Philly Sports Playback: May 28, 1987 — J.J. Daigneault shook the Spectrum

Dave Uram
May 28, 2020 - 1:32 pm
A hockey fan holds up a Flyers logo

Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Many say it’s the loudest they ever heard the Spectrum. 

“The bench was vibrating. I remember actually looking up at the roof, as well. I started wondering if this thing was gonna cave in today,” former Philadelphia Flyer Mark Howe told KYW Newsradio.

Howe is featured with other former Flyers Dave Poulin, Brad Marsh and Dave Brown in a KYW Newsradio original podcast.

“It was utter pandemonium,” Marsh said.

“It was absolutely crazy,” Brown said, ”and just the atmosphere … bring the hair up on your back.”

“I don’t think in my time I heard it louder than that goal,” Poulin said. “But that goal was taking us to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.” 

The Flyers, 33 years ago, found themselves trailing the visiting Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in Game 6. If Oilers held on, the series would be over. 

Brian Propp tied the game late in the third. Less then 2 minutes later, young defenseman J.J. Daigneault fired a slap shot from the blue line that somehow got past Grant Fuhr, and the building went berserk. 

The Flyers held on for a 3-2 win to force a decisive Game 7 against the mighty Oilers. Edmonton originally led the series 3-1. 

“I was on the ice, and I made a change maybe 30 seconds before that, and J.J. coming on the ice to replace me, so I said it was the best line change I ever had in my career,” said Howe, a Hall of Fame defenseman, whose No. 2 is retired by the Flyers.

According to Howe, Daigneault was coming off the ice for a line change when head coach Mike Keenan told him to stay on.

Brilliant decision.

Related: Philly Sports Playback

It was Daigneault’s first career postseason goal and point. 

Even though the Spectrum could smell eventual victory, there were still about five-and-a-half minutes left in the game.

“When you’re protecting a one-goal lead in any game, let alone a Stanley Cup Finals, that five-and-a-half minutes seemed like five-and-a-half hours. It was an incredible atmosphere and one that, as a player, we’ll never forget. But also Flyer fans have never forgot that,” said  Marsh, fellow defenseman and current Flyers Alumni Association President.

“For the people that were part of a lot of those games in the ‘80s, mid-80s, I mean, that has to be the highlight of a lot of people’s experiences of watching Flyers games for sure,” said Howe, whose 65th birthday is also today.

Despite Ron Hextall’s incredible efforts three days later in Game 7 in Edmonton, the Oilers won the series 4-3 — a series that is fondly remembered by hockey fans for its competitiveness.

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To hear more thoughts from Howe, Poulin, Marsh and Brown on the game and series, listen to the KYW Sports Pod. Subscribe on the RADIO.COM app or wherever you get podcasts. ​