April 5, 1991 |
It is not unprecedented for an NHL team to open the Stanley Cup playoffs without its coach. The Kings did Thursday night at the Forum, playing the Vancouver Canucks without Tom Webster, who is suspended. The Canucks did it in 1982. They never reinstated Coach Harry Neale, even after he was eligible to return from his league-imposed suspension, and reached the Stanley Cup finals despite a regular-season record of 30-33-17.
February 27, 1999
Before Lake Placid, there was Squaw Valley. In the history of U.S. ice hockey in the Olympic Games, two years stand out: 1960 and 1980. Freshest in most memories is the gold-medal win at Lake Placid, N.Y., when the U.S. beat the Soviet Union in the semifinals and Finland in the final. It had happened before. On this date in 1960, in the semifinals of the Olympic tournament at Squaw Valley, Calif., a U.S. team beat the USSR in the Olympics for the first time.
January 18, 1997 |
Willie O'Ree became the NHL's first black player 39 years ago as a member of the Boston Bruins, but it hardly opened the door for other blacks. O'Ree's NHL career consisted of 45 games over two seasons, 1957-58 and 1960-61. It was 14 more years before Mike Marson joined the Washington Capitals in 1974 to become the league's second black player.
October 16, 1989 |
In the National Hockey League season of 1946-47, when Gordie Howe was a rookie with the Detroit Red Wings, the game was far different from today's. There were only six teams in the NHL, instead of 21; there was only one league, instead of two conferences and four divisions; teams played 60 games, instead of 80; and only four of six teams made it into the Stanley Cup playoffs, instead of 16 of 21. And things stayed that way a good while longer.