Sport: Seeing a Future That Works

Inspired by the Soviets, the Flyers are leading the N.H.L.

They were known as the Broad Street Bullies, a roughhouse squad more adept at manhandling than stickhandling. Their street-gang tactics earned them an eight-year stretch as the champs of the National Hockey League penalty box, including a record 33 hours in 1975-76. For a while it paid off. The Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975, then began to fade. This year the Flyers still lead the league in penalty minutes—old habits die hard—but something new has been added: the elegant, almost choreographed blend of skating and passing precision...

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