Monday, October 9, 2017

Maple Leafs Most Goals First Two Games of Season

Firewagon hockey. That's the only thing to call it. 15 goals for and 7 against in the first two games of the 2017/18 season for the Toronto Maple Leafs makes for fun hockey-watching. It is the most goals the Leafs have ever scored in the first two games of the season. Exactly 100 years ago, when the franchise was known as the Arenas, they potted 20 goals in the first two games and somehow lost one of them. 
In fact, the Leafs are the first team in 27 years to score at least seven goals in each of their first two games of the season. In 1990/91 the Penguins opened the year with back-to-back 7-4 victories. In those two games the line of Kevin Stevens,  John Cullen and  Mark Recchi 9, 9 and 6 points respectively. 
The Maple Leafs of 2017 have nine different players with at least three points and only Kadri and Matthews with four. Slightly more balanced scoring that the 90/91 Pens. The previous record for the Leafs was 13 goals in the first two games of 1978/79. They won by scores of 3-2 and 10-7, led by 9 points from Darryl Sittler, 6 from Lanny McDonald and 5 from Borje Salming.
The most goals the Leafs have scored in the first THREE games of a campaign (not including the Arenas of 1917/18 who scored 27 goals) is 18 in 1981/82. In the third game of that season Toronto won 9-8 at home over Chicago (a game I attended as a kid). The third game of the 2017/18 season is at home against Chicago (who also have 15 goals in 2 games). More firewagon hockey tonight?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Unidentified Maple Leafs Photo #7

I sure loves me some old hockey photos! Here's another from Vintage Sports Images, a great pic of Gordie Howe and the Red Wings playing the Maple Leafs. Let's start with the goaltender. A look at the Society for International Hockey Research visual database from the late 1940's through the 50's (to hook up with the fact Howe is playing) and we can conclude it is Ed Chadwick. The Leafs goalie progression went from Turk Broda to Harry Lumley to Ed Chadwick (below) who played every game in 1956/57 and 57/58. This is definitely not Broda or Lumley in the photo. Johnny Bower then took the helm of the Leaf net afterward.
Ed Chadwick
So it is either 56/57 or 57/58, now to the other players. Leafs #3 is Jim Morrison who wore that number for a four year span. #17 for the Leafs in both of these seasons was Dick Duff, seen checking Howe. 
The Red Wing battling Morrison in front of Chadwick is #16, a young Norm Ullman who wore that number his first three seasons before switching to #7. The Leaf on the right edge of the photo is a right-shooter, likely a defenceman. Over these two seasons that could only be Jimmy Thomson or Tim Horton and I'm fairly sure it is Horton.
The Leafs finished in fifth and sixth place missing the playoffs in each of these seasons. Detroit finished first in 56/57 and third the following year only to be bounced in the first round each time.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Canada Cup 1987 Game 3, 30 Years Later

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    Well that was quick... 26 seconds in. I recall that 16 year-old me did not enjoy that start.

This past Sunday was the 30th anniversary of Game 3 of the 1987 Canada Cup so I decided to rewatch the game in it's entirety. Five years ago, TSN re-broadcast all three final games and they now reside at the bottom of my PVR list with the trusty "lock" beside them so as not to be deleted, ever.
I aso figured, what the hell, may as well live tweet the game as if 16 year-old me had the miraculous tools of the internet, iPhone and twitter. The results are here, complete with screen grabs of the game.

  1. I mean come on, Canada's 1st powerplay we put out Messier, Gretzky, Lemieux, Bourque, Coffey. Also, Dan Kelly was a legend.

  2. Oh dear lord, Fetisov with a sick outside/inside move and it's 3-0. Teenage me was beside myself with distress. 

  3. How does Gretz miss this!? At least we go on a PP halfway through the 1st. Need a goal!

  4. Uh boy, Bourque blows a tire and Khomutov beats Fuhr in final minute if 1st. 4-2 Soviets

  5. Gretz and Lemieux have been quiet, need them to wake up. PP coming up almost halfway through the game. 

  6. And just like that, from Ducky's office, Brent Sutter ties it. 2nd assist to our boy Crossman.

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    Hawerchuck with as tenacious a goal as you'll ever see. The well-dressed late 80s crowd celebrates. 

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    Gretzky button-hooks & finds a streaking Coffey 3 mins into the 3rd. Mylnikov makes his best save of the night. Should have been 6-4 now.

  9. "OK Mario, in about 15 minutes I'll give you a sweet drop pass and you beat Mylnikov's glove like a rented mule." 

  10. Another one Wayner probably wants back at the end of a 2 minute shift. He shot wide. Should be 7-4 now.  

  11. Lomakin to Semak as Hartsburg loses him in front of the net, and we're tied. I recall I wasn't happy when this happened. 

  12. "The Hook" by Hawerchuk on Bykov, uncalled by Koharski. Left Lemieux unchecked to enter the zone.

  13. Stelnov down to block Gretzky's lane to Murphy. The only person in the building who thot that was an option. Mario still not even in frame.

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    Glove high. Pandemonium. I always remembered Mylnikov falling back, defeated, hanging on the crossbar for a second. 

  15. Weasel Eagleson just had to get into the on-ice celebration. Literally seconds after the final buzzer. 
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