Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Did you know...

.... the Chicago Black Hawks hold the record for most empty net goals in one game? On April 5, 1970 the Montreal Canadiens needed 3 goals to pull ahead of the Hawks in order to make to the playoffs. So with 10:44 left to play, the Habs pulled their goalie since they had nothing to lose. The Hawks hit the empty net 5 times in 8 minutes, and the Habs hit the golf course for the first time in 22 years!

...the first puck ever to be used in a hockey game was a frozen piece of cow dung?? That's what I read on funny sports facts!


At August 15, 2006 at 2:03 a.m. , Blogger reality check said...

Almost, but not quite.

Using the NHL OGRB as a source, the Black Hawks finished first in the East with 99 pts (tied with Boston, the eventual cup winner). Montreal finished 5th.

I was eight at the time, and pretty consumed with Bobby Orr. I recall the empty net game as being against Detroit, who finished 3rd in the east with 95 points. I'm not 100% on that fact.

The way it played out was that a win in Montreal's final game gave them a 4th place tie with NYR. The Rangers had already played their final game the night before. Both teams finished with identical records of 38-22- 16 for 92 pts. With goals for being the first tie breaker, the Habs had to yank their goalie in order to score more and pull ahead. When the dust sttled, the Rangers made it by two, 246-244, and the Habs were out.

1970 was the 3rd season after expansion, post original six. The league wanted to garantee that 4 expansion teams made the playoffs each year so it placed them all in the West. The top western team in 1970 was the Blues with 86 points, and they went on to appear in their third consecutive Stanley Cup final as a result. As history notes, they were again no match for their Eastern rival Bruins and were again swept in four. This was the year of the famour Orr "flying through the air" photo.

Looking back, it was kind of an odd ployoff format. The Habs won the Cup the previous year and the year after. Missing the playoffs after finishing a mere 7 pts out of first overall, is the all time ultimate ream! Revenge was somewhat sweet the following season when the Habs, with Dryden in nets, surprised the dominating first place Bruins and later Hawks, to win the Cup. The 1971 final was the first time I was allowed to stay up so late to watch the games. The memories of it are imprinted quite detail like in my brain - I will never forget it.

In '71, the NHL added Buffalo and Vancouver to the mix, placing both in the East (?) and moving Chicago to West, for no other reason than power balance.

After that year Montreal would not miss the playoffs until the 1994-95 (shortened by lockout) season.

I'd love to find a scoring summary for that final game in 70 though. Records like this are getting lost in time. It's hazy, but I think the Habs beat Detroit 6-4.

At August 15, 2006 at 12:21 p.m. , Blogger reality check said...

After thinking about it all day at work. I recalled the game with the empty net goal that eliminated Montreal may have taken place between the Rangers and another team. The intent was to allow NY to score enough goals so that the Canadians would not be able to catch them. It bears more research to say the least. Let you know whatI come up with.

At August 15, 2006 at 1:04 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

You could be wrong RC! My story could be true! You just don't want to admit to the Habs getting their asses handed to them! LOL!

At August 15, 2006 at 1:31 p.m. , Blogger reality check said...

I'll be looking it up. I never care who's right or wrong. Just that I have my facts right. Bottom line for 1970 was Montreal hired the wrong coach and they underachieved.

At August 15, 2006 at 2:05 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Thank God for that! They don't need any more Cups than they already have!

At August 15, 2006 at 2:14 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

That site also says that hockey has been around for 3 centuries.

At August 15, 2006 at 7:52 p.m. , Blogger reality check said...

The City of Montreal should actually get down to raising the 17 or so won by the Montreal AAA, The Victorias, The Shamrocks, and The Maroons!

At August 16, 2006 at 1:43 a.m. , Anonymous Hodge said...

I remember sitting at my grandma's during that game, I was eight years old at the time and wondering why in the hell they were not forcing the trap more. I spent the whole game freaking out, perplexed as to why Rod Seiling wouldn't pass the puck. I ended up driving my dads car to New York and killing Syl Apps and Vic Hadfield outside a bar in West Albany that night. Hang on, I might be making this up......

PS. Tim Horton lives right down the street from my house... I go there everyday and he scores me a java.


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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.