Week In Review after games played on Saturday, December 23rd, 1989
December 17, 1989|KEN RAPPOPORT | ASSOCIATED PRESS
It seems Craig Patrick can't get away from his association with the Esposito brothers, or the Patrick Division.
Both are ironies that have cropped up as a result of his hiring last week as general manager and coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Patrick was the general manager of the New York Rangers when he was replaced by Phil Esposito. When he was hired by the Penguins, Patrick replaced Phil's brother, Tony.
Both of Patrick's affiliations in the NHL have been with teams in the Patrick Division, which of course was named after his grandfather, Lester.
New York Ranger coach Roger Neilson is unhappy about his December schedule, which has his team playing seven home games, including two during the Christmas holiday week.
"I'd rather be on the road at that time," he says. "Being home for the players during Christmas is too distracting."
The New Jersey Devils reportedly brought in a consultant recently to inspect the ice at the Brendan Byrne Arena. It seems the Devils are concerned about their poor home record.
In any case, Barry Jones, director of ice operations for the Spectrum in Philadelphia, examined the rink and reported findings of three major problems in the ice production at the Meadowlands. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello was secretive about the whole thing. "It was nothing that can't be fixed," he said.
Now all they have to do is fix their home record, which was 9-8-1 after 18 games.
Paul Coffey is one of the team leaders on the Pittsburgh Penguins, and not just because he's one of the oldest players at 28. In Coffey's case, it's because of something he picked up from a teammate while winning three Stanley Cups in Edmonton.
"I was fortunate to play with one of the greatest players in the game, Wayne Gretzky, and he was the type of guy who, when things went bad, took his leadership onto the ice.
"He tried to show by example when things were down and the team needed a lift. Playing with him for seven years in Edmonton, you could always count on him, and that's what I'm trying to do."
Minnesota coach Pierre Page after a recent loss: "Our bodies were in the right place, but our minds were somewhere else."
Chicago defenseman Doug Wilson likens playing in the NHL to being a professional musician.
"If a concert pianist thinks of every key he is going to hit, he's in trouble. Same in hockey. When you start thinking instead of reacting, then you've got problems."
It hasn't taken Peter Klima long to settle in Edmonton. Klima has purchased a home outside the city.
"I can't live in a hotel," he says. "I don't like renting. I need a home. I lost mine in Czechoslovakia when I was 19 years old. I need my home, my couch, my TV, my carpet. My three dogs will be moving in, too."
Klima has a great Dane, a German shepherd and a doberman.
When the NHL's all-star game in Pittsburgh this season was scheduled for a Sunday afternoon rather than the usual Tuesday night, league officials had to reschedule 241 games.
Former New York Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin is hyping Ottawa as an expansion site, and offers this anecdote.
"The first time I drank from the Stanley Cup (1980), I drank thirstily," says Potvin, who played his junior hockey in Ottawa. "I was drinking, drinking, drinking and when I got to the bottom of the Cup, I saw the word Ottawa. I couldn't believe it. I was really impressed."
Ottawa appears on the Stanley Cup 10 times -- four by the Silver Seven and six for the Senators.
NO RATTLING THE SABRES
Led by a new star, Pierre Turgeon, a surprising but confident Buffalo has taken over the NHL's top spot
By Jay Greenberg
Dec. 18, 1989
Several days before the Sabres made center Pierre Turgeon of Rouyn, Que., the first pick in the 1987 NHL draft, he came to Buffalo for a medical exam and to take his first look at the city that would be his home. "The people, they were very nice," he remembers. "Downtown? It was, uh, how do you say? So-so. Of course, it is getting better now."
Buffalo, a Rust Belt town, has been undergoing a renewal in the last couple of years. So, in a way, has Turgeon's hockey team, which finished a dreary third in the Adams Division last season but through Sunday led the entire NHL. The Sabres began the 1980s as a consistently competitive team, but the bottom soon fell out when they went through a parade of coaches. It wasn't until June 1987 that things began to look up.
That was when the Sabres drafted Turgeon. Now in his third season in the NHL, he is maturing, at only 20, into one of the league's top offensive threats and has made Buffalo a force to be reckoned with. The Sabres have played well as of late, competing in the tough and brutal Adams Division, and despite two losses in their last five games, they are comfortably in a playoff position.
