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Hockey Remembered With Perhaps Too Strong Opinions

May 11, 2017

The subject is hockey again, as the NBA is seemingly a foregone conclusion until the finals, and it is still early in the baseball season.

However this hockey is recalling “exactly” 45 years ago tonight and not the wins by Pittsburgh (yet again!!) vs Wash (cue South Pacific as again, albeit unfairly in a quarterfinal, the Caps are not “washed out of her hair”, but the NHL ‘offs). and Anaheim (vs upstart Edmonton) in #7’s last night.

On Thursday night May 11, 1972 led by the great Bobby Orr (paraphrasing John Lennon, I am not saying Orr was better than Gretzky–who is often “Wayned” as the greatest by proclamation and I feel Orr, certainly Gordie Howe and others make that claim exaggerated. Also Wayne, you left Edmonton where the likelihood of many more titles was great and you never won another), Wayne Cashman and goaltender Gerry Cheevers, the Boston Bruins won their second title in three seasons, after a 29 year drought, clinching it that night (3-0) and 4 games to 2 vs the team with the second most points in the NHL that season, the New York Rangers.

Contrast that tremendous finals series, though essentially controlled by the Bruins, with the “quarters” clash of the two top points teams just completed.

The key game in the series was in game 1, when after the Bruins shockingly dissipated a (5-1) lead vs an excellent Rangers’ team, one that was better than the franchise’s lone title winner in the past 76 seasons, the “bought and paid for” 1994 team, that avoided the Mario Lemieux (another I might compare favorably with the surely great but yet over rated Gretzky–by the way you know what they say re opinions) Penguins, as low and behold the mediocre record Washington Caps did the Rangers’ “dirty work” and KO’d the Pens, as you are reading elsewhere today, the one time in 10 series, Wash beat Pitts and oh did it help the Rangers.

In that series opener on a Sunday afternoon with the great Dan Kelly broadcasting for CBS, (think “Cincinnati Kid” as Emrick is good but “Dans” such as Kelly and Gallivan were better) after the Rangers made that aforementioned great comeback, Garnet “Ace” Bailey took a pass from Mike Walton (Shaky), and scored the decisive goal.

One tragic consequence, among many concerning the events of “9-11,” on a Tuesday in 2001, is that Mr. Bailey lost his life that day.




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