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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Doug Favell's Halloween Pumpkin Mask - The First Painted Mask in NHL History

Jacques Plante ushered in a new era of goaltending back on November 1, 1959 when, after being struck in the face with a shot by the New York Rangers hard shooting Andy Bathgate, he was assisted off the ice, leaving behind a trail of blood.

"He had been struck in the face and it opened up a cut from the corner of his mouth all the way up through his nostril," related Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette.

With no backup goaltenders on the roster in those days, there was a 21 minute delay while Plante was stitched up. When he finally returned to the bench, he told head coach Toe Blake, "I'm ready to go back in but I have to wear my mask." He was allowed to wear the mask, which he had been wearing in practice, and Montreal went on to win the game 3-1.

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A bloodied Jacques Plante wearing his mask after being badly cut in 1959

Before the next game Blake did not want Plante to wear the mask, to which Plante replied, "If I don't wear the mask, I'm not playing." Having been a four time All-Star, four time Vezina Trophy winner and five time Stanley Cup champion at that point in his career - the mask stayed.

Others quickly followed Plante's lead and goalies who did not wear a mask soon became the exception to the rule, with the last in the NHL being Andy Brown in 1974.

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Andy Brown of the Penguins with his unprotected face down among the sticks

While Gerry Cheevers was the first to wear a decorated mask on November 8, 1967 in a game vs. the Rangers when he wore a mask with the first of his trademark stitches drawn on it with a marker, it is Doug Favell who is credited with having the first painted mask in the NHL, which debuted on this date, Halloween, in 1971.

Favell tells the story of how the first painted mask came to be, taken from the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast from October 31, 2014:
"It just came from bantering in the morning because it was Halloween. We were all kidding around in the room and somebody said "If you're going to the party tonight, you have to dress up" and somebody was kidding me, and someone said. "Favey, why don't you show up tonight as a goaltender?" I said, "Maybe I'll do that," so the kidding started. 
As I was getting ready to leave, I said to Frank Lewis, who was our trainer. "Frank, with tonight being Halloween, why don't we put orange on the mask? Can you paint orange on the mask? We'll paint it orange like The Great Pumpkin," because back then Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin were a big thing. "Why don't we paint it like a pumpkin tonight for Halloween?" 
"Yea, I can do that," Lewis replied. So he took it home that afternoon and painted it orange and I came back that night and wore it. And the funny thing is, we're all so superstitious that if we hadn't won that night, we beat L. A. 4-1, I'd have probably just painted it white again. If we'd have lost, I'd have said "That's it. It's not good," but we won and got going, got on a little streak, and I said, "This is a pretty good thing." It was that simple. 
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Some players said it was a distraction because it was fairly bright. An ophthalmologist said, "Your eye will attract." I thought it was an advantage because your eye would naturally go to the brightest thing, so in that flash, they would look at my mask instead of looking at the net, so I thought it was an a distraction and I felt I needed whatever I could get to distract the shooters, so I went with it and next year we painted the starburst on it, which was a design and was even more of a distraction to the shooters.
While doing our research for this story we did uncover some contradictions and discrepancies in various versions of Favell's stories recounting the origins of his first painted mask. At times Favell has stated his mask debuted in 1970, and other times 1971. Favell's pumpkin mask would not have debuted against the Kings, as he recalled above, as Philadelphia played host the Montreal Canadiens in a game won 5-3 by Philadelphia on Halloween night in 1971. The Flyers did defeat the Kings 3-1 just before Halloween on October 29, 1970, so perhaps this is where some of the confusion comes from…

Additionally, the "little streak" story does not hold up well, as the Flyers lost their next three games and went  2-7-3 over November 1971. The club actually did not have a winning month until five months later in March. If the mask had debuted in 1970, the story is much the same, with Philadelphia going 4-6-1 in November of that year.

Favell's story on the end of the solid orange pumpkin mask, thanks to a late Buffalo Sabres goal on the final game of the season, took place on April 2, 1972 when Gerry Meehan won the game for the Sabres with just four seconds remaining, has been consistently told by Favell, and dates the orange mask to the 1971-72 season. reaffirming its debut as being on Halloween in 1971.

