Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Easter Epic - 1986-87 New York Islanders Pat LaFontaine Jersey

On April 18, 1987, the Washington Capitals hosted the New York Islanders in Game 7 of their opening round playoff series.

The game would not end until the early hours of the following day.

The series had opened in Washington with a split, with the Capitals taking Game 1 by a score of 4-3 and the Islanders evening the series by taking Game 2 by a 3-1 margin. Back on Long Island the Capitals took two, with a Game 3 shutout 2-0 and a 4-1 win in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 edge in games. The Islanders stayed alive with a 4-2 win back in Washington and forced a deciding Game 7 with a 5-4 win at home.

With viewers across North America tuned in on ESPN and the CBC, the puck dropped at 7:40 PM and the Capitals dominated early but it took nearly the entire period for Mike Gartner to eventually put Washington ahead 1-0 with 48 seconds left in the first.

Pat Flatley evened the score at 11:35 of the middle period before Grant Martin restored Washington's one goal lead at 18:45 by beating the Islanders goaltender Kelly Hrudey. The period ended at 2-1 for Washington, which held a 25-10 margin in shots.

There was no scoring in the third period until Bryan Trottier put a backhander between Captials goalie Bob Mason's legs at 14:37 to tie the game at 2-2. For the remainder of regulation both teams sought an advantage without success, and regulation came to a close without a winner.

In the first twenty minute overtime, the teams both recorded 11 shots on goal and the Capitals Greg Smith nearly won it with a slap shot that beat Hrudey but clanged off the right post with seconds remaining.

Washington did their best to end it in the second overtime by outshooting the Islanders 17-9, but could not solve Hrudey. Perhaps the best chance to end the game in the second OT was when Islander Randy Wood's shot that hit the pipe.

The game then advanced to a third overtime, the first in 16 years, and fatigue really began to take hold as Easter Sunday began. The Islanders got the better of the Capitals during the period, holding an 11-10 edge in shots on goal. Mason denied the Islanders better scoring chances and the second sixty minutes closed scoreless.

For the first time since 1951, a game would enter the fourth overtime and people really started to get punchy, ESPN's Bill Clement in particular, having taken off his shirt and converted his tie into a headband before doing some voice impressions prior to the start of the fourth overtime.

The game started to climb the list of the longest games in NHL history, entering the top five of all time after a 1:10 of play in the fourth overtime period. The Islanders moved ahead in shots four to one when Ken Leiter of the Islanders pinched in the keep the puck in the Washington end. He circled behind the goal and passed to Gord Dineen, whose shot was blocked in front of Mason. The puck deflected back to Pat LaFontaine, who fired a slapshot passed a screened Mason to finally end the game after 128:47 of play, winning not only the game, but eliminating the Capitals as the Islanders won the series 4 games to 3, despite the fact that the Capitals had not trailed in the series or the game until LaFontaine's goal.

LaFontaine's goal came at 1:58 AM, 6 hours and 18 minutes after the opening faceoff. Hrudey was credited with 73 saves, an NHL playoff record, while Mason's total was 54 in the game that would become known as the "Easter Epic".

LaFontain Mason Easter Epic photo LaFontainMasonEasterEpic.jpg
LaFontaine meets Mason in the handshake line following the Easter Epic

Today's featured jersey is a 1986-87 New York Islanders Pat LaFontaine jersey. Throughout his career, LaFontaine's name was spelled with a variety of all capital letters of equal size and other times when the "A" was in a smaller size as shown here.

Later LaFontaine Islanders jerseys would have the more traditional all caps of the same size, so it is essential for you to do your research for the exact specification of lettering style used for the particular year of any LaFontaine Islanders jersey you may want to add to your collection.

The smaller "A" can be found on early Islanders, 1996 USA and black Sabres jerseys.

Photobucket
Photobucket

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1986-87 Washington Capitals Bob Mason jersey . The Capitals wore this style starting with their inaugural season of 1974-75 and continued to use it through the 1995-95 season before a radical overhaul of their branding saw them drop their red, white and blue color set in favor of a lighter shade of blue and black with bronze accents.

