Week In Review after games played on Saturday, October 28, 1989
Jim Peplinski retires
On Monday night, the Calgary Flames remained hot by beating the Washington Capitals 4-2. The win was overshadowed by the announcement that the game was Flames’ Captain Jim Peplinski’s final NHL game. He announced his retirement after just 6 games this season. He ends the season with just 1 assist, a +2, and 1 takeaway. Peplinski leaves as the Flames’ all-time leader in games played at 705. He is expected to move into the broadcast booth for Hockey Night In Canada. Brad McCrimmon has been named the Flames’ new captain.
Peplinski played junior hockey for the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League (OMJHL) between 1977 and 1980. He scored 101 points in 67 games in his final season of junior. The Atlanta Flames selected him with their fourth round selection, 75th overall, at the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Following the franchise's relocation to Canada, he made his NHL debut in 1980 and was an original member of the Calgary Flames, scoring 38 points in his rookie season. Playing his 100th career game on November 17, 1981, Peplinski scored four goals against the Winnipeg Jets as part of a career high 30-goal, 67-point season in the 1981–82 season.
One of Peplinski's strengths was his durability. He missed only 24 games during his career, appearing in all 80 of the Flames' games in 1980–81, 1982–83, 1984–85 and 1986–87. He was named a tri-captain of the team, shared with Lanny McDonald and Doug Risebrough, in the 1984–85 season. For the 1988 Winter Olympics, the International Ice Hockey Federation opened the hockey tournament to all professionals. While the NHL refused to allow most of its players to participate, the Flames released Peplinski to the Canadian Olympic team. He appeared in seven games, scoring one assist for the fourth place Canadians.
In the Flames' Stanley Cup championship season of 1988–89, Peplinski scored 38 points in 79 games, and appeared in 20 more games in the 1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Prior to the sixth game of the final against the Montreal Canadiens, head coach Terry Crisp wanted to insert McDonald, who was expected to retire following the season, into the lineup for the possible clinching game. As a result, Peplinski was scratched from the line-up and watched as the team won the championship. He came onto the ice to accept the trophy with McDonald and alternate captain Tim Hunter.
In the Spring, Edmonton General Manager Glen Sather waited only a few days after the Flames triumph to make the first major news of the 1989-90 hockey season. He called a press conference to announce he was stepping down as coach.
“It’s an easy transition. I’ve been with John Muckler for a long time and it seems like I’ve been with Teddy Green all my life. It’s not like I’m passing this on to someone I don’t know or trust,” said Sather, who promoted Muckler from co-coach to head coach.
You could tell that a summer out of the playoffs, resulting from an early exit in the first round had caused an attitude adjustment by the time the team got to camp.
“Last season, every day somebody was upset about something,” said Kevin Lowe of the betrayal by owner Peter Pocklington which sent Gretzky away and began the dismantling of the team.
“Sooner or later you have to get the chip off your shoulder before it’s too late. Last year was enough of that for an entire career as far as I’m concerned. I want to work in a happier environment.”
In the first month of the season, the Oilers faced adversity on multiple fronts, on and off the ice. First, goaltender Grant Fuhr underwent an emergency appendectomy in training camp that would keep him sidelined for several weeks. Backup goaltender Bill Ranford would start the season in his place. Ranford has struggled thus far in his new role. He is the only NHL goaltender to start every game for his team. Not only that, he has played every minute, posting a 5-6-0 record, with a 3.48 GAA, and an .873 save percentage. It was looking worse, however, he has rebounded, allowing 1 goal against Quebec and the Rangers in the past 2 games which led to two Oiler victories.
Further complicating the Oilers’ rocky start, Jimmy Carson left the team after the 4th game demanding a trade. Carson hasn’t played in 15 days, since an October 13th game vs. the Bruins. Common sense says the Oilers will make a trade sooner rather than later.
Next, Watching Gretzky celebrate the milestone of passing Gordie Howe was tough on his former Oilers' teammates, who felt they should have been the ones celebrating with him.
As Edmonton's Center, Carson Was an Outsider
By JOE LAPOINTE, Special to The New York Times
Published: October 25, 1989
UNIONDALE, L.I., Oct. 24— Last year's Wayne Gretzky trade is still jolting the Edmonton Oilers, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Most notable was the sudden departure of Jimmy Carson, a high-scoring center who went to Edmonton in the Gretzky deal, and then simply quit the team after playing there for one full season plus four games this month.
