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May 13, 2008

1976: Montreal Ends Philly's Reign Of Terror

The year is 1976. The Philadelphia Flyers, with their intimidating brawling style of hockey, are the two time defending Stanley Cup champions, and they're back for more.

Standing in their way are the Montreal Canadiens, who are looking to restore their fire wagon brand of hockey and end the days of the Broad Street Bullies. Skill would defeat brawn, as Montreal swept the Flyers 4 games to 0.

In all fairness to the men in orange, they were playing without goaltender Bernie Parent, the winner of the last two Conn Smythe trophies, and without annual playoff scoring leader Rick MacLeish.

The Flyers did waste one of the greatest playoff performances in history. Reggie Leach set a NHL record with 19 playoff goals, only 2 of which came on the power play. The next closest goal scorer in 1976 had 8 goals. Despite losing, Leach would be named as the Conn Smythe trophy winner.

The Canadiens had their own offensive dynamo in Art Ross winner Guy Lafleur. The Flower had 2 goals and 7 points in the 4 games against the Flyers, and finished third in playoff scoring. Line mates Steve Shutt and Pete Mahovlich also had a strong playoff, while Larry Robinson and Ken Dryden anchored the defense.

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