Saturday, May 30, 2009

1984-85 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky Jersey

Following on the footsteps of their championship season in 1983-84, the Edmonton Oilers made clear their intent to defend their crown right from the beginning, setting a league record by going unbeaten in their opening 15 games with a record of 12-0-3. They would eventually win their fourth straight division title, once more scoring over 400 goals.


Wayne Gretzky would win the Art Ross Trophy for the 5th straight time, once again scoring over 200 points, finishing with 208 (73 goals and 135 assists), the third highest total of his career. He would also be awarded his 6th straight Hart Trophy. The Oilers would also add other individual hardware to their haul, with Jari Kurri taking the Lady Byng Trophy while scoring a career high 71 goals and 135 points, and Paul Coffey winning the Norris Trophy while totaling 121 points on defense.

The Oilers would start their jog to the title with sweeps of both the Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Chicago Blackhawks proved more of an obstacle, eventually falling in six.

The Philadelphia Flyers would take Game 1 of the finals, but, having received the wake-up call, the Oilers would go onto to win the next four in a row to take their second championship in a row, with the final game coming on this date in 1985 and seeing the Oilers win by a decisive 8-3 score. Gretzky would add to his personal trophy case by being named winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy for the first time.

Today's jersey is a 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky jersey. Each of the four times the Oilers would win the cup with Gretzky as captain, it would be at home in their white jerseys. Since the special patch customarily worn during the Stanley Cup Finals was not introduced until 1989, this jersey carries no additional patches.

Edmonton Oilers W 83-88 F
Edmonton Oilers W 83-88 B
The Oilers Stanley Cup run would be interrupted the next season by the Montreal Canadiens, but they would return with a vengeance in 1987 as the dynasty would continue.



Still awake after that bizarre selection of background music? Is the end of hockey season really that sad of an occasion in Canada? We feel like our dog just died.


Dasherboard: The Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight with the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Joe Louis Arena to take on the defending champions, the Detroit Red Wings in the first of two back-to-back games. Detroit is 8-1 at home during this year's playoffs and the Pittsburgh/Detroit matchup will be the first finals rematch in 25 years.



The Wings odds of defending their title will be enhanced by the return of captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk, who missed three games in the previous round because of a foot injury and Kris Draper.

We personally consider the goaltending matchup in favor of Chris Osgood due to his experience level. Both teams have high quality forwards, with an edge to Detroit as far as depth is concerned, but with Crosby and Malkin both on top of their games, we consider those two factors offsetting.

Defensively, we'd favor the Red Wings, assuming the return of Lidstrom.

The X factor of this matchup is the defection of Marian Hossa from Pittsburgh last year to Detroit this year, a move we instantly felt would win Detroit the cup the minute we heard it last spring. The Penguins are clearly on a roll, and a year more mature and experienced, and will be looking to prove Hossa wrong in his decision not to stay in Pittsburgh.

It should be a great series with some fantastic end to end hockey. We'd be very surprised if it didn't go at least six games.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The State of the Union in the KHL

I've done two separate posts today, so be sure to keep scrolling down after reading the first one to see today's featured jersey.

Dasherboard: News reports out of Russia have revealed that Washington Capitals forward Viktor Kozlov has and Sergei Fedorov may sign contracts to play next season in the Kontinental Hockey League. Kozlov reportedly has signed to play with Salavat Yulaev Ufa for two years and Fedorov has been offered a two-year, $7.6 million dollar deal from Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Currently former NHLers Alexi Yashin, Jaromir Jagr and Alexander Radulov, who was still under contract with the Nashville Predators at the time, all signed to play in the first season of the KHL last year.

The KHL would be more than happy to lure as many NHL players as possible since they have been treated as nothing more than a minor league farm system by the NHL, who have signed away any and every young talented player developed by the Russian club teams for nearly twenty years now, with a minimum of compensation to the Russian teams who have discovered, nurtured and trained players, such as Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, only to receive just $200,000 for a player worth millions.

Fedorov made $4 million with Washington this past season and the Capitals probably would not come close to matching it. The move would allow Fedorov to play with his younger brother and give him more of a chance to audition for those in charge of selecting the Russian National Team for the 2010 Olympics.

