Today in Hockey History: April 15


If you’re a fan of hockey in Motown, then it is a excellent date for you. One of the NHL’s most unusual traditions started 69 years in the past. One of the best common seasons got here to an finish and loads of Stanley Cup Playoff historical past was made. Let’s take our day by day journey again in time to see all the perfect April 15 has given us over time.

A Busy Date for the Detroit Red Wings

On April 15, 1937, the Red Wings grew to become the primary U.S.-based NHL group to win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons. Goaltender Earl Robertson, who began the postseason in the minor leagues, earned his second straight shutout with a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers. He was known as up after Normie Smith was injured throughout the Red Wings’ semifinal collection. Robertson had by no means performed in the NHL earlier than this and didn’t play for Detroit once more after this recreation.

This recreation can also be remembered as a result of referee Mickey Ion awarded Alex Shibicky of the Rangers the primary penalty shot in Stanley Cup Final historical past. Robertson made the save to verify he wasn’t the primary goaltender to permit a penalty-shot purpose in the Stanley Cup Final. That distinction goes to Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes who gave up a penalty-shot purpose to Chris Pronger in 2006.

One of essentially the most distinctive and slimiest traditions in all of sports activities began on April 15, 1952, when the Red Wings turn out to be the primary group to win the Stanley Cup with out shedding a playoff recreation. Terry Sawchuk earned his fifth profession postseason shut as Detroit beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 to go an ideal 8-0 in the playoffs.

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The Cusimano brothers, retailer house owners in the close by Eastern Market, threw an octopus onto the ice with every of its legs, symbolizing the eight wins wanted to win the Stanley Cup. Little did they know, they began a practice that also goes on to at the present time, though a group has to win 16 video games for the final word prize.

On April 15, 2000, the Red Wings beat the Los Angles Kings 8-5 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The groups mixed for six objectives in the primary 6:56 of play, the quickest six objectives to start out a playoff recreation since fashionable record-keeping started in 1943-44. Martin Lapointe scored his first profession playoff hat for the Red Wings in the victory.

Brett Hull made playoff historical past on April 15, 2004, whereas sporting a Red Wings uniform. He had the game-winning purpose in the 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

Hull had nice instances throughout his stint in Detroit. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images/NHLI)

It was the 24th game-winning playoff purpose of his profession, tying Wayne Gretzky for essentially the most in league historical past. Their document nonetheless stands at the moment and is in no actual hazard of being damaged. The energetic participant with essentially the most game-winning playoff objectives is Patrick Marleau, with 16.

Historic 1992-93 Season Comes to an End

The 1992-93 common season was one of many craziest in NHL historical past. An inflow of thrilling and gifted gamers from Europe elevated the scoring league-wide, and data fell everywhere. On April 15, 1993, Teemu Selanne completed off the best rookie season in the league with a purpose and an help in the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Selanne scored 76 objectives and 132 factors, that are each nonetheless rookie data. However, he was not alone on the high of the goal-scoring listing. Alexander Mogilny of the Buffalo Sabres scored his 75th and 76th objectives of the season, in a 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, to complete tied with Selanne.

Alexander Mogilny
Mogilny had 76 objectives for the Sabres in 1992-93. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI through Getty Images)

Jeremy Roenick made his personal historical past that night time too. He scored his 50th purpose of the season, in a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, to turn out to be simply the second member of the Chicago Blackhawks to ever have back-to-back 50-goal seasons. He and Bobby Hull stay the one two gamers to do it. In reality, they’re two of simply three gamers to ever have 50 objectives in a season for the Blackhawks, with the third being Al Secord.

Luc Robitaille of the Kings scored a purpose and added three assists to set an NHL single-season document for many factors by a left wing. His 125 factors throughout the 1992-93 season stay essentially the most by any participant on the place.

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Not all people benefited from the elevated scoring throughout the 1992-93 season. The San Jose Sharks misplaced 7-3 to the Calgary Flames to complete the season 11-71-2. Their 71 losses stay essentially the most by any NHL group in a single season. Oddly sufficient, the one different group to lose 70 video games in a season was the 1992-93 Ottawa Senators, who went 10-70-4.

Stanley Cup Playoff Odds & Ends

On April 15, 1969, Jacques Plante and the St. Louis Blues beat the Kings 4-0. Red Berenson tied a document with three objectives in the second interval, whereas Plante picked up his thirteenth profession postseason shutout. At the time, he tied the all-time document that Hall of Famer Turk Broda held. Plante retired with 14 shutouts in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the seventh-most in NHL historical past.