The team reverted to their classic red, white and blue colors for the 2007-08 season and reintroduced today's bonus jersey style for the 2011 Winter Classic, which proved so popular they made this their alternate jersey starting with the 2011-12 season through the 2014-15 campaign before switching to the red road version of this jersey.

 photo Washington Capitals 1985-86 F jersey.jpg

 photo Washington Capitals 1985-86 B jersey.jpg

Today's video section features highlights of the Easter Epic, which faced off on this date in 1987. First, from the CBC, featuring a more subdued Don Cherry than the much more voluminous one he has evolved into.


Next, Bill Clement loses his mind on national TV prior to the fourth overtime.


Finally, LaFontaine reflects on his memories of the game and the playoffs in general.

Post settings Labels Easter Epic, Lafontaine Pat, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals Published on 4/18/13, 5:00 AM Central Daylight Time Permalink Location Search Description Options

Monday, March 4, 2019

1944-45 Detroit Red Wings Ted Lindsay Jersey

After growing up the son of a goaltender who once played for the storied, turn of the century Renfrew Millionaires, Ted Lindsay played junior hockey for the St. Michael's Majors before joining the Oshawa Generals in time to win the 1944 Memorial Cup.

Oshawa Generals Memorial Cup
Ted Lindsay and the 1944 Memorial Cup champion Oshawa Generals

Lindsay joined the Detroit Red Wings for 1944-45 and had a couple of average seasons to begin his career, 23 points and then just 17 in 1945-46, but then the following year Lindsay was put on a line with veteran Sid Abel and a rookie named Gordie Howe and his career shifted into high gear.

Lindsay Howe Abel Production Line
Lindsay, How and Abel, the Production Line

The line was dubbed "The Production Line" based on their offensive output, which saw Lindsay's point totals jump from 17 to 42 and then continue to rise to 52 to lead the Red Wings in scoring and the entire league in goals with 33.

Lindsay 1948 All-Star
Lindsay being named a first team All-Star in 1948

His point total rose to 54 in 1948-49 before a quantum leap to 78 points in 1949-50 to win the Art Ross Trophy for leading the entire NHL in scoring as Howe and Abel came in second and third, giving the line a 1-2-3 standing in the scoring race. "Terrible Ted" also was third in the league with 141 penalty minutes, just three back of the league leader.

Lindsay Red Wings A
Note the unusual treatment of the assistant captain's "A" contained in the diamond shape

In the playoffs, the Red Wings outlasted the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games and then duplicated the feat against the New York Rangers to win the first Stanley Cup of Lindsay's career. In both series Detroit won Game 7 in overtime.

Lindsay Stanley Cup
Lindsay celebrates with the Stanley Cup

The Red Wings would again capture the Stanley Cup two seasons later in 1951-52 after Lindsay had the second 30 goal season of his career. In 1952-53, he would again top 30 goals with 32 and 70 points for the second time with 71. After the departure of Abel, Lindsay was named captain of the Red Wings, a position he would hold until 1956. It was during this time period that Lindsay began the tradition of the captain of the winning team lifting the Stanley Cup and skating it around the ice in celebration, a scene now repeated every year.

Lindsay 1954 Stanley Cup
Captain Lindsay with the 1954 Stanley Cup

The 19954-55 Red Wings would finished first overall in the league for the seventh consecutive season and go on to take the fourth Stanley Cup of Lindsay's career. While he was limited to just 49 games of the regular season in 1954-55, snapping his 20 goals/40 points streak at 8 seasons, he was healthy in time for the playoffs where his stellar 19 points in 11 games contributed greatly to Detroit winning the second of back-to-back championships.

The time he missed also interrupted his consecutive streak of 100 penalty minutes or more streak, the only one of ten seasons he was under the century mark. So rough was Lindsay's style of play that penalties had to be created for elbowing and kneeing! He also acquired more than 400 stitches during his career before losing track.

in 1956-57, Lindsay had the greatest offensive season of his career with 85 points, this coming from 30 goals and a league leading 55 assists, which earned him a Sports Illustrated cover.

