Saturday, April 11, 2015

2015 NCAA Frozen Four - Providence College Friars

The championship final of the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four will take place tonight at the home of the NHL's Boston Bruins, the TD Garden.

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The tournament semifinals saw the #15 ranked Providence College Friars of Hockey East defeat the #8 University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference by a score of 4-1.

The second semifinal had the #3 Boston University Terriers, also of Hockey East taking on #2 ranked University of North Dakota also of the powerful NCHC. The Terriers got out to a 4-1 lead before a pair of third period goals by North Dakota made for a tens three minutes before an empty net goal sealed the victory for BU.

Providence will be making only their second appearance in the championship game, the first coming in 1985, an eventual 2-1 loss to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers.

The Providence College hockey program dates back to the 1926-27 season when they played an eight game schedule, winning just once.

That would be the only season of Friars hockey until the program was revived 25 years later for the 1952-53 season as a Division I independent program. After two seasons they played one season in the Northeast League, posting their first winning record, before a return to independent status for the next six seasons. Providence College then joined the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) in 1961-62 as a charter member.

Their third season in the ECAC of 1963-64 saw them finish with a 19-7 record, earning them their only ECAC regular season title. They backed that up with the ECAC playoff title, which earned them their first NCAA playoff berth, where they eventually finished in fourth place in the nation.

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The 1963-64 ECAC champion Providence Friars

for the 1968-69 season, Lou Lamoriello took over as head coach. in 1974-75 he guided the Friars to another 19 win season and in 1977-78, their second NCAA tournament appearance. After going 21-11 in 1979-80, the Friars won the ECAC playoff championship in 1981, which earned them their third NCAA appearance.

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The 1980-81 ECAC playoff champion Providence Friars

Two seasons later, Lamoriello's last behind the Friars bench, Providence had their highest winning percentage ever following a 33-10 record. An NCAA appearance followed, as Providence defeated the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs twice to win their two game-total goal series 10-5. After a loss in the Semifinals, Providence defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 4-3 to claim third place overall.

Lamoriello was also the school's athletic director and resigned as the hockey head coach. He helped form the new Hockey East conference, which began play in 1984-85 with Providence as a founding member and Lamoriello as it's first commissioner.

The Friars would taste instant success in Hockey East, becoming it's first playoff champion. They then defeated Michigan State by a narrow 6-5 total goals series where the two teams split the two games. Providence then survived an epic three overtime game 4-3 over Boston College to earn a spot in their first national championship final, where they fell to RPI by a score of 2-1.

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The 1984-85 national runners-up Providence Friars

They posted four consecutive 20 win seasons from 1989 to 1992, earning NCAA appearances in both 1989 and 1991.

A second Hockey East playoff championship came in 1996 as well as another NCAA berth. Five years later in 2001, the Friars returned to the national playoffs after going 22-13-5. Providence would then enter a period of doldrums from 2001 until the 2013-14 season when they finally qualified for the NCAA tournament after 11 years away.

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The 1995-96 Hockey East playoff champion Friars

They returned to the NCAA tournament this year after back to back 20 win seasons, their first since 1992. This is also the first time in program history they have qualified for the national playoffs in two consecutive seasons.

The Friars took advantage of being placed in the East Regional at home in Providence, where they knocked off the #1 seeded Miami of Ohio RedHawks 7-5 and then defeated the  #3 Denver University Pioneers 4-1 to advance to this year's Frozen Four, where they eliminated the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks 4-1 to earn place in today's national championship game against Boston University, where they will seek their first title.

Thirty Friars have played in the NHL including Paul Cavallini, Tom Fitzgerald, Hall Gill, Jim Korn, Chris Therien, and Randy Velischek have all played 500 games or more, while Gill, Steve Rooney, Peter Taglianetti and goaltender Chris Terreri have all won Stanley Cups. Paul Guay and Terreri have played in the Olympics for the United States, Therien for Canada and Gates Orlando represented Italy. Additionally, three Friars have been first round NHL draft picks, Fitzgerald (1986 New York Islanders), Joel Hulbig (1992 Edmonton Oilers) and Mark Jankowski (2012 Calgary Flames).

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The Friars all-time leading scorer Ron Wilson

Former NHLer and head coach Ron Wilson holds the school record with 250 career points while John Gaudreau leads the Terriers in career goals scored with 103. Orlando (213), Gaudreau (211) and Mike Boback (201) all have 200 career points for Providence.

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John Gaudreau holds the Friars career goal scoring record

The Friars have won the ECAC regular season championship once, the ECAC tournament twice, the Hockey East tournament twice, made 11 NCAA appearances and have made four Frozen Four appearances.

