Friday, December 27, 2013

Today in Hockey History

 Penguins legend Mario Lemieux in 2000 scores 3 points in his first game back from a 3-year retirement.

Game of the Day - 1983 Stanley Cup Finals

1983 Stanley Cup Finals
Game 1
New York Islanders
Edmonton Oilers

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Game of the Day - 12/30/1981 Edmonton vs Philadelphia

thanks Sports History Channel 

Philadelphia Flyers, decked out in their new cooperalls (introduced this season 81/82, not 82/83 as some claim) came into Edmonton trying to stop Gretzky. But, as the Flyers found out, there was, no one who can stop Wayne Gretzky. Previous 8 games, Gretzky had 14 goals, including 4 against his future team, Los Angeles, in the Oilers' previous game (12/27/81). Gretzky had also scored 4 against LA on November 25st, and 4 against Quebec October 31st. He would score just once against Philly Jan 14th, but 3 more times against them January 31st. 

Coming into this game, Gretzky had a remarkable 58 points in his last 17 games.

Season totals for Gretzky: 38GP, 45G, 57A, 102P. Calder Trophy winner Dale Hawerchuck would finish that year with 45 goals and 58 assists.

The Flyers would finish that season 8th overall, and certainly were not a bad team (38-31-11). The Flyers had won 12 of their last 15 games. They still had Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, Reggie Leach and Jimmy Watson from their mid 70s dynasty, plus they had added Tim Kerr, Ken Linseman, Brian Propp, Ron Flockhart, Ray Allison and Behn Wilson and Paul Holmgren. My favourite all time Flyer, Ilkka Sinisalo, did not play and Darryl Sittler had not been aquired. In goal for the Flyers was another of my favs, regardless of what team he played for, Pete Peeters. This was Pete's first tour of duty with the Flyers (Brian Boucher fans take note, the Flyers LOVE their goaltenders! Peeters had sort of been Bernie Parent's successor in the Flyers goal, after the later suffered a career ending eye injury in 78/79. Peeters had actually done quite well for them, going 29-5-5 in 79/80 with a 2.73 GAA, good enough for 4th in the league. Pete was second in the league in wins that year. He took the Flyers all the way to game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals, where the dynasty bound New York Islanders beat them in a great final. Pete was having a bit of an off year this season, 23-18-3 with a GAA of 3.71, but next year, would lead the league for the first of two GAA titles. Pete was a regular in the top 10 in GAA from 79-91.

As for Edmonton, it's rookie Grant Fuhr. At this point, he was still proving he belonged in the NHL. Fuhr's specialty was allowing 4 or 5 goals when the Oilers scored about 7 or 8 goals, but allowing 1 or 2 and the odd time 0 if the Oilers scored 3 or less. You'd get some by him, but never quite that goal you needed for the tie or win.

The Flyers, btw, are coached by Pat Quinn, who goes down in the record book as the winning coach in the Oilers first ever playoff loss two seasons prior, and also helping the Flyers to establish a PROFESSIONAL SPORTS RECORD 36 game unbeaton streak in 79/80. Pretty much everywhere he went, Philly, Vancouver, Toronto, even LA (he seemed to help). He would be replaced later this season by Bob McCammon, however.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Today in Hockey History - December 8th