He left to force a trade. In the 11 days since, Carson has sat idle while the Oilers have slipped, losing 3 of their 5 games without him and losing a 5-4 game tonight against the Islanders. The Oilers face the Rangers on Wednesday.
When Gretzky was sent from Edmonton to Los Angeles in 1988, Carson was one of several players included in the deal, which also involved millions of dollars paid to the Oilers by the Kings. But as a center and a premier player, Carson essentially took Gretzky's place on the roster. It was a difficult role for a 21-year-old with only two years' experience in pro hockey.
Carson scored a team-high 49 goals and added 51 assists for the Oilers last season; he had 55 goals the year before and 37 as a rookie. But he never felt comfortable with the Oilers, and said so from time to time. Still, his departure surprised some teammates.
''It was a shocker. I thought he had a good attitude in training camp,'' Craig Simpson, an Oiler left wing, said after practice this morning at Nassau Coliseum.
Simpson suggested that Carson had trouble adjusting to the team personality of the Oilers, a club of veterans.
''Edmonton is a different environment,'' Simpson said, ''and it is a very demanding team to play on. Maybe he had trouble with that. This is a team that goes out together, spends time together.
''The guys tried to make him feel welcome. His personality is different. He was a loner. He has put a lot of pressure on himself by doing this. You do something like this, you get labeled.''
Esa Tikkanen, a left wing, roomed with Carson and talked with him before he left. 'His Mind Was Made Up'
''There were so many reasons he never liked Edmonton,'' Tikkanen said. ''He is young and he is very close to his dad, and his dad was too far away. I said to him 'Think it over before you do this,' but his mind was made up.''
Carson has been unavailable for comment since he quit. His agent, Bill Watters of Toronto, and his father, Chuck Carson of Grosse Pointe Woods, a Detroit suburb, said Carson is somewhere in California, waiting to be traded, and will have nothing to say before a deal is made. The Oilers' coach, John Muckler, is waiting for the same thing.
''I would enjoy us making a trade for Carson,'' Muckler said today, adding that the uncertainty ''is pretty difficult for everybody.''
According to Watters, Carson turned down a $200,000 raise and an extended contract this season because he wanted to leave Edmonton. Carson left the team, Watters said, because he wasn't getting enough ice time and Carson feared the lack of exposure could hurt his value as a free agent.
''He didn't have his heart in it,'' Watters said. ''This decision has cost Jimmy Carson money this season.''
Carson, believed to be making about $175,000 this season on the last year of a contract, had said he planned to seek a new team through free agency next season. But if Glen Sather, the president and general manager of the Oilers, can't trade Carson, it could complicate his free-agency plans.
John Ziegler, president of the N.H.L., said today that Carson still owes a season to Edmonton.
''He must play out his option,'' Ziegler said. ''He can't sit it out. This has been tested in court.''
Carson grew up in Grosse Pointe Woods and played junior hockey near Montreal. He was a fan of N.H.L. teams in Detroit and Montreal and has told friends he would like to play in either place.
''I think our chances are slim,'' said Serge Savard, the managing director of the Canadiens. ''They've offered him to all 20 clubs. But when you have a player of that quality on the market, it's not a very quick process.''
Carson is not the first player of high quality to grow disenchanted with the Oilers. In 1987-88, Paul Coffey forced a trade to Pittsburgh by sitting out about half a season. Andy Moog, the goalie who now plays for the Boston Bruins, left the Oilers the same season and played on the Canadian Olympic team instead.
Back then, Sather was the Oilers' head coach as well as the chief executive in the front office. His team was en route to its fourth Stanley Cup championship in five seasons, and Sather could afford to leave unhappy players idle while waiting for the right offer.
The Rangers are coming off the 1988-89 season that saw them take 3rd place in the Patrick Division with a 37-35-8 record and 82 points. They were swept by second place Pittsburgh in the Patrick Division semi-finals. The season was highlighted by Guy LaFleur coming out of retirement to play alongside Marcel Dionne. LaFleur led the Rangers into first place, but a knee injury ended his season and New York dropped in the standings. Brian Leetch won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, and set the record for most goals by a rookie defenseman with 23. Also, Tony Granato set the team record for most goals by a rookie in a season with 36.