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Chris Terreri led the Friars to the NCAA championship game in 1985

Today's featured jersey is a 1993-94 Providence Friars Erik Peterson jersey. Providence College was a charter member of Hockey East when it was founded for the 1984-85 season with seven teams, with the Friars making it to the NCAA championship final that season.

This jersey features the Hockey East 10th Anniversary patch on the left shoulder and the customization is unique, in that the white outline around the black numbers is a layer of white plastic film rather than the usual layer of twill.

This style was worn from 1988-89 through the 1998-99 season until a new identity package was unveiled for Providence.
Providence Friars 1993-94 jersey photo ProvidenceFriars1993-94F.jpg
Providence Friars 1993-94 jersey photo ProvidenceFriars1993-94B.jpg

To see more Providence Friars jerseys, please check out GVJerseys.com.

Here is the official Providence Friars into video from 2014-15.


Finally, here is a recap of the Friars semifinal win over Omaha to make tonight's championship final.

Friday, April 10, 2015

1981-82 Los Angeles Kings Mark Hardy Jersey

Back in 1982, the first round of the NHL playoffs were a best-of-five and featured teams playing opponents within their own division.

The Edmonton Oilers, in the process of gearing up for their dynasty, had won the Smythe Division with 111 points, 48 points ahead of the fourth place Los Angeles Kings, whose 63 points came from a sub-.500 record of only 24-41-13. The Oilers were led by league MVP Wayne Gretzky, who had just completed the single greatest season in league history, scoring 92 goals and 212 points, while Dave Taylor led the Kings with 106 points, exactly half of Gretzky's total!

In Game 1, the Kings chose to try to beat the Oilers at their own game rather than trying to shut them down defensively and the result was a scintillating 10-8 win for the Kings, a record for the most goals in a playoff game that still stands today.

More traditional playoff hockey returned for Game 2 as the Oilers defeated the Kings 3-2 in overtime to send the series to Los Angeles tied a game apiece.

In Game 3, played at The Forum, located at 3900 W. Manchester Boulevard, saw the Oilers break out on top with a goal by Mark Messier. A shorthanded goal by Gretzky saw the Oilers up by two at the end of the first period.

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The Forum

The Kings powerplay carried over into the second period and disaster struck when Kings goaltender Mario Lessard misplayed a sharp angle shot by Lee Fogolin for a 3-0 Edmonton lead.

With both teams later playing 3-on-3, Gretzky stole the puck deep in the Kings end and passed to defenseman Risto Siltanen, who one-timmed the puck past Lessard and through the goal netting. The goal judge saw what had happened and turned the goal light on. The referees met and agreed that it was indeed a goal, which was later confirmed by video replay, giving the Oilers a now four goal cushion.

The rout was on when Glenn Anderson sent a hard pass through the legs of a Kings defenseman to Gretzky, who simply deflected he puck into the net for a commanding 5-0 lead at the end of two periods.

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The Kings could not catch up to Gretzky and
the Oilers through the first two periods

The Kings main focus for the early part of the third period was to do the little things right, make an effort to get back into the game, mainly to salvage some pride and try to carry some momentum into Game 4.

Jay Wells got the Kings on the board at 2:46 of the third with a shot through a screen set by Taylor.

Less than three minutes later, the Kings went on the powerplay and won a faceoff in the Oilers end. The puck went back to defenseman Mark Hardy on the point, who threw the puck at the net. Fuhr saved the initial shot, but the rebound landed between the skates of Oiler defenseman Kevin Lowe. The Kings Doug Smith pounced on the opportunity and fired a shot under the crossbar to narrow the margin to 5-2.

With both teams playing 4-on-4, the Oilers attempt at a clearing pass was intercepted and passed to Charlie Simmer, who skated in on the goal and attempted to jam the puck in on the right side while falling down. Oiler defenseman Randy Gregg attempted to tie up Simmer's stick, but in his haste hit Fuhr's leg, knocking Fuhr back far enough to allow the puck to slide over the goal line to cut the Oilers lead to two, which energized the once morose Kings fans.

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Charlie Simmer

With five minutes remaining, Pat Hughes of the Oilers was stopped on a breakaway, and in the chase to control the puck, the Oilers Garry Unger was called for a five-minute high sticking major while Dave Lewis of the Kings was called for roughing, which meant the teams would play 4-on-4 for the next two minutes. Forward Steve Bozek skated into the Oilers zone and cut to the right and made a drop pass back to Hardy who was moving to his left. The criss-cross movement gave Hardy some space and he fired a wrist shot back toward the right side of the net and past Fuhr to pull the Kings within one and send the home crowd into a frenzy.

Once the penalty to the King's Lewis expired, Unger's major continued, giving the Kings a power play for the final three minutes of the game. Lessard then saved the game for the Kings when he stopped a clean breakaway by Hughes of the Oilers and made an even better save on the rebound attempt.

