Friday, January 25, 2013

1990-91 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull Jersey

Brett Hull joined an exclusive club on this date in 1991 by scoring his 50th goal in 50 games or less.

The feat was famously first accomplished back in 1944-45 by Maurice "Rocket" Richard on the final day of the season when the schedule was only 50 games long. Even with the season extended to 60 games in 1946 and 70 games in 1949, it would still take another 16 years for anyone to score 50 again when Bernie Geoffrion scored his 50th but not until his 62nd game.

Maurice Richard 50 Pictures, Images and Photos
Maurice Richard celebrates becoming the first to score 50 goals in a season

It would take 35 years before anyone would equal Richard's 50 in 50, when in 1980-81 Mike Bossy famously scored twice in the last five minutes of his 50th game to match Richard, who was in attendance at the game to congratulate Bossy.

Bossy Richard 50 goals, Bossy Richard 50 goals
Mike Bossy poses with Maurice Richard to celebrate
Bossy's 50th goal in 50 games

Wayne Gretzky would shatter the 50 in 50 mark the following season when he simply assaulted the record by scoring four goals in his 38th game to put him at 45 goals and then blasted in five goals in the very next game to hit the 50 goal mark in only 39 games.

Think about that for a moment. At the conclusion of game 37 Gretzky stood at 41 goals and then scored nine goals in just two games! That's a good week for some teams these days.

Gretzky 50 goals, Gretzky 50 goals
Gretzky poses with the pucks from his five goals,
including the one from milestone 50th goal

Gretzky would again beat the 50 game barrier twice more when he scored 50 in 42 games in 1983-84 and 40 in a leisurely 49 games in 1984-85.

Mario Lemieux was the next one to join the ranks of 50 in 50, when in 1988-89 he managed to score his 50th in the Pittsburgh Penguins 46th game, which was the 44th game that Lemieux had played in that season.

Lemieux 88-89, Lemieux 88-89
Mario Lemieux

The most recent member of the 50 in 50 club would be Brett Hull, when he scored twice in his 49th game to reach the magical 50 mark on this date in 1991. Hull would again achieve 50 in 50 the following season of 1991-92 when he scored goal #50 against Kelly Hrudey of the Los Angeles Kings in a 3-3 tie.

Brett Hull Blues, Brett Hull Blues
Brett Hull

To qualify for the 50 goals in 50 games mark, a player must score 50 on or before his team's 50th game, which has resulted in some close calls, due to players missing a few games in the early part of the year. Jari Kurri scored 50 in 50 in 1984-85, but it was the Edmonton Oilers 53rd game of the season. Alexander Mogilny also scored his 50 goal in the Buffalo Sabres 53rd game of 1992-93 in what was only Mogilny's 46th game.

Lemieux's injury problems affected him twice, as he scored his 50th in 1992-93 during the Penguins 72nd game, but only Lemieux's 48th of the season. 1995-96 would see Lemieux score 50 in 50 of his games, but the 59th game for Pittsburgh.

The final unofficial 50 in 50 member is Cam Neely of the Boston Bruins, who in 1993-94 scored his 50th goal in the 44th game of his season, which was the Bruins 66th contest that year.

Additionally, Charlie Simmer (1980-81) and Bernie Nicholls (1988-89), both of the Kings, and Lemieux (1987-88) came close with 50 goals in 51 games and Brett's father Bobby Hull got his 50th in his 52nd game in 1965-66.

To give credit where credit's due, Anders Hedberg and Bobby Hull both scored 50 goals in less than 50 games while playing in the World Hockey Association, whose records are not recognized by the NHL.

Today's featured jersey is a 1990-91 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull jersey from the game during which he scored his 50th goal of the season.

This style Blues jersey, with it's new, darker shade of blue than before, can be traced back to the 1984-85 season, although with a "Blues" wordmark over the top of a smaller blue note crest. The word mark disappeared in 1987 and the crest had it's sharp corners rounded in 1989-90, giving us today's featured jersey.

The names would change from one color to three in 1992-93 for the final two seasons of use before a radical redesign sent this classic style into retirement.