Ulf Dahlen was drafted 7th overall by the Rangers in the 1985 draft taking him over the likes of Calle Johanson, Joe Nieuwendyk and Sean Burke. Dahlen was being championed as a new breed of European player, combining hockey sense, good hands and a dominating physical game. He dominated at the 1985 European junior championships, captaining Sweden to a gold medal. After fulfilling his mandatory military training Dahlen came to North America in 1987 Dahlen helped his native Umea win the Swedish championship and earning a bronze medal at the World Championships, then moved on to North America. He is in his 3rd year, after scoring 29 goals as a rookie in 1987-88 and 24 goals in 56 games in his sophomore season.
There was a lot of optimism coming into this season for the Rangers. They have been building in the right direction and they are in a very winnable Patrick Division. So far, through the first 12 games, the Rangers are at a disappointing 3-8-1 record, good enough to stay just ahead of the lowly Penguins and Flyers for 4th place in the division and the last playoff spot. They have posted an NHL-worst negative 20 goal differential thanks to a combination of poor goaltending and an inability to score goals most games. Take away an earlier 8-3 romp over Chicago and it looks even worse. After winning the first game of a home-and-home series vs. the Islanders, it appeared maybe things were turning around. The effort was followed up by the low point of the season, a 7-1 drubbing in front of a raucous Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum crowd. Their defensive stalwart, Brian Leetch sits at a -11. Head coach Roger Neilson will need to look for answers in the coming weeks to get the Rangers back on track. Neilson said in an interview this weekend: “The good news is, the (Patrick) division is still very competitive and nobody has managed to pull away early. One or two good weeks of hockey and we can find our way to the top. We just need to go back to basics and take this season one period at a time and find ourselves”.
Oilers Rangers Head to Head, October 25th, 1989
The two disappointing teams from each conference faced off Thursday night in Madison Square Garden. The 3-6-0 Edmonton Oilers came in and played a perfect away game, shutting down the Rangers, saddling them with yet another loss. Shots ended up 32-18 in favor of the Oilers as New York could not gain any traction in the offensive zone. The rangers only had 8 shots through the first 2 periods.
Martin Gelinas put the Oilers up 1-0 in the first period with his 6th on the powerplay. Thomas Sandstrom took a 5 minute major penalty early in the second period and Steve Smith capitalized to make the score 2-0. Tough guy Kevin McClelland scored his 2nd of the season to take a commanding 3-0 lead and the Oilers were able to protect the lead, eventually prevailing 4-1.
Big game: Calgary @ Los Angeles, October 25, 1989
The NHL’s hottest team, and defending Stanley Cup Champions travelled to the Great Western Forum, to take on the NHL’s best team to date in October. The Flames made a statement on Thursday night. This was Brad McCrimmon’s first game as captain after Jim Peplinski’s retirement.
Calgary peppered Los Angeles goaltender Kelly Hrudey throughout the first period, scoring 3 goals as Doug Gilmour netted his 4th and Paul Ranheim scored his 3rd and 4th on the season. The resilient Kings though stayed competitive despite getting outshot 17-9 in the first stanza, only trailing 3-2 thanks to John Tonelli and Luc Robitaille beating Rick Wamsley.
The Flames took control in the second. 2 minutes in, Doug Gilmour scored his 5th and 2nd of the game for the 4-2 lead and with 6:20 remaining in the second, Joe Nieuwendyk took a pass from Al MacInnis and deposited it in the top of the net for the 5-2 lead. The Kings, thanks to a Bernie Nicholls goal (4) made it 5-3 early in the 3rd, but that was as close as they could get. A minute after Nicholls’ goal, Joe Mullen was awarded a penalty shot, but was turned away by Hrudey.
With the win, Calgary pulls within 1 point of the Smythe Division leading Kings. They have lost once in their last 8 games and are 5-1-1 away from the Saddledome.
Vancouver and Pittsburgh Trade
A minor trade happened in the NHL this week. Rod Buskas was traded to the Vancouver Canucks from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 6th round pick in the 1990 draft. Buskas has been inserted into the lineup immediately, playing in both of the Canucks’ recent losses, registering one shot and a -1.