Turgeon is not the only reason for the Buffalo resurgence, of course. On defense the Sabres are anchored by one of the NHL's best defensive pairs, Mike Ramsey and Uwe Krupp, and by one of its best offensive pairs, Phil Housley and Doug Bodger. And the play of goaltender Daren Puppa has justified general manager Gerry Meehan's bold trade last year of the adept Tom Barrasso to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Bodger and a minor league prospect.
The Sabres are also better this year because they are happier. The acerbic Ted Sator, fired as coach after losing to the Boston Bruins in the first round of last spring's playoffs, wasn't a people person. Sator's replacement, Rick Dudley, is. Some players, such as tough-guy wings Mike Hartman and Kevin Maguire, who had limited roles under Sator, have become notably more productive under Dudley.
But it's Turgeon who has made the big difference. Through Sunday, he had 15 goals and 33 assists to rank 17th in the NHL with 48 points. His scoring and passing skills have given Buffalo its first dominant player on the forward line in years. "Pierre has tremendous perception, tremendous ice vision," says Dudley. "He can sense where the pass or the player is going. Like, he'll know when and where Housley is going to jump into a play, and have the puck there for him."
Turgeon, the son of a lumberjack, spent endless days refining his skills on an iced-over baseball field in Rouyn, a mining town. There he and his elder brother, Sylvain, now a forward with the New Jersey Devils, chased the Canadian schoolboy's dream of reaching the NHL. Like most little brothers, Pierre started as a goalie; Sylvain, who is four years older, and his friends got to shoot. "But when I started to play organized hockey when I was six or seven," Pierre says, "they told me, 'You'd better play out here.' "
By 1986, after he had scored 47 goals and had 67 assists in his first junior season at Granby, Que., it was clear Pierre had been positioned properly. Sylvain has the better set of legs, but in six NHL seasons he has failed to demonstrate his younger brother's drive. Pierre has superior speed in his hands, and after a modest 42-point rookie year, he has steadily gained strength in his upper body. He has grown smarter, too. "We figured we had enough other talent his first year that we didn't have to put Pierre into a savior situation," says Meehan. "It wasn't until the playoffs that year [against the Bruins] that he started to assert his big-game capabilities."
Turgeon had another strong playoff series last season, scoring eight points in five games and providing quiet leadership for the Sabres. A shy kid who spoke virtually no English when he came to Buffalo, he has demonstrated a strength of character that should help the Sabres to eventually get over the first-round playoff hump. "He spends a lot of extra time working on his game," says Dudley, "and he has one thing I probably like the most in a star—humility. You have a problem when your superstar is a jerk."
Although he is emerging from his shell and gradually overcoming the language barrier, Turgeon is still better at scoring goals than describing them. "I don't think about the things I do, at least offensively," he says. "I just do them. If you improvise too much, though, you will have a three-on-two against you."
Turgeon's healthy respect for defense has to be credited to Sator, who is an excellent strategist. "Ted was very good for me," says Turgeon, "but there are players on the team he did not get along with, so it was best that he go."
Turgeon has benefited from Dudley's arrival in one obvious way—the markedly improved play of Turgeon's left wing, Dave Andreychuk. Until Dudley began to preach positive thinking, Andreychuk had only sporadically flashed the talent that made him a first-round draft choice in 1982. Slow afoot and undermotivated, he had become a symbol of the Sabres' failed promise.
With 16 goals and 23 assists through Sunday, Andreychuk now looks like a new player. He and Turgeon's right wing, Rick Vaive, are big and strong enough to hold their places in the slot, and the two wings have excellent hands that turn passes into goals when Turgeon deftly slips the puck to them.
Turgeon is especially dangerous behind the net. "The defensemen don't know whether to come to me or not," he says. If they challenge him, he can lift the puck past them and onto his left wing's stick faster than you can say "Andreychuk." If they don't challenge him, Turgeon may move laterally in search of a passing lane to Housley at the point, or he may circle in front of the net and get off a quick, accurate wrist shot.
