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Sharks Bite Penguins’ Home Clincher Hopes

June 10, 2016

So many bought into the Pittsburgh will “finally title at home” propaganda (on some level I am guilty as well) plus “Whatever Bettman/NBC want, they get,” hence there is a 6th game in the Stanley Cup finals this Sunday night.

The Sharks won (4-2), maybe they will lose the series they now trail (3-2) by a (4-2) count, but don’t you think Bettman and NBC want a 7th game?!!

I have written regarding Pittsburgh teams not clinching titles at home, this was the first time they had a chance to do so since last doing so in game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

The last time before last night they failed to do so was in game 6 of that World Series when the great pitcher, left hander of course (once Al Trautwig, still with Madison Square Garden Network, who previously had “jumped the gun” saying Michigan had beaten number one Miami–the Miami team eventually won, said Ford was a right handed pitcher and on a New York Yankees broadcast, no less) Whitey Ford beat the Pirates.

Stay with me, as this is penance for not seeing the Sharks and instead “jumping the Shark, or at least being humiliated.

The great Yankees’ manager Casey Stengel took Ford out of game 6 of the 1958 World at Milwaukee vs the Braves, in the second inning, replacing him with Art Ditmar.

Last night Sharks’ coach Peter DeBoer joined Stengel and Lakers’ coach Fred Schaus as two, perhaps the only two, coaches/managers to guide a team to a road win facing elimination with no chance to “title” in a game of a finals series, TWICE.

DeBoer, coaching the New Jersey Devils won game 4 at L.A. staving off elimination vs the Kings in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings won the “crown” (weak pun intended) in 6 games, clinching at home.

For the record Stengel’s Yankees won on the road at Brooklyn vs the Dodgers in game 6 of the 1952 World Series. The great Mickey Mantle, who caught the last out of the aforementioned 1958 World Series (the other time Stengel and the Yankees staved off elimination in a W.S. road game without a chance to “title” that in game 6), homered to break a (2-2) tie and drove in the last run in game 7, as the Yankees won (4-2) in game 7, 1952 also at Brooklyn, the 4th, of what would be 5 straight World Series titles (1949-1953).

Unfortunately for  Schaus, he was on the opposing side of a dynasty. Though his Lakers staved off elimination at Boston vs the great Celtics, surely at longer odds than the baseball or hockey games in question, in game 5 in both 1963 and 1966, it was the Celtics winning the 5th of what would be 8 straight NBA titles in six games in 1963 ( the great Bob Cousy’s last season) and in 7 games in 1966.

Finally, as usual, only I come up with this stuff on my own from my questionable brain, this is the 5th straight Presidential year in which a team facing elimination on the road in the Stanley Cup playoffs without a chance to title in that game, won the game.

Of the previous 4 teams to do so, Dallas Stars (at New Jersey Devils, I was there paying big money hoping to see the Stanley Cup clinched but was denied) in game 5 in 2000, Tampa Bay Lightning in game 6 at Calgary vs the Flames, the Penguins in game 5 at Detroit vs the Red Wings in 2008 and DeBoer’s Devils at Los Angeles vs the Kings in 2012— only the Lightning went on to win the Stanley Cup.


New York Yankees Manager Casey Stengel poses, March 1951. (AP photo)

One of, if not the most famous, line attributed to the great Casey Stengel pictured above is “You could look it up.”

At this point, I choose not to “mine” for other coaches or managers whose teams staved off elimination on the road in a finals series, without a chance to “title” on 2 or more occasions as is the case with Stengel, Fred Schaus and current Sharks’ coach Peter DeBoer. Anyone is welcome to do so and let us know the results.


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