Monday, May 24, 2010

Unhappy ending, again

I turned on my television at 12:30 late Sunday night, and saw something that sent me sprinting to get a video tape for recording purposes. Such an event is pretty rare, but this qualified.

The CBC has been showing Stanley-Cup clinching wins late Sunday nights for the past few weeks as a selling tool for the playoffs. It does the same thing for the Canadian Football League before the Grey Cup.

In this case, the game in question was Game Six of the 1975 final between the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres, played in Buffalo. I had never seen the game before, and it was a bit startling to see it 35 years later. I worked at night at the beautiful Cousins III restaurant in Depew that summer in my college years, and thus missed a lot of playoff hockey in that memorable year.

A few observations came to mind after watching it this morning:

* That Gil Perreault fellow sure could skate back then. But the Flyers did a good job of not giving him much space. If Perreault got past one man, another was waiting.

* It's funny how Craig Ramsay and Don Luce looked a little slow to me. But then, after I watched a while, they were always around the puck. Those guys were really smart, I guess.

* The announcers said at the time that there was talk Punch Imlach might leave the Sabres after that playoff series. Never heard that one before. Punch was sitting with Harold Ballard and King Clancy at the game, but didn't go anywhere until he was pushed in 1978.

* The Flyers played like I remembered back then. They would commit five penalties, and figure only two or three would be called. And when penalties were called, Bernie Parent and the Philadelphia defense were good penalty-killers. Buffalo had four power plays in the first period but didn't score; it really turned the game around.

* It's a bit depressing to watch a game knowing your team is not going to score a goal at all. Two little mistakes made it a 2-0 Flyers' win.

* One interesting fact came out in the end -- the Flyers are the last team to win the Cup with an all-Canadian roster. Great trivia question.

* Danny Gallivan and Dick Irvin were the announcers. Boy, I miss Danny. A non-call by Bruce Hood was said to "infuriate" the fans of Buffalo. When the cameras showed some signs, Danny said that the Aud was "festooned" with banners. Who else would put it that way?

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