Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chris Kreider's obscure record.

Last game, the good folks at Hockey Night in Canada flashed up a quick graphic and made mention of a little known record that Rangers rookie Chris Kreider tied with his fourth playoff goal. His four equal the most scored in a post season by a player who had not previously played a regular season match. Pretty obscure, but pretty cool. The only other player to score four goals prior to playing in the regular season was Montreal Canadien Eddie Mazur. The two guys that scored three goals were Oiler Ray Cote and current Capitas GM, George McPhee with the Rangers.

Now, I have been an in depth follower of hockey for over 30 years and even though I was a mere 12 year old punk in 1983 and a Gretzky idolizer, the name Ray Cote rang only the smallest bell in the depths of my hockey recollections. Cote signed as a free-agent after a fairly productive junior career which ended with an 88 point season for the Calgary Wranglers in 80/81. After a full season in Wichita of the CHL he blossomed with the Oilers AHL squad in Moncton producing 91 points in 82/83. Called up to the big club as a 'black ace' he ended up on a terrific checking line with Dave Hunter and Pat Hughes. He played 14 of the Oilers 16 playoff games contributing 3 goals and 2 assists. He would play 15 regular season games with the Oilers over the next two years without collecting a point.

Eddie Mazur ended up playing 14 games over three consecutive playoff years (1951, 52, 53) before finally cracking the Canadiens regular season lineup. While playing for Victoria Cougars of the WHL and Buffalo Bisons of the AHL, he helped the big club in the playoffs each year with 4 goals and 6 points over those three post-seasons. In 1952/53 he had 2 goals and 4 points in 7 games of Montreal's Cup victory run. The following season he finally made his regular season debut and had 21 points over 67 games. He played parts of two more seasons before making the high minors his home for the remainder of his career. 

 George McPhee signed as a free agent after a stellar college career with Bowling Green, then scored a point per game with Tulsa in the CHL before getting the call from the Rangers in the 1983 playoffs. He played all nine games, contributing 3 goals and 6 points. He spent the majority of the following year still with Tulsa, but finally debuted with 2 points in 9 NHL games. By 1984/85 McPhee had 27 points in 49 games in his true NHL rookie campaign.

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