Slava Malamud, a journalist for Sport-Express in Russia was quoted as saying, "In the future, the KHL wants to be considered a viable alternative for the NHL, but for now guys like Jagr and Fedorov might be expensive but help sell tickets and create headlines."

Don't forget, this is also the same league that once put up a $12.5 million per year tax-free offer for Malkin when his previous contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins was coming up for renegotiation. Compare that to Ovechkin's average annual income under the new salary cap at $9.54 million.

They also recently announced that they have set aside $31 million to help it's clubs attract players from abroad next season as part of its bid to eventually challenge the NHL as the world's top league. Former NHLer Slava Fetisov said, "Within five years, the Kontinental Hockey League plans to compete on equal footing with the NHL in terms of quality of play and team organization."

Now that's all very interesting, but also raises a red flag after reading a recent European attendance figure report in the latest IIHF newsletter iceTimes. Of the top 10 clubs in Europe, Avangard Omsk was the highest Russian club overall, ranked #6, with an average attendance of...

9,504

Yes, just 9,504, which was 93.18% of capacity. That's works out to a rink with just 10,000 seats. The next two Russian clubs were Lokomotiv Yaroslavl with an average attendance of 8,980 (99.27%) and Salavat Yulayev Ufa at an average of 8,172 (97.29%).

To put that in perspective, the top three professional club teams in the KHL are all averaging less than the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in arenas that are smaller than the Gophers home rink. The report goes onto reveal that the KHL ranks only fourth in European league wide attendance, at an average of 5,097, behind Sweden's Elitserien (6,260), Switzerland's National League A (6,073) and Germany's DEL (5,867), for a league considered the second best in the world.

So where does the money come from to compete with the NHL when they are playing to 70% less people, being outdrawn by even the Swiss league? Certainly not ticket sales, TV revenue or merchandising.

It apparently comes from "sponsorships", but not in the traditional North American sense, but from men like Alexander Medvedev, a Russian billionaire, also called an "oligarch," the men who made blindingly enormous wealth buying former state owned Soviet industrial companies for pennies on the dollar, as well as the enormous political power they possess as a result. Victor Rashnikov is the sponsor of Metallurg Magnitogorsk as well as the owner of MMK, one of Russia's largest iron and steel companies. Mikhail Prokhorov supports CSKA Moscow while Alexi Mordashov sponsors Severstal Cherepovets, all similar to the more well known Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea in the English Premier League.

They use their sports clubs as promotional vehicles for their business interests, pumping funds into their clubs in order to raise their profiles, give their workers a source of pride and also as "toys for big boys", for themselves to simply own and enjoy.

While not a hockey club owner, Shabtai von Kalmanovic was recently profiled in Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com for his support of Moscow Spartak's womens basketball club, and are well worth a read if you want to understand these men and their way of conducting themselves as owners of sporting clubs.

But what happens when times go bad for them, as they recently have? Will they lose interest in sport, as many wealthy race team owners and various sports team owners have in North America when they grow weary of a continued stretch of spending money and losing games?

Even now KHL vice president Vladimir Shalaev has given five clubs, Khimik Voskresensk, Vityaz Chekhov, HK MVD Balashikha, Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Sibir Novosibirsk, until midnight Friday to sort out their finances or face suspension from the league, yet this is the league that is planning on competing on even terms with the NHL?

Perhaps when you were worth $3 billion and are now only worth $1.5 billion, you still have some cash to burn on player salaries, but sometimes if it looks like a house of cards, chances are it is.



1992-93 Los Angeles Kings Wayne Gretzky Jersey

It was on this day in 1993 that Wayne Gretzky scored his record eighth career hat trick as the Los Angeles Kings won the Campbell Conference title with 5-4 victory in their hard fought seventh game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, making the Kings the last of the "second six" expansion teams to make the Stanley Cup Finals. His first goal of the hat trick was shorthanded.

Prior to that, Gretzky also scored the overtime goal to win Game 6, forcing the seventh game of the series.

Gretzky's hat trick broke a tie at seven with Maurice Richard and Jari Kurri. He ranked it as his second most memorable game behind Game 2 of the 1987 Canada Cup versus the Soviet Union and called it "The best NHL game I ever played."