St Louis Blues 90-91 jersey, St Louis Blues 90-91 jersey
St Louis Blues 90-91 jersey, St Louis Blues 90-91 jersey

Today's video highlight is Brett Hull scoring his 50th goal in his 49th games.



Thursday, January 24, 2013

2001-02 Columbus Blue Jackets Espen Knutsen Jersey

Espen Knutsen was only the third, and the highest scoring ever, player born and trained in Norway. He began his rise to the NHL back in 1988-89 while playing junior hockey in his native Norway. It was during that season that he made his international debut for Norway with appearances in both the European Junior Championships (scoring 8 goals and 12 points in only 5 games) and the World Junior Championships.

The following season of 1989-90 Knutsen moved up to the Oslo based Vålerenga IF senior team of the Norwegian Eliteserien. His debut season was a spectacular one, scoring 53 points in 40 games from 25 goals and 28 assists. During that season another pair of international appearances were added to his growing resume, scoring 17 points in 6 games at the European Juniors and 9 points in 7 games at the World Junior Championships.

1990-91 saw Knutsen top himself with 54 regular season points, coming in just 31 games, during which he scored 30 goals. He also made his third appearance at the World Juniors that season. During the postseason, he added 7 more points in 5 games as Vålerenga captured the championship.

The 1991-92 season was Knutsen equal his 54 points from the previous campaign, only this time in one less game at 30. He followed that with an outstanding playoff, with 7 goals and 15 points in 8 games as Vålerenga captured back-to-back titles.

Injuries limited him to just 13 games in 1992-93, but he rebounded in 1993-94 with a vengeance, setting a career highs with 32 goals and 58 points, this coming in 38 contests. His international career continued to reach new levels as he was chosen to represent Norway at the 1994 Olympics on home soil in Lillehammer. Later that spring, he made his debut at the World Championships and was eventually named 1994 Norwegian Player of the Year.

Seeking a higher level of competition, Knutsen moved to Djurgardens IF in Sweden's Elitserien for the next three seasons, increasing his point totals from 20 to 33 and then 49. He would also compete for Norway at the World Championships in each of those three years as well.

Knutsen Djurgardens

Despite having been drafted by the Hartford Whalers as far back as 1990, he had remained in Europe the entire time, but with his rights now being held by the Mighty Ducks, he made the jump to North America, where he made his NHL debut at the season opener in Japan. He played 19 games with the Mighty Ducks, scoring 3 goals, but spent the majority of his season with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League after the physical play of the NHL took it's toll on the 168 pound European.

Knutsen Mighty Ducks

He returned to Djurgardens for the next two seasons, including 1999-00 when he led the club in scoring, finished second in the league scoring race and was the highest paid player in the country.

He was recruited by the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL and returned to North America for a second go. This time things went much better for Knutsen, as he scored 53 points in 66 games, finishing just 3 back of team leader Geoff Sanderson.

Knutsen Blue Jackets

While his point totals dropped to 42 in 2001-02, he became the first Norwegian to appear in the NHL All-Star Game when he was added to the World Team as an injury replacement and he scored his first career hat trick, as well as adding an assist for a four point night, in the Blue Jackets 6-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on this date in 2002.

Knutsen All Star

After the 2002-03 season, during which he was limited to just 31 games by injuries, he scored 9 points for Norway at the World Championships Division I level in what would be his final international appearance.

Knutsen Blue Jackets

Injuries again derailed his 2003-04 season, which was one of turmoil for Knutsen. Early in the season, after just 14 games with Columbus, he was assigned to their top minor league affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. After just two games he left North America and returned to Vålerenga in Norway for one game followed by six games back with Djurgardens in Stockholm.

His final NHL totals were 207 games played, 30 goals and 81 assists for 111 points.

He wrapped up his career in 2004-05 with 15 games in Djurgardens before calling it a career as a player before beginning anew in the world of coaching, where he is now the head coach for his original club, Vålerenga.

Today's featured jersey is a 2001-02 Columbus Blue Jackets Espen Knutsen jersey from the season in which he scored his first NHL hat trick.