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The Kings netminder Mario Lessard

As time wound down and the Kings having trouble gaining the Oilers zone the Kings pulled Lessard for a two man advantage. With now only 45 seconds to play, Kings star Marcel Dionne gained possession of the puck and kept control of it for over 20 seconds looking for a chance to shoot or a good passing opportunity. Finally he sent the puck to Simmer, who quickly returned the pass. Dionne fired a quick shot, which Fuhr saved. The rebound went over to the boards on the right, where Jim Fox gained control of the puck and sent it into the center of the zone to Hardy who fired a low shot at Fuhr, who saved the initial shot but could not stop the puck from rebounding in front of the net. Rookie Bozek, unguarded due to the two man advantage with the goaltender pulled, gathered in the puck and flung a backhanded shot back at Fuhr, who did not have time to react as the puck sailed between his legs and into the net with just five ticks remaining on the clock to complete the comeback and tie the score at 5-5, sending the Kings fan's into absolute delirium and the contest into overtime.

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Mark Hardy had a goal and two assists in the Kings comeback

Lessard nearly gave the game away by sliding out of his net to corral a rebound on a bouncing shot from center ice. In doing so, he collided with the Oilers Anderson, knocking the puck even further away and leaving him stranded 20 feet out of his goal. Messier gained possession of the puck and lifted a backhand attempt at the goal, which rolled off his stick blade sailing wide of the net as Hardy and another Kings player attempted to block Messier's shot in a heart-stopping moment for the Kings fans.

After a save by Fuhr that resulted in a faceoff in the Oilers zone, the Kings sent out an all-rookie forward line of Bozek, Smith and Daryl Evans. Smith won the faceoff back to Evans, who one-timed a slapshot toward the upper corner of the net. Fuhr raised his glove to make the save, but the puck eluded him for the game winning goal at 2:35 of the overtime for a 6-5 Kings win, sending the crowd into rapture and the Kings to a 2-1 series lead in a game that would become known as "The Miracle on Manchester".


The Oilers regrouped for Game 4 to win on the road 3-2, sending the series back to Edmonton for the deciding Game 5.

Confident they could skate with the Oilers, the Kings took a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Simmer. Dan Bonar added a pair of goals, as did Evans. Bernie Nicholls also scored at 6:49 of the second to put the Kings ahead to stay as they defeated the Oilers 7-4 to eliminate Edmonton from the playoffs, setting a record for the largest regular season point differential (48) in a series won by the underdog.

Today's featured jersey is a 1981-82 Los Angeles Kings Mark Hardy jersey as worn during the record setting Kings comeback known as the "Miracle on Manchester" in which he scored a goal and had a pair of assists.

Hardy played nine seasons for the Kings and then briefly the New York Rangers and Minnesota North Stars before rejoining the Rangers for five seasons. He would return to the Kings to finish out his 16 year NHL career in which he played 915 games, scoring 368 points.

This style of Kings jersey debuted in 1980-81, an over due modernization, as they had worn their very simple original jerseys since 1967 for thirteen seasons. This style would be worn unchanged throughout the 1980's until the arrival of Gretzky to Los Angeles saw the team change from the purple and gold colors of the Los Angeles Lakers of he NBA to the black and silver of the Los Angeles Raiders of the NFL.

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photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1981-82 Los Angeles Kings Mario Lessard jersey from the Kings goaltender during the Miracle on Manchester. Lessard would play six seasons for the Kings, his only NHL team.

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Los Angeles Kings 1981-82 jersey photo Los Angeles Kings 1981-82 B jersey.jpg

Today's video features footage of the Kings amazing record setting third period comeback on this date in 1982 along with several members of the Kings organization and their personal recollections of their amazing comeback that night.


Here is another video recalling the record setting Kings comeback, this time with Messier of the Oilers and the Kings Dionne.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

2015 NCAA Frozen Four - Boston University Terriers

The semifinals of the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four will take place at the home of the NHL's Boston Bruins, the TD Garden.

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The tournament kicks off with a game at 5:00 PM Eastern, pitting the #15 ranked Providence College Friars of Hockey East facing off against the #8 University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

The second game scheduled for 8:30 PM will feature the #3 Boston University Terriers, also of Hockey East taking on #2 ranked University of North Dakota also of the powerful NCHC, which sent six teams into the 16 team NCAA playoffs.

Rather than a single school hosting the tournament, the Hockey East conference is the host this year and sees two of it's members, Providence from 50 miles to the southwest in Rhode Island, and Boston University, whose home, Agganis Arena, is located a mere four miles up the Charles River to the west.

The Boston University hockey program dates back to the 1917-18 season when they played a whopping total of just one game, but even then it was against their fierce rivals Boston College.