Favell debuted with the Flyers during the first year of league expansion of 1967-68. During his early days with Philadelphia, he wore a Terry Sawchuk style mask before changing to his Ernie Higgins produced mask for the 1971-72 season, the style which he would have famously painted orange on Halloween in 1971 after having the new, white mask for less than two months, which leaves photos of Favell in his plain white mask as a rarity.

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Favell's mask in its original plain white color

Following its humorous orange paint job on October 31, 1971, the Favell's mask would remain solid orange for the remainder of the season through the fateful last second goal against Buffalo to close out the 1971-72 season.

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Taking the concept of painting his mask as a distraction to shooters farther for the next season, Favell would wear his new "starburst" design beginning in 1971-72 through the 1972-73 season, his last with the Flyers.

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Favell in his striking new design, which ushered in the era of bold graphics

A trade in the summer of 1973 sent Favell to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but before leaving for Toronto, Philadelphia trainer Lewis painted Favell's mask with a blue maple leaf on the forehead and surprised him with it when he came to collect his equipment from the Flyers according to Favell.

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Favell's mask with its fourth and final paint scheme, or so we thought...

Favell continued to wear the same mask, now sporting its fourth different paint scheme, counting its original plain white, until 1974 when he got a new, more protective mask by renowned mask maker Greg Harrison which featured a larger, more centered maple leaf design which covered his eyes, nose and mouth.

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Favell's new Harrison mask, with its larger maple leaf paint scheme

Favell's original Higgins mask, the one first painted solid orange and now sporting a blue maple leaf, was then lent to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto due to its place in hockey history as the first painted mask. This is where the story takes a turn for the bizarre

In 2011, game worn hockey equipment dealer Frank Servello noticed  the mask the hall had on display was not Favell's original mask, but a replica painted in the same manner. Favell was easily able to confirm the Maple Leaf mask on display was not his original due to details about the mask on display which did not match the one he had used, repaired and modified. 

It turns out, at some point, and no one knows when, Favell's original mask, painted with the maple leaf, was stolen from the hall, repainted twice, and then later anonymously returned to The Hall, looking very different from when it left.

Favell's original, but now repainted Higgins mask was then put on display by the hall with its red droplet shape on the forehead, red nose and red under the chin, which is generally referred to as the "clown mask", as a vintage mask, but in no way identified as being Favell's, as no one at the hall apparently knew.

It was then that a member of the Vintage Goalie Mask Discussion Page recognized the similarities between the clown mask and Favell's missing original in August of 2011 and posted his impression of the clown mask likely being Favell's missing mask.

Notified by Servello that his original mask, now repainted, was likely in the possession of The Hall of Fame, Favell met with the hall to first identify his original mask based on his modifications and repairs, and reclaim its possession 37 years after first loaning it to the hall for display.

The mask then underwent a restoration process, which revealed first flames over the right eye of the mask as well as a predominantly black paint scheme, which unfortunately adhered to the blue paint of the maple leaf design, rendering that design unsalvageable.

But once the black paint was removed, and the maple leaf design with it, the third version of the mask, the starburst pattern from 1972-73 was revealed, proving it was indeed Favell's original Higgins mask and the first painted mask in NHL history, complete with some of its previous orange paint from Halloween night in 1971 exposed to further document its place in NHL history.

Here are photos from GameUsedMasks.com showing the restoration of Favell's mask, the first painted mask in NHL history, taking it from its twice vandalized state down to its sunburst paint scheme of 1972-74.

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And here is the final restoration down to the sunburst mask (with some of the earlier brighter orange paint revealed on the forehead, showing the mask's history), the first mask with a painted design. This is where they chose to stop the painstaking process of removing the layers of paint which were added to the mask while it was out of the possession of the Hall of Fame.

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Here is a Toronto radio interview with Favell from 2011 on the day he got his original, now repainted mask back from the Hall of Fame.

Here is another feature on Favell and his mask from Hockey Night in Canada.

Friday, October 30, 2015

2002 NHL All-Star Game Mark Parrish Jersey

After winning two consecutive Minnesota State High School championships with the Bloomington Jaguars, Mark Parrish joined the St. Cloud State Huskies of the WCHA. As a freshman, he scored15 goals and 30 points in 1995-96. That performance caught the attention of NHL scouts and Parrish was drafted that spring in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. During his second season with the Huskies, Parrish scored 27 goals and 41 points in 35 games.