The Blue Jackets original jerseys were a generally classy style, aside from the head of their cartoon mascot "Stinger" as a secondary shoulder patch, which remained on the shoulders until the Blue Jackets debuted a new alternate jersey in 2003 which saw a brand new logo design for the main crest. In a move to make their brand consistent across all three of their jerseys, the new alternate jersey logo was then used on one shoulder of the home and road jerseys, with a new secondary logo of a Civil War solider's cap on the opposite side, completing the retirement of "Stinger" and upgrading the jerseys look considerably.

Columbus Blue Jackets 01-02 jersey, Columbus Blue Jackets 01-02 jersey
Columbus Blue Jackets 01-02 jersey, Columbus Blue Jackets 01-02 jersey

Today's video segment is Knutsen royally embarrassing himself by participating in the making of a music video, which is coming back to haunt him years later.



Finally, here is footage of Knutsen scoring his hat trick on this date in 2002.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1975-76 Washington Capitals Hartland Monahan Jersey

Following their first expansion season in 1974-75, when the Washington Capitals set league records for futility with the fewest wins (8), fewest points (21), most goals against (446), worst goal differential (-265) and longest winless streak (17, twice: 0-16-1 and 0-17-0), the club certainly hoped for better during year two.

To that end, they acquired several new players, including Hartland Monahan, who would go on to place second in team scoring in 1975-76 with 46 points, trailing only first year holdover Nelson Pyatt. While Pyatt led the club with 49 points, for comparison, Guy Lafleur led the league with 125 points, one of nine NHL players to score 100 points or more.

Pyatt Capitals, Pyatt Capitals
Leading scorer Nelson Pyatt

Gary Meehan was also a welcome addition following his arrival from the Atlanta Flames via a trade, scoring nearly a point per game with 31 points in 32 games.

Bernie Wolfe was brought in to help stem the tide of goals against allowed by the Capitals, as their record 446 goals against the previous season left the team with a 5.58 goals against average, with no goaltender with an average below Michel Belhumer's 5.36 in 35 games. Wolfe saw action in 40 games for Washington and would lead the team with a goals against average of 4.16. While still far from the league lead, it was over a goal per game lower than Belhumer's previous team best.

While the Capitals season began pretty much where they left off the previous season when Washington went 0-8-1, two wins out of their next three showed signs of life thanks to a 7-5 win over the Chicago Black Hawks and a 6-2 victory against the equally downtrodden Kansas City Scouts, with both wins coming notably on the road.

A second 0-8-1 skid followed, but was halted by another offensive outburst when the Capitals netted seven in a dominating 7-2 over the Los Angeles Kings on November 26, 1975.

A loss followed on the road to the Minnesota North Stars 5-3 before a home tie against the Buffalo Sabres 4-4 on December 3rd. The schedule makers then sent the Capitals on the road for four games, the first three of which were a murder's row of Original 6 clubs, Boston, Montreal and New York. The final game of the trip was a loss to the Flames before a welcome return home, where they would play five consecutive games and seven of their next eight.

1975-76 Washington Capitals team, 1975-76 Washington Capitals team
The 1975-76 Washington Capitals

Unfortunately the Black Hawks got their revenge for their earlier loss with a 7-2 win over Washington, which would go on to lose 5-3 to Detroit, tie Minnesota 4-4, drop a close one to Boston 3-2 and close out their home stand with a 7-5 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champions Philadelphia.

Their streak of home games was interrupted by their most embarrassing defeat of the season, a 14-2 demolition by the Sabres in Buffalo on December 21st. The club recharged their spirits over the Christmas break and came back to tie Minnesota in Washington 1-1 on December 26th, which left them with an 0-10-3 mark since their last win one month earlier.

Still, the Captials could not break through, and they were shutout by Montreal (6-0) and at Detroit (4-0) before scoring five against the California Golden Seals. Unfortunately they gave up eight in an 8-5 loss. The Canadiens then blanked the Capitals for the second time in six days with a 7-0 win at The Forum in Montreal, which equalled the record of 17 games without a win.

