Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Lynn at Hockey Ops Blog,
Myth #1: Expansion has diluted the level of talent in the NHL
This is the popular fable of the myopic scribes who cover hockey in some of the oldest markets. As the story goes, in the “Original Six” NHL (there were actually eight teams originally, but this fact was somehow lost on them) there were so few spots available on the teams, the level of play was extremely high. This was their “Golden Age” of hockey, with so many (per capita) of the League’s players achieving legend status and enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. In 1951, the top five scorers in the NHL all ended up in the Hall of Fame (Howe, Richard, Bentley, Abel, and Schmidt). Later, so the fable goes, with the NHL expanding more and more, anyone who could lace up a pair of skates was eligible for an NHL roster spot. This reached its lowest point after the last expansion, to 30 teams, when the Wild and Columbus took to the NHL ice with players that offended the high sensibilities of the Fourth Estate and older columnists.
Like many myths, this one is based on a reasonable premise, but has the unfortunate quality of being completely false.
Survival was part of the game…
Since the hockey news is at a minimun at this time of year, I thought you may enjoy this feature on Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay.
Hope you enjoy the Quebec Nordiques vs.the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7 of the Division Finals in 1985.
Dick Irwin with the play-by-play and Mickey Redmond wtih the color on CBC.
note: Still an issue, only IPs from the States can view the video.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
It was nice to see the NHL borrow an idea from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science people – among other organizations – in coming up with a Lifetime Achievement Award….
Going forward, there are many worthy candidates for this award as the NHL closes in on its 100th year. Selecting anyone other than Mr. Hockey in Year 1 would have been a mistake. But in future seasons, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Scotty Bowman and Jean Beliveau are just a few names we’ll be seeing win this award.
It’ll be interesting to see how the NHL handles the legacy of Ted Lindsay. Not only was ‘Terrible Ted’ one of the best players of all-time – he ranked No. 21 on The Hockey News’ 1997 list of the top 100 players – he was also the instigator of the grossly underpaid players’ attempt to form an association/union back in 1957.
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
Detroit Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood was impressive in his 4-0 blanking of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Saturday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
But Osgood wasn’t forced into overtime, obviously, quite unlike his late Detroit goaltending colleague Normie Smith on March 24/25, 1936.
Smith would make 90 saves to shut out the Montreal Maroons in the sixth overtime period at the Montreal Forum, outlasting Maroons goalie Lorne Chabot (66 saves) in what remains the longest game in NHL history.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
Of the NHL’s 52 top all-time, regular-season point producers, 17 have never sipped champagne from Lord Stanley’s mug. More than 40 of the players inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame – including the likes of Mike Gartner, Darryl Sittler, Brad Park, Rod Gilbert and Pat LaFontaine – are not on the game’s most famous trophy.
They could skate rings around lesser players but have no rings to prove it.
Ullman made it to five Stanley Cup finals but never won. It was his team that was at the wrong end of Bobby Baun’s famous overtime goal on a broken ankle, his Red Wings were just a foil in some of hockey’s greatest lore.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
But a dynasty was forming in Detroit, as the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1950 and four Stanley Cups in six years. This run coincided with Howe reaching physical maturity.
Howe was 6-foot, 205 pounds, one of the larger players in the NHL at that time. He was tall and lean with a farmer’s hard muscles. He came from utter poverty and he wouldn’t let anyone compromise his career on the ice.
Howe one-punched Maurice “Rocket” Richard to the ice early in his career and he crushed Bobby Orr late in his career. Howe was uncanny. He could deliver immediate, devastating retribution or he could let a slight go unpunished so long that the perpetrator forgot about it, until he found himself flat on his back when Howe found a situation that wouldn’t compromise his team’s chance of winning.
more with a photo gallery….
Gordie Howe from a Q & A in the Detroit Free Press,
“I always said I believed in religious hockey, and that it is better to give than to receive. I remember one guy said he tried to hit me all game but all he saw was tape. When I was playing, a coach might say, “You don’t like so and so?” And I’d say, “I don’t like any of them out there. When the game’s over, I like a lot of them, but on the ice is not a place to be liking people.”
from Joe Pelletier’s Greatest Hockey Legends,
March 21st, 1991. Quebec’s Ron Tugnutt stopped 70 Bruins shots, including 12 in overtime, to give the Nordiques a 3-3 tie at Boston.
The Bruins’ 73 shots were 10 short of the NHL record set by Boston in a 1941 game against Chicago. Ray Bourque set a NHL single game record with 19 shots himself!
Tugnutt’s performance was so impressive even some of the Bruins’ players skated over to congratulate him.
Watch the video highlights…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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