MONTREAL – It’s not every day a No. 7 seed has home ice advantage in the Conference finals.
After digging themselves out of a 3-0 hole against the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Flyers made history while punching their ticket to Round 3. Luckily, the Habs can counter with a little history of their own.
While the 2009-10 edition of the Canadiens has earned its rightful place in the NHL’s record books, becoming the first No. 8 seed to ever rally from a 3-1 deficit to knock off the favorites, that’s not the only bit of history working in Montreal’s favor.
Despite a longstanding rivalry, the Habs and Flyers have met in the postseason on just five occasions. The Canadiens have won three of those match-ups. Most notably, after crashing and banging their way to two straight Stanley Cups, the bruising Flyers met up with the speedy Habs in the 1976 Stanley Cup Finals.
Brawn against brains; intimidation against talent. That spring, Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Bob Gainey, Ken Dryden and their cast of future Hall-of-Famers swept the Flyers, putting an end to the Broad Street Bullies’ reign of terror and ushered in a new era to the NHL.
It’s been 34 years since Bobby Clarke, Dave Schultz and Bernie Parent saw their dreams snuffed out at the hands of those high-flying Canadiens, but not much has changed in the City of Brotherly Love. With Dan Carcillo boasting the fourth-most penalty minutes in the NHL in the regular season with 207 – trailed closely by fellow Flyers Ian Laperriere and Scott Hartnell – and Chris Pronger highlighting the list of rugged blue-liners currently sporting orange and black, it won’t take long for the Habs and Flyers to wage their familiar clash of styles once again. Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.comSee also:Men in the mirror Making history Game 7: the sequel Seeing is believing