Flyers streak was one to remember

Mike Zeisberger

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

ROCKET RICHARD'S Montreal Canadiens couldn't do it. Neither could Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers.

It's the same story for sports dynasties such as the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

Indeed, no other team in the NHL, NFL, NBA or Major League Baseball has ever gone 35 games without a loss as the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers, coached by Pat Quinn, did.

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the end of that remarkable run. On Jan. 7, 1980, the Minnesota North Stars finally put a halt to the Flyers' amazing streak by handing the visitors a 7-1 thumping at the Met Center.

Quinn wasn't actually popping champagne this week to mark the occasion. In fact, he was caught off-guard when told that 2 1/2 decades had passed since his team's record feat, which included 25 victories and 10 ties.

"Twenty-five years! Man, when I heard that the other day I thought, 'Holy Smoke, where did the time go?' It sure doesn't seem like it," Quinn said.

"It was a thrilling way to start my coaching career. I mean, we were undefeated longer than they held the (U.S.) hostages in Iran, which was going on at the same time.

"I had taken over midway through the previous season. We had a mixed bag of young guys like Pete Peeters and Brian Propp, and vets like Bob Clarke and Bill Barber. Not a lot was expected of us."

After dropping a game to the Atlanta Flames Oct. 14, the Flyers beat the Maple Leafs four days later. That victory kicked off an unbeaten streak that lasted 80 days.

"It was never an easy ride," said Quinn, who would win the Jack Adams award as coach of the year in 1979-80. "But if you are a young coach looking for attention, it was thrilling. There were just so many guys who contributed to the thing."


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