Friday, June 12, 2009

Game 7!!

Well, we're less than an hour from the opening faceoff of what will be, one way or the other, the last NHL game of the season. Of course, it's Pittsburgh at Detroit, and it's always rather fun to see one of the Old Six in the finals, and most of my acquaintances (me too, for that matter), are leaning towards pulling for the Red Wings.

There's a certain amount of irony there, for NHL hockey was played in Pittsburgh before its arrival in Detroit. The first NHL game played in Pittsburgh took place on December 2nd, 1925, between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Americans (New York won, 2-1, in overime). Notable players for the Pirates that season included defenceman Lionel Conacher, starting goalie Roy Worters, and coach/forward/backup goalie Odie Cleghorn. The Pirates were actually decent (i.e. a regular playoff team) for their first three seasons, before tailing off. Their final season in Pittsburgh, 1929-1930, was abysmal; the team won only 5 of 44 games. They moved to Philadelphia for the next season, and were worse (4 wins). After that season, the Great Depression put an end to NHL hockey in Pennsylvania until 1967. If you're interested, there's much much more about the Pirates, and Pittsburgh hockey generally, here.

The first NHL game in Detroit took place on November 22, 1927, between the hometown Cougars (later the Falcons, and subsequently the Red Wings) and the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa won 2-0. The Cougars, who got their name from the fact that most of their players had been purchased from the defunct Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League, had actually been formed the previous season, but had played all their home games in Windsor. Unlike the Pirates, of course, they survived the Depression, and began winning Stanley Cups in 1936.

So, in fact, it's a very old-school matchup tonight!


Chorus said...

Very interesting!

What did you think of the game?

Chunklets said...

I thought it was a great game! Low-scoring, sure, but fast and well-played!