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Rangers Retro Night: A Look Back at 1976-77

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


With the Rangers and Boston Bruins set to don their Vintage jerseys for tonight's 'Retro Night' game at Madison Square Garden, newyorkrangers takes a look back at the Blueshirts of 1976-77 as well as what else was going on in the world during this groovy, far-out time in our history from news to television to music ...

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A LOOK BACK AT THE 1976-77 NEW YORK RANGERS:
OVERALL RECORD: 29-37-14
HOME RECORD: 17-18-5
ROAD RECORD: 12-19-9

GENERAL MANAGER / HEAD COACH: John Ferguson
CAPTAIN: Phil ESposito

TEAM LEADERS:
GOALS - Phil Esposito (34), Don Murdoch (32)
ASSISTS - Rod Gilbert (48), Phil Esposito (46)
POINTS - Phil Esposito (80), Rod Gilbert (75)
PENALTY MINUTES - Nick Fotiu (174), Carol Vadnais (131)

* The Rangers opened the season with a 6-5 win vs. Minnesota on October 6.
* New York posted a nine-game unbeaten streak (5-0-4) from November 20 through December 8.
* Six Blueshirts finished the season with 20-or-more goals: Phil Esposito (34), Ken Hodge (21), Rod Gilbert (27), Don Murdoch (32), Steve Vickers (22), Pat Hickey (23).
* Four goaltenders suited up for the Rangers in 1976-77: Gilles Gratton (11-18-7), John Davidson (14-14-6), Doug Soetart (3-4-1) and Dave Tataryn (1-1-0).
* Rod Gilbert posted a 10-game point streak, the longest team point streak of the season, collecting 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) from November 20 to December 8.
* New York skated away with two of their most decisive victories in franchise history - a 10-4 win over the Minnesota North Stars on October 12, 1976 and an 11-4 win over the North Stars once again on December 4, 1976.
* The Rangers took part in two penalty shots during the 1976-77 season - Don Murdoch scored in a 6-1 win at Vancouver on November 3 (goaltender - Curt Ridley) and Bill Goldsworthy was denied in a 5-1 loss vs. Pittsburgh on November 14 (goaltender - Dunc Wilson).
* Phil Esposito (one goal), Rod Gilbert (one assist) and Don Murdoch represented the Rangers at the 1977 NHL All-Star Game.

TEAM AWARDS:
MVP (as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association) - Dave Maloney
PLAYERS' PLAYER AWARD - John Davidson and Phil Esposito
FRANK BOUCHER TROPHY (Most popular player on and off the ice) - Rod Gilbert
RANGERS GOOD GUY AWARD (Cooperation with the media) - Rod Gilbert

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1976-77 PROFESSIONAL SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIPS:

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE:
The Montreal Canadiens made history during the 1976-77 season, posting an incredible 60-8-12 record for 132 points, a NHL record for most points in a single season. The Scotty Bowman-led Habs captured the second of four consecutive Stanley Cup championships, a four-game sweep over the Boston Bruins. Montreal's Guy Lafleur captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP.

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE:
In Super Bowl XI, the Oakland Raiders prevailed over the Minnesota Vikings, 32-14. Oakland wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff helped Oakland to victory with four receptions for 79 yards en route to the MVP award.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL:
The Cincinnati Reds pulled off a four-game sweep over the New York Yankees to capture the 1976 World Series. Big Red Machine catcher Johnny Bench captured the MVP honors, batting .533 with two home runs and six RBIs in the four games.

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION:
The Portland Trail Blazers bested the Philadelphia 76ers in six games en route to the 1977 NBA Championship. Portland center Bill Walton was named Finals MVP.

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TOP 10 SONGS - 1976:
10: 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover - Paul Simon
9: December 1963 (Oh What a Night) - Franki Valli
8: Starbuck - Moonlight Feels Right
7: Afternoon Delight - Starland Vocal Band
6: Disco Lady - Johnnie Taylor
5: Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John & Kiki Dee
4: Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers
3: If You Leave Me Now - Chicago
2: I'd Really Love to See You Tonight - England Dan and John Ford Coley
1: Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney & Wings

TOP 10 SONGS - 1977:
10: How Deep Is Your Love - Bee Gees
9: Rich Girl - Hall and Oates
8: Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
7: Hotel California - Eagles
6: Evergreen - Barbra Streisand
5: Undercover Angel - Alan O'Day
4: When I Need You - Leo Sayer
3: I Just Want to be Your Everything - Andy Gibb
2: Best of My Love - Emotions
1: You Light Up My Life - Debby Boone

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TOP TV SHOWS - 1976-77:
5. Six Million Dollar Man
4. Charlie's Angels
3. M*A*S*H
2. Laverne & Shirley
1. Happy Days

TOP 5 MOVIES OF 1976:
5: Silent Movie ($20.3M)
4: The Bad News Bears ($22.2M)
3: The Omen ($27.8M)
2: All the President's Men ($29M)
1: One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest ($56.5M)

TOP 5 MOVIES OF 1977:
5: King Kong ($35.8M)
4: A Star is Born ($37.1M)
3: Smokey & the Bandit ($39.7M)
2: Rocky ($54M)
1: Star Wars ($127M)

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MAJOR WORLD STORIES - 1976:
January 21: The supersonic transport Concorde enters commercial service.
January 30: Former Texas congressman George Bush is named the new Director of the CIA by President Ford.
February 4: A devastating earthquake in Guatemala kills more than 25,000 and leaves a quarter of the population homeless.
July 4: Year-long Bicentennial celebrations in the United States reach a height on the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
July 20: Viking I lands on Mars and begins sending back the first pictures from the surface of another planet.
July 28: An 8.2 earthquake, the worst of the century, shatters 20 square miles around Tangshan, China, leaving over 650,000 dead.
August 1: The Summer Olympics in Montreal end leaving the city more than $1B in debt.
August 18: A clash in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea leaves two American soldiers dead.
September 9: Mao Zedong of China dies.

MAJOR WORLD STORIES - 1977:
January 20: Jimmy Carter is inaugurated as President of the United States
January 21: In his first major act as president, Jimmy Carter signs an unconditional pardon covering more Vietnam draft evaders.
January 23-30: ABC televises the Roots miniseries over eight days. Over 100 million watched the concluding episode.
March 27: A Dutch KLM 747 collides on takeoff with a Pan Am 747 at the Tenerife airport in the Canary Islands leaving 581 dead in what remains the worst aviation accident in history.
June 20: The Alaska Pipeline opens.
July 13: An electricity blackout in New York lasts 25 hours creating chaos, looting and disorder.
August 4: The Department of Energy is created by an Act of Congress signed into law by President Carter.
August 10: New York postal employee David Berkowitz is arrested and later charges with the "Son of Sam" serial killings.
August 16: Elvis Presley dies at age 42 of a heart attack at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.

RELATED LINKS:
Rangers to Go Retro vs. Bruins, Canucks - 1/9/2004
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