Washington then broke the record with a 5-3 loss at home to the Vancouver Canucks on January 6, 1976, their 18th game without a win.

The losses mounted with a loss at St. Louis, a shutout at the hands of the lowly Golden Seals 5-0, defeats at home to Boston and Montreal and on the road to Buffalo and Minnesota.

On January 21st, the Capitals once again fell, this time at the hands of the New York Islanders by a score of 5-2. This latest loss was Washington's 12th loss in a row and 25th consecutive without a victory, leaving them with a record of 3-39-5.

Finally, on this date in 1976, the Captials took to the ice at home against the New York Rangers. Jean Lemieux scored for Washington on a power play at 3:22 from Garnet "Ace" Bailey and Pyatt to open the scoring. Ron Lalonde made it 2-0 for the Capitals after one period with his goal at 15:16 from Monahan.

Monahan Captials, Monahan Captials
Hartland Monahan

Things were looking good for the Capitals when Pyatt struck for a goal just after the game's halfway point at 10:46 from defenseman Gord Smith, but in short order, the Rangers fought back with goals from Steve Vickers, Rick Middleton and Wayne Dillon in the span of 5:08 to send the game into the third period tied at 3-3.

Phil Esposito then gave the Rangers their first lead of the night with a goal at 4:05 of the third period, which certainly must have had the home fans thinking "here we go again".

But Washington, against the flow of play, dug deep and not only tied the game at 11:06 with Bob Sirois goal from Lalonde and Lemieux, but then retook the lead when Tony White scored from Monahan and Bob Paradise just under two minutes later at 12:59.

Sirois Capitals, Sirois Capitals
Bob Sirois

Bailey then beat Rangers goalie Dunc Wilson at 14:58 from Sirois to extend the Capitals lead to 6-4 to give the club hope that a victory  was in the cards, only to have a reality check arrive in the form of a second goal by Middleton for New York at 18:06 to cut the Washington lead down to one.

Bailey Capitals, Bailey Capitals
Garnet "Ace" Bailey

The Rangers then pulled Wilson for an extra attacker, but Bailey scored his second goal of the game with an assist from Sirios with 36 seconds remaining to not only seal the victory for Washington and goaltender Ron Low, but end their 25 game winless streak, which dated back just three days short of two full months since their last outright win back on November 26, 1975.

Low Capitals, Low Capitals
Ron Low

The Capitals would go on to win seven more games that season, as their longest losing streak from that point on would be limited to four games and their longest winless streak would not top six games. Their season would conclude with an 11-59-10 record and they actually went undefeated for three straight games for the first time in franchise history thanks to ties against Philadelphia and Boston followed by a win over Chicago from February 24th to 29th.

Today's featured jersey is a 1975-76 Washington Capitals Hartland Monahan jersey. The Capitals wore their star-spangled jerseys from the time of their NHL debut in 1974 through the 1994-95 season when they stopped wearing their classic red, white and blue jerseys and changed to a new blue and black color scheme. Names would not arrive on the back of the Capitals red jerseys until 1977-78.

What really sets the authentic version of the Capitals jersey apart from the replica jerseys is that each letter of the Capitals logo on the front is a separate piece of material, rather than the entire crest being embroidered in a smaller size onto a patch, which would then be sewn onto the jersey. Each of the 16 stars on the chest and sleeves are also separate pieces of material which are sewn on. If you can get an old game worn or authentic Capitals jersey, do so, as it is one of the largest differences in quality between the authentic and the replica of any jersey.

Washington Capitals 75-76 jersey, Washington Capitals 75-76 jersey

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1997-98 New York Rangers Pat LaFontaine Jersey

Drafted by third overall by the New York Islanders, Pat LaFontaine delayed his entry into the NHL by first playing for the United States National Team in preparation for the 1984 Olympics.

Lafontaine USA 1984, Lafontaine USA 1984

At the conclusion of the Olympics, LaFontaine then joined the Islanders for the remainder of the 1983-84 season, scoring 13 goals in 15 games. He would play seven seasons on Long Island, unfortunately arriving at the conclusion of the Islanders dynasty which occurred with the loss in the 1984 Stanley Cup Finals to the Edmonton Oilers. It would be the last time LaFontaine would play in the finals, as his teams would never advance past the second round of the playoffs for the remainder of his career.

