Look out! Bear hug! Aaahhhhhhh!
Vintage hockey celebration photos are kind of hard to come by, but I was lucky enough to find this one today. Reggie Leach of the Flyers is skating sadly away as Duane Sutter and Butch Goring celebrate in the background. In this case, the sadness runs a little deeper because this happens to be game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals. Leach knows that this is the last chance for his team, the Flyers having already lost three games of the seven-game series.
If you’ve been following the Vintage Hockey posts, then you know that the New York Islanders had a dynasty of Stanley Cup wins beginning in 1980, and therefore you already know the outcome. The Flyers will be devastated by their loss to the Isles. But there’s more. The Flyers blame the loss on poor refereeing (to read their comments and see the original source of this photo, visit http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/tim-moriarty-flyers-feel-blame-lies-with-refs-1.1930642). At first, the Flyers sound like sore losers, but Leon Stickle, the linesman for the game, admitted later that he blew an offside call that would have prevented a Flyer’s goal (and more about that here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/flashbacks/heroes/nystrom/).
It’s fine that you guys have big, fun plans for later on and you didn’t invite me. It’s not like I wanted to come anyway. You know, I got other friends, and we’re going to go out and have way more fun anyways. So you can stop showing off now like “whoooo look at us, we are popular and cool and do fun things,” because I don’t even care at all.
Man, if I would have known we were going to lose in the shoot out, I wouldn’t have bothered hanging around.
In this week’s Vintage Hockey post, we’re going to talk a bit about the New York Islanders. This is kind of hard to believe, but the Islanders haven’t always sucked. Young or new NHL fans might not realize that the same team that is paying DiPietro to grow a beard and has quite possibly the worst 3rd jerseys anyone has ever seen also has four Stanley Cups and eight players in the Hockey Hall of Fame. In fact, they even had a dynasty from 1980-1983 when they won their four Stanley Cups in a row. Our sad photo today is from the beginning of that dynasty, with Bobby Nystrom celebrating the game-winning and Cup-winning goal against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Over the years, management issues and coaching problems have hindered the Isles, and there are often rumors circulating about the team being forced to leave Long Island. The Islanders claim to be in a rebuilding phase, but so far have not been able to get out of the basement of the Atlantic Division since their last appearance in the playoffs in the 2006-2007 season. But before you judge Islanders fans as being absolutely crazy, remember that their team has a history of success (and their regular jerseys aren’t that bad).
Wait, what? Those guys just scored? I didn’t know the game even started yet - I’m still over here working on my pre-game stretches.