me.” Former Penguins coach Mike Johnston is ready to coach again. (Local XPress)

–Blues forward Jori Lehtera is in a pretty random commercial: