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April 05, 1972 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1972-04-05

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Wednesday, April 5, 1972


Page Nine k

Wednesday, April 5, 1972 THE MICHIGAN DAILY t'age Nine

The Texas Wedge
The Stanley Cup ...
.. this time, Chicago
IT'S STANLEY CUP playoff time again and the predictions
are coming out. Every hockey buff has an opinion. Most
favor the Boston Bruins. Others see a repeat win for the Mon-
treal Canadiens. However, I will go out on a limb and predict
that the 1972 Cup champions will be the Chicago Black Hawks.
Anyone who predicted anything but a Boston Bruin sweep
of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season was considered a fool.
After all, hadn't the men from Beantown smashed virtually
every record on the book enroute to their first place standing
at the end of the regular season? Hadn't Phil Esposito set the
world ablaze with his record shattering 76 goals?
The situation going into this year's NHL playoffs is al-
most the same. Boston has copped first place and the Prince
of Wales trophy that goes with it. Esposito has repeated as
the scoring champion, winning his third title in four years.
And most people are predicting a certain win for the Bruins
because they are out for revenge after the humiliating de-
feat at the hands of Montreal last year.
There are also those of us however who are still skeptical
of the Bruins' ability to win the upcoming series. I am leary
because of their recent injury to key players. Superstars Espo-
sito and Bobby Orr along with Ken Hodge missed the last few
games and can't be expected to return at full strength. And
center Derek Sanderson may not even be out of the hospital,
after an attack of colitis.
More than that, however, the reason the Bruins will not
win this year is a team called the Chicago Black Hawks. Anyone
40 who saw Montreal win it all last year must have realized that
they won it with defense. Rookie Ken Dryden kept the Cana-
diens in every game with outstanding goaltending and that was
the key to victory for the Habs.
The Black Hawks have the defense to go all the way this
year. Their goalies were the best in the league yielding a
sparse 2.12 goals per game. Tony Esposito recorded nine shut-
outs while his partner Gary Smith had five. There is no reason
to believe that- both of them will choke in the playoffs. Com-
bine these two and the defensemen and it gives the Hawks an
advantage over the other teams in the battle.
Pat Stapleton, Bill White, Keith Magnuson and Doug Jarret
form a solid line in front of Esposito, probably better than the
Bruins put in front of their goalie Gary Cheevers. Boston may
have hurt itself when they traded away Rick Smith earlier in
the season for Carol Vadnais. With Orr and Vadnais now hurt-
ing they may be caught short on defense. Dallas Smith and Ted
Green are the only other Boston'reliables.
A lot of people are picking the Montreal Canadiens to
repeat as champions. I don't think it will happen because I
don't believe Dryden can have as brilliant a series as he
did the last time around.
Montreal should be able to beat New York in the first
round, though. The Rangers are not 'a good playoff team
and with their star forward Jean Ratelle still out with an
ankle injury it is doubtful they can dump the playoff-strong
Canadiens. One thing the Rangers have going for themii
is the home ice advantage plus the fact that they only lost
one of their regular season contests against Montreal.
The. surprise team of the playoffs might be the Toronto
Maple Leafs, if they can get some hot goaltending from Bernie
Parent and Jacques Plante. An upset of Boston in the first
round is a possibility but I don't think the Bruins will be
beaten in the first round especially after last year's fiasco.
The three teams who don't have a prayer in the world of
winning the Cup are Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Minnesota. The
Penguins, the Cinderella team in the playoffs, will be lucky
to win one game from the Black Hawks let alone four. The
Blues and the North Stars have playoff experience but there is
no way that the winner of that series can beat the Bruins in the
The semifinals will then probably pit Boston against St.
Louis and Montreal versus Chicago. Boston should be rounding
back to shape by this time and they will have little trouble
beating the Blues.
The Canadien-Black Hawks series will be a goodie. The
Black Hawks want revenge and so do their fans. Chicago lost
only three games at home this year and have a terrific head of
steam going, having lost only once in their last 17 contests.
Montreal on the other hand will be coming off a tough series
with New York. I think the difference in this semifinal action
will hinge with the fans.
Having witnessed Stanley Cup games at both the Mon-
treal Forum and the Chicago Stadium, I must give the
Black Hawks a decided home advantage. Chicago fans are
real fans, continually raising the roof with their screams.

