On April 8, 1971 something truly bizarre happened: Bernie Parent’s mask was thrown into the Madison Square Garden crowd during a scrum when Parent was with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Parent didn’t have a backup mask, so he had to give way to goalie mask trailblazer Jacques Plante. It was a strange story, but Frank Seravalli reports that Parent will finally be reunited with that mask.
Seravalli reports that the mask first sprouted up in a 2006 auction and now a private collector wants Parent to verify it. Parent will go one step further, though, as he’ll hand-deliver that old mask to the collector, who will eventually give it to the Hockey Hall of Fame once he dies. (Apparently the HHOF doesn’t “accept loans.”)
Parent didn’t expect to even recognize his old mask, yet he told Seravalli that he instantly did. (He’s pictured with his standard model with the Flyers in the photo.) In fact, Parent said that the mask still fits, completing a rather strange story.
“The first thing I wanted to do when I saw the mask was to call Hadfield and say, ‘Thanks,'” Parent said. “It was a huge pain to get a new mask, it takes 6 to 8 months to get a new one molded and cured. You always wonder what happened to it. Now, after 41 years, it’s here. Life is full of surprises.”
(H/T to Joe Pelletier)
Obvious comment time: Game 2 was good to Jeff Carter and the playoffs have been great to the Los Angeles Kings. In fact, the team and the player made a little history tonight.
Carter came into Tuesday with one goal but generated a hat trick, the first playoff one of his NHL career. That wasn’t the only thing historic about it, either, as Frank Seravalli points out that it was the Kings’ first playoff hat trick since Wayne Gretzky scored one in 1993. The always-fun Kings Twitter feed points out that Carter now has more goals in the Western Conference finals (three) than the Coyotes (two).
Meanwhile, the Kings’ road prowess continues. They’re now 7-0 on the road in this year’s playoffs and are 9-0 since 2011, which ties the New York Islanders’ NHL record. Lou Korac points out that the Kings haven’t been down in a game since Game 1 … of the St. Louis Blues series. That’s not a record, but it is a jaw-dropper.
That’s impressive stuff, but the Kings don’t have to worry that much about the series shifting to the Staples Center, where they’re still a respectable 3-1 this year. Perhaps they can continue to advance the subjective and not-really-stats-based argument that they might be the best eighth seed in NHL history.
If this really is the Phoenix Coyotes’ final season in Glendale, then they’re going to go out with their best work. It’s the first time they’ve ever advanced to the second round since they were the Winnipeg Jets (in 1987!) while they also claimed their first Pacific Division title this season, too. Shane Doan’s been through it all – including the move from Winnipeg – so tonight’s 4-2 series win must be that much more satisfying for him.
Check out his thoughts in the video below.
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There’s still plenty of time for more mayhem and GAA-wrecking mischief, but no matter what, this year’s Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers series is the stuff of NHL history. Here’s a look (based on an infographic from NBC Sports Network) at the most goals scored in the first four games of a playoff series in NHL history:
2011-12 Penguins vs. Flyers: 45 goals
1984-85 Oilers vs. Blackhawks: 44
1976-77 Kings vs. Bruins: 43
According to NBC’s Tom Layberger, this game also ties the Flyers’ franchise record for goals allowed in a single playoff game. Interestingly enough, the Penguins scored 10 goals against Philly on that night, too; Pittsburgh found the net 10 times on April 25, 1989 in the Patrick Division finals. That same game also set the (now-tied) mark for most Penguins goals scored in a single game.
Pens Radio Network reports that they tied a team record for goals scored in a period on the road (five) and the most unanswered goals they’ve scored in a playoff games with eight.
John Kreiser points out that the Penguins are the first road team to score 10 goals in the playoffs since April 17, 1983, when the Oilers crushed the Flames 10-2.
One can only imagine what other records might fall in the extremely likely scenario that these two teams meet in a Game 5 (and beyond?).
The old joke is to say that the most dangerous place in the world is between “(insert celebrity/politician) and a camera.” That statement might need to be revised to “in between the pipes for the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
Jonas Gustavsson continued the comedy of errors by getting injured during warm-ups, giving way for Jussi Rynnas. That latest shuffle prompted this interesting fact from The Score: the Maple Leafs have had 15 different starting goalies since the lockout ended.
Using Hockey Reference’s season stats, I decided to track down those 15 goalies, in no exact order:
Boy, that’s quite the motley mixture of not-ready, washed-up or just-plain-awful goalies, isn’t it?
There are any number of potential reasons that explain Toronto’s inept run since the work stoppage, but that list of netminders might be the simplest demonstration of why playoff bids have been nonexistent while misery, snark and frustrations can be found in a nearly endless supply.