In their early days, the Terriers played against various amateur athletic clubs and a growing number of other college teams. They joined the NEIHL in 1936-37 and were members until the 1953-54 season. After playing as an independent from 1954-55 to 1960-61, Boston University joined the Eastern College Athletic Conference in 1961-62 as a charter member.

The NCAA would organize the first national championship in 1948 and the Terriers to win their first title in 1971 with a 28-2-1 record.

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Boston University's first championship squad from 1971

They would go back-to-back by taking the title again in 1972 with a 26-4-1 record under the guidance of head coach Jack Kelley.

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The 1971-72 Terriers team celebrates their second consecutive championship

They would win six regular season ECAC titles and six conference tournament championships, including five in a row from 1974 to 1977. They remained in the ECAC until concerns that the Ivy League members of the ECAC were going to leave the league led to the formation of Hockey East in 1984-85.

They have won nine league titles, including a run of five straight from 1994 to 1998. More would follow in 2000, 2006, 2009 and again this year, 2015.

In addition, Boston University has won Hockey East conference playoff titles in 1986, 1991, 1994 and 1995, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2009 and again this year, 2015.

Stability has been a feature of the program, with head coach Wayland Vaughn behind the bench from 1928 to 1943, save for 1941 before he returned for his final two seasons. Harry Cleverly took over from 1945-46 to 1961-62 followed by Kelley from 1962-63 to 1971-72, winning two national titles.

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Jack Kelley

Jack Parker, a former player for the Terriers from 1965 to 1968, took over seven games into the 1973-74 season and remained as head coach for 40 years until 2012-13, amassing 876 wins during his time at BU. He is only the third coach to ever top 800 wins and the only one to do it with one team. He was a five time coach of the year and would guide the Terriers to 3 ECAC regular season titles and 4 playoff championships, 8 Hockey East regular season titles and 7 playoff championships and 3 national championships in 1978, 1995 and 2009. Additionally, BU would win the annual Beanpot Tournament a record 21 times during his tenure.

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Jack Parker

61 Boston University players have gone on to play in the NHL, with notable Terriers alumni including Chris Drury, Tony Amonte and Keith Tkachuk.

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Keith Tkachuk

Additionally, members of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team to have played for Boston University include Jim Craig, Jack O'Callahan, Dave Silk and captain Mike Eruzione.

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Jim Craig

Former NHLer John Cullen holds the school record with 241 career points while Drury leads the Terriers in career goals scored with 113. Others to have topped 200 career points include David Sacco (216), Drury (214), Rick Meagher (210) and Eruzione (208).

Boston University has won the famous Beanpot 30 times in the 63 year history of the event, including this year's edition, far ahead of Boston College's 19 and nearly half of every one ever held.

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Boston University celebrates their 30th Beanpot victory

One player to watch today is top NHL prospect and Hobey Baker finalist Jack Eichel, who is expected to be one of the top two picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Eichel led the NCAA in scoring this season with 24 goals and 67 points in 38 games, six points ahead of teammate Evan Rodrigues, the only two players with over 60 points this season.

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Jack Eichel

Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Boston University Terriers Tony Amonte jersey as worn during Amonte's first season with BU.

Amonte played two seasons with the Terriers, totaling 56 goals and 126 points in 79 games. His NHL career lasted 17 seasons, including breaking into the NHL with the Rangers, nine seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, and time spent with the Coyotes, Flyers and Flames.

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Boston University 1989-90 jersey photo Boston University 1989-90 B jersey.jpg
photos courtesy of GVJerseys.com

Today's video segment begins with the Terriers winning their 30th Beanpot championship from earlier this year in dramatic fashion.


Up next is Boston University's most recent NCAA national championship from 2009, with a finish not to be missed. If this doesn't get you looking forward to the Frozen Four, nothing will.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

1978-79 New York Islanders Denis Potvin Jersey

Denis Potvin was drafted by the New York Islanders with the first overall selection in the 1973 NHL Entry Draft and the Montreal Canadiens immediately offered New York a package of established players in exchange for him. Thinking long-term, Islanders general manager Bill Torrey turned down the offer, keeping the man who would eventually become the longest serving captain in franchise history.

Following his final season of Canadian junior hockey for the Ottawa 67's, when he had 123 points and 232 penalty minutes in just 61 games on defense, Islander fans were expecting much from the rookie, who suffered the pressure from comparisons to Bobby Orr.

Potvin's first campaign saw him immediately establish himself as a NHL caliber player by appearing 77 games, the final one of which saw Potvin score a goal and three assists to establish NHL rookie records for defensemen with 17 goals, 54 assists and 71 points in a 4-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars. He also displayed his toughness with 175 penalty minutes, all of which earned him the Calder Trophy as the Rookie of the Year.

Potvin Islanders, Potvin Islanders

In addition to his standout defense, his offensive numbers would continue to climb, when he scored 76 points during his second season followed by a jump to 98 in 1975-76, beginning a run of seven straight seasons of averaging over a point per game, a season that would see him earn the first of three Norris Trophies as the NHL's best defenseman.