He proved to be a prolific goal scorer with the Islanders, scoring 38 goals in this third full season and then posting four consecutive seasons of 40 goals or more, highlighted by his career high of 54 in 1989-90 and his 105 points that year was his best as an Islander.

Lafontaine Islanders, Lafontaine Islanders

The highlight of LaFontaine's time with the Islanders was scoring the series winning goal in the fourth overtime of Game 7 between the Islanders and the Washington Capitals during the 1987 playoffs. "It was the most memorable moment in my hockey life. Even today, wherever I go, people come up to me and start telling me where they were during the Easter Epic," LaFontaine said.


LaFontaine would suffer a concussion during the playoffs in 1990, the first of several that would affect his career.

With the situation in New York looking dismal for the foreseeable future, LaFontaine turned down a contract offer from the Islanders and sat out the first three weeks of the season before being traded to the Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres were a good fit for LaFontaine and he immediately scored 93 points in 57 games that season, although he was limited by a broken jaw which led to some interesting headgear upon his return.


He followed up his first season in Buffalo with the best offensive season of his career in 1992-93, after being named team captain, with 53 goals and 95 assists, helping set up many of Alexander Mogilny's 76 goals in the process, for a career best 148 points and second place in the NHL scoring race.

Laftontaine Mogilny 92-93, Laftontaine Mogilny 92-93
LaFontaine and Mogilny were rewarded with spots in the
1993 NHL All-Star Game

The next two seasons were a struggle for LaFontaine, as he only managed to play in 38 total games due to knee surgery for a torn ligament. Still, he was awarded the Masterton Trophy in 1995.

Proving he still could compete, he had his seventh 40 goal season in 1995-96, finishing with 91 points. Early in the next season, he would suffer another concussion, costing him several months of playing time which would limit him to just 13 games. Sabres management and team doctors refused to clear him to play, but LaFontaine demanded a trade, believing he could still play.

The Sabres subsequently traded him to the New York Rangers for the final season of his career. He managed to play in 67 games, which included reaching the 1,000 point milestone on this date in 1998, as well as representing the United States a month later at the Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Lafontaine USA 1998, Lafontaine USA 1998
LaFontaine at the 1998 Olympics

After suffering another serious concussion in a collision with a teammate in mid March, LaFontaine would miss the remainder of the year and retire at the end of the season, having totaled 468 goals, 545 assists and 1013 points in his abbreviated 15 year career.

In addition to the 1984 and 1998 Olympics which bookended his international career, LaFontaine would also compete for the United States in the 1987 Canada Cup, the 1989 World Championships, the 1991 Canada Cup and the gold medal winning 1996 World Cup of Hockey team, where LaFontaine had four points in five games.

Lafontaine USA 1996, Lafontaine USA 1996
LaFontaine hoists the 1996 World Cup

In 2003 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as well as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2006, the Buffalo Sabres would retire LaFontaine's #16 on March 3rd.

An interesting note of trivia, LaFontaine is one of only three players to play for all three teams from the state of New York, and the only one to have played his entire career in New York state. LaFontaine once joked, "I got to play for three great organizations in my career and never once had to buy new license plates."

Today's featured jersey is a 1997-98 New York Rangers Pat LaFontaine jersey. This highly attractive jersey was worn during the season LaFontaine scored his 1,000th career point.

The beautiful "Liberty" jersey was first introduced in 1996 and featured a bold new crest featuring the Statue of Liberty and a very classy darker shade of blue than the traditional road jerseys. This style is perhaps the finest third jersey in NHL history and would remain in use through the 2006-07 season until being discontinued when all clubs were limited to just two jerseys with the arrival of the new Reebok Edge jerseys.

During LaFontaine's career, there was inconsistency in the way his name was displayed on the back of his jerseys. The Islanders had it as both "LAFONTAINE" in all captial letters of the same size and also "LAFONTAINE" with the "A" capitalized, but in a smaller size. The Sabres seem to have used all capitals the same size while the Rangers used the small "A" style. His 1987 USA Canada Cup and jerseys used the smaller "A", while we have seen his 1996 USA World Cup jerseys both ways!

