Sunday, February 26, 2017

Today In NHL History - Sweden Wins Gold (2006)

On February 26th in 2006, Sweden defeated rival Finland 3-2 in Turin claiming their second ever Olympic gold medal, 12 years after their first.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Forsberg's Shootout Gold.

Today In NHL History - Fiddler's Bieksa Impression

On February 26th in 2012, Dallas Stars forward Vernon Fiddler skated past the Vancouver Canucks bench with three minutes remaining in a scoreless first period, delivering a deadpan impersonation of blueliner Kevin Bieksa complete with angry face and choppy stride.

The performance, staged mere hours before the 84th Academy Awards, gave Bieksa a belly laugh but sent head coach Alain Vigneault into a laughing fit lasting more than a minute - an earnest display of amusement rarely exhibited by a bench boss during a match.

A week later Bieksa discussed the incident on CBC's After Hours noting that Fiddler's not the first to attempt the death stare, "there's a couple of other muppets around the league that have been trying to do it".

Dallas beat Vancouver that afternoon in overtime by a score of 3-2.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Today In NHL History - Canada Wins Gold (2002)

On February 24th in 2002, Canada beat USA at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City by a score of 5-2, winning the country's first men's ice hockey Olympic gold medal in 50 years.
Despite Executive Director Wayne Gretzky's expertly assembled squad and a pair of goals from each of Joe Sakic and Jarome Iginla, some attribute the win to Canadian born icemaker Trent Evans buring a loonie at center ice. Others claim the country was due. Either way, the final ignited a bitter rivalry between the sides that remains to this day.

That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Today In NHL History - Weber Shoots Through Net

On February 23rd in 2010, Nashville Predators blueliner Shea Weber suited up for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics and blasted a slapshot past San Jose Sharks German goaltender Thomas Greiss that tore through the net.

When questioned whether Weber had ever witnessed a puck go through the net, the deadpanned defenseman remarked, "Yeah, I do it every day". Canada beat Germany that night by a score of 8-2, eliminating them from the 2010 Winter Olympics men's ice hockey tournament.

That's today in NHL history.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Today In NHL History - Czech Republic Wins Gold

On February 21st in 1998, the Czech Republic beat Russia 1-0 to capture the gold medal in the Winter Olympics Games in Nagano, the first such tournament involving NHL athletes. The lone goal came from Petr Svoboda with Dominik Hasek collecting the shutout.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - McSorley Sticks Brashear

On February 21st in 2000, Marty McSorley of the Boston Bruins swung his stick and struck Vancouver Canucks forward Donald Brashear in the head with three seconds remaining in the third period, rendering him a bloodied, unconscious and convulsing mass.

Presumably intended to target the shoulder and spark a rematch to a first period scrap, the vicious miscue came dangerously close to killing Brashear. With doctors attending to the unconscious Canuck, goaltender Garth Snow skated the length of the ice to fight McSorley as fans littered the ice with debris and officials attempted to remove him from the rink.

Initially suspended by the NHL for the final 23 games of the season (forfeiting $72,000 in pay), the league extended the banishment to one full year after McSorley was charged, convicted and sentenced by a Canadian court to 18 months probation for assault with a weapon.

McSorley never skated again in the NHL. The assault remains the last act of the 4th all-time penalty minute leader's 17 season storied career.
The Canucks beat the Bruins that night by a score of 5-2.

That's today in NHL history.