Saturday, November 13, 2010
Invented by hockey pioneer and visionary Frank Patrick in 1921, the penalty shot was added to the NHL rule book in 1934. The first person to be awarded the opportunity to take one was the Montreal Canadiens Armand Mondou on November 10, 1934. His attempt was unsuccessful, as he was foiled by George Hainsworth of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The first successfully converted penalty shot was when Ralph "Scotty" Bowman of the St. Louis Eagles scored his first career goal on this date in 1934 against Alex Connell of the Montreal Maroons. Of note, Bowman was a defenseman who played seven seasons in the NHL and totaled just eight goals for his entire career!
The Carolina Hurricanes Eric Cole became the first player to be awarded two penalty shots in the same game, which happened on November 9, 2005 versus the Buffalo Sabres. The result was a draw, as Cole beat Martin Biron once, but Biron got the better of Cole on the other. Cole had the distinction of becoming the answer to another piece of penalty shot trivia when he was awarded another penalty shot in his very next game, the first player to have taken penalty shots in consecutive games. Only the little known Esa Pimes of Finland, who played just 57 games with the Los Angeles Kings, has also been awarded penalty shots in back to back games.
Twice a team has scored on two penalty shots in the same game, first on February 11, 1982 when the Vancouver Canucks Thomas Gradin and Ivan Hilinka scored against Gilles Gilbert of the Detroit Red Wings. Not until December 30, 2009 was that feat duplicated, when Ryane Clowe and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks beat Michal Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals.
The first penalty shot awarded in the playoffs came on March 25, 1937 when Lionel Conacher, then of the Montreal Maroons, was stopped by Tiny Thompson of the Boston Bruins. To date, 46 penalty shots have been awarded in playoff action, with just 10 being successful. The first of those ten would not arrive until 1968 when Wayne Connelly of the Minnesota North Stars beat Terry Sawchuk, then playing with the Los Angeles Kings, on April 27th of that year.
Joe Juneau of the Washington Capitals received the first opportunity to end a playoff game with a penalty shot in overtime on April 24, 1996, but he was foiled by the Pittsburgh Penguins Ken Wregget. To date, no player has yet to score on a penalty shot in overtime of a playoff game.
The first penalty shot goal in the Stanley Cup Finals would not occur until June 5, 2006. That goal belongs to Chris Pronger, then of the Edmonton Oilers, who beat the Hurricanes Cam Ward.
In NHL history, one man is the answer to two penalty shot questions, "Who has taken the most penalty shots?" and "Who has scored the most goals on penalty shots?" That man is Mario Lemieux, who at one point was 5-for-5 before he came out of retirement in 2001. His final career totals are 8 penalty shots taken and 6 scored.
Today's featured jersey is a 1934-35 St. Louis Eagles Ralph Bowman jersey. Bowman, the first NHL player to ever score on a penalty shot, played a season with the Ottawa Senators, remained with the club when they moved to St. Louis for most of their only season as the Eagles before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings, where he won the Stanley Cup in 1936 and 1937.
Since the Eagles lasted only one season before the club was disbanded, this is the only style sweater the Eagles ever wore, as nine of the clubs in the NHL that season, six of them had only one jersey style. It would not be until 1951 when the Rangers adopted a white jersey to go with their traditional blue one, that every club would have a white home and colored away jersey.
The penalty shot.
Sometimes you score...
...sometimes you don't.