If you are going to add a LaFontaine jersey to your collection, we strongly recommend searching for photos and videos of the style of jersey you wish to replicate and supply your findings to your customizers in order to get the most accurate jersey possible.


We begin today's video selections with the Top 10 goals by Pat LaFontaine.


Next, a tribute to LaFontaine on the occasion of his jersey retirement by the Sabres.


Monday, January 21, 2013

1996-97 Pittsburgh Penguins Patrick Lalime Jersey

Patrick Lalime played three seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes, beginning in the 1991-92 season finishing with a high of 22 wins in 1993-94. After his second season in Shawningan, Lalime was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft in the 6th round, 156th overall.

For the 1994-95 season, Lalime joined the Hampton Roads Admirals of the ECHL. For the first half of the season he played well, posting a 15-7-3 record, earning a promotion to the IHL, where he became a member of the Cleveland Lumberjacks. He stayed with the Lumberjacks for the 1995-96 season and finished with a 20-12-7 record in 41 appearances. He was called up to the Penguins twice during the season, serving as a backup but did not see any playing time.

Patrick Lalime Lumberjacks, Patrick Lalime Lumberjacks
Lalime while with Cleveland

He returned to Cleveland for a third season in 1996-97, but after two months he was recalled by Pittsburgh. His NHL debut came in relief of Ken Wregget on November 16, 1996.

On December 6th, he made his second appearance, again in relief of Wregget, as the Penguins were trailing 2-0 after one period against the Washington Capitals. The Penguins came back with two goals in the second period and out scored the Capitals 3-1 in the third period to win the game 5-3, earning Lalime the first victory of his career, having made 16 saves on 17 shots.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins

He was rewarded with the start in the Penguins next game on December 7th against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. After trailing 3-2 after two periods, the Penguins rallied for three goals in the third period to earn Lalime his second consecutive victory, 5-3.

Wregget started on December 10th, but Lalime got the start the following day against Anaheim. With the game at 4-3 in the second period, Pittsburgh pulled away for a 7-3 win, Lalime's third.

Two days later, Lalime grabbed the headlines following a 4-0 shutout of the San Jose Sharks, stopping all 20 Sharks shots for his first career shutout and fourth win.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins

Despite the shutout, Wregget started in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on the 15th and was the losing goaltender on the 17th after giving up 6 goals to the Boston Bruins before being relieved by Lalime in the third period. Wregget rebounded with a shutout on the 19th over the St. Louis Blues.

Lalime returned to the crease on December 21st, getting the win over the Sharks 3-1 for his fifth win. Wregget eked out a win on the 23rd, 6-5, but was yanked after the first period trailing to the Montreal Canadiens 3-0. Lalime stood tall, blanking the Canadiens the rest of the way, making 18 saves and one more in overtime as the Penguins fought back to tie the game with three third period goals to earn Lalime a tie.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins

He got the start two days later, and earned his 6th win and second shutout with a 21 save performance over the Buffalo Sabres. That earned him another start on the 30th, a game not sealed until an empty net goal by Mario Lemieux for a 5-3 Penguins win, Lalime's 7th.

The first game of the new year arrived on January 2, 1997 and Lalime was in the net for his third straight start as the Penguins blitzed the New Jersey Devils, chasing veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur on their way to a 6-1 win.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were the next to fall to the streaking Penguins on the 4th by a score of 7-3, with Lalime once more getting the start, his 9th win which ran his unbeaten streak to ten, again earning him attention on a national scale.

Staying with the hot hand, head coach Eddie Johnston again went with Lalime, who, despite giving up the first two goals to the New York Islanders, settled down and let the Penguins offensive juggernaut go to work, scoring four times in the second period to regain the lead on their way to an eventual 5-3 win, Lalime's 10th win and 12th without a loss and now within sight of the current record of 14.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins

January 11th saw Pittsburgh come from behind twice to tie the Ottawa Senators to keep Lalime's undefeated streak alive at 13, now just one shy of the record. The tie ended the Penguins winning streak at six.

