Ex-Flyer Parent recalls Stanley Cup excitement


April 17, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

Bernie Parent says he remembers clearly the last game of the 1973-74 Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins. There were five minutes to go, and the score was 1-0. Parent was in goal for the Philadelphia Flyers.

"You get so excited and the crowd, you can feel their energy," he said. "They're as nervous as you are, but at least as a player, you can do something about it."

He says he remembers the noise level rising. They didn't use noise meters then, but he's sure the noise nearly shook off the roof of The Spectrum. The Flyers were about to win the Stanley Cup in their seventh season. It would be the first of back-to-back Stanley Cup titles.

"Everyone in the arena was standing up and cheering," Parent said. "I was -- I think you become like a singer, the more the crowd reacts, the better you perform. I believe that. There were 18,000 people standing and cheering. The noise was incredible and I was playing. . . . It was like being in a haze. I was so pumped up, I didn't feel like a human being at all."

Tomorrow, the NHL will begin the playoffs that will lead to the Stanley Cup finals for the 100th time in the trophy's history. Parent, 47, and goaltending instructor for the Flyers, Henri Richard, who won 11 Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, and former New York Islanders goaltender Billy Smith, who won four, have been touring the league as part of a season-long celebration.

L "During the regular season, every goal against you makes you

angry," Parent said. "It's like you're the last person before the red light goes on. But once you get in the finals, a lot of that pressure goes away. I found I was just so grateful to be part of it. It just seemed like fun to me."

Parent says winning the Cup changed his life. "Winning the Cup proves you've learned all the lessons you were taught along the way. They put your name on that beautiful trophy and you get a ring. You get all that and memories money can't buy."

Montreal's paper chase

Athletes often say they don't read stories about themselves or their teams during the season, and Montreal coach Jacques Demers apparently intends to see that his players don't. He outlawed the presence in the locker room of the Gazette, Le Journal de Montreal and La Presse, Montreal-area newspapers, for the rest of the season.

Demers said reporters can still have access to players in the locker rooms to do their interviews, but the players can no longer read the newspapers in the locker room.

"The reaction of certain players forced me to make the decision," Demers said last week. "Three players told me they don't want to talk to the journalists anymore. I told them they couldn't do that, they have to act as professionals. If they can't accept criticism of themselves or the team, well, then they shouldn't touch a paper until [after the Stanley Cup is settled]."

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