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Monday, May 20, 2019

Today In NHL History - Buffalo Sabres Bat Attack

On May 20th in 1975, Buffalo Sabres center Jim Lorentz slayed a boisterous bat during a fog-filled Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at The Aud. The incident marks the only known animal killing by a player during a NHL game.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Rick MacLeish kindly collected the deceased bat from the faceoff circle, sparing the linesman of the indiscretion, disposing it in the visitors penalty box then occupied by his teammate.

While birds have famously found their way onto the field of play for several sports (baseball, tennis, football, golf, hockey) over the years, often with unfortunate outcomes, dive-bombing bats are rare.

Buffalo won 5-4 in overtime but lost the series 4-2 to Philadelphia.

That's today in NHL history.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Today In NHL History - Preakness Trumps Playoffs

On May 19th in 2007, NBC abandoned overtime in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals in favor of two hours of pre-race Preakness Stakes coverage, blacking out the Ottawa Senators 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, clinching their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1927.

The Heidi Game moment resulted in a ratings boost from 1.5 during the final half-hour of hockey to 3.8, 4.8 and 7.5 for the next three increments of pre-race coverage. An hour after Alfredsson's winner, Curlin won by a head at Pimlico running a 1:53.46.

That's today in NHL history.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Today In NHL History - Canucks Fan Flashes Eager

On May 18th in 2011, a proud Vancouver Canucks fan hoisted her Henrik Sedin jersey to flash her breasts for San Jose Sharks penalized enforcer Ben Eager in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.


Though worthy of honorable mention, Tits McGee's pierced twins were ultimately upstaged by Daniel and Henrik who combined for 5 points in a 7-3 win, giving the Canucks a 2-0 series lead largely owing to Eager's cheapshots and chatter which earned him 20 minutes in penalties.

Eager was ejected from the match 24 seconds after this penalty expired and subsequently scratched from the remainder of the series, never again skating in a NHL playoff game.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick Fights Blues

On May 17th in 1995, Gino Odjick of the Vancouver Canucks attacked all five St. Louis Blues skaters in the third period of Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in response to Glenn Anderson spearing Pavel Bure in the eye earlier in the previous game.

The Canucks lost the game that night 8-2 but won the series 4-3.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick.
* See also Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick Runs Hasek.
* See also Today In NHL History - Odjick's Penalty Shot.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Today In NHL History - Pronger Elbows Holmstrom

On May 15th in 2007, Anaheim Ducks notorious blueliner Chris Pronger delivered a vicious elbow to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom midway through Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.

Pronger escaped penalty on the play but was subsequently suspended one game for the infraction. Defensive partner Rob Niedermayer collected a five minute boarding major for his role in the Norris sandwich.

Holmstrom returned after receiving 13 stitches, finishing the game with three points in a 5-0 win over the Ducks. Anaheim eventually dispatched Detroit 4-2 and went on to claim their first Stanley Cup.

That's today in NHL history.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Today In NHL History - Montreal Pregame Brawl

On May 14th in 1987, heavyweight Ed Hospodar of the Philadelphia Flyers incited a pregame brawl at the Forum attacking Montreal Canadiens sophomore Claude Lemieux prior to Game 6 of the Wales Conference Final.

Tiring of Lemieux and Shayne Corson's superstitious ritual of firing a puck into the opponent's empty net at the end of the warmup skate, Hospodar and Chico Resch returned to the ice to send a message.

Resch recalls: "I threw my stick to try and knock the puck away from him [Lemieux]. I was still in the mood that this was just fooling around. Hospodar took a different approach and he charged at Lemieux and he jumped him. I skated over and yelled at him, 'Ed, what are you doing?' And Lemieux looked up and said, 'Yeah Ed, what are you doing?'"

Et l'affaire en fran├žais.

The 11 minutes of ref-less mayhem delayed the faceoff by 17 minutes and drew $24,500 in fines. No penalties were assessed though Hospodar was suspended for the remainder of the playoffs. The Flyers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals that night winning the game 4-3 and series 4-2.

That's today in NHL history.