Sunday, January 12, 2020

Today In NHL History - Patrick Kane's Own Goal

On January 12th in 2014, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane fired a pass past pinching defenseman Duncan Keith, which traveling the length of the ice and into his own empty net during a delayed penalty to Devan Dubnyk, giving the Edmonton Oilers a 2-2 tying goal midway through the second period. Patrick Kane's own goal was credited to Oilers forward Boyd Gordon.

Redemption came 29 seconds later when Kane setup Marian Hossa's go-ahead goal on the ensuing powerplay en route to a 5-3 win.That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Today In NHL History - Rory's All-Star Game Vote

On January 9th in 2007, the NHL revealed that Vancouver Canucks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick finished 3rd in fan voting behind Western Conference Norris winners Scott Niedermayer and Nicklas Lidstrom, eliminating him from contention for the All-Star Game.

Yearning for an underdog in the asinine exhibition affair, 22 year old Mike Schmid crafted a six-week Vote For Rory write-in campaign complete with spoof smear spots against ballot front-runners to support his cause.

Though on pace to cinch second place with a week remaining, Fitzpatrick finished with 550,117 votes (22,892 shy of a starting spot) ending significant media speculation and even some outrage surrounding the circus. The suspicious result raised eyebrows with Slate who reviewed the data and surmised in Rorygate that the NHL engaged in foul play dumping 100,000 votes in order to yield their desired defensemen.

In the end, the NHL frowned upon fans having the final say, electing to silence the everyday normal fan and bench the blue collar blueliner.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Today In NHL History - Lights Out In New Jersey

On January 8th in 2010, a circuit breaker malfunction caused a lighting failure during a Lightning date with the Devils resulting in a 102 minute delay before the NHL postponed play at the Prudential Center for another day.

The teams met again two days later once radiance had been restored at The Rock, picking up where they left off with the Bolts up 3-0 midway through the middle frame. Tampa Bay ultimately beat New Jersey 4-2.

That's today in NHL history.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Today In NHL History - FSN Hides Video Replay

On January 7th in 2010, FSN Pittsburgh producer Lowell MacDonald Jr. withheld a definitive replay from the NHL during a late second period Simon Gagne goal review. Absent the authoritative angle officials deemed the video evidence inconclusive and ruled no goal.

After play resumed, prohibiting a reversal of the incorrect call, the angle was aired making clear that the Philadelphia Flyers should be up 6-3 instead of 5-3.Upon viewing the conclusive video evidence FSN commentators joked "oh, we saved that one", which is precisely what happened.

FSN Pittsburgh accepted full responsibility for the incident, noting "there is nothing more important than the integrity of the game" and "FSN Pittsburgh's failure to provide video to the league officials in a timely fashion was wholly unacceptable."

MacDonald was slapped with an indefinite suspension by his employer, though was reinstated a mere nine months later in time for the 2010-2011 season. Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh that night by a score of 7-4.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Eager Punches Armstrong

On January 7th in 2010, notorious cheapshot Ben Eager of the Atlanta Thrashers sucker-punched Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong late in the second period of play with his team trailing by a score of 5-1.

After the game, Eager continued his assault on Armstrong accusing him of being "one of the biggest phonies in the league". Sporting a patch over his right eye, Armstrong offered a two word description of Eager - "meat-head" - joking "I can't believe he missed my nose".

Colby suffered a scratched cornea from the sucker-punch resulting in swelling and leaking from his right eye. Despite the injury, Armstrong continued to play for a month until his vision became blurred from the incident and he was sidelined for a week missing four games.

Eager was assessed a match penalty and subsequently suspended four games, forfeiting $20,752 in pay. The punishment was shocking to some as Milan Lucic escaped suspension two weeks earlier for bare-knuckle sucker-punching Thrasher Freddy Meyer, prompting Eager to opine "there's no real parity in these suspensions that are handed out".

Toronto scored four times on the ensuing man advantage, collecting five powerplay goals on Eager penalties that night, en route to a 9-3 win.

That's today in NHL history.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Today In NHL History - Downie Punches Blake

On January 5th in 2008, Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie sucker-punched the Maple Leafs' Jason Blake as the pair were being restrained by officials following early third period fisticuffs.
Already famous for a vicious preseason headshot on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond, earning him a 20 game suspension and criticism from players league-wide (including Blake), the reckless rookie renewed his reputation as a cheapshot four games into his young NHL career.

Even hard-nosed hockey commentator and Coach's Corner co-host Don Cherry was disgusted by the display, dubbing Downie a backstabber.
Flyers VP Bobby Clarke instead applauded his player for the punch, claiming "the kid did what every hockey player should do. If a player like Blake who's been around as long as he has wants to criticize a player, then he has to go on the ice with him and suffer the consequences."
Downie was penalized four minutes on the play but escaped another suspension. Philadelphia beat Toronto that night by a score of 3-2.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Downie Slewfoots Crosby.
* See also Today In NHL History - Downie Hits McAmmond.