He left St. Cloud after two seasons to join the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League for 1997-98, where, serving as team captain, he scored a goal per game with 54 goals in 54 games on his way to a 92 point season to lead the team in scoring. He also played in a single game for the New Haven Beast of the American Hockey League, where he continued his season long goal-per-game pace by scoring a goal in his only game for New Haven!

Aside from two games for New Haven in 1998-99, Parrish spent the entire season with the Florida Panthers of the NHL who had acquired his rights in a trade in March of 1998. He made an immediate splash during his rookie season, scoring two goals within six minutes of each other during his first game on October 9, 1998 in a 4-1 Panthers win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Seven games later, the Panthers travelled to Chicago to face the Blackhawks. After Rob Niedermayer opened the scoring on a power play just 59 seconds into the game, Parrish scored against Chicago's Mark Fitzpatrick one a second power play at 11:03 from Ray Whitney and Gord Murphy. Parrish then scored his second of the game at the 14:28 mark, still in the first period, from Whitney once more.

The Blackhawks opened the second period with Jeff Hackett in goal and scored twice in the period to close the gap to 3-2, still in favor of Florida. In the third period, Niedermayer and Radek Dvorak restored the three goal margin for the Panthers before Doug Zmolek replied for Chicago to make it 5-3 for Florida.

Parrish then completed his hat trick at 17:45 with yet another first assist from Whitney and a second from Dave Gagner. Remarkably, with Florida on the power play to close out the game, Parrish scored again with seven seconds remaining from Gagner and Niedermayer for a four goal game in only his eighth NHL contest on this date in 1998.

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Parrish while with the Panthers versus his future club the Islanders

Four more times during his rookie season Parrish would have two goal games and finished the season with a total of 24 goals and 37 points. He would play one more season for Florida, increasing his totals to 26 goals and 44 points in 1999-00 until being sent to the New York Islanders, along with Oleg Kvasha in exchange for Olli Jokinen and goaltender Roberto Luongo.

While he only scored 17 goals in his first season with New York, he rebounded in 2001-02 with 30 goals, 30 assists and 60 points - all career highs while improving from a -27 to a +10. Included in his 30 goals were a pair of hat tricks. His fine season was rewarded with an appearance in the 2002 NHL All-Star Game.

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Parrish had his best career season while with the Islanders

Three more consistent seasons with the Islanders would follow, scoring 23, 24 and again 24 goals before a late season trade in 2005-06 would send Parrish to the Los Angeles Kings for the remaining 19 games of the season, where he would add 5 more to bring his season total to 29, just shy of tying his career best.

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Parrish during his brief time with the Kings

With his contract now expired, the free agent Parrish signed to play with his hometown Minnesota Wild for the 2006-07 season. He would play two seasons for the Wild, which included being named the team captain on three occasions as a part of the club's monthly rotation.

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Parrish spent two seasons with his hometown Wild

Unsigned for the 2008-09 season, he would sign with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, but after just three games, he was back in the NHL with the Dallas Stars, making his debut with the club similar to the way he began his career in Florida, recording a hat trick during his Dallas debut on November 7, 2008, the fourth of his career. After scoring 8 goals and 13 points for the Stars after his hot start, Parrish was not resigned by Dallas and once more became a free agent.

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Parrish made a splash during his first game with Dallas, scoring a hat trick

Starting the season without an NHL contract, he signed by the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, where he played in 56 games with 17 goals and 51 points before the Admirals parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning brought Parrish back to the NHL for 16 games at the end of the 2009-10 season.

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Parrish while with the Norfolk Admirals

The 2010-11 season was a similar repeat, as he played nearly the entire season with the Portland Pirates of the AHL, where he had a fine season with 51 points in 56 games, which earned him a brief, late season call-up by the Buffalo Sabres, where he would conclude his NHL career with 2 games. His final NHL totals were 216 goals and 171 assists for 387 points.

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A are shot of Parrish while with the Sabres

He was signed with the Ottawa Senators organization for the 2011-12 season and was assigned to their Binghamton Senators farm club, where he scored 15 goals and 30 points in 51 games before announcing his retirement.

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The final season of Parrish's career was spent with Binghamton

Internationally, Parrish played for the United States on six occasions, beginning with the World Junior Championships in both 1996 and 1997, earning a silver medal in 1997 as he contributed 5 goals and 7 points in 6 games. His next tournament for the US came at the 1998 World Championships. He played in two more World Championships in 2001 and 2005, when he scored 5 goals in 6 games. His international career was capped off by appearing in his first Olympics in 2006 in Torino, Italy.