With all eyes upon him, he tied the record for the longest unbeaten streak at the start of a career first set by the Montreal Canadiens Ken Dryden (12 wins and 2 ties) in 1971, later equalled by Ross Brooks of the Boston Bruins (11 wins and 3 ties) in 1973, following a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on the 14th.

Lalime then set the record in style the very next day with a 20 save performance to shutout the Hartford Whalers 3-0. The rookie's record now stood at an unbelievable 13-0-2 as his every start was now the subject of lengthy discussions on the sports channels in both the United States and Canada.

His next start would not be until this date in 1997, six days after his previous game due to a break in the schedule to accommodate the 1997 NHL All-Star Game. The Calgary Flames did all they could do to dominate Pittsburgh that night outshooting the Penguins 51-24. Calgary tied the game with just under four minutes remaining, but Stu Barnes' 11th goal of the season just 23 seconds later put Pittsburgh back on top 3-2. Ron Francis sealed the victory with an empty net goal with 24 seconds left to push Lalime's won/loss record to 14-0-2 and his undefeated streak to a new mark of 16 straight after his 49 save performance.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins

Two nights later the dream came to an end when the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche came to The Igloo. Colorado led 3-0 after two periods, but the Penguins stormed back in the third on goals by Francis, Joe Mullen and Joe Dziedzic in under 14 minutes to force overtime before Colorado's Valeri Kamensky ended the streak at 3:55 of overtime.

Lalime would come back down to Earth following his record setting run, finishing the season at 21-12-2. He was unable to agree with Pittsburgh on a contract for the following season and never played for the Penguins again.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins
Lalime was always known for his distinctive masks

After spending the following season of 1997-98 with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the IHL, his rights were traded to the Mighty Ducks, but failed to make their roster and spent the 1998-99 season with the Kansas City Blades, also of the IHL, where he led the league in wins with 39. Following the season he was traded to the Ottawa Senators, where he would play for the next five seasons, which included setting the Senators team record for most wins in a season with 39, before moving on to St. Louis, Chicago and Buffalo to finish out his 12 year NHL career with exactly 200 wins and 35 shutouts.

Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 Pittsburgh Penguins Patrick Lalime jersey. Following their back to back Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992, the Penguins debuted a brand new jersey set and modernized logo. The road jersey was a terrific blending of the original Penguins diagonally lettered jerseys from the 1967-68 season, done in the striping pattern similar to their blue 1974-75 jerseys, only now in their then current black and yellow colors and adorned with their new "robo-penguin" logo on the shoulders. This really sharp jersey was used from 1992-93 until 1996-97 until being replaced by the team's then alternate jersey.

Pittsburgh Penguins 96-97 jersey, Pittsburgh Penguins 96-97 jersey
Pittsburgh Penguins 96-97 jersey, Pittsburgh Penguins 96-97 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1995-96 Cleveland Lumberjacks Patrick Lalime jersey. This was the first season for the Lumberjacks new identity package, as for the club's first two seasons they wore an identical jersey to today's featured jersey, only with "Cleveland" substituted for "Pittsburgh".

Along with the new, cartoonish mascot logo, the club also developed their own, color scheme of light blue and black with the "buzz saw" striping pattern on the arms and waist, creating one of the most unique jerseys in IHL history. One wonders though, why the designers chose to go with such a basic number font instead of a more playful one like the Manitoba Moose or Utah Grizzlies.

This jersey style would remain in use through the 2000-01 season when the IHL folded, and the Lumberjacks were not one of the clubs absorbed into the AHL, ending their nine year run.

Cleveland Lumberjacks 95-96 ersey, Cleveland Lumberjacks 95-96 ersey
Cleveland Lumberjacks 95-96 ersey, Cleveland Lumberjacks 95-96 ersey

Today's video section begins with highlights of Lalime's three consecutive playoff shutouts.


Next, Lalime makes a stellar glove save against the Canucks Pavel Bure while still a member of the Penguins.


 

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