Flyers at 50: The Legend of Robbie Moore

Flyers history 50

By Mike Watson, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The legend of Flyers goaltender Robbie Moore.

Robbie Moore was signed as a free agent, this week back in 1978. The diminutive goalie stood just 5'5", but played a lot bigger than that. Originally drafted by the New England Whalers of the WHA in 1974, Robbie had a successful college career at the University of Michigan

In the 1978-79 season, the Flyers were left scrambling after the tragic eye injury to Bernie Parent. Moore made his Flyers' debut in a call-up from the Maine Mariners (AHL) on March 6, 1979, recording a shutout, stopping all 22 shots in a 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies.

In the month of March, he would also pick up a win over the St. Louis Blues, a tie against the New York Rangers and another shutout win on March 29 over the Vancouver Canucks. His last regular-season game action would be against the high flying New York Islanders, allowing three goals in "mop-up duty", relieving Wayne Stephenson in a 9-2 blowout in Long Island on April 7. 

As the Flyers entered the playoffs, they decided to lean on the veteran Stephenson to start Game 1 of a three-game series against the Canucks. After a 3-2 loss on home ice to Vancouver, the risky move of starting Moore on the road was made. 

In that Game 2, the Flyers faced elimination. Tied at four with less than two minutes to go, "The Rifle" Reggie Leach scored to give the Flyers a 5-4 lead. With three seconds left, Bill Barber hit an empty-net goal to seal the deal and take the series to a deciding Game 3 back at the Spectrum. Robbie Moore had just won his first NHL Playoff game. 

For the Flyers, getting back home was all that they needed. In a 7-2 blowout, they played their best game of the series and gave Moore all that he needed. He stopped 29 shots en route to his first home playoff victory. 

The quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers, did not go as well for the Flyers. After a 3-2 win in overtime at home, they lost four straight to the Broadway Blueshirts. Robbie won Game 1, but was pulled in Game 2 of a 7-1 shellacking. In Game 3, the Flyers went back to Stephenson but to no avail. The Rangers pasted the Orange and Black, 5-1, and took a 2-1 series lead. In Game 4, Moore returned to the net, only to be left out to dry in a 6-0 whitewash in Madison Square Garden

That would be all for Robbie Moore. 

In Game 5 back at the Spectrum, the steamroller that was the Rangers just kept rolling. Leading 5-0 midway through the third period, the Flyers tried to mount a comeback. Scoring three goals on netminder John Davidson in less than five minutes, the game was now 5-3. The Rangers would collect themselves and answer with two of their own, then the empty-netter and the Flyers fell 8-3 and the season came to a close. 

And with it, the close of the short career of Robbie Moore with the Flyers.

Moore would get one more brief appearance at the NHL level with the Washington Capitals as a backup in 1982-83 after bouncing around the minor leagues with stops with the Mariners, Hershey Bears and even a stop in Nashville with the South Stars of the CHL

For a two month stretch in a weird 1978-79 season, Robbie was the talk of the Flyers' faithful.  Although his flame burned out quickly, it was something worth remembering nonetheless.