Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Last Leafs Cup

For too many Leafs fans there is a number stuck in thier heads, and that is 1967. Now, it is better imagined if that number were a year.

In 1967, Toronto was the place to be for many great reasons. But, mainly because it being the last year that you will find a Toronto Maple Leafs team with their name on the Stanley Cup. Its also the last year the Maple Leafs made it as far as the Stanley Cup finals.

They were lead by two great coachs, Punch Imlach and Frank 'King' Clancy who replaced Imlach after being sent to the hospital.

They had some great players, names like Red Kelly, Tim Horton, Marcel Pronovost, Eddie Shack and Frank Mahovlich. Terry Sawchuck and Johnny Bower, two aging goaltenders, kept it together between the pipes.

1967 would be the last year of the "Original Six" format and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the highly favored Chicago Blackhawks in the semi-finals. Nobody held much hope for the Leafs as they were pinned against a strong Montreal Canadiens team who were on fire with a 15 game undefeated streak.
The Toronto Maple Leafs surprised many when they won the 6th game and the Cup. An empty net goal by Leaf Captain George Armstrong secured thier postion after the game winner by Jim Pappin.

Who knows when the next time Toronto fans will be able to cheer for thier team again in a Stanley Cup final. With big changes happening up in the big office, maybe it will be sooner then they think.

Get Vintage... with a Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Montreal Canadiens, The Best NHL Franchise ever?

Some would say that the Montreal Canadiens are the best team ever.

Not just because they, themselves are a die hard Habs Fan, but because the Canadiens have 24 Stanley Cups under thier belts.

The franchise was founded on December 4, 1909, back then the Cup was still young, but now that the Cup has alot more under its bowl, 24 Canadiens teams can be found deep with in the rings
Their first win was in 1916, and their last in 1993. Henri Richard takes claim for being the winningest player for when it comes to which Canadien has his name on the Cup the most. He also takes claim for being the player to win the most Stanley Cups in NHL history. Henri Richard won the Cup an amazing 11 times.

Being led by some of the most memorable coaches the NHL has ever had, Toe Blake, Scotty Bowman and Dick Irvine Sr. that alone is explanation enough to why they have done so well.

They also hold the record for the most consequetive Championship wins at 5, during the 1956-1960 dynasty years. Lead with players like; Maurice Richard, Henri Richard, Dickie Moore, Jean Beliveau, Bernie Geoffrion, Doug Harvey, and Jacques Plante.

The Canadiens have also made it to the Cup finals 32 times, that means that if you are against the Habs you have a 25% chance in winning. No pressure, eh?

So next time some one tells you that the Montreal Canadiens are the best team... just sit back and agree with them.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What? No Cup?!?

Did you know that the 2004-2005 season wasn't the only NHL season that didn't award the Stanley Cup to a team?
In recent history the Stanley Cup was put aside for men's wallets. The 2004-2005 season was completely scrapped because of a player lockout. NHL league officials wanted to create a new salary structure based on the league revenues. Many of the NHLPA (National Hockey League Players Association) thought that this was some way of implementing a salary cap.Without going into too many details, the lockout started on September 16, 2004. The season was officially cancelled on February 16,2005
In 1919, becuase of the ongoing Spanish epidemic there was no decision. In a deadlocked series after game 5, Seattle health officials were forced to cancel the series between the Montreal Canadiens and Seattle Metropolitans. Both teams had won two, lost two and tied one. Several players on both teams became seriously ill, including Canadiens' defenseman Joe Hall, who died less than a week after the cancelation.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Congrats to the Red Wings!

Great game Pittsburgh, better luck next year!

Congradulations to the entire Detroit Red Wings franchise! Well played series by both teams!

Henrik Zetterberg, winner of the Conn Smyth Trophy. Well Done!

Looks like Detroit really is HockeyTown!

Celebrate and show you colours... get a hat! Go Wings, Go!