Be sure not to miss Barry Melrose's mullet at it's peak form in the video highlights from that famous Game 7 between Los Angeles and Toronto.



Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Los Angeles Kings Wayne Gretzky jersey featuring the attractive Stanley Cup Centennial patch. Kings jerseys from this era can be a bit tricky to get right and we highly recommend doing your research when getting one customized and patched.

For example, during Gretzky's first season in Los Angeles, 1988-89, the Kings used two color names and numbers, silver outlined in black, with the name sewn on a nameplate. Gretzky also wore the "A" that season since Dave Taylor was captain when he arrived.

In 1989-90, Gretzky was made captain and the jerseys remained the same through the following season, 1990-91.

In 1991-92, the jerseys sported the NHL 75th Anniversary patch and evolved to have three color numbers and names - silver trimmed in white and outlined in black, the only season to have this exact combination. It was also the year that the nameplates disappeared from this style jersey for good.

For the next season, 1992-93, change was once again the order of the day as the back numbers were finally changed to a more contrasting black, trimmed in white and outlined in sliver. The names on the other hand were now a single color for the first time, also in black, still without any nameplate. Why the white jerseys ever had silver numbers is a mystery to me, only exceeded by the fact they lasted four full seasons in that low contrast form. This final combination of three color black numbers with one color names lasted for the rest of the life of this style through 1997-98.

Los Angeles Kings 92-93 F
Los Angeles Kings 92-93 B
Los Angeles Kings 92-93 P

An interesting note about the Stanley Cup Centennial patch is that while all the other teams wore the English language version of the patch, the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques wore a French version of the patch, reading "Coupe Stanley • 1893-1993" and the shield logo on the players chest read "LNH", which stands for "Ligue Nationale de Hockey". The French variation of the patch is quite difficult to come by in it's original form, but has subsequently been reproduced, although a sharp eye can spot the thinner lettering among other subtle differences to an original.

1992-93 Quebec Nordiques jersey

Thursday, May 28, 2009

1998 Team Canada Patrick Roy Jersey

It was on this date in 2003 that Patrick Roy announced his retirement from the NHL after 19 seasons, four Stanley Cups and three Conn Smythe Trophies, the only player to have ever won more than two. In addition, he was named winner of the Vezina Trophy three times, in 1989, 1990 and 1992, and played in eleven NHL All-Star Games. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006 and his #33 has been retired by both the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche.

Roy retired as the all-time leader in wins with 551, since surpassed by Martin Brodeur, and currently holds the record for most games played by a goaltender, most playoff games by a goaltender, most playoff wins and playoff shutouts. Before joining the Canadiens, he also led his team to the Calder Cup as champions of the American Hockey League in 1985. He was ranked as #35 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.

After winning two Stanley Cups in Montreal, he later did not get along with coach Mario Tremblay and was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, leading the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup in the Av's first season in Colorado, a trade we believe never would have happened if the team had remained in Quebec as the Nordiques, the Canadiens greatest rival at the time.

Today's featured jersey is a 1998 Team Canada Patrick Roy jersey as worn in the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, an unusual jersey for Roy. Never having played in the World Juniors and rarely, if ever, eligible for the World Championships in the spring due to his annual appearances in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Roy made the only Team Canada appearance of his entire career in 1998 with the first inclusion of NHL professionals in the Olympics.

This jersey's most unique feature has to be the font "Copperplate Gothic" chosen for the numbers, a font only used by Team Canada at the 1998 Olympics, despite many countries using the same striping template for their Nike jerseys in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics.

Canada 1998 Olympic jersey photo Canada1998OLYRF.jpg
Canada 1998 Olympic jersey photo Canada1998OLYRB.jpg

During the Olympics Roy went 4-2, with the two losses coming in a semi-final shootout loss to eventual Gold Medal winners The Czech Republic and the Bronze Medal Game to Finland.

When Roy announced that he would not be part of Canada's Olympic Team at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, it left his time in Nagano as his only Team Canada appearance of his long and storied career.


Dasherboard: You certainly can't fault Cristobal Huet for the end of the Blackhawks season last night as he put in a gutty performance after his previous sieve-fest. Chicago can hold their heads high after taking the Red Wings to overtime three times in five games this series. Look for them to take this year's playoff run as a great learning experience and accelerate their maturation, as they are still quite a young team that will be heard from in the later rounds of the playoffs for the foreseeable future.