Source: Hockey Hall of Fame and Hooked on Hockey Magazine

December 8, 1967 – Just two months into their first NHL season, the California Seals officially changed their name to the Oakland Seals. I don’t know why that decision couldn’t have been made before the start of the season, but it is what it is. Apparently, though, organization didn’t like that name, so they changed the location name back to California three years later (1970). But they didn’t want the team name to be the same, because that would look silly…so they changed it to the Golden Seals. And they didn’t like that, either, so they did a complete overhaul and changed their name six years later to the Cleveland Barons. Also they moved to Ohio. They eventually decided that picking a name was too hard, so they disbanded the franchise two years later in 1978. Yeah, that’s probably the reason.
December 8, 1984 – Scotty Bowman led the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 win at Boston to give him 690 career victories, making him tied for first all time with Dick Irvin. Bowman wasn’t even close to finished though; he almost doubled that mark by coaching 13 seasons after 1984-85, and ended his career with 1,248 wins, the most all time. His nine Cups as a coach is also the most by a coach. Yeah, he holds lots of coaching records.
December 8, 1987 – In a 5-2 Flyers win over the Bruins, Ron Hextall became the first goalie to shoot and score into an empty net! It was actually the second goal scored by a goalie, Billy Smith was credited with the first goalie goal eight years earlier. Amazingly, Hextall would repeat the feat in the following season by again shooting and scoring! He actually holds the record for most goals scored in that fashion, but Marty Brodeur holds the record for total goalie goals with three (two own goals and one shot).
December 8, 1997 – The Toronto Maple Leafs played their 5,000th game in team history, and celebrated with a 3-0 win over the visiting Dallas Stars. The win gave the Leafs a record of 2,139-2,135-726, just over .500!
December 8, 1999 – Did you know that Paul Kariya had a brother that played in the NHL? Well you do now. Steve Kariya picked up in assist in the first game that featured both Kariya brothers, and Paul scored a goal. Steve’s Canucks tied Paul’s Mighty Ducks 2-2. Steve did not have an illustrious NHL career like his brother, picking up just 27 points in 65 games. Also there’s a third hockey-playing Kariya brother, Martin, who never made the NHL (he played 141 AHL games and 38 KHL games). Oh, and their sister, Noriko, is also sort of a hockey player, because she is a professional boxer. Pretty much the same thing, right? Well, at least she probably would have fit in with this next one…
December 8, 2001 – For the first time in history, the NHL experimented by combining a game with mixed martial arts. Well, not officially, but a pretty ugly game was played between the Flames and the Mighty Ducks. Here are some fun stats for you:
  • Both teams combined for 309 penalty minutes. That’s five regulation games worth of penalties!
  • The Flames set an NHL record by racking up 190 penalty minutes during a single period! The third got pretty nasty
  • There were 19 fighting majors in the final 1:25 of play. Nineteen. That’s one more than half of the skaters on the ice! (Teams usually dress 18 skaters and two goalies per game). You may have noticed that it’s an odd number…obviously someone else didn’t know he was engaged in a fight, and that man was (presumably) Scott Nichol, who was assaulted by Anaheim goaltender J.S. Giguere
  • Although the game ended 4-0 in favor of the Ducks, starter Giguere failed to record the shutout because he was ejected from the game in the final 30 seconds! (He picked up 12 PIMs.) That’s rough (Steve Shields took over)
  • Four Flames players recorded 29 or more penalty minutes, topped out by Craig Berube, who accumulated 34, which, incidentally, was more than four times the time he actually played hockey. Danny Lambert led the Ducks with 27 (you can see the full box score here)
  • By the time the smoke cleared, Calgary had just one player on their bench (You can read a breakdown of the events courtesy of Bleacher Report

NHL Top Ten of the Week

Top Ten Saves of the Week (12/08/2013)

Top Ten Goals of the Week (12/08/2013)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stat of Day

Daniel Alfredsson holds Ottawa Senators franchise records for:
games played (1,178) 
goals (426)
assists (682) 
points (1,108)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

League Leaders

NHL League Leaders
( December 1st 2013)

Goals - Alex Ovechkin (Washington) - 21
Assists - Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) - 28
Points - Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) - 36

Wins - Corey Crawford (Chicago) - 17
Shutouts - Marc-Andre Fluery (Pittsburgh) - 3
Goals Against Average - Cam Talbot (NY Rangers) - 1.49
Save Percentage - Ben Scrivens (LA Kings) - .944

(Division Leaders)

Eastern Conference
Atlantic - Boston Bruins - 18/7/2  (38 Points)
Metropolitan - Pittsburgh Penguins - 18/9/1  (37 Points)

Western Conference
Central - Chicago Blackhawks - 20/4/4  (44 Points)
Pacific - San Jose Sharks - 18/3/5  (41 Points)