Potvin Islanders, Potvin Islanders

Three seasons later, during the Islanders final game of the 1978-79 season played on this date in 1979, Potvin would be credited with an assist at 16:59 of the first period on a goal by Wayne Merrick to give him his 100th point of the season, making him only the second defenseman in NHL history to score 100 points in a season since Orr in 1975.

Potvin later earned another assist at 16 seconds of the third period on a goal by Mike Bossy to finish the season with 31 goals and 70 assists for 101 total points, all career highs. He would later be named to his third Norris Trophy, having also been named the winner in 1978 as well. He was also the first defenseman to score 30 goals since Orr as well.

Potvin Islanders, Potvin Islanders

Still, the best was yet to come for the Islanders and Potvin, who was named team captain in time for the 1979-80 season. Deep playoff runs in the previous five seasons gave the club experience that they put to good use, capturing the Stanley Cup first in 1980 and then earning the dynasty tag by repeating as Stanley Cup champions for the next three consecutive seasons, all with Potvin as the captain.

Potvin Islanders Cup, Potvin Islanders Cup

All told, Potvin competed in an astounding 34 playoff rounds over ten consecutive seasons with the Islanders playing at their peak, the rough equivalent of two additional seasons worth of games - but played at the highest levels of pressure and emotion.

When he retired after the 1987-88 season, Potvin did so as the all-time NHL leader in goals and points by a defenseman.

His final career totals stand at 1,060 games played with 310 goals and 742 assists for 1052 points. He also retired with as the career playoff leader in goals (56), assists (108) and points (164) for a defenseman.

Potvin was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and his #5 was retired by the Islanders the following year, the first Islander to ever be so honored, but perhaps his most enduring legacy might be the "Potvin Sucks!" chants that continue to this day in Madison Square Garden, home of the rival New York Rangers.

Potvin Sucks jersey, Potvin Sucks jersey
A Rangers jersey immortalizing the "Potvin Sucks!" chant

Today's featured jersey is a 1978-79 New York Islanders Denis Potvin jersey as worn the season he became only the second defenseman in NHL history to score 100 points in a season.

The original Islanders jerseys had orange numbers, which were changed to white for Potvin's rookie season. This style would remain unchanged until 1977-78 when the white ends of the sleeves were made blue, the original lace-up collar was changed to a v-neck and two color names were added to the backs of the jerseys.

The following year saw the waist stripes change from a wide orange above a wide white, separated by a thin blue stripe, to a narrower white stripe above an orange stripe with no blue separation. Additionally, the single orange sleeve stripes were changed to the same pattern as the new waist striping pattern. This style would remain through the 1994-95 season, carrying them through their four Stanley Cup championships and beyond until replaced by the ill-advised and poorly received  Fishsticks jerseys of the mid-90's.

This first generation of Islanders jerseys is truly "the jersey that wouldn't die", as the Islanders have tried again and again to redesign their jerseys, first with disastrous results in 1996, before returning with an updated version in 1998. Even after the league wide change to Reebok jerseys in 2007, the Islanders again reintroduced this style as an alternate in 2008, this time with a lace up collar as originally worn in 1972, and then promoted that alternate to again be the team's primary jersey beginning with the 2010-11 season.

New York Islanders 1978-79 jersey photo New York Islanders 1978-79 F jersey.jpg
New York Islanders 1978-79 jersey photo New York Islanders 1978-79 B jersey.jpg

First today is a profile of Potvin from the fantastic "Legends of Hockey" series. Love him or hate him, this is well worth watching.


Here is the dramatic finish to the Islanders first Stanley Cup Championship in 1980.


Finally the origin of the "Potvin Sucks!" chant.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1981-82 Los Angeles Kings Charlie Simmer Jersey

The 1981-82 NHL playoffs saw a change to a new format, with the top four teams in each division qualifying for the postseason. The division winner would meet the fourth place club, while the second place finisher would meet the third in a pair of best-of-five series in the opening round.

In the Smythe Division, the Edmonton Oilers cruised to a first place finish with a 48-17-15 record for 111 points (second overall in the league) and miles ahead of the Vancouver Canucks 77 points, as they trailed the Oilers by 18 wins. The Oilers opponents for the first round of the playoffs were the Los Angeles Kings, who limped into the postseason with a poor 24-41-15 record, earning 63 points in the standings but given a free pass into the playoffs thanks to being in a five team division that included the moribund Colorado Rockies, the worst team in the league, who the Kings cleared by 14 points. The Kings 63 points were actually less than the Washington Capitals 65 points, who missed the playoffs by virtue of finishing last in the rugged Patrick Division which was inhabited by the President's Trophy winning New York Islanders, who finished with 118 points, the New York Rangers (92 points), Philadelphia Flyers (87) and Pittsburgh Penguins (75).

