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.

Predators’ P.K. Subban named EA Sports NHL 19 cover athlete

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As announced during Wednesday’s NHL Awards, P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators will be the cover athlete for EA Sports’ NHL 19 video game.

This is Subban’s first time on the cover of the series, which featured Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid last year.

More details from EA:

For the first time in franchise history, NHL® 19 allows players to journey from the pond to the pros and play on outdoor rinks in new and returning game modes. Players can create a character and express their look and playstyle with over 900 new customization items including, for the first time, lifestyle apparel inspired by pond hockey. On the ice, the cutting-edge animation technology Real Player Motion (RPM) Tech delivers explosive-edge skating with more acceleration and responsiveness that looks and feels better. NHL® 19 also lets players compete with and against over 200 of the greatest hockey legends to ever play the sport, including Wayne Gretzky.

In NHL® 19, the sport returns to the ponds where players can compete under a unified progression hub called World of CHEL that unites EA SPORTS Hockey League, NHL THREES™ Drop In and two new modes, NHL ONES™ and Pro-Am. NHL ONES™ pits three players against each other in a 1v1v1 free-for-all with no rules and no stoppages. Players can win to rank up to new outdoor locations and defend their position as king-of-the-hill. Players can also play in any World of CHEL mode to progress their online Create-A-Character, unlock rewards, and customize their look and their playstyle.

EA Sports

Here’s the full trailer:

The game is set to be released Sept. 14 for Playstation 4 and XBOX One.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Golden Knights’ William Karlsson lands Lady Byng

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William Karlsson just finished a fantastic season, so it’s nice to see him take home a trophy at the 2018 NHL Awards.

Karlsson generated 43 goals, 78 points, and just 12 penalty minutes during the 2017-18 season on his way to winning the Lady Byng Trophy. The other finalists were Aleksander Barkov and Ryan O'Reilly.

(Note: it’s unclear if Karlsson edged out his competition by way of hair flips.)

Here are the voting results. Note that this was cut off at the top 20, while 49 players received at least one vote. As a reminder, the Lady Byng is “given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

This is a nifty factoid about Karlsson’s win:

Devils’ Brian Boyle receives Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

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Brian Boyle of the New Jersey Devils is the recipient of the 2018 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

The award is given to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association nominate a player from each of their 31 chapters and three finalists are named after a vote.

Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers and Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes were the other two finalists.

A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in September and missed the opening month of the season before returning Nov. 1. One week later he scored an emotional first goal of the season. He inspired a mural in New York City and later represented the New Jersey Devils at the NHL All-Star Game in Tampa in place of teammate Taylor Hall.

The Devils forward didn’t only deal with a cancer diagnosis this season. Boyle and his wife, Lauren, also went through an ordeal where doctors believed their two-year-old son Declan was possibly dealing with Ewing sarcoma of the mandible. Turns out it was a rare condition that impacts blood flow and oxygen circulation, and after a handful of procedures the situation is under control.

Boyle’s red and white blood cell counts show little traces of CML remaining. He told Dan Rosen of NHL.com this week that he could be off medication in three to six months.

“I am in a good spot,” Boyle said. “I’m certainly not concerned.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Islanders’ Mathew Barzal claims Calder Trophy

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Mathew Barzal became the fifth New York Islander to win the Calder Trophy, which was handed out during Wednesday’s NHL Awards show in Las Vegas. The award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association and given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”

Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Bryan Berard were the previous Islanders players to win the rookie of the year award.

“This is an amazing honor to win the Calder Trophy,” Barzal said. “The players that have won this award, within the Islanders organization and then others around the league, includes Hall of Fame players and Stanley Cup Champions. To have my name next to those guys in the record books is very humbling.”

Barzal led all rookies with 85 points and 27 power play points, and finished sixth in goals with 22. He was also the only rookie to average over a point per game (1.04). He finished the season as the Islanders leading scorer and was fourth on the team in goals.

One of the many highlights of Barzal’s rookie season was the three 5-point games he recorded, which made him him the second rookie in league history to achieve the feat. Joe Malone last did it 100 years ago during the NHL’s first season in 1917-18.

Here’s what the voting looked like as Barzal beat out the other two finalists, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks and Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.