Saturday, August 31, 2013

Schinkel to Shack to Schock

In recently reading an autobiography on Eddie Shack "Clear The Track", his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins was highlighted by playing on a colourful line. Early in the 1972/73 season he was team up with fellow veterans Ken Schinkel and Ron Schock. The Pittsburgh media blandly dubbed them the "Sh"-line. Personally, I feel a hockey line made up of the names Schinkel, Shack and Schock deserves a little more colourful description. I decided to work up a little poem about their brief time together. What follows is a first draft of a possible future illustrated story.

The Penguins were young but these three were old,
As a line together their time was quite brief.
They played with a flow that was matched by their names,
The goals they scored were beyond one's belief.

The first one was Schinkel, the old veteran soul,
An original Penguin playing his last pro campaign.
He had slogged in the minors for year after year,
When put on this line he found youth once again.

The centreman of this trio went by the name Schock,
He had been a Bruin, a Seal, a Blue then a Pen.
The engine of this line as he dished to his mates,
A playmaking pivot from beginning to end.

The last one of the mix was the one they called Shack.
The longtime old Leaf had been a part of four Cups.
Picked up from the Sabres a few months before,
Still the master entertainer as his career wound up.

It started on opening night 1972 with the Kings in town,
Midway through the second they scored; Schinkel to Shack to Schock.
In the last period they beat Vachon once again,
The game-winning goal; Schinkel from Shack and Schock.

Near the end of that month the three struck once again,
They opened scoring for the Pens: Schinkel to Shack to Schock.
They snuck another past the Seals 'tender Meloche,
The names that rolled off the tongue; Shack from Schinkel and Schock.

On the 18th of November, Pittsburgh bested the Flames six to one,
Half a minute into the game, who were the first to knock?
The names that rattled inside Dan Bouchard's head,
Why of course it was; Schinkel to Shack to Schock.

Near the end of November the Maple Leafs came a-calling,
Alas the Penguins were poor hosts and won in a cake-walk.
The line that would notch the back breaking goal,
Scored by the former Maple Leaf; Shack from Schinkel and Schock.

However, the magic for these three did not last very long.
By the turn of the new year, the coach was sent for a walk.
The new coach they named was the veteran Schinkel.
This ended forever the line of Schinkel and Shack and Schock.

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