The series winning goal for Detroit was yet another example of the lively, quirky boards at Joe Louis Arena. Believe me, We've seen them in person and they are the most unpredictable of any arena in the league in my opinion. It was in 1987 at the NCAA Championships when a puck ringed around behind the net, only to hit the edge of the Zamboni door and carom out into the slot for a Michigan State goal into an unguarded net while the Minnesota goaltender was standing at the back boards waiting for the puck to continue it's journey behind the net, ruining the Gophers season and our trip to Detroit.

Last night's game was a fun one to watch, played at a high tempo with lots of chances at both ends. Chris Osgood, the Trent Dilfer of NHL Goalies, has once more made it to the Stanley Cup Finals with a chance to add to his trophy case. He certainly is the least-regarded, most successful goaltender in the league, as he has three Stanley Cups, two as the starter in 1998 and 2008.

Detroit now moves on to the finals where a rematch with the Pittsburgh Penguins awaits. Look for a better prepared, more mature and highly confident Penguins team, who are playing at their peak to give the Red Wings all they can handle.

The schedule for the finals has the series opening in Detroit on Saturday, May 30th at 7 PM CST, followed by Game 2 the very next day, Sunday, May 31st, with both games on NBC. Sunday's game time is listed as "TBD - night". Game 3 & 4 are Tuesday, June 2nd & Thursday, June 4th in Pittsburgh.

The remainder of the series, if needed, is scheduled for Saturday, June 6 (DET), a break until Tuesday, June 9th (PIT) and if a Game 7 is needed, it will be on Friday, June 12th in Detroit, with all games scheduled for 7 PM CST.

We wonder why the two days between Games 5 & 6 and 6 & 7? Are they trying to avoid going head to head with the NBA?


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We better get this one in while we still can

Dasherboard: We better get this one in while we still can.


The only hope that Kane and Toews have to keep their playoff beards going in tonight's Game 5 in Detroit is the return of Nikolai Khabibulin after the dismal performance put in by Cristobal Huet in Game 4. The reappearance of Martin Havlat, knocked out of the last two games, the first time quite literally, is also something the Chicago faithful should be pulling for. If he can make it back onto the ice, one has to wonder at what sort of effectiveness level he will be operating at.

The Red Wings seemingly have the ability to answer any Chicago goal at will and will no doubt be looking to end the series as quickly as possible to get some rest and recuperation for Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Draper before the finals.

As for the Penguins game versus the Hurricanes last night, we don't think that an experienced team like the Hurricanes are going to pack it in, but the fluky, fluttering goal that eluded Cam Ward for Pittsburgh's second goal is exactly the kind of thing to make you believe it's not going to be your night.

Pittsburgh really looks like a team on a mission and we will fully admit that the last thing we expected was a four game sweep. We really expected this one to go six, if not seven. As mentioned on the broadcast last night, the Penguins have become a team that will severely punish mistakes similar to the Red Wings, although we believe the Red Wings punish more than just mistakes. It's like they are on an even higher level, and will punish poor execution, that ordinarily wouldn't even result in a turnover, like a semi-whiffed pass that would usually find it's mark against most teams.

Finally, it was certainly sad to hear of the passing of Peter Zezel at age 44.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2000-01 University of Minnesota Duluth Junior Lessard Jersey

It's time for our first foray into the world of college hockey here at Third String Goalie, as today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 University of Minnesota Duluth Junior Lessard jersey from his freshman year.

Duluth changed jersey styles for the 2001-02 season, adding New York Rangers style stripes to the shoulders and a large "UMD" arching over a reduced in size bulldog head logo, but we preferred this much cleaner style with the larger bulldog head as Lessard wore in his first season of college hockey.

In 2003-04, Lessard would lead the NCAA in goals with 32 and points with 63, earning the prestigious Hobey Baker Award, as the United States top collegiate hockey player, the fourth player for UMD to earn the award, joining Tom Kurvers (1983), Bill Watson (1984) and Chris Marinucci (1994).

