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2010 Stanley Cup Finals: These aren’t the Broad Street Bullies redux

With the Philadelphia Flyers back in the Stanley Cup finals, hoping for their first win in nearly a quarter of he century, there is inevitable going to be comparisons to the last great Flyers team, otherwise known as the Broad Street Bullies. Known as much for their relentless physicality, punishing attitudes and willingness to drop the gloves at anytime possible as they were for their incredible overall talent.

That team dominated the NHL and won two Stanley Cups.

Since then, the Flyers have not been anywhere near as fortunate. Yet now, after making it to the Cup finals following one heck of an improbable postseason run, we’re looking at what comparisons, if any, can be made to those Flyers of old.

Despite the Flyers leading the NHL in penalty minutes this past season, and despite acquiring Chris Pronger in the offseason, there’s really not much comparison. In fact, there’s likely never going to be a comparison ever again, considering how much the NHL has changed since then.

Still, that won’t stop the Flyers from still being themselves. They’re a feisty bunch, for sure, but don’t expect anything as crazy as what the Bullies got down to back in the 1970’s.

“You’re not really allowed to do any of that nowadays. That doesn’t go over too well,” Flyers star Jeff Carter said. “We got guys who are going to stand up there and not take anything from anybody as well. We’re going to stand up for ourselves and if it comes to blows, it does.”

The Bullies are proud of what they accomplished and for becoming more memorable than perhaps any other Cup-winning team. Still, they aren’t too keen on being thought of as just thugs.

“A lot of people look at it, particularly if they’re not a Flyers fan, a little negative,” Dave Schultz said. “Sometimes, I’m almost tired of hearing some of these people cry. Like we were thugs? Yeah, right. I was 6-1, 195. I guess it was the scowl on my face.”

This doesn’t carry over exactly to this Flyers team, but you can certainly bet that the Flyers have a bit more of an unsavory reputation than the Blackhawks. This isn’t a team known for it’s ‘thuggery”, but the Flyers do have the likes of Mike Richards, Dan Carcillo and Chris Pronger -- players that have the tendency to act out a bit emotional at times. Certainly now along the lines of the Broad Street Bullies of old, but they’re doing what they can to carry the torch, at least as best as they can in the NHL of today.