Plante had a lot to smile about throughout his Hall of Fame profession. (THW Archives)

The Flyers set an NHL playoff document on April 15, 1976, by choosing up 30 penalties in a 5-4 loss in Toronto. The document was damaged on April 9, 1981, when the Rangers obtained hit with 31 penalties in a recreation in opposition to the Kings. The Minnesota North Stars presently maintain the document after getting 34 penalties in opposition to the Blackhawks on April 6, 1990.

One 12 months later, Rick MacLeish despatched Game 3 of the Flyers’ collection with the Maple Leafs into additional time with simply 38 seconds to play in regulation. He picked up the game-winning purpose lower than three minutes into the additional time to chop the Maple Leafs’ collection result in 2-1. MacLeish grew to become the primary participant in NHL historical past to attain a game-tying purpose in the final minute of play and an additional time purpose in the identical playoff recreation. The Flyers went on to win the collection in six video games after shedding the primary two contests on dwelling ice.

Rick MacLeish, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL, Hockey
MacLeish made NHL historical past for the Flyers on April 15, 1977. [photo: Bettmann/Corbis]

On April 15, 1989, Gretzky got here again to hang-out the Oilers as he and the Kings ended their two-year reign as Stanley Cup champions. He and Bernie Nicholls every scored two objectives because the Kings erase a 3-1 Oilers’ collection result in knock them out in Game 7 of the Smythe Division Semifinals.

Two lesser-known members of the 1991 Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins made a giant splash on April 15, 1991. Goaltender Frank Pietrangelo, subbing for the injured Tom Barrasso, picked the one playoff shutout of his profession in Game 7 of the Patrick Division Semifinals in opposition to the New Jersey Devils. Jiri Hrdina scored twice in the 4-0 victory to turn out to be the primary participant in NHL historical past to attain the primary two postseason objectives of his profession in Game 7 of the identical collection.

Tuukka Rask and Brad Marchand each hit milestones on this night time in 2021 when the previous gained his three hundredth recreation in the NHL and the latter posted his eighth consecutive 20-goal season. Marchand joined Johnny Bucyk, Rick Middleton and Phil Esposito in the feat. As for Rask, he’s presently the winningest goaltender in Bruins historical past as he leads the best way with 308 wins. He announced his retirement on Feb. 9, 2022, after making an attempt a comeback from surgical procedure carried out throughout the 2021 offseason.

Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

To preserve the goaltender dialogue going, Rangers rookie Igor Shesterkin grew to become the primary Rangers goalie and twentieth in NHL historical past to get his first two shutouts in back-to-back video games when he recorded his second in opposition to the Devils in what ended as a 4-0 win on April 15, 2021.

Shifting again to forwards, Nicklas Backstrom of the Capitals performed his 1,000th recreation in the NHL when he suited up in opposition to the Sabres in what was a disappointing 5-2 loss on April 15, 2021. Regardless, he joined Alex Ovechkin because the second participant in franchise historical past to hit 1,000 video games with the group. He can also be the 69th participant and 14th energetic to play that quantity with the identical group.

Related: Capitals’ Backstrom Is Most Underrated Player in the NHL

To shut out this night time in 2021, Stars rookie Jason Robertson had an help in his group’s 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets to turn out to be the quickest rookie to hit 30 factors in a season because the group moved from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993. He completed the 2020-21 season as a Calder Trophy finalist with 17 objectives and 45 factors.

On April 15, 2022, the Florida Panthers gained their ninth-straight dwelling recreation, becoming a member of the 1995-96 Red Wings as the one groups in NHL historical past with three dwelling profitable streaks of 9 video games or extra in a season. With two objectives and an help in the sport, Jonathan Huberdeau tied Pavel Bure for the second-longest level streak in Panthers historical past.

Happy Birthday to You

Today is a really busy day for NHL birthdays with 33 gamers celebrating. You may fill out a pleasant birthday lineup with gamers like Don Marcotte (76), Tom Laidlaw (65), Keith Acton (65), Kevin Lowe (64, Hall of Fame), Kevin Stevens (58), Jimmy Waite (54), Tim Thomas (49), Sergei Krivokrasov (49), Pavel Kubina (46), Ilya Kovalchuk (40), Cam Janssen (39), Jordan Weal (31), Calvin Pickard (31), Christian Fischer (26) and the late Jim McFadden.

*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen


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