24- To Vancouver: Rod Buskas
To Pittsburgh: 6th round pick in 1990 (Ian Moran)
This week in hockey has brought forward 4 new Division leaders. The Whalers, Islanders, Maple Leafs, and Flames all had good weeks, taking over the leads in their respective Divisions. The Detroit Red Wings also have had a strong week, pulling themselves back to the Norris Division pack.
The second half of the Patrick Division continues to spin its tires. The Rangers, Penguins, and Flyers are a combined 7-24-2, and it will be an interesting race for the playoffs as one of these three teams will qualify. As stated earlier, the Rangers are at a -20 goal differential, the Penguins are second worst in the NHL with -16. The Rangers also stand with the most disappointing record, coming in -12 points behind what their actual 1989-1990 record was at this point. The next most disappointing team is a two way tie between the Penguins and Minnesota at -4.
The Quebec Nordiques are making a good case for the NHL’s worst team. Having seemingly no players capable of playing in their own zone, and goaltender Ron Tugnutt coming back to earth, the Nordiques have lost 7 straight, digging themselves a hole in the basement of the Adams Division with a 3-8-0 record.
Two Division leaders, the New York Islanders, and Toronto Maple Leafs are the most surprising NHL teams to date, posting records 5 points above their actual 1989-1990 record. St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Winnipeg each have 4 points above their actual record.
Overall, the races are close. All but 4 teams are between 10 and 17 points so far as the first month of the season nears a close. Some big games coming up this week as teams try to pull ahead of the pack. The hottest two teams are the Calgary Flames and the Hartford Whalers. The Flames were 4-0-0 this week, taking over first place and have won 8 of their last 9 total. Hartford was 3-1-0 this week, losing a 2-0 decision in the Montreal Forum. The Whalers are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, claiming first place in the Adams Division.
Now on to the NHL’s league leaders through the fourth week of action.
Steve Yzerman recovered this week and continues his 2 points per game pace, leading the NHL in points with 13 goals, 11 assists and 24 points. Ed Olczyk and the Maple Leafs had a big week, which saw Olczyk climb to 22 points and Gary Leeman 19 points. Bernie Nicholls and Neal Broten have 21 points with a game in hand. Only 3 of the top 12 scorers are from Wales Conference teams. Whalers Ron Francis and Pat Verbeek are tied in 5th with 20 points and Joe Sakic of the Nordiques is sinking, but still has 11 goals and tied for 10th in points with 18.
Brian Bellows and Ed Olczyk each had 4-Goal Weeks
It is getting redundant, the Los Angeles Kings still remain dominant at the front of the +/- leaders. The Kings are second in the NHL in even strength goals with 43. The defensive pairing that includes two early Norris Division candidates Steve Duchesne and Larry Robinson have increased their lead from +16 to +18, while teammates Luc Robitaille and Bernie Nicholls are at +11 and +10 respectively. Wayne Gretzky is a +8. Ed Olczyk’s week puts him in the running for many offensive categories as he and teammate Mark Osborne are tied in 5th with a +9 for the first place Maple Leafs. Olczyk’s linemate Gary Leeman is a +8.
Los Angeles Kings still Dominate +/- Leaderboard
PENALTY MINUTES LEADERS
Projected to an 80 Game Season, Dave Manson is on pace for 536 PIM
The Blackhawks have been the bad boys of the NHL, amasing 316 PIM in 13 games. They have more than 50 PIM than the next team (Pittsburgh). Dave Manson, Wayne Van Dorp, and Adam Creighton are each in the top 10 NHL PIM leaders.
Kevin Hatcher leads the NHL in takeaways. Washington is stingy in their own end, near the top of the NHL in both takeaways and hits.
FACEOFF PERCENTAGE LEADERS
POWERPLAY GOALS LEADERS
Mike Liut and Patrick Roy are at the top of the major goaltending categories. Steve Guenette started one game for the Flames, shutting out Vancouver. Steve Weeks also sits near the top with a low volume of minutes. Kirk McLean put goaltending contraversy to rest for now, by earning a shutout over the Rangers and also allowing 2 goals in his other start.