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Zach Parise and Parrish celebrate a goal at the 2005 World Championships

Today's featured jersey is a 2002 NHL All-Star Game Mark Parrish jersey from his all-star appearance during his career season of 2001-02 when he set personal bests in goals, assists, points and hat tricks.

2002 saw a continuation of the World vs. North America format for the NHL All-Star Game which debuted in 1998 to promote the upcoming participation of the NHL stars in the 1998 Olympic Games. This was the first year of this jersey template, with the World wearing dark red and the North Americans in blue. This jersey template would return again in 2003, with the colors adjusted to the North Americans wearing white and the World now donning the blue jerseys.

This all-star jersey has a story to tell, with the patch on the front identifying it as being from the 2002 NHL All-Star Game held in Los Angeles, the patch on the left shoulder signifying Parrish's nationality as being American, while the right shoulder carries a New York Islanders logo indicative of Parrish's NHL club.

One unusual feature of this jersey is the lack of sleeve numbers, but the addition of the player number on the lower left side of the front of the jersey, a style which did not catch on among NHL clubs.

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Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1996-97 St. Cloud State Huskies Mark Parrish jerseyAt the time, the Huskies home white jersey was a virtual copy of the classic Montreal Canadiens jersey, only this time with a clever take on the Canadiens iconic "CH" logo by swapping out the "H" for an "ST". This gave the Huskies an instantly familiar appearing logo that says "hockey" at first glance, but rewards the viewer on closer inspection. Additionally, while the jersey pattern is the same, the Huskies employ red, black and white as team colors, allowing them to avoid the criticism of simply copying the NHL club's jersey stitch for stitch.

St. Cloud took a different approach to their road jersey, going in an entirely different direction than Montreal's iconic red jersey with it's blue chest stripe, and created a menacing all black jersey, but still in a simple, classic style.

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Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 2005 United States National Team Mark Parrish jersey as worn during the 2005 World Championships. In 2005 Nike revised all the jerseys for the teams participating in the IIHF World Championships, and the United States were given an entirely new look, retiring the style which was worn at the 2002 Olympics and 2004 World Cup. This template was based on the 1997-98 St. Louis Blues alternate jersey, which was late promoted to their primary jersey and used through 2006-07.

An effective and attractive look for the USA, this jersey sadly was only used for the 2005 Worlds as the new Nike Swift template, fabric and construction was introduced for the 2006 Olympics the following year, giving this style an all too short lifespan.

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Today's video section is Parrish completing one of his four career hat tricks, this one while with the Islanders in 2001-02, the best season of his career.

Next, a brief but exciting collection of Parrish highlights while with the Minnesota Wild.

Finally, Parrish's amazing debut hat trick for the Dallas Stars.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

1983-84 Bemidji State Beavers Joel Otto Jersey

Born on this date in 1961, Joel Otto, attended Bemidji State University beginning with the 1981-82 season. He scored 52 points in 31 games as a freshman and followed that up with a 33 goal, 61 point season in 1982-83. After winning their, and Otto's third consecutive Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular season championship in 1983-84 season, during which Otto increased his point totals yet again with a 75 point season, the Beavers advanced to the NCAA Division II championship series, where they swept Merrimack in a best-of-three series by scores of 6-3 and 8-1.

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Otto (#24) as a member of the Beavers

Having gone undrafted by the NHL, Otto was signed by the Calgary Flames organization who assigned him to their minor league affiliate, the Moncton Golden Flames of the AHL for the 1984-85 season. There, Otto easily adapted to the next level of play, scoring 27 goals and 63 points in 56 games, which earned him a callup to the Calgary Flames for the final 17 games of the season as well as three playoff games. Following the elimination of Calgary from the playoffs, Otto was called upon to make his international debut for the United States at the 1985 World Championships, playing in 86 games that season, nearly three times as many as he had during his final year of college the year before.

In the NHL to stay, Otto played in 79 games with the Flames during 1985-86, racking up 59 points thanks in part to a career high 25 goals. The Flames once again qualified for the playoffs, where they went on a run all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, giving Otto and the Flames 22 games of valuable playoff experience.