Lessard, born on this date in 1980, signed with the Dallas Stars as a free agent and played 8 games with them over 3 seasons, spending most of his time with their American Hockey League affiliate the Iowa Stars. He was subsequently traded to the Tampa Bay Lighting, getting 19 more NHL games in Tampa in 2007-08 before signing a free agent contract with the Atlanta Thrashers organization. He was assigned to the AHL Chicago Wolves, only to be traded to the New York Islanders and spending the remainder of the 2008-09 season with their AHL team in Bridgeport, CT.

This jersey is was produced by Koronis Sports Apparel and features a large, very nicely executed Bulldog head logo as well as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) logo on the chest. We also really like this color combination of maroon and gold and wonder why more professional teams don't use it to set themselves apart from all the red and blue teams.

Minnesota Duluth 00-01 F
Minnesota Duluth 00-01 B


Dasherboard: Tonight the Hurricanes try to stay alive at home vs. the Penguins at 6:30 CST on Vs. We fully expect the Hurricanes, backed by their "Caniacs" fans, to give the Penguins a tough battle to keep their season going.

Cam Ward has never lost a playoff series in his career and certainly hopes to keep that statistic intact. It's going to be a long shot for that to happen to be sure, but more than Ward, the Hurricanes hopes lie with Eric Staal, who led the team in the regular season with 40 goals, but has not scored a goal in six games now. Staal, with just 1 assist this series, and Ray Whitney, the team's regular season points leader, with only 2 assists in this round, must find their scoring touch in a true do-or-die situation to prevent the Penguins from returning to the finals for a second year in a row.

If having their leading scorers shut down wasn't bad enough for Carolina, the Penguins' Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are on fire, with a combined 8 goals and 6 assists in this series three previous games. Even if Staal and Whitney start scoring more, it won't do them any good unless they can find some way to slow those two down some way.

Monday, May 25, 2009

1990-91 Pittsburgh Penguins Mario Lemieux Jersey

In their 24th season, the Pittsburgh Penguins were finally able to win the Stanley Cup on this date in 1991 by crushing the Minnesota North Stars 8-0 to win in 6 games. The Penguins were led by superstar Mario Lemieux and a deep lineup featuring Joe Mullen, Mark Recchi, Kevin Stevens, rookie Jaromir Jagr, Larry Murphy, Paul Coffey and goaltender Tom Barasso. As if that roster weren't strong enough on it's own, the Penguins also added Bryan Trottier, a veteran of the New York Islanders recent dynasty to provide veteran leadership. Coaching this deep lineup of talent was "Badger" Bob Johnson in his first year behind the Penguins bench.

The Penguins started the season without Lemieux, who missed the first half of the season recovering from a back injury suffered in February of the previous season. The team got off to a slow start, but with the return of Lemieux, their fortunes improved to the point that they were in playoff contention in 3rd place in their division when March rolled around and they pulled off a big trade that would put them over the top, acquiring Ron Francis from Hartford. With the addition of Francis, the Penguins finished the season 9-3-2 and won their first Division Championship.

In the playoffs they would defeat the New Jersey Devils in 7 games after being down 3 game to 2. They next defeated the Washington Capitals and then the Boston Bruins in 6, after falling behind 2-0 to start the series, to earn the right to face the surprising Minnesota North Stars in the finals.

Minnesota had actually finished the regular season with a dismal 27-39-14 record (14 ties! How odd does that now look in the age of the shootout?) but came out of nowhere in the playoffs to defeat the President's Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks in a huge upset, St. Louis and defending champions the Edmonton Oilers to reach the finals.

Minnesota continued their hot streak and won Game 1 on the road, but the Penguins came back to win game 2 as the series shifted to Minnesota where the Penguins earned a split, tying the series at 2-2. Pittsburgh then won Game 5 at home and slaughtered the North Stars 8-0 to win their first Stanley Cup.

On a personal note, we grew up as North Stars fans, and the first time in our lives that our team makes the Stanley Cup Finals, we were in Italy on vacation. In the pre-internet days of the early 90's (which now seems like a lifetime ago), the only way we could "follow" the series was to buy the European edition of the USA Today and look for the game scores - 2 days later due to the time difference - in the agate type in the scoreboard section. No photos, no game story, not even a boxscore! Probably just as well, since being there in person (having gone to a game in the previous round vs. Edmonton, you have no idea how easy it was to buy tickets for the best seats in the house for the finals at the time) for an 8-0 pasting in your own building probably would have had us in a depression for days.