Famous Moments in the NHL, Bobby Orr

Boston was hoping to win the series in a sweep against the St. Louis Blues. This is one of the greatest moments in NHL history and it was all caught on tape.
After Game 4 having gone into overtime, Orr finished it with the same kind of pizazz he played with throughout his career. After taking a pass from Derek Sanderson, he swooped in front of the net to bury it behind St. Louis's goalie Glenn Hall. At that same moment Blues' defenseman Noel Picard upended Orr to send him flying. Arms up in celebration Orr floated across, and the image was caught on cameras, then shown on newspapers and newcasts the world around.

Bobby Orr won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player that year. A reward he would receive again when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 1972. He also took the game winning goal in that final too.

Orr's Quick stats are:
657 Games played, 270 goals, 645 assists.
Art Ross- 1970,1975
Calder Memorial Trophy- 1967
Con Smyth Trophy- 1970, 1972
First All Star Team, Defense- 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
Hart Trophy- 1970,1971, 1972
James Norris Trophy- 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975

Lester B. Pearson Award- 1975
Lester Patraick Trophy- 1979
Lou Marsh Trophy- 1971
Second All-Star Team, Defense- 1967

Won the Calder Memorial Trophy for being the best rookie in the NHL and also earned a spot on the Second All-Star Team.
An injury to his left knee in his first season would bother him the rest of his career, saddly it would be eventually ending it.

Bobby Orr played defense in NHL over the span of 12 season's in the NHL ( he missed the 1977-1978 season recovering from a knee ingury) 10 with the Boston Bruins and 2 with the Chicago Blackhawks. Orr set practically every record in hockey that you can imagine for a defenseman. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979, that same year, jersey #4 was retired with the Boston Bruins.

Score Bobby Orr, the Famous Number 4!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tonights Game

As I am sitting and watching tonights game, I wonder what it feels like to be Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. A young player with alot of weight on his shoulders no doubt. Anticipation mixed with anxiety.
I myself am a goalie, and those tense moments always made me move better, like an unstoppable force, or maybe that could be better said like an impenetrable force.

My two cents on tonights game...

Detroit is the far better team in the 3rd period and most of the 1st sudden death.
I think that the Red Wings have alot over the Penguins, but the Penguins have the underdog feel to them, and that makes me say "Ge Pens Go!".
4 Stanley Cups have gone to the Red Wings in the last decade, and as much as it would be nice to see a modern day dynasty (my opinion they already are one). I would love to see the young Penguins get what they have worked so hard for. Not to discount the hard work given by the Wings, but the Penguins seem to have more a of a Cinderella story to them. Have you seen how hard Ryan Malone has played... talk about putting your body to the test!

Final thoughts, its nice to see an Original Six franchise still bringing in the crowds, still being a top contender and still draw fans from across North America, but Penguins fans seem like a new breed, new blood to bring into the wonderful game called hockey! New dreams are being made for young boys and girls all over Pittsburgh.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Uh-oh Typo!

Did you know that there are several typo's on the Stanley Cup? And most of them are still un-corrected even though they are known?

Here are a few examples:

Toronto Maple Leafs was spelled "Leaes" in 1963.
Jacques Plante's name has been misspelled five times.
New York Islanders was spelled "Ilanders" in 1981.
Bob Gainey lost an 'e' when he was playing for the Canadians in the 1970's. Misspelles "Gainy"
Pat McReavy's name is misspelled "McCeavy" as a member of the 1941 Boston Bruins.
Ted Kennedy was spelled "Kennedyy" in the 1940s.
Boston Bruins was spelled "Bqstqn" in 1972.

There have been corrections made in the last few years when mistakes have been made.

In 1996, Colorado Avalanche's Adam Deadmarsh's last name was spelled "Deadmarch". Marking the first correction on the Cup.
Similar corrections were made in 2002 and 2006 for the names of Detroit Red Wings goalie Manny Legace ("Lagace") and Carolina Hurricanes forward Eric Staal ("Staaal").

One name was later scratched out: Peter Pocklington, a former Edmonton Oilers owner, put his father's name, Basil, on the Stanley Cup in 1984; today, there is a series of "X's" over Basil's name.