Otto Flames

Otto, at 6' 4", was a strong two-way player, able to score, win faceoffs as well as play in a checking role to contain the Flames strongest opponents, often drawing duty neutralizing the Edmonton Oilers' Mark Messier. Otto posted his second consecutive 50 point season in 1986-87, and later that summer Otto once more suited up for the United States in the 1987 Canada Cup.

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Otto battling Steve Smith of the Oilers

He would extend his streak of 50 point seasons to four over the next two campaigns, which included his second 20 goal season with 23 in 1988-89. The Flames would earn the President's Trophy for having the league's best regular season record with 117 points from a 54-17-9 record.

The Flames would survive a seven game series against the Vancouver Canucks when Otto scored in overtime of Game 7. The Flames would then sweep the Los Angeles Kings and reach the finals by eliminating the Chicago Blackhawks in five. A rematch of the 1986 finals against the Montreal Canadiens awaited them. The teams split the first two games in Calgary and did the same in Montreal. Back in Calgary, the Flames won 3-2 and captured the only Stanley Cup in franchise history with a 4-2 win in Game 6 back in Montreal. During the playoffs, Otto scored 19 points in 22 games, fourth on the club.

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The 1989 Stanley Cup Champion Calgary Flames

For 1989-90, an early playoff exit allowed Otto to once again participate in the World Championships for the United States for a second time. Prior to the 1991-92 season, he was invited to join the Americans for the 1991 Canada Cup, where he scored four goals in eight games.

After four more seasons in Calgary, which included his fifth 50 point season in 1992-93, the rebuilding Flames allowed Otto to leave as a free agent, and he subsequently signed with the Philadelphia Flyers after a dozen seasons with Calgary.

Otto Flames

His first season with Philadelphia in 1995-96 was his best offensively, as he scored 41 points. Prior to the start of the following season, Otto was a member of Team USA at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, where the Americans defeated Canada in a best-of-three final to achieve their finest result since the 1980 Olympics.

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Otto (right) and Keith Tkachuk with the 1996 World Cup trophy

Back with the Flyers for the 1996-97 season, they rolled through the playoffs, reaching the finals with a 12-3 record, only to fall to the Detroit Red Wings.

Otto Flyers

The 1997-98 season would be the last for Otto in the NHL, but not without once again wearing the jersey of the United States, as the league took a break from it's regular season schedule to allow it's star players to compete in the 1998 Olympics in Japan.

Otto retired at the conclusion of the 1997-98 season with 943 games played, 195 goals and 313 assists for 508 points and 1,934 penalty minutes and a reputation as a talented two-way player and leader.

Today's featured jersey is a 1983-84 Bemidji State Beavers Joel Otto jersey. The Beavers hockey program dates back to 1946 and won seven NAIA national championships between 1968 and 1980. They then moved to the NCHA and won five NCAA Division II and one Division III national titles between 1984 and 1997.

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Otto's #24 being retired by Bemidji State

In 1999, the Beavers moved into Division I and qualified for the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time in 2005 and once again in 2006.

2009 would see Bemidji State return to the NCAA's, which began with an upset of #2 ranked Notre Dame. They then won their regional with a 4-1 win over Cornell to advance to their first ever Frozen Four, where their Cinderella story came to an end with a 4-1 loss to the Miami RedHawks.

The next chapter in BSU hockey came in 2010 when they were accepted as members of the WCHA, thanks in part to their new arena, the 4,700 seat Bemidji Regional Events Center.

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To purchase your own retro Bemidji State Beavers jersey, please visit our friends at VintageMinnesotaHockey.com.

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1988-89 Calgary Flames Joel Otto jersey as worn during the season Otto won the only Stanley Cup of his career. The Flames jersey style remained unchanged in 1980 when the team relocated from Atlanta, aside from the necessary logo change from a flaming "A" to a "C". It would remain in use through the 1993-94 season.

Calgary Flames 89-90 jersey
Calgary Flames 89-90 jersey

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs Felix Potvin Jersey

The Toronto Maple Leafs opened their 1993-94 season by hosting the Dallas Stars at the Maple Leaf Gardens on October 7, 1993. Dave Andreychuk scored the first Toronto goal of the season at the 17:26 mark of the first period on a power play from Doug Gilmour and Nikolai Borschevsky. Andreychuk would score again in the second period for a 2-1 Maple Leafs lead before a run and gun third period saw Dallas tie the score at 2:56 before the Maple Leafs scored three times in less than six minutes to take control of the game. Borschevsky got his first at 3:43 followed by Hall Gill 34 seconds later. Robert Pearson gave Toronto a 5-2 lead and team captain Wendel Clark put the final nail in the coffin with an empty net goal at 19:09 for a final score of 6-3 win for the home team with the win going to Felix Potvin in goal.