Today's featured jersey is a 1990-91 Pittsburgh Penguins Mario Lemieux jersey featuring the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals patch, as worn on May 25th, 1991 when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup and Lemeiux was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. This reissue of the older Penguins jerseys is one of our favorites. The newer version has a very large, well constructed crest, probably 50% larger than the crests originally put on the replica jerseys back when the Penguins originally won the cup.

This jersey was purchased blank and is nicely customized with the proper font for the sleeve numbers in particular, as the ones sold by CCM with the name and numbers already on them used an incorrect, tall and narrow font for the sleeve numbers rather than the Penguins squat, nearly square shaped numbers.

Pittsburgh Penguins 1990-91 SCF jersey photo PittsburghPenguins1990-91SCFRF.jpg
Pittsburgh Penguins 1990-91 SCF jersey photo PittsburghPenguins1990-91SCFRB.jpg
Pittsburgh Penguins 1990-91 SCF jersey photo PittsburghPenguins1990-91SCFRP.jpg

Incorrect customization brings up an interesting point. Just because a jersey comes with a name and number already on it from the manufacturer, don't always assume that it is correct. Starter was known to put wildly incorrect fonts on their jerseys, such as our least favorite font "Machine", The First Font of Choice by People Who Have No Idea What They are Doing™ on a New Jersey Devils jersey.

Photobucket

We can't tell you how thrilled we were when our local club, the Minnesota Wild, chose to use this very font on their retro styled alternate red jerseys when they first came out. What a completely crap font.

Another utterly maddening example is the retro green North Stars CCM Mike Modano jerseys that permeate the hobby. We don't know what dipshit originally screwed up this one, but once it was made wrong, it apparently became The Gospel Truth.

Photobucket

Take a look at it. Notice the drop shadow, the key word here being "drop", on the N crest on the front goes down and to the right, but the "drop shadow" on the number goes... up and to the left! What they have done here is located the top white layer in the bottom left corner of the yellow layer of twill, instead of the upper right as it should be.

The effect can also be described as a "6" being sewn on upside down, because if you rotate the number 180º, it becomes a 6 with the drop shadow correctly oriented down and away from the white layer. How hard was it to get that right when every photo of the North Stars jerseys from this era has the same treatment and there's a big, fat clue as to how it should look right there on the front of the jersey!

While we're at it, notice the star on top of the N. It's backwards! It should lean to the right, following the same trajectory as the arrow part of the N below it. Later production runs of this jersey did have the star corrected, but we've never seen a factory customized jersey ever have the proper style number on the back and sleeves. Why they could fix the specs for the crest and never the numbers is beyond us.

Here's a challenge for you. Search for "Modano North Stars Jersey" on ebay any time you want. Go ahead. We promise you that 19 out of 20 will be wrong. Guaranteed.

The Mike Modano North Stars jersey. It's easily The Most Frequently Screwed Up Jersey of All Time™.


Dasherboard: The Blackhawks really missed an opportunity at home with Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Draper all out of the Red Wings lineup last night. Detroit really stamped their authority on this series as Cristobal Huet proved no substitute for Nikolai Khabibulin, getting yanked at one point during the game. He really needed to stop the first Detroit shorthanded goal to give the Blackhawks a lift and a reason to believe they were in the game. Letting that one in, which was no easy tap-in and did hit him in the glove was a real body-blow to Chicago.

Franzen's very stoppable shot was an upper-cut to the head. Another huge rebound led to the third Filppula goal and at that point it was really over for the Blackhawks. Toews got one back, but Campbell going for a hit and missing, which allowed Hossa a to beat Versteeg literally 12 seconds later just took away any hope that Blackhawks may have felt or possible momentum gained from getting on the scoreboard.

With the next game back in Detroit, it's likely Octopus Throwing Season again. Clearly the return of Khabibulin seems to be Chicago's only lifeline at this point.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

1989-90 Edmonton Oilers Mark Messier Jersey

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.

Edmonton Oilers SCF 89-90 F
Edmonton Oilers SCF 89-90 B
Edmonton Oilers SCF 89-90 P

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.



 

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