Biggest Events in Sports Stanley Cup Hockey Playoffs Part 2

About the Stanley Cup Playoffs history of the ice hockey championship and highlights of the sporting event.



1928 Injuries have often been decisive in Stanley Cup competition, and never has one proved more dramatic than during the 1928 final series between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Maroons. In the second game, the Ranger goaltender was struck in the face with a puck. In those early days teams carried only one goalie, and his replacement had to be approved by the opposing team. But the Maroons' manager, Eddie Gerard, refused the proposed substitute. So the Ranger coach, the immortal Lester Patrick, snapped, "The hell with Gerard. I'll play goal myself." Patrick had been an outstanding player and was considered by many to be hockey's finest coach, but in 1928 he was 45 years old and hadn't played a minute of hockey in seven years. Yet after defending a few easy practice shots, Patrick stood in the goal and awaited the Maroons' onslaught. At first the Rangers played like madmen, not allowing a Maroon near the goal. But the Maroons eventually broke through and unleashed 10 dangerous shots at the aging goalie. Patrick smothered nine of them, the Rangers scored once themselves, and the game went into overtime. Patrick was physically exhausted, and it seemed only a matter of time before the Maroons would catch him with his stick up or his padded arms down. But he stopped five more attempts. At 7:05 of the overtime period, Frank Boucher scored a goal for the Rangers, winning the game and saving the now tearful Patrick. Thus inspired, the Rangers went on to record the first Stanley Cup victory by an American-based team.

1939 The most exciting hockey game is one that ends in a sudden-death overtime, and the 1939 play-offs had several of the most memorable of these. The first game of the opening round matched the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers. They were tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation play and scoreless during two overtime periods. In the last minute of the third, Bruin star Bill Cowley sent a perfect pass to Mel Hill, who was camped in front of the Ranger goal. Hill knocked the puck in at 19:25 of the period, 119:25 of the game, and past one o'clock in the morning. The second game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time. Midway through the first overtime, Cowley again led Hill with a pass, and Hill had two straight sudden-death goals and Boston had two straight wins. Boston took the third game, but the Rangers came back for three straight victories, squaring the series at three games each. The old Boston Garden was filled to the rafters as the two teams fought to a 1--1 tie in regulation time. The first overtime period was scoreless, and so was the second. Tension mounted as the third extra period went on in scoreless agony. Finally, on another pass from Cowley, Mel Hill ended the marathon game and the first-round play-off. Boston went into the final play-off and captured the Stanley Cup by beating Toronto four games to one. Ironically, the one loss was the only overtime game of the finals.

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