Showing posts from November, 2014

The Eruption of Petri Skriko

Going into play on November 18, 1986 Vancouver Canuck, Petri Skriko had produced 5 goals and 8 assists in playing all of his team's 18 games. This is about as average as one could get in the mid-1980's NHL when players scoring at a point per game pace was commonplace. Then came the Eruption of Petri Skriko. What sounds like an Icelandic volcano was in fact one of the greatest goal scoring bursts in NHL history.

On Nov. 19, Vancouver won at home against Calgary by a score of 5-0. Skriko had a natural hat-trick before the second period had ended, the last two were shorthanded goals. November 21 saw the Canucks lose at home to the Rangers 8-5, but Skriko one-upped himself. Instead of a natural hat-trick to open the scoring, he went one better. Before the second period was two minutes old, Petri Skriko had pumped four goals past John Vanbiesbrouck, the last of these was also shorthanded. He added his fifth goal at the halfway point of the game to give Vancouver a 5-2 lead. Alas, …

Pat Quinn, R.I.P.

Pat Quinn passed away this week and the tributes have been pouring in. Quinn was universally revered and should really be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. I believe the only reason he hadn't been so honored yet was due to the fact that he was on the selection committee. Quinn is fifth overall in career NHL coaching victories with 684, and even though he never won the Stanley Cup, he has the 6th most career playoff wins with 94.

It's interesting to me how the Vancouver Canucks and their fan base have seemingly claimed Quinn as their own when in reality he coached in and won more than twice as many games with Toronto. In fact, Quinn owns the highest career winning percentage of any Maple Leaf coach ever. I understand that Quinn coached Vancouver to their magical run of 1994 and that carries a lot of weight in people's memories. In truth, he coached almost as many games with Philadelphia and was even more successful. Granted, Quinn also filled roles of player, General Manager and…

Maple Leafs Surrender 9 Goals at Home

Nashville 9, Toronto 2.  Nine goals by one team in a game is rare nowadays. In fact the Leafs haven't scored nine themselves since the 2006/07 season and they had not given up at least nine goals since Dec. 26, 1991 when they lost 12-1 in Pittsburgh. 
The last time Toronto had surrendered at least nine on home ice was all the way back on Jan. 14, 1991 when Buffalo beat the 11-30-4 Leafs by a score of 9-3. The Sabres got out to a 4-1 lead after the first period, chasing starter Peter Ing from the net. The Leafs actually got within a goal five minutes into the second on goals from Gary Leeman and Dave Ellett. The Sabres then poured three past Jeff Reese in a three minute stretch and two more in the third. In the end Reese allowed five goals on 14 shots while Ing allowed his four on 13 shots. Each of  Alexander Mogilny and Pierre Turgeon ended up with 2 goals, 3 assists and a plus 6 rating, while Toronto's Vinny Damphousse and Michel Petit were each a minus five.
The time previous…

John Collins Cartoons; From World War to Hockey Wars

A while back I high-lighted the hockey related newspaper cartoons of the great John Collins of the Montreal Gazette. Interestingly, he began with The Gazette mainly as a political cartoonist, satirizing the main figures in the conflict of the Second World War. Collins would at times take a sporting angle while looking at the world events as seen in the above cartoon. This one depicts Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt looming over an over-matched Adolf Hitler, complete with swastika marking.
Collins would pretty much stay away from sports-themed drawings until after the War had ended. With the beginning of the 1945/46 NHL campaign, he diverted his talents to the far lighter realm of sports.
John Collins held his post as Montreal Gazette resident cartoonist until retiring in 1982. He would pass away in 2007 at 89 years of age.

Happy 90th Johnny Bower

Johnny Bower turns 90 years old today. He joins Wally Stanowski (95) and Howie Meeker (91) as the only living Leafs over 90 years old. In honour of the living legend, I am posting pretty much every piece of Bower memorabilia from my den. 

Johnny Bower Cyber-Scrapbook

Toronto Maple Leaf legend Johnny Bower turns 90 years old this Saturday, Nov. 9 (or 89 or 91). The old China Wall is still kicking strong, although there is no truth to the rumour that Randy Carlyle had him dress as emergency back-up last week. 
I thought I would share a virtual scrap-book of newspaper clippings of Bower photos throughout the years. I think my favourite is the last one showing Bower and Marv Edwards in 1970 wearing cool Maple Leafs practice jerseys that I had never seen before. Enjoy.