Tuesday, January 6, 2015

1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers Ken Linseman Jersey

After the Philadelphia Flyers opened the 1979-80 season with a 5-2 win at home against the New York Islanders, they traveled to Georgia to face the Atlanta Flames at The Omni, where the Flames lit up the Flyers with seven consecutive goals en route to a 9-2 win on October 13th.

Back in Philadelphia the very next day, the Flyers scored three times in the first 16 minutes on their way to a 4-3 win. They next got a measure of revenge on the Flames with a 6-2 win, followed by a 7-3 victory in Detroit over the Red Wings on October 20th.

Back in Philadelphia to face Montreal the next night, the Flyers let one get away when they had leads of 4-0 and 6-2 with under 28 minutes to play, but the Canadiens struck back for 2 goals in the second and 2 more in the third to gain a tie.

Highly motivated by letting a win against Montreal get away from them, the Flyers went on a tear, beating the New York Rangers 5-2 before closing out October by beating Detroit 5-4 with Reggie Leach scoring with just one minute to play.

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Reggie Leach

November began with a 4-1 win at home over the St. Louis Blues, a satisfying 5-3 win in Montreal, a 3-1 defeat of the Buffalo Sabres followed by a 4-3 decision over the Quebec Nordiques during their first season in the NH after the demise of the World Hockey Association.  Before they returned home, the New York Islanders would fall 5-2. Back home at The Spectrum on November 11th, they would defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 before running their winning streak to nine with a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers, who were also new to the NHL.

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One of the Flyers goaltenders in 1979-80, Pete Peeters

The winning streak came to an end in St. Louis on November 17th. The Blues scored two power play goals in the first period, and after a scoreless second, the Flyers got three goals in less than 8 minutes to take a 3-2 lead, only to have St. Louis tie the game with 2:32 remaining for a 3-3 final, but by this time the hockey world had begun to take notice of what was happening and the pressure and attention began to mount.

A three game western road trip saw the Kings fall 6-4 prior to a 5-2 defeat of Vancouver. Edmonton managed to come from two goals down earn a tie before the team flew home for a 6-2 win over the Hartford Whalers followed by a 6-4 win over the Minnesota North Stars.

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Phil Myre shared the net with Peeters

The undefeated streak hit 20 as the Flyers traveled to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 1st. Philadelphia led 3-2 after one and the teams traded goals in the second, but Toronto got the equalizer at the halfway point of the third for an eventual 3-3 tie despite outshooting Philadelphia 40-25.

The Flyers then began a six game home stand on December 2nd with ties against the Red Wings (4-4) and the Boston Bruins (2-2). This was followed by a 9-4 drubbing of Los Angeles and another tie, this one coming against the Chicago Black Hawks, who got the equalizer with under a minute to play.

Their undefeated run now reached two months when they again beat the Nordiques 6-4 after a wild eight goal third period. Philadelphia closed out their run at The Spectrum with a 3-2 victory over the Sabres.

The Flyers and Rangers traded first period goals in a 1-1 tie at Madison Square Garden before the Penguins came to Philadelphia for a suspenseful 1-1 tie, with the Flyers not responding to Pittsburgh's first period goal until there were less than five minutes remaining in the game.

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Mel Bridgman captained the Flyers during the 1979-80 season

December 22nd saw Philadelphia back in the win column 5-2 over the Bruins to surpass the Canadiens previous record unbeaten streak of 28 games. This was followed by their undefeated streak reaching 30 games with a 4-2 win over the Whalers the next night back in front of the home fans, who roared their approval with the milestone win.

Following a couple of days off for Christmas, the head coach Pat Quinn took  the Flyers on the road for the next six games with the pressure and attention due to their streak increasing daily. A return match with Hartford resulted in a 4-4 tie before a trip to another former WHA city for a game against the Winnipeg Jets which saw Philadelphia victorious by a score of 5-3. The team was in Denver the very next day for a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies to close out 1979 with a 24-1-10 record.

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Flyers head coach Pat Quinn

The team had five days off before their next game back east in New York vs. the Rangers on January 4 to break up the road games, and they came out energized with a 5-3 win, which now set the record for longest undefeated streak by a pro sports team, surpassing the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers 33 game streak.

Then, on this date in 1980, The Flyers traveled to Buffalo to take on the Sabres for the third time. The teams swapped goals in both the first and second periods, but then Philadelphia pulled away in the third with Bill Barber's 20th goal of the season with Rick MacLeish's 22nd coming as insurance with 5:13 to play to extend their unbeaten streak to 35 games.

The record setting streak would end the next night in Minnesota, the longest unbeaten streak in North American sports history, which spanned from October 14, 1979 to January 6, 1980. During that run, the team won 25 games with 10 ties. Of those draws, there were no last second heroics needed to salvage the streak along the way and the Flyers had the last goal in only two of them, as they were most often playing with a lead. Additionally, the Flyers did not shut out any opponents during the streak.

During the streak they played every team in the league, save the Washington Capitals.

For the rest of the season, Philadelphia would go 22-11-10 and wrap up the Patrick Division title with 14 games to play.

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The 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers

Today's featured jersey is a 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers Ken Linseman jersey as worn the season the Flyers went on their 35 game unbeaten rampage through the NHL. The Flyers inaugural 1967-68 jerseys only had one color numbers and very small sleeve numbers. The back numbers were given black outlines in 1970. Names arrived on the home jerseys in 1972 and on the roads in 1977.

For 1978-79, the profile of the coloring that ran down the length of the arms was widened so the sleeve numbers now fit entirely within the arm striping, where previously it overlapped into the main body color areas.

Linseman led the Flyers in scoring during their record setting season of 1979-80 with 22 goals and 79 points, trailed closely by Leach with 76 and Brian Propp at 75. Linseman originally wore #26 with the Flyers before changing to #14. He would play four seasons for the Flyers before two with Edmonton and six with the Bruins before returning to Philadelphia in 1989-90 when he wore #18, his third number as a Flyer.

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Today's video section is a look at the Flyer's 35 game unbeaten streak.

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