SAVE PERCENTAGE LEADERS
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE LEADERS
GOALIE RATING PERCENTAGE LEADERS
Kelly Hrudey leads the NHL in Wins with 7
Game of the Week:
Saturday night, October 28th in Brendan Byrne Arena, the Devils hosted the Chicago Blackhawks. The tone of the game was set early, 3 minutes into the game when Brendan Shanahan and Steve Thomas squared off in a tilt. The game saw a total of 54 PIM and the game was close-checking all throughout.
Adam Creighton (4) and Mark Johnson (2) traded goals in the first period to go into the break 1-1. Brendan Shanahan scored his 5th 14 seconds into the 2nd frame to take a 2-1 lead for New Jersey. Kirk Muller scored his 3rd with just over 5 minutes remaining to take a commanding 3-1 lead into the 40 minute break.
The third period started slow. The teams combined for 25 takeaways throughout the game. Time was running out on the Blackhawks and it appeared they were going to lose their 5th straight game away from the Chicago Stadium. With 4:12 remaining, Denis Savard scored his 7th to cut the lead to 3-2. With 2:55 left, Shanahan got into his second scrap of the evening, this time with Steve Larmer. Shanahan, being too aggressive in the referee’s eyes picked up the extra 2 minutes. It took Savard just 7 seconds off the faceoff to score the powerplay goal and tie the game at 3 with 2:48 left.
Steve Thomas got a 2 minute penalty with 2:11 remaining to give New Jersey a chance to win and the Blackhawks were looking to hang on for overtime. Chicago killed off the penalty, and Doug Wilson hit Thomas coming out of the box with a pass on the rush. Thomas got the puck to Savard who beat Chris Terreri with 8 seconds left for the natural hat trick in the last 4:12 of the game to give the Blackhawks the victory.
Fight of the week:
On Sunday, October 22nd, fresh off Wayne Gretzky’s record –breaking night… In a clash between two top teams in the Campbell Conference, the Blackhawks took a 5-3 lead on the 7-1-0 Kings halfway through the third period. In an attempt to turn the tables, Marty McSorley found a willing combatant in Adam Creighton. The two traded punches for nearly a full minute before they tired out. Creighton was animated about something McSorley had said or done and it took both linesman to settle him down. Creighton ended up with 19 Penalty minutes for the exchange. McSorley was assessed 7. The Kings got a powerplay out of it, but failed to convert.
Molson 3-Stars Leaderboard. Brian Bellows with a big week, leads the way with 15 points. NHL points leader Steve Yzerman is in 2nd with 13. Ron Francis rounds out the top 3 with 12. Darren Puppa leads goaltenders with 11 points.
MOLSON 3 STAR POINTS LEADERS
3 Stars of the Week:
1. Ed Olczyk - Toronto
2. Denis Savard - Chicago
3. Brian Bellows - Minnesota
Ed Olczyk led the Maple Leafs’ charge to first place this week with 4 goals and 4 assists in 4 games. Denis Savard matched Olczyk’s production with 4 goals, 4 assists in 4 games for the Blackhawks, including a natural hat trick to single-handedly come from behind and beat New Jersey on the 28th. Brian Bellows had a 4-goal week for Minnesota rounding out the Norris Division-dominated 3 Stars of the Week.
TEAM PP% RANKINGS
TEAM SH RANKINGS
TEAM GOAL DIFFERENTIAL
October 13 – The Phillips Disaster, a devastating series of explosions, followed by a fire in Pasadena, TX killed 23 employees and injured 314. The initial blast registered 3.5 on the Richter scale. The incident started at approximately 1:05 PM local time.
After an unscheduled 12 days off due to safety concerns and clean-up surrounding the Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants finally resumed the series Friday night the 27th. The A’s pulled away thanks to 2 Homeruns by Dave Henderson, and one each for Tony Phillips, Jose Canseco, and Carney Lansford. Dave Stewart picked up his second win in the series and Oakland went up 3 games to none.
Game 4 took place the following night. Ricky Henderson led off with a homerun and Oakland never trailed, at one point leading 8-0. They won Game 4 9-6 completing the 4 game sweep. Despite the sweep, October 28th is the longest a World Series has been played to date, tied with the 1981 World Series.
Out of respect for the Loma Prieta earthquake victims, the Oakland Athletics chose not to celebrate their World Series victory with champagne, as is normally customary for the winning team in the World Series.
On the Billboard 200 Album Chart, Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood has been overtaken by Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814.