exit strategy

First Round: Stan Mikita stows his clubs as he readies to teeing off at the Rolling Green Country Club in Arlington Heights, Illinois, in June of 1965. Entered as an amateur, the Chicago Black Hawks centreman was one of 157 hopefuls playing to qualify for the Western Open, and one of 107 who fell short.

come to grips

Dropping The Glove: Like this year’s Chicago Blackhawks, the 1962 edition of the team fell short in April in their campaign to win a Stanley -Cup. Those bygone Hawks did get further along the road than their modern-day counterparts, who were swept to a  first round exit by the Nashville Predators last night. If it’s any solace to anyone, the game the ’62 Hawks lost on April 22 at Chicago Stadium saw Toronto’s Maple Leafs win the six-game series and carry off the Cup. Making nice here, in the aftermath, is Toronto winger Bob Nevin with Chicago defenceman Dollard St. Laurent. (Image: Chicago Tribune)

terry sawchuk: he didn’t move so much as he exploded

t-sawchuk

This week in 1967, Toronto’s aged Leafs beat the Chicago Black Hawks to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for a showdown with the Montreal Canadiens. Chicago coach Billy Reay wasn’t happy in defeat, but he summoned up some grudging grace. “I’m a little one-sided,” he said, “so I think the best team lost. But Sawchuk stoned us and they outplayed us up the centre. I thought Davey Keon played terrific — on his regular shifts, killing penalties, and on the power play.”

Terry Sawchuk, pictured here in January of that last Leafly championship year, was 37. “He was,” the estimable Trent Frayne would recall, “the most acrobatic goaltender of his time. He didn’t move so much as he exploded into a desperate release of energy — down the glove, up the arm, over the stick, up the leg pad. He sometimes seemed a human pinwheel. He played the whole game in pent-up tension, shouting at his teammates, crouching, straightening, diving, scrambling, his pale face drawn and tense.”

(Image: Frank Prazak, Library and Archives Canada)

fears? some


Nerve Centre: This morning’s edition of The Washington Post’s Express supplement reflects a nervous CapitalNation heading into tonight’s Game against the feisty young Toronto Maple Leafs. Inside columnist Thomas Boswell considered the possibility of the President’s-Trophy-winning Washingtonian making an early playoff exit yet again. “This,” he wrote, “would be the biggest failure in, maybe, NHL history.”

minder of nets, thwarter of goals

Price Point: If you follow ‪@CP0031 on Twitter, you’ve maybe browsed his bio there: “Minder of nets — Thwarter of goals — Swatter of pucks.” On the ice last night at Montreal’s Bell Centre, Carey Price was at his unflappable best, turning back 35 shots as the Canadiens defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 on Alexander Radulov’s overtime goal. Here, Toronto illustrator Dave Murray has Price bestriding the nation, from the mountains of his native British Columbia to the precincts of his winter home on the St. Lawrence. For more of Murray’s work, visit http://davemurrayillustration.com/