Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: al macinnis
On Saturday, the Hockey News's Adam Proteau posted the first installment of a two-part "oral history" of the Calgary Flames' 1989 Stanley Cup run, and he continues today with more behind-the-scenes tales from the Flames' Cup win in the Montreal Forum and its aftermath:
Delirious with joy, the Flames boarded their plane for the flight back to Calgary. They would all go on to enjoy incredible NHL careers, but for those precious few hours, they celebrated as one extended family.
CLIFF FLETCHER My son and daughter were on the plane with me. We had a special passenger, too: It wasn’t supposed to be allowed, but it just so happened the Stanley Cup was in that cabin with us.
AL MACINNIS We knew that was our one time as a team – from managers, to coaches, to trainers, to players – to really just be together for those few hours and take in the moment. That was a pretty special time, and quite a plane ride.
COLIN PATTERSON One of my favorite pictures from the flight is myself, Joel Otto and Lanny: We were sitting in one row and we’d just got the Cup. We were just so excited to have it.
THEO FLEURY I think I passed out on the plane hugging the Cup.
DOUG GILMOUR The only disappointing part of it was we ran out of beer before we took off. Whatever was available after that point – liquor, wine, whatever – was what we drank. We didn’t really care at that point.
TERRY CRISP We sat with our wives in the front of the plane; the players were in the back with the Cup. It was great because you could just sit and listen to the guys back there. And it really was just the team. Nobody could interfere with you. Until you land, it’s yours. When you’re up in the clouds – as you deserved to be, because you just knocked off one of the best in the business, in the Mecca of hockey – you get to enjoy it.
The Hockey News's Adam Proteau has penned the first of a two-part "oral history" chronicling the Calgary Flames' 1989 Stanley Cup win, and it never ceases to amaze me how very heavily Cup-winners are challenged in the playoff round that Scotty Bowman insisted is the most dangerous round:
For the second year in a row, the Flames had finished the regular season with the NHL’s top record. In 1988, they’d won their first-round series against the Kings, only to be swept by the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division final. Two years earlier, they’d made it to the first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history, falling to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.
But in 1989 – their second year with Terry Crisp as head coach – the Flames proved a more resilient squad. And they had to be right away; In their opening-round series against Vancouver (a team that finished with 43 fewer points in the standings that season), Calgary lost key defenseman Gary Suter in the first game with a broken jaw, then found themselves pushed to the brink of elimination as the Canucks forced a heart-stopping seventh game – and overtime – and yet managed to move on thanks to astounding goaltending from Mike Vernon and the series-winning goal that banked in off Joel Otto’s skate.
TERRY CRISP, HEAD COACH We really dodged a bullet in that first round. You’re that close to being gone and maybe never getting another crack at it. When I look back, I think there must have been a divine destiny somewhere in the first round, because Vancouver took us right to the wall.
CLIFF FLETCHER, GENERAL MANAGER The pressure of the first round nearly did us in. We weren’t the hockey team we had been over the course of the regular season. We were very fortunate to win that series. Mike Vernon had to make three outstanding saves before we managed to shovel a goal late in the first overtime.
AL MACINNIS, DEFENSEMAN If Mike doesn’t make those saves, we don’t move on. But when we got by Vancouver, that’s when I think that pressure was relieved from us, and we felt just felt that, ‘Man, we’re really on our way.’ After that, we lost three games total in the next three series.
TERRY CRISP After that, the guys just put it into gear and away we went.
from Chris Pinkert of St.LouisBlues.com,
What could one possibly give a retired hockey player who already has a Stanley Cup, a Gold Medal, a Norris Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy and his retired number hanging from the rafters?
How about a big bronze statue?
Before Thursday’s home opener at Scottrade Center, the Blues unveiled a new statue in honor of Blues defenseman Al MacInnis, who played 10 seasons with the Blues, amassing 452 points (127 goals, 325 assists) in 613 games. The statue is located near the intersection of 14th Street and Clark Avenue, just outside Scottrade Center’s main entrance.
“Some awards, like the Norris Trophy and the Stanley Cup, are awarded every year. Not often do you get a statue,” MacInnis said. “It’s something you put right alongside a retired number in a special category.”
continued with a picture of the statue…
Al MacInnis, along with fellow inductees, Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Scott Stevens and Jim Gregory, will be honored at the 2007 Induction Celebration on Monday, Nov. 12 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Below is the transcript from a media conference call with MacInnis earlier today. A video of his career highlights is also provided.