Sunday, May 24, 2009
It was on this day in 1990 that the Edmonton Oilers, led by captain Mark Messier, captured their 5th and final Stanley Cup of their dynasty, which began in the early 80's. With the departure of Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles in the summer of 1988, many thought that would be the end of the Oilers reign as champions.
The 1988-89 season was in fact, a disappointment, with the Oilers finishing 7th overall in points and losing in the first round of the playoffs - against Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings of all teams. Worse, their arch rivals the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup that season.
But in 1989-90, it all came right again for the Oilers. Led by league MVP Messier, who scored a career high 129 points, and Bill Ranford in goal, the Oilers would defeat the Winnipeg Jets, get their revenge on Gretzky and the Kings by eliminating them in a second round sweep, and come from behind to beat the Chicago Blackhawks to return to the familiar territory of the Stanley Cup Finals once more.
There, they would face the Presidents' Trophy winning Boston Bruins, led by Cam Neely and Ray Bourque, who they would defeat 4 games to 1 to reclaim the Stanley Cup, with Ranford winning the Conn Smythe trophy.
Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Edmonton Oilers Mark Messier jersey as worn on May 24th, 1990 as he was awarded the Stanley Cup after a 4-1 defeat of the Bruins in Boston. It was the first and only time that the Oilers would win the cup in their blue road jersey.
This jersey also features the 1990 Stanley Cup Finals patch on the left chest. This was only the second time that the finals patches were worn, and the first time in it's now traditional location on the jersey.
After one more season in Edmonton, Messier would be traded to the New York Rangers, where he would famously lead them to the 1994 championship to end their long Stanley Cup drought.
Along with his six Stanley Cups, Messier would also play for Team Canada in three Canada Cups, one World Championship and one World Cup. He would finish his NHL career with the second highest total for career points in league history with 1,887, including 694 goals.
Dasherboard: What happened to our closely fought, exciting 3-2 game in the third period?
Pittsburgh won going away to take a 3 games to none lead over the Carolina Hurricanes last night. Even when it was 4-2, Carolina had some hope and was still pressing, but that rather fluky, empty net goal directly off a face off on the other side of the red line certainly let the air of the game and the arena. Guerin's goal 40 seconds later sent the fans for the exits and us for the remote control.
We expected the 'Canes to come out energized by their terrific home crowd and pull a game back from the Penguins. They even scored first four minutes into the game and seemed to be ready to keep the fans rocking. The problem was there was a storm warning for the Carolinas and Hurricane Malkin hit Raleigh and hit it hard with two more goals and an assist, his sixth straight multi-point game in this year's playoffs. And even if Carolina can slow Malkin down, Sidney Crosby is only 2 points behind him for the playoff scoring lead, 28-26.
The schedule for this series suddenly slows down, with Game 4 scheduled for Tuesday and a possible Game 5 not until Friday the 29th back in Pittsburgh.