The playoffs got underway on this date in 1982 with all eight series taking to the ice, which included the Oilers hosting the Kings in Edmonton.

Grant Fuhr got the start in goal for the home team, while Mario Lessard got the nod for the visitors from Los Angeles.

Lessard Kings, Lessard Kings
The Kings Mario Lessard

Glenn Anderson set the tone for the game early with a goal for the Oilers at the 1:35 mark from Kevin Lowe and Jari Kurri.

After the Kings' Jay Wells was ejected from the game following an altercation with Kurri and trying to get to Lee Fogolin, Steve Bozak answered for the Kings from Jim Fox and Daryl Evans on the power play at exactly 6:00 Dave Semenko in the penalty box for Edmonton.

The high scoring Oilers responded quickly, with Tom Roulston scoring from Pat Hughes 16 second later, followed quickly by Risto Siltanen adding to the Oilers lead just 20 second later from Anderson and Wayne Gretzky.

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The NHL's leading scorer in 1982, Wayne Gretzky

Siltanen made it 4-1 for Edmonton before the halfway mark of the first period when he scored his second goal in less than 2 1/2 minutes from Gretzky and Kurri on a power play with the Kings Dave Taylor off the ice.

The Kings let it be known they were not going to go away easily though, as Fox scored at 14:09 from Dave Lewis followed by Taylor scoring on the power play from Charlie Simmer on a power play with just 7 seconds remaining in the period with Gretzky in the box. The first period then came to a close with the Oilers leading 4-3 on the scoreboard and 17-11 in shots on goal.

Doug Smith evened the score at 4-4 with an unassisted goal for Los Angeles at 3:11 and the Kings' leading scorer Marcel Dionne gave them their first lead of the game with a power play goal at 9:17 from Taylor and defenseman Larry Murphy.

Murphy Kings, Murphy Kings
Larry Murphy

The Oilers beat Lessard to tie the game once again at 13:30 when Charlie Huddy scored shorthanded at 13:30, which opened the floodgates.

Dionne's second of the game came 47 second later from Taylor and Evans on the same power play to regain the lead for the Kings at 6-5. Evans increased the lead to 7-5 when he scored 43 seconds later at the 15 minute mark.

Edmonton pulled one back at 17:22 when Dave Lumley joined the scoring parade from Gretzky and Garry Lariviere only to have Evans score his second of the period from Smith and Dean Hopkins at 15:00 even to restore the Kings two goal margin with 24 second remaining the second period.

Both goaltenders remained in the game despite the 14 combined goals as the Oilers led in shots 25-24. Amazingly, the first half of the period passed without a goal but Gretzky put an end to that with an even strength goal from Anderson and Kurri at 10:20.

Matti Hagman then tied the track meet at 8-8 from Mark Messier, who shockingly scored his first point of the night, and Siltanen.

The Triple Crown Line then combined to put Los Angeles back into the lead at 14:56 when Simmer scored the 9th Kings goal from Taylor and Dionne, which became the game winner when Bernie Nicholls scored for his belated first point of the night from Fox into an empty net at 19:08 to make the final score 10-8.

Triple Crown Line, Triple Crown Line
Simmer, Dionne and Taylor, the Triple Crown Line

Both goaltenders went the distance, with Fuhr making 25 saves on 35 shots, while Lessard got the win despite allowing 8 goals on 33 shots. The 17,490 fans in Edmonton got to witness a record setting 18 goals in a single playoff game, a record which still stands alone in league history.

Fuhr Oilers, Fuhr Oilers
The Oilers goaltender Fuhr

Since that night, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia scored 17 in 1989, the same Oilers and Kings tallied 16 five years and two days later in 1987 and the Kings and Calgary Flames also reached 16 during the 1990 playoffs. Since that time, the style of play in the post season has changed to a much more defensive, clampdown style, which perhaps reached it's nadir when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Minnesota Wild played four games which saw a combined 10 total goals for the entire series! This coming in the era of obstruction, hooking, holding, slashing, cross-checking and oversize goalie pads.

Sanity returned for Game 2 of the Oilers vs. King series, as Edmonton evened the series 3-2 in overtime. Game 3 stole the spotlight from the record setting Game 1, when the Kings staged the greatest comeback in NHL history, when trailing 5-0 after two periods, they scored five times, including 3 in the final 5:22, with the final goal coming with only five seconds left in regulation, before winning it 6-5 at 2:35 of overtime, a game which became known as "The Miracle on Manchester".

Still, Edmonton rebounded to win Game 4 on the road to force a deciding Game 5 back in Edmonton, which was won easily by the Kings 7-4to pull off one of the biggest upsets in playoff history, as the Kings eliminated the Oilers after finishing 48 points behind them in the regular season standings after Edmonton had won twice as many games as Los Angeles, 48-24.

