Bobby Orr — the only defenseman in NHL history to win two scoring titles, three MVP awards and eight consecutive Norris Trophies — is turning 64 today. We here at PHT would like to wish the greatest blueliner ever a happy birthday, and what better way to do it than with a video tribute?
First, here’s his famous Stanley Cup-winning goal against St. Louis in 1970. You’ve probably seen it a million times, but just to refresh the particulars…the goal was scored on a give-and-go with Derek Sanderson 40 seconds into the first overtime period of Game 4 (the B’s swept the Blues.)
St. Louis defenseman Noel Picard is the one flipping Orr skyward while Glenn Hall — who had come out of retirement that year to split duties with 41-year-old Jacques Plante — was in goal.
Next, here’s a look at the entirety of Orr’s 1969-70 season, arguably the greatest single-season effort in NHL history. Orr won the Art Ross, Conn Smythe, Hart Memorial, James Norris and Plus/Minus Award that year — as a defenseman, he scored 120 points, 21 clear of second-place Phil Esposito.
Finally, here’s a shirtless Orr interviewing a shirtless Bobby Hull poolside at the Half Moon Club in Jamaica.
To answer your question: No, I don’t know why they’re sitting so close together and yes, it does seem a little too close.
During his first two seasons behind the bench in Nashville, the Predators have managed two playoff berths, beating the Anaheim Ducks in the first round during this last postseason trip. The Predators have managed to stay competitive in the Central Division, which is no small task.
With P.K. Subban added to the mix, it makes great sense to retain Laviolette’s surfaces. You never know how a situation will work until it plays out, yet on paper, his system seems like a seamless fit for the star defender.
Nashville’s shown some promise already under Laviolette’s watch, particularly in quietly putting up some promising possession stats. At this moment in time, the future looks even brighter.
It can’t hurt that the guy has a Stanley Cup on his resume, either.
Goalie mask tour: Seinfeld references, tributes and more
As difficult as it is to believe, it’s October already. You know what that means*; hockey season is rapidly approaching.
Along with stories about guys who might still be a little injured claiming they’re “100 percent” and teams carrying in optimism that will eventually look foolish, we also get fun stuff like new goalie masks.
While there will likely be some other fun entries before the games start to count in 2016-17, PHT is kindly saving your delicate fingers a few extra clicks by collecting a few choice masks in one post.
To start things off, Michal Neuvirth paid tribute to late Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider:
Evgeni Malkin is back in Penguins training camp after a stint with Team Russia at the World Cup.
Malkin and his team reached the tournament’s semifinal before being knocked out by the eventual champions, Team Canada.
The Pens forward collected three points in four games, but he wasn’t satisfied by his overall performance.
“I need to start now,” Malkin said on Saturday, per the Tribune. “I’m not playing great. I’m not happy with my game at the World Cup. I will play better here and now.”
When he’s at his best, Malkin is fully capable of taking over games. That’s easier said than done in a best-on-best tournament, but those are the standards he’s set for himself.
So, what does he have to do to get back to that elite level?
“Play more with the puck. That’s my game always, if I have the puck and I spend more time with the puck. The last four, five games in the World Cup, I tried to use my partners, but my confidence when I play with the puck.”
The 30-year-old dealt with some injuries last year, but still managed to produce 58 points in 57 games during the regular season and 18 points in 23 games during Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup playoff run.
Video: Incredibly awkward ceremonial puck drop before KHL game in China