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Felix Potvin

Two days later Potvin out dueled the Chicago Blackhawks' Ed Belfour in a 2-1 Toronto win, with Potvin making 29 saves to Belfour's 23. Gill's second period goal evened the game at 1-1 and Clark got the game winner from Jamie Macoun at 10:49 of the third.

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Wendel Clark

The very next day Toronto hit the ice in Philadelphia against the Flyers. They fell behind 2-0 before they caught fire and goals by Nolan Baumgartner, Pearson and a pair by Andreychuk in under seven minutes gave the Maple Leafs a temporary two goal advantage. The Flyers fought back to tie the game in the third, but John Cullen beat Flyers goaltender Tommy Soderstrom with less than two minutes remaining to give Toronto their first road win of the season.

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John Cullen

Three days later, on October 13th, the Washington Capitals traveled to Maple Leaf Gardens, where they were rudely greeted by the host Maple Leafs, who led by 2 after the first period thanks to Pearson's third and fourth goals of the season. After Washington got on the board to make it 2-1 early in the second, Peter Zezel, Clark and then Andreychuk made the score 5-1 for Toronto and chased Don Beaupre from the Capitals goal before Clark's second of the game and Borschevsky made the final score 7-1 for the Maple Leafs. Potvin made 27 saves on 28 shots for his fourth win of the young season.

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Rob Pearson

Two days later, the Detroit Red Wings came to Toronto to begin a home and home series with the Maple Leafs. Gill, Bob Rouse and Doug Gilmour's first two goals of the season staked the home team to a 4-0 lead and ended the night for Detroit starting goaltender Chris Osgood. The teams traded goals later in the second period to make it 5-1 after two periods. Detroit scored the first goal of the third period before Gilmour completed is hat trick at 18:18 of the third with a shorthanded, empty net goal. The Red Wings scored a meaningless goal with one second remaining in the game to make the final score 6-3.

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Doug Gilmour

The teams met again the next day in Detroit with Vincent Riendeau, who came on in relief of Osgood the night before in Toronto, getting the start in goal for the Red Wings. By the end of the first period Andreychuk, with his seventh goal of the season, and Cullen gave the Maple Leafs all the goals they would need as Potvin limited Detroit to one goal on 33 shots for his second win in two days.

Three days later the Hartford Whalers would take the lead over the Maple Leafs 1:10 into the game. The high powered Toronto offense would take control of the game from there, as Andreychuk, Gilmour, Dave Ellet and Mike Krushelnyski, the latter two with their first goals of the season, would end another goaltender's night early as Frank Pietrangelo would be yanked in favor of Mario Gosselin at 5:09 of the second period. Gosselin then surrendered third period goals to Clark, twice, and Glenn Anderson, his first of the season. Hartford scored a second goal with less than two minutes remaining in the contest to bookend the seven Maple Leaf goals.

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Glenn Anderson

The Maple Leafs made their first ever trip to Florida on October 21st to face the expansion Panthers, who gave Toronto all they could handle. Both teams scored in the first period, with the red hot Andreychuk scoring his ninth goal of the season. Florida opened the scoring in the second before Pearson and Kent Manderville countered for the Maple Leafs, who led 3-2 after two. Florida tied the game at 13:16 of the third and regulation ended deadlocked. Facing overtime for the first time, Toronto pulled out the victory when Pearson's 6th goal of the season won it for the Maple Leafs at 2:17 which allowed Toronto to tie the NHL record for the most consecutive wins from the start of a season with eight. Getting his first start of he year, Damian Rhodes got the win after making 26 saves for the Maple Leafs.

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Damian Rhodes

October 23rd saw Toronto remaining in the state of Florida, having made the trip up to St. Petersburg to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mark Osborne was the hero of the night for the Maple Leafs as he scored his first goal of the season at the 10:49 mark of the second period and added his second goal of the game at 6:55 of the third for an insurance goal as Toronto blanked Tampa Bay 2-0 behind 25 saves by Potvin to claim the record for most consecutive wins to start a season with nine.