Today's featured jersey is a 1981-82 Los Angeles Kings Charlie Simmer jersey, as worn during the record setting 18 goal game between the Kings and Oilers on this date in 1982 by the man who scored the game winning goal.

The Kings began play in the NHL in the 1967-68 season of expansion, wearing their original purple and gold jerseys which featured only the most basic striping on the arm and waist. That style was replaced in 1980-81 by a much more modern style, with it's shoulder coloring extended all the way down the arms and wrapping all the way around the wrists in a manner similar to the Flyers jerseys.

These jerseys would remain in use through the 1987-88 season when the arrival of Gretzky in Los Angeles heralded a new era, which called for a new set of sweaters that eliminated all of the purple and gold from the Kings color scheme. Aside from the inclusion of purple for the short-lived "Burger King" alternates of 1995-96, purple would not return to the Kings jerseys until 1998 and gold has yet to be seen again.

Los Angeles Kings 81-82 jersey, Los Angeles Kings 81-82 jersey
Los Angeles Kings 81-82 jersey, Los Angeles Kings 81-82 jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1981-82 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky jersey as worn during the record setting 18 goal game between the Kings and Oilers on this date in 1982 by the man who led the NHL in scoring during the regular season as he set a new single season scoring record on his way to becoming the first and only player to ever score 200 points in a season with 212.

Gretzky finished the record setting playoff game with a goal and three assists.

This jersey can be identified as bing from the 1981-82 season by the International Year of Disabled Persons patch worn on the upper right sleeve.


The Oilers changed the colors of their crest to a higher contrast and much more pleasing blue letters on a white background, rather than the orange background of their final WHA jerseys, in 1979-80 when they entered the NHL. In 1981-82 the shade of blue became lighter and the jerseys remained unchanged through the 1995-96 season, which included the team's dynasty of five Stanley Cups in seven seasons.


Edmonton Oilers 1981-82 jersey photo Edmonton Oilers 1981-82 F jersey.jpg
 photo Edmonton Oilers 1981-82 B jersey.jpg

Today's video section are the highlights of the wild, record setting Kings 10-8 win over the Oilers on this date in 1982, with each video focusing in on a single period, which combine for 20 total minutes of high scoring action.




Monday, April 6, 2015

The History of the NHL Single Season Scoring Record

The National Hockey League made it's debut in 1917 with a 22 game schedule. Joe Malone of the Montreal Canadiens (on loan from the dormant Quebec Bulldogs) set the standard by leading the league in scoring with 44 goals and 4 assists for 48 points, an average of two goals per game!

Joe Malone photo Joe Malone Canadiens 1917-18.jpg
Joe Malone set the first NHL scoring record in 1917-18

Two seasons later in 1919-20, Malone would raise the bar by a point following his 39 goal, 10 assist effort for 49 points in a now 24 game schedule while back with the revived Quebec franchise.

The NHL had changed dramatically by the 1927-28 season, expanding from four clubs to now ten with the additions of the Montreal Maroons, New York Americans, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Cougars and Chicago Black Hawks to the Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. This necessitated a now longer 44 game schedule and Howie Morenz of the Canadiens took over the league record for single season point scoring with 33 goals and 18 assists for 51 points, bettering Malone's eight year old mark of 49.

Howie Morenz photo Morenz Canadiens.jpg
Howie Morenz

Morenz's record would be obliterated two seasons later when rule changes allowed forward passing in the offensive zone and temporarily removed the offside rule. Players camping out in front of the opponents goal led to the rule being reinstated by mid-season. The Boston Bruins Cooney Weiland was the biggest beneficiary of the new offensive freedom and scored 43 goals and 30 assists in 44 games for a new league record of 73 points, 22 more than Morenz just two seasons earlier.

Cooney Weiland photo Weiland Bruins.jpg
Cooney Weiland brought the scorning record to the United States

Weiland's mark would remain the standard for over a decade. By the time World War II arrived, the NHL had contracted back to what is now known as the Original 6, while the season schedule had expanded to 50 games. Doug Bentley of the Chicago Black Hawks tied Weiland's record of 73 in 1942-43 with 33 goals and 40 assists.

