We’re talkin’ playoffs big time this week! Of course, the teams with the richest history have the most throwback moments, so this week’s list is a little bit shorter. Here’s what the week of April 20-26 brought in hockey history:
April 26, 1994: Geoff Courtnall blasts an OT winner past Mike Vernon to force the Flames to game 6, which they would go on to win in OT again on a goal by Trevor Linden.
April 22, 1975: The Canucks lose to Montreal in OT and end their playoff run in the quarterfinals. This was the Canucks fifth season in the NHL and first postseason.
April 25, 1964: Johnny Bower became the first goalie to record a shutout in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to win the third consecutive Stanley Cup for the Leafs.
April 23, 1964: You know that feeling when you break your leg and then go on to score the OT winner in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final for your team? Neither do I. But Bobby Baun does as he did exactly that on this day.
April 22, 1976: Darryl Sittler ties the playoff record for goals in a game with five against the Flyers.
April 21, 1951: Bill Barilko scores the OT winner in the Game 7 to win the Stanley Cup for the Leafs. A victory that had anything but a happy ending as Barilko’s plane crashes in the offseason on a fishing expedition and isn’t found until 1962.
April 25, 1985: In case you needed any more confirmation that Gretzky was amazing, he tallied his second seven-point playoff game with a hat trick and four assists agains the Jets.
April 24, 1989: I really should just title this section ‘Gretzky’. He scored his 86th playoff goal on this date to become the all-time leading playoff scorer (previously held by Mike Bossy). He would go onto to finish his career with 122 career playoff goals.
April 20, 1992: Ten buck says you can’t guess who this one’s about! *Makes it rain ten dolla bills everywhere* Gretzky scored his 300th playoff point to become the first player to reach this feat. He would finish his career with a total of 382 points.
April 20, 1997: Should’ve made that bet on this one! Craig MacTavish, the last player to play without a helmet (I wouldn’t want to hide that flow either), plays the final game of his career against the Dallas Stars.
April 26, 1962: After a 35 year career with the Red Wings, Jack Adams (inspirer of the Jack Adams coaching award) retired on this day. He is the only person to have won the cup as a player, coach, and GM.
April 23, 1950: Pete Babando scored against the NYR in the second overtime to win the Stanley Cup for the Red Wings. It would be the first Cup Final to be decided in overtime and the only Game 7 to be decided in double overtime.
April 21, 1999: Steve Yzerman completes his fourth hat trick and sets a new Red Wings record, passing Norm Ullman who he had been tied with at three.
April 21, 2002: Nick Lidstrom scores on Cloutier from center ice in the second period. The goal would be the game-winner and would turn the series around for the Red Wings, who go on to win the next four games after being down 2-0 in the series.