Montreal fans seem to be a different breed. Used to the
success of the hometowners, the Canadien loyals just sit
politely in their seats and wait for a goal to be scored be-
fore bursting into cheers.
This may seem like a small difference, but in a series like
this which could go down to the last buzzer the home ice
crowd might even give the Hawks an edge.
Should my form chart hold up, the Stanley Cup finals
might be the greatest the game has ever seen. The Bruins, with
their high scoring offense and individual stars Esposito and
Orr, against the Black Hawks and their array of stars headed
by the incomparable Bobby Hull.
Both of these teams can smell victory after they finished
first in their respective divisions last year and were subsequent-
ly eliminated. The Bruins are a muscle team, one that likes
to intimidate its opponents; and most of the time it works.
Hull, who hit the 50 goal mark for the fifth time this
year is the hub of the attack for Chicago. If Hull is in high
gear. he will be impossible to stop. That guy is amazing. Al-
though he is continually shadowed by opposing wingmen, Hull
dominates a hockey game when he is on the ice, scoring goals
and setting up his teammates for close-in shots.
So there you have it. While Boston is the odds-on
favorite to win the Stanley Cup, I'm picking Chicago to take
the world championship of hockey on the basis of their su-
perior defense and a guy named Hull.

Lakers sweep


By The Associated Press With West, who averaged 30.31
CHICAGO - Jerry West, held points in the first three games,
scoreless the first half, poured in held without a point in 14 minutes
23 points in the final half to help of first-half play, Gail Goodrich
rally Los Angeles to a 108-97 vic- kept the Lakers within striking
tory over the Chicago Bulls, giv- distance of the hopped-up Bulls
ing the Lakers a four-game sweep who held a 50-46 halftime lead.
in the National Basketball Asso- In the final quarter, West pro-
ciation's Western semifinals last vided most of the Los Angeles
night. firepower with six baskets and the
jLakers sewed up the game with
nine points in the last two minutes
BULLETIN while Chicago scored only four.
CHICAGO (P) - Major league Goodrich led both teams with 27
baseball owners met for five points while McMillian matched;
hours last night and again turn- West's 23-point bag.
ed down the players' association Wilt Chamberlain was devastat-

playoff series, gave Baltimore a
2-1 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern
Conference semifinals which re-
sume tomorrow in New York.
Monroe, who led New York with

The Knicks had one final chance
to go ahead, but Tresvant blocked
Monroe's shot.
Boston beaned
ATLANTA - P e t e Maravich
scored 36 points last night to lead
the Atlanta Hawks to a 112-110
triumph over the Boston, Celtics,
squaring the National Basketball
Association Eastern Division semi-
final playoff series at two games
Maravich provided what proved
to be the winning margin with
two free throws with 22 seconds
left. That gave the Hawks a 112-
108 lead, but Maravich then fum-
bled the ball and allowed Don
Chaney an easy layup which cut
the Atlanta lead to two points
with .10 seconds left.

latest proposal, which might
have ended baseball's first
Owners'snegotiator John J.
Gaherin said there was no
sentiment among the owners to
accept the players' proposal.

ing under the basket, grabbing 31
* * *M
New Tork nudged
BALTIMORE - John Tresvant
blocked an Earl Monroe shot with
26 seconds to play and recovered

28 points

and scored his team'sI

thxe baull topreserve a. 104-103 vic-
In m a rc h ing impressively tory for the Baltimore Bullets over
through the first four games of the New York Knicks last night in
the best-of-seven series, the Lakers the National Basketball Associa-
gained the right to face the winner tion playoffs.
of the Milwaukee-Golden State The victory, the seventh straight
series in the other Western semi- by the Bullets over New York in
final. Baltimore during the past three

only three field goals in the final
three minutes, missed a layup on
a fast break with 2:08 remaining
{while the Knicks trailed 102-101.
Archie Clark, who led the Bul-
lets with 35 points, was trailing
Monroe on the breakaway and was
fouled by Walt. Frazier in the
scramble for the ball after Mon-
roe's surprising muff.
Clark sank two free throws for
a 104-101 lead, and teammate Wes
Unseld missed two more foul shots
before Monroe's field goal cut
Baltimore's lead to one point with
1:27 left.

WILT CHAMBERLAIN, Los Angeles Laker center, rips down a
rebound during the Lakers 108-97 trouncing of the Chicago Bulls
last night. Wilt was a big man as the Lakers took four straight
from the Bulls to gain the NBA semi-finals.

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-Associated Press
BALTIMORE BULLET guArd Archie Clark stumbles into New
York Knick Walt Frazier after losing the basketball during
action in last night's 104-103 Baltimore win. Looking on is
Frazier's backcourt mate for the Knicks, Earl Monroe.
_ -

Baltimore 104, New York 103
Atlanta 112, Bostong110
Los Angeles 108, Chicago 97
New York 105, Kent ucky 90
Virginia 118, Miami 113
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