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Mark Osborne

The Maple Leafs then had four days off to before having to travel to Chicago to face the Blackhawks for the second time on this date in 1993. The first period passed with no scoring as Potvin made 12 saves and Belfour only faced 6 shots. After Chicago scored early in the second period, Toronto responded just over a minute later when Borschevsky tied the game with his 3rd goal of the season. Clark scored his 7th of the year at 12:22 and added his 8th at 18:48 on a power play. At the 5:55 mark of the third period Manderville extended the Maple Leafs lead to 4-1. A goal by Chicago midway through the final period made the final score 5-2 for Toronto despite the Blackhawks holding a whopping 48-24 edge in shots on goal.

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Nikolai Borschevsky

The win extended the Pat Burns coached Maple Leafs NHL record for Most Wins From the Start of a Season to 10, a record which still stands today. It was equalled by the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres, who required three shootout wins.

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Head Coach Pat Burns

The streak would end two days later with a 5-2 loss in Montreal, but was followed by a five game unbeaten run of 2 wins and 3 ties to put them at 12-1-3.

The streak of ten straight wins put the Maple Leafs on top of the Central Division with 20 points, 6 clear of the Dallas Stars (6-3-2) at 14 points. Toronto outscored their opponents 45-20 with goaltender Potvin getting 9 of the wins with Rhodes having the remaining one. During the record setting streak, Andreychuk led the team in goals with 9, followed by Clark with 8 and Pearson with 6 and one hat trick, that belonging to Gilmour.

Andreychuk Maple Leafs photo Andreychuk Maple Leafs_1.jpg
Dave Andreychuk

A 1-7-1 stretch in late December and finishing the season 5-8-1 allowed the Red Wings to catch them for the Central Division title. The Maple Leafs were seeded third in the Western Conference Playoffs behind Detroit and Pacific Division champion Calgary Flames, despite the Maple Leafs having 98 points in the standings vs. 97 for the Flames.

Toronto was paired with Chicago in the conference quarterfinals and defeated the Blackhawks in six games before outlasting the San Jose Sharks in seven. Their season then came to an end in the conference finals when they were defeated by the seventh seeded Vancouver Canucks. The teams split the first two games in Toronto and then the Canucks won the next three on home ice in Vancouver before the series could return to Maple Leaf Gardens.

Today's featured jersey is a 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs Felix Potvin jersey. as worn by Potvin as the Maple Leafs set the record for Most Consecutive Wins From the Start of a Season with ten. This style of Maple Leafs jersey was first used in 1992-93 and was inspired by their 1991-92 Turn Back the Clock throwback style worn for the NHL's 75th Anniversary season.

So popular was the retro jersey that the Maple Leafs kept it's striping pattern (first appearing on their 1934-35 jerseys) and used the TBTC jersey's retro leaf crest (originally used in 1938) as their secondary shoulder logos. This was paired with their modern logo first used in 1970-71 for a classic look that has remained essentially unchanged since.

The retro leaf shoulder logos were replaced in 2000-01 when a "TML" monogram appeared with the addition of silver trim to the back numbers. There have been some variations in fonts for the names and numbers and a temporary loss of the waist stripes as a result of the transition to the new Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007-08, but not only did the retro leaf shoulder logos return, but so did the excellent addition of a lace up white neck collar when the waist striping returned in 2010-11, giving Toronto a beautiful timeless look, thanks in part to a return to the one color names and numbers used on today's featured jersey.

Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94 jersey photo Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94 F jersey.jpg
Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94 jersey photo Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94 B jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs Doug Gilmour jersey as worn by Gilmour during the Maple Leafs record setting streak. Gilmour would go on to lead Toronto in scoring that season with 111 points, good for fourth overall in the NHL that season and second in assists with 84.

Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94 jersey photo Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94 H F jersey.jpg
Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94 jersey photo Toronto Maple Leafs 1993-94 H B jersey.jpg

Today's video section begins with Potvin flashing the leather and robbing everyone in sight. Rock on!

Next, Felix the Cat duking it out with Ron Hextall just because we can't resist a good goalie fight.

Here is a tribute to Gilmour on the occasion of his jersey #93 being honored by the Maple Leafs.

Finally, the rock 'em, sock 'em Clark leaves a path of destruction in his wake with his Old Time Hockey style.


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