Saturday, April 30, 2011

NHL History Madness

The NHL is using a bracket-steyle tournament to determine their single greatest moment in Stanley Cup Playoff history.  Go here to follow along and vote.  I've stepped in a little late, so I missed some of the early voting.

It's hard - for me - to think there's any better moment than the one above.  Of course, that's Bobby Orr scoring against the Blues in the Boston Garden in 1970.  It is the single most iconic moment, arguably in the history of the sport.  It was scored by the greatest (or second greatest) player in the history of the NHL.

Yet, if you'll excuse me, it's also a touch overrated.  The truth, as many know, is that the goal was scored to wrap up a sweep of the series.  But it was in overtime, so it was a true game-winner, and he was propelled into the air (a wonderful individual effort).  Still, Dan Kelly's legendary call on CBS, and and the image, photographed by Ray Lussier, helps add to the luster.

Don't get me wrong - it's still hockey's most famous goal, but the Bruins still had plenty of time to win that Series.

Other moments that should be in the mix include Marc-Andre Fleury's insane goaltending at the end of Game 7 of the Finals in 2009, Bobby Nystrom's overtime-winner to the give the Islanders their first Cup, Mark Messiers' guarantee (along with Matteau Matteau Matteau!) in 1994, Ray Borque lifting the Cup, and others too numerous to mention.  It should be fun to watch and particpate in this.

By the way, the NHL picked four "experts" to make picks. Matthew Barnaby went with Maurice Richard's five-goal performance against Toronto in 1944 in Game 2 of the Semi-Finals.  "Rocket" won all three-stars for the night.  Bob McKenzie of TSN went with Bob Bourne's performance in the 1964 Cup Final, as the Leafs' defenseman broke his ankle, scored the overtime winner in Game 6.  Elliott Friedman of CBC selected Bobby Nystroms' goal.  Lastly, Keith Jones of Versus chose the Bobby Orr goal.

We'll see how it plays out.

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