blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: June 2018

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Kariya

On June 7th in 2003, defenseman Scott Stevens of the New Jersey Devils crushed Paul Kariya of the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals with an unpenalized late hit rendering the speedy winger motionless on the ice. Amazingly, Kariya returned to the game scoring a goal and finishing with three points and the first star in a 5-2 victory to force Game 7. Two nights later New Jersey won their third Stanley Cup marking the first Final since 1965 where the home team won every game.

The hit ranks #2 on SportsCentre's top 10 Stevens hits of all-time, bested only by his hit on Eric Lindros in Game 7 of the 2000 Conference Final. That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Kozlov.
* See also Today In NHL History - Stevens Hits Lindros.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Today In NHL History - Cam Neely

On June 6th in 1965, Cameron Michael Neely was born in Comox, BC. Blessed with the rare trifecta of size, talent and toughness, Bam-Bam Cam became the NHL's prototypical power forward.
Selected 9th overall in the 1983 Draft, Neely spent three seasons with the Canucks before Harry Neale sent him to Boston on his 21st birthday with the club's 1987 first round draft pick (Glen Wesley) in exchange for Barry Pederson, the worst trade in franchise history.

Neely would collect 395 goals (395G/299A/694Pts) in his 726 game 13 year career, including three 50+ goal seasons ('90, '91, '94), placing him 15th overall in goals per game. Despite his Masterton winning perseverance (1994), Neely never recovered from a pair of Ulf Samuelsson-induced injuries in the 1991 Wales Conference Finals, finally buckling at the age of 31. In 2005, Neely was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, a year after having his number 8 jersey raised to the Boston rafters. Today he serves as Vice President of the Bruins, a position held since 2007. Away from the rink Neely focuses on his Foundation, helping cancer patients battle the disease that took his parents, and appears in TV (Cheers, Rescue Me) and film (Dumb & Dumber, Me, Myself and Irene), most famously as the Farrelly brothers' recurring tough guy Sea Bass. That's today in NHL history.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Today In NHL History - McSorley's Illegal Stick

On June 3rd in 1993, the Los Angeles Kings were two minutes away from taking a 2-0 series lead against the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Finals when coach Jacques Demers called for a measurement of Marty McSorley's stick. Kerry Fraser described it as one of his easiest calls: "For any player to go into the third period in a Stanley Cup final with an illegal stick was, to my mind, absolutely asinine. The stick was so illegal, I mean, I just looked at it and said holy smokes, we won't need the gauge for this one."

With McSorley in the box and Patrick Roy on the bench, Eric Desjardins scored the tying goal on a two man advantage with 1:13 remaining in regulation. Desjardins completed the hat trick in overtime sending the series to the Great Western Forum tied 1-1. Melrose's Kings lost the next two games in overtime, surrendering the series 4-1 six days later at the Montreal Forum and denying the Great One his California crowning.

McSorley revisited the mishap 19 years later (beginning at the 2:45 mark below) prior to the Kings' first return to the Stanley Cup Final, acknowledging the illegality of his stick and accusing the Canadiens of foul play in measuring visiting players' sticks prior to the game. Amazingly, Marty admits to playing subsequent games in the Final with sticks identical to the illegal one that so dearly cost his team in Game 2.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Jason Spezza's Illegal Stick.
* See also Today In NHL History - Willie Mitchell's Long Stick.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Today In NHL History - Chris Pronger's Own Goal

On June 2nd in 2007, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger scored an own goal on Jean-Sebastien Giguere late in the second period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, putting Ottawa ahead 4-3, their first lead of the evening. Pronger's own goal, created by the forecheck of Senators forward Dean McAmmond, held up as the game-winner in Ottawa's 5-3 win. Moments later Pronger exacted revenge on McAmmond with an vicious headshot, putting him out of the series that Anaheim eventually won 4-1. That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Pronger Hits McAmmond.

Today In NHL History - Pronger Hits McAmmond

On June 2nd in 2007, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger delivered a devastating elbow to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final rendering McAmmond unconscious. The third period cheapshot was likely in response to Pronger's second period own goal that was created by and credited to McAmmond. Pronger was assessed his 7th career suspension for the unpenalized play, earning the 3rd ever suspension during a Cup Final (Fischer 2002, Nieminen 2004) and marking the 3rd time a player was suspended twice during the same postseason (Lemieux 1996, Nieminen 2004).

Ottawa beat Anaheim that night 5-3 but Pronger returned after his one game suspension to win the Stanley Cup in Game 5. McAmmond missed the remainder of the series owing to a concussion suffered on the play.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Chris Pronger's Own Goal.
* See also Today In NHL History - Downie Hits McAmmond.

Today In NHL History - Larry Robinson

On June 2nd in 1951, Larry Clark Robinson was born in Winchester, Ontario. Blessed with exceptional size, strength and skill, Big Bird patrolled the blueline for 20 seasons in the NHL with Montreal (17) and Los Angeles (3) scoring, banging and scrapping as he saw fit.
Selected 20th overall in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft, Robinson earned six Stanley Cup wins ('73, '76, '77, '78, '79, '86), two Norris nods ('77, '80) and a Conn Smythe ('78). In addition to his 958 regular season (208G/750A) and 144 playoff points (28G/116A), Robinson holds NHL records for plus-minus (+730) and most consecutive post season appearances (20). Stepping behind the bench for New Jersey ('93-'95, '00-'03, '05) and Los Angeles ('95-'99), Larry locked lips with Lord Stanley's Mug three more times, twice as an assistant ('95, '03) and once as a head coach ('00). He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995 and had his number 19 retired by Montreal in 2007. That's today in NHL history.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Today In NHL History - Paul Coffey

On June 1st in 1961, Paul Douglas Coffey was born in Toronto, Ontario. Selected 6th overall by Edmonton in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, the slick skating blueliner spent seven seasons with the Oilers before suiting up for eight others (PIT, LAK, DET, HAR, PHI, CHI, CAR, BOS).

During his 21 year career, Coffey posted five 100+ point campaigns (1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990), two 40+ goal seasons (1984, 1986), and four 80+ assist (1984, 1985, 1986, 1989) efforts. The three time Norris winner (1985, 1986, 1995) also made seven trips to the Stanley Cup Final, winning four times (1984, 1985, 1987, 1991) and losing thrice (1983, 1995, 1997). With 1531 points (396G/1135A) in 1409 games, Coffey sits 13th in points (behind Ray Bourque) and 28th in points per game (behind Bobby Orr), and still holds defense records for goals in a season (48 goals in 1986), points in a playoff (37 points in 1985), and points in a game (8 points on March 14, 1986).When he wasn't putting up points Coffey amassed penalty minutes, sharing the distinction with Bobby Orr of being the only two defensemen in NHL history to collect 100 points and 100 penalty minutes in the same NHL season three different times (1984, 1986, 1989).

Coffey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and had his number 7 retired in Edmonton the following year in 2005. That's today in NHL history.