In 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.
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.
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.
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.