Lindsay and Howe SI cover 1957
Lindsay and Howe on the Cover of SI in the spring of 1957

He was also busy that season off the ice, organizing the NHL Players' Association. Already not on good terms with Detroit general manager Jack Adams, Lindsay's union organizing efforts saw him stripped of his captaincy and later earned him a trip out of town, as he was banished to the lowly Chicago Black Hawks, who had missed the playoffs 12 times in the previous 14 seasons, in a six team league no less! Lindsay was the NHL's third leading all-time goal scorer at the time of the trade.

While the Black Hawks would miss the playoffs in 1957-58, Lindsay would have by far his best of three seasons in Chicago in 1958-59 with 22 goals and 58 points as well as a career high of 184 penalty minutes as the Black Hawks returned to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. He would retire after one more season with Chicago with 999 games played.

Lindsay Black Hawks
Lindsay while with the Black Hawks

After four seasons away from the ice, Adams replacement and old line mate Abel coaxed Lindsay out of retirement for the 1964-65 season. He returned to the ice on in 1964 for his 1,000th NHL game, becoming only the fourth player in league history at the time to have reached 1,000 games after linemate Howe, Bill Gadsby and Red Kelly. Lindsay added a final 14 goals and 28 points to his career totals as the Red Wings finished with the best regular season record in the league for the first time since his departure.

His final career totals are 379 goals and 472 assists for 851 points in 1,068 games played along with 1,808 penalty minutes. He also competed in 133 playoff games (in an era when the maximum number of games was just 14) scoring 47 goals and 49 assists for 96 points. At the time of his retirement, Lindsay was the highest scoring left winger in league history.

He played in 11 NHL All-Star Games and won four Stanley Cups and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966, but declined to attend the ceremony since it was for men only, and he wanted his wife and family to attend, a rule which was changed for the following year.

In 1991, the Detroit Red Wings held a pregame ceremony where they retired Lindsay's #7 sweater as well as the #10 of Alex Delvecchio.

Red_Wings_retired_numbers
Lindsay's #7 hangs in the rafters of Joe Louis Arena with the other Red Wings honored greats

In 2010 the NHL Players Association renamed the award the players vote on for their annual MVP from the Lester Pearson Award to the Ted Lindsay Award in honor of his pioneering work in forming the player's association.

Today's featured jersey is a 1944-45 Detroit Red Wings Ted Lindsay jersey. While the Red Wings jerseys have remained essential unchanged since the dawn of time, this particular one stands out for the patches worn on the sleeves during Lindsay's rookie season in the NHL.

The patch on Lindsay's left sleeve is a "V" for victory, with three dots on the left of the patch and a dash on the right (Morse code for "v") was first worn during the 1941-42 season. It remained for four seasons through 1944-45.

On Lindsay's right sleeve is a patch promoting the purchase of war bonds. First worn in 1942-43, this patch was used for three seasons through 1944-45.

Detroit War Bonds patch

After wearing a patch during 1951 to promote the 250th anniversary of the City of Detroit, the Red Wings would not wear another patch until 1975 for the franchise's 50th Anniversary.

Detroit Red Wings 44-45 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1958-59 Chicago Black Hawks Ted Lindsay jersey. While very similar to today's Blackhawks jerseys, note the location of the crossed tomahawks inside the sleeve stripes rather than the now traditional placement on the shoulders.

This beautiful old sweater shows just why the Black Hawks jerseys frequently finish at the top of lists of best jerseys and was worn by Lindsay during the 1959 playoffs.

Chicago Black Hawks 58-59 jersey
Chicago Black Hawks 58-59 jersey

Today's video section begins with Ted Lindsay's biography from the Legends of Hockey series.


In this next clip, a look back at Ted Lindsay's career first broadcast in 1978 when Lindsay was the general manager of the Red Wings.

 

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