Thursday, March 4, 2010
On this date in 1999, the Toronto Maple Leafs set an NHL record for the fewest shots taken in a winning effort with just nine shots on goal in a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues.
Today's featured jersey is a 1998-99 Toronto Maple Leafs Mats Sundin jersey. This attractive alternate jersey is one of the finest alternate jerseys in NHL history. It's clean, simple look is further enhanced by the lace-up collar and throwback logo, very much like the style worn from 1958 to 1967.
The Maple Leafs registered three shots on goal during the first period to ten for St. Louis, but ended the period leading 1-0 on a breakaway goal by Steve Sullivan with an assist from Mike Johnson at 11:03. Little did St. Louis know there ten shots in the first period would be more than the Maple Leafs would register for the whole game.
The second period went even better for Toronto, when Mats Sundin scored on their first shot when he beat St. Louis starting goaltender Brent Johnson with a wrist shot off Johnson's glove from the right faceoff circle.
Toronto's second shot of the period also found the back of the net when Lonny Bohonos, who had just been called up from the minors earlier that same day, fired a slapshot from the right circle, beating Johnson between his pads at 5:58, ending Johnson's day after giving up three goals on just five shots.
With Jim Carey now in goal, the Blues fared no better as Gary Valk scored for Toronto on a 2-on-1 with Igor Korolev on the first shot Carey would face, giving Toronto four goals on six shots. Carey would save the only other shot he saw in the second period, as St. Louis again outshot Toronto, this time eight to four for the period, although Toronto scored on three of the four.
Carey was able to withstand the two shot barrage he faced in the third period, but the Blues failed to score on any of the ten shots they threw at Toronto netminder Curtis Joseph, who made 28 saves while blanking his former club, the 22nd shutout of his career.
Of the nine Toronto shots, three were credited to Sundin, with no one else having more than one.
When asked about the low number of shots, Sullivan responded "As Glen Healy told me once, 'Good teams look at the scoreboard and not the shot clock.' "
This jersey also features the Memories and Dreams patch worn that year to commemorate the final season of Maple Leaf Gardens, the Maple Leafs long time home since 1931.
Today's video is Hamada Takasi playing the Maple Leaf Rag on his banjo. Arigatou gozaimasu.