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Monday, March 2, 2015

Today In NHL History - Mario Lemieux Hat Trick

On March 2nd in 1993, Mario Lemieux coined a hat trick when he started his day in Pittsburgh receiving radiation treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and finished it with a goal and assist in Phildelphia, earning a rare ovation for an opponent in the rival rink during his first game back after a two month absence owing to the deadly disease.

Despite losing 5-4 that night to the Flyers, Mario led his Penguins to a NHL record 17 straight wins en route to their first Presidents’ Trophy with a franchise record 119 points, amassing 51 points (27G, 24A) in 16 games and finishing with 160 points (69G, 91A) in 60 games, taking home the Hart, Art Ross, Pearson, Plus/Minus, and Masterton.

Unlike the Gordie Howe hat trick (fight, goal, assist), of which Howe has two and Brendan Shanahan has 17, nobody has ever duplicated the Mario Lemieux hat trick. And nobody likely ever will.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Selanne's Goal Celebration

On March 2nd of 1993, Winnipeg Jets forward Teemu Selanne shattered Mike Bossy's rookie record of 53 goals collecting the 54th score of his freshman campaign against goaltender Stephane Fiset of the Quebec Nordiques in just the 64th game of the season, giving the Jets a 4-3 lead.

Selanne's glove toss machine gun goal celebration remains a fan favorite and highlight fixture, despite Teemu feelinga little embarrassed that I did that, but I was so pumped, and it was so special for me."

Interestingly, the play was almost whistled before the milestone was met as Tie Domi was challenged to a fight by Tony Twist after he chipped the puck ahead to Teemu. Tie did not oblige and history was made.

The Finnish Flash completed his rookie campaign with 76 goals and 132 points, winning the Calder Trophy and setting NHL rookie records that remain to this day. Quebec came back to beat Winnipeg that night 7-4.

That's today in NHL history.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Today In NHL History - Jason Spezza's Own Goal

On February 28th in 2009, Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators mishandled a clearing attempt and scored an own goal on his backstop Brian Elliot, giving their Northeast division rival Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-0 lead with four minutes remaining in the first period.

The miscue was credited to Maple Leafs rookie Tim Stapeton, the first goal of his NHL career. Ottawa answered with three straight to lead 3-2 before Toronto tied it up, as the second overall pick from the 2001 Draft sat in the sin bin for hooking. Toronto won the game in overtime 4-3.

That's today in NHL history.

Team Canada's 2010 Olympic Motto

Before setting out on any journey it's crucial the goal be defined. With this in mind, Team Canada coach Mike Babcock sat down with advertising guru Rick Larsen to pen the purpose of Canada's Olympic residence. The resulting text was posted in the team's dressing room for the tournament.

LEAVE NO DOUBT
That this is our game.
That this is our time.
That 14 days in February will be 2 weeks for the ages.
That every day counts.
That every meeting matters.
That every practice makes a difference.
That each one of us will rise to every occasion.
That this isn't about us, it's about our country.
That we know 33 million Canadians will attend every game.
That home ice is an advantage.
That nothing can distract us.
That nothing will stop us.
That our determination will define us.
That we are built to win.
That we are a team of character.
That we are a team of destiny.
So let the world be warned on February 28, 2010, we will …
LEAVE NO DOUBT

And on February 28th Canada beat the USA 3-2 to win gold . . .

. . . leaving no doubt. Well done boys, you've made your country proud.

Today In NHL History - Canada Wins Gold (2010)

On February 28th in 2010, Team Canada beat Team USA with a golden goal in overtime of the gold medal game of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver 3-2, marking the second time in eight years the two teams played for gold with Canada coming out on top.With Canada leading 2-0 midway through the match on goals from Jonathan Toews and Corey Perry, Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler put USA on the board late in the second period and Zach Parise tied the game with 25 seconds remaining in the third period. Sidney Crosby scored the overtime winner seven minutes into the extra frame and Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo collected the win.The entire game may be seen here with a comprehensive oral history here.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Today In NHL History - Forsberg's Shootout Gold

On February 27th in 1994, Peter Forsberg scored a Kent Nilsson-style goal against Canada's Corey Hirsch giving Sweden their first gold medal in a 3-2 shootout win in Lillehammer and landing himself on a Swedish stamp.

The deke, since dubbed The Paralyzer, has been repeated by Finnish forward Jussi Jokinen in several NHL shootout attempts.

The inaugural effort, authored by Elitserian Golden Puck winner Mr. Magic, was a game winning goal leading Sweden past USA by a score of 4-2 during the 1989 World Ice Hockey Championships. That's today in NHL history.