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Fischler, Stan and Shirley Fischler.

Toronto. Totem Books, 1987. 196pp. paper, $11.95. ISBN 00-0-217904-0. Distributed by Collins.

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Michael Freeman

Volume 16 Number 4
1988 July

Patterned after Bill James Baseball Abstract (New York, Ballantine, annual), Breakaway 87-88 provides a more than comprehensive review, both statistical and anecdotal, of the 1986-87 National Hockey League season. The variety and unique nature of the statistical analysis differentiate both the Abstract and this volume from their many competitors. The reader must come to terms with comparative categories such as blown points, quality shots, face-offs won, etc. The avid fan will positively wallow in the depths of performance detail.

The casual browser, on the other hand, may well appreciate the added features: the complete review of all NHL-USSR hockey series; the up-to-date articles that compare Gretzky and Howe, bewail the increasing violence, and outline the inconsistent officiating; and the interesting previews of the 1987-88 season.The authors, recognized authorities in the sports-writing field, intend this almanac to become an annual production. The historical nature of much of the material will certainly prevent the individual volumes from becoming obsolete.

Recommended highly for hockey fans of all ages.

Michael Freeman, Bathurst Heights S.S., North York, Ont.
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