Doug Bentley photo Doug Bentley Blackhawks.jpg
Doug Bentley equalled the scoring record in 1943

One season later, Herb Cain of the Bruins put together the season of his life with a 36 goal, 46 assist campaign for 82 total points after just 36 the season before and never exceeded 45 in the final two seasons of his career. Despite breaking Weiland's 14 year old record, Cain remains the only eligible former NHL scoring champion not inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Cain Bruins photo CainBruins3.jpg
Herb Cain

Cain's stellar season would remain the record for seven seasons until Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings, playing in his fifth NHL season, raised the mark to 86 points with 43 goals and 43 assists in 1950-51 in what was now a 70 game schedule, finishing a clear 20 points ahead of second place Maurice Richard,

Howe equalled his 86 points the following year with 47 goals and 39 assists in 1951-52 before beating his own league record with a 49 goal, 46 assist season for 95 points, a dominant 24 points clear of Detroit teammate Ted Lindsay. Howe would lead the league in points again the next season for four consecutive scoring titles and once more in 1957 for five in seven years.

Gordie Howe photo Howe Red Wings.jpg
The legendary Gordie Howe raised the scoring record twice

Six seasons after Howe set the record at 95 points, Dickie Moore would return the league record to the Canadiens when his 41 goals and 55 assists in 1958-59 eclipsed Howe by a single point with 96 in what was still a 70 game schedule.

Dickie Moore photo Dickie Moore Canadiens_1.jpg
Dickie Moore was the last of three Canadiens to hold the record

Moore's record would stand the test of time for a decade until the game saw it's first 100 point scorer in 1968-69. While Bobby Hull of Chicago set a new goal scoring record with 58, it was Phil Esposito of the Bruins who destroyed the old mark with his record shattering 126 points from 49 goals and 77 assists in a 76 game schedule. Both Hull (107) and Howe (103) also surpassed the 100 point mark that season to usher in a new era of offense in the NHL.

Phil Esposito photo Esposito Bruins 1.jpg
Phil Esposito was the first man to reach 100 points in an NHL season

Esposito easily broke his own record in 1970-71 when he set new records for goals and points with 76 goals and 76 assists for 152 points in a 78 game schedule, 13 clear of teammate Bobby Orr, who took away the MVP honors despite Esposito's scoring record.

Phil Esposito photo Esposito Bruins 2.jpg
Esposito was the third Bruin to set the scoring record

It would be another 10 years before the arrival of The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, would seize the record, first with a 164 point season from 55 goals and 109 assists in his second season in the NHL, 1980-81, in an 80 game schedule. Gretzky's 109 assists broke Orr's record of 102 set back in 1970-71.

Wayne Gretzky photo Gretzky Oilers 1.jpg
Wayne Gretzky rewrote the record books

Gretzky broke his own record the following season of 1981-82. He announced his intentions of setting a new record when he scored 50 goals in just 39 games! He eventually finished the season by defeating Esposito's record of 76 goals with a new mark of 92 goals, which still stands to this day and remains the only 90 goal season in NHL history. Gretzky also blew away his record of 109 assists with 120 for a total of 212 points, shattering his own record for single season points by an amazing 47 points and becoming the first, and still only, player to ever reach 200 points.

Wayne Gretzky photo Gretzky Oilers 2.jpg
Gretzky led the Oilers to four Stanley Cups

After two more 200 point seasons, Gretzky then set the NHL record on this date in 1986 when the Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 with Gretzky picking up an assist, his 163rd of the season to break his own single season assist record. He also added 52 goals for a combined 215 points, a single season points scoring record which remains unbeaten now 29 seasons later, as the wide open, firewagon hockey of the 1980's has given way to improved goaltending and defensive systems, which has resulted in no player leading the league with even 130 points since 1996 and as few as 94 points in a full 82 game season in 2003-04.

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Gretzky with the Art Ross Trophy (left) as the scoring champion
along with the Stanley Cup and Hart Trophy as league MVP

**********

The Evolution of the NHL Single Season Scoring Record

Joe Malone - 1917-18 - 48 points
Joe Malone - 1919-20 - 49
Howie Morenz - 1927-28 - 51
Cooney Weiland - 1929-30 - 73
Doug Bentley - 1942-43 - 73
Herb Cain - 1943-44 - 82
Gordie Howe - 1950-51 - 86
Gordie Howe - 1951-52 - 86
Gordie Howe - 1952-53 - 95
Dickie Moore - 1958-59 - 96
Phil Esposito - 1968-69 - 126
Phil Esposito - 1970-71 - 152
Wayne Gretzky - 1980-81 - 165
Wayne Gretzky - 1981-82 - 212
Wayne Gretzky - 1985-86 - 215

Today's featured jersey is a 1985-86 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky jersey as worn the season Gretzky set the NHL single season scoring record, which has now stood the test of time for nearly 30 years.

The Oilers changed the colors of their crest to a higher contrast and much more pleasing blue letters on a white background, rather than the orange background of their final WHA jerseys, in 1979-80 when they entered the NHL. In 1981-82 the shade of blue became lighter and the jerseys remained unchanged through the 1995-96 season, which included the team's dynasty of five Stanley Cups in seven seasons.

 photo Edmonton Oilers 1985-86 jersey.jpg
 

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