Mikey, the easy answer has to be yes. Clarke was the one guy you would never mind seeing stretchered out. He was the most obvious "competitior" in the league, although I don't think his level was higher than that other players he made it look like it was. He always looked like he'd been in a street fight before the game, and the fact the he played on the Flyers compounded it. Getting your a** handed to you year after year by a team with that level of arrogance drove you crazy, even tough Boston, Montreal, and even later the Isles, beat us regularly you always though that if everything went right we could beat them. The Flyers in the Clark era though would come in and it seemed they would try to humiliate you physically and on the scoreboard, that's why one of the greatest trades the early Pens pulled off was getting Battleship Kelly and Steve Durbano from the Blues. Immediately it was a different game against the Flyers, suddenly the Pens had a little more confidence knowing Schultz, Kelly, Dornhoefer and the rest weren't going to come in and physically intimidate us, but their talent level far exceeded ours, and the end result was the same. It always looked like Clarke was dragging himself into the face off dot, almost like he was barely able to stand, but when the puck dropped it was like a shot of adrenaline. His play I'm sure angered a lot of players from the era. He probably, to me, is the most arrogant player ever. A guy you thought could be just as good without the antics, but it was like he thought he had to have that physical edge to play like he did, and a total master at stick work, elbows. He was always on the edge, but was talented enough not to end guy's careers. The Kharlomov incident was Bobby Clarke at the level that scared you when you saw him play, it didn't surprise me it was him that did it, but it was something you fully expected of him in an NHL game. He might have gone over the edge a few times in the NHL, but never to that extent. He was the perfect player for that franchise. There's no other team of any era I can think of where he would've gotten away with his type of play. Hope it kind of answers your question, even though I went on a little rant. I didn't even get into the entertainment in the crowd that sometimes exceeded what was on the ice during those games. It got petty physical in the stands too. I might add that Billy Smith might be a distant second on that list. Strange to think of it now, but to have your goaltender be the best agitator/pest on your team is rare
Last edited by since1970
on Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.