In the Sabres' 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers last Thursday, Turgeon briefly demonstrated his shooting skill. From a narrow angle 20 feet from the Flyers' net he launched the puck into a minute opening over goalie Ken Wregget's right shoulder. It was a spectacular shot made to look ordinary by a very unordinary player.
"You can't be great unless you aspire to be great," says Dudley, who believes the Sabres lapsed into mediocrity because they sought little more than respectability during the 1980s. With Turgeon, they may acquire a whole lot more than that.
NHL ROUNDUP : Oilers Win, Lose Fuhr 10-12 Weeks
December 22, 1989|From Associated Press
Paul Fenton scored in overtime Thursday night in Edmonton to lift the Winnipeg Jets into a temporary hold of sole possession of 2nd Place in the Smythe Division
But the victory was tarnished by the Oilers' loss of goalie Grant Fuhr for 10 to 12 weeks with a shoulder injury that will be operated on Wednesday. Fuhr, who has a history of shoulder problems, was injured Dec. 16 in St. Louis when he fell on the left shoulder while trying to make a save. Initially, the injury--a dislocation--was not considered serious.
Playing in place of Fuhr, Bill Ranford stopped 38 shots. Winnipeg rookie Bob Essensa turned aside 22 shots.
The victory put the Jets one point ahead of Los Angeles.
Pittsburgh 2, Washington 1—Tom Barrasso came off big again, allowing only 1 goal after shutting out the Whalers Tuesday night. Dino Ciccarelli broke Barrasso's shutout streak at 107:28 with a shot set up by Courtnall after Courtnall jumped on a loose puck created by his own shot on the PP.
Dave Newell, NHL senior referee, left the game with a separated right shoulder suffered with 3:21 left in the first period, and NHL officials supervisor John Ashley suspended the game at that point. After an early intermission, it was resumed with linesman Dan Schachte taking over Newell's duties.
Mike Liut Injured
The NHL’s most outstanding goaltender for the first half hurt his knee Wednesday making a save on a Greg Hawgood shot. He remained in the 5-2 loss, but did not appear to be in his typical form. After getting his knee checked by team doctors, the Whalers announced that Liut has a sprained knee, and will most likely miss more than a month. This is bad news for the Whalers, who have been struggling as of late, and they can feel the Canadiens and Bruins breathing down their necks for first place in the Adams Division. Peter Sidorkiewicz will take over the workload in Liut’s absence.
There were a pair of minor trades this week, leading up to the Christmas holiday
20- To Islanders: Paul Gagne, Derek Laxdal and Jack Capuano
To Toronto: Mike Stevens and Gilles Thibaudeau
21- To Edmonton: Vladimir Ruzicka
To Toronto: 4th round pick in 1990 (Greg Walters)
Team Spotlight: The surging Boston Bruins
The Adams Division continues to tighten up, as the Whalers’ head start has been eroding away. The absence of Mike Liut may create even more problems for the Whalers, who sit at an NHL-best 50 points, but are only 4 points ahead of Montreal, and 5 points ahead of the Bruins. Quebec sits in last with an astonishing -68 goal differential.
The Islanders are an NHL best 14 points above their expected record, and remain in first place in the Patrick Division. The Flyers have won 5 straight games though, and have closed in to within 4 points of the Division lead. The Devils and Capitals are both remaining around .500 to round out 3rd and 4th place. The Rangers are going into full-on crisis mode, in 5th place, 7 points out of a playoff spot. They cannot put the puck in the net, scoring a 2nd worst in the NHL 100 goals, and 66 of them are even strength, that’s 1.83 per game. If things do not turn around soon, the Patrick Division favorite will be written off by February. The Penguins have seen slight improvement since Patrick took over for Ubriaco, but remain at the cellar of the NHL, with only 21 points.
As we reported last week, we can keep the content identical: the top 3 teams in the Norris Division, St. Louis, Toronto, and Chicago are all within 1 point. One team has failed to emerge from the pack as of yet. St. Louis holds some games in hand and are the only team above .500. There is a dogfight at the bottom of the Norris for the playoffs between Minnesota and Detroit. The North Stars hold the spot by just 2 points. The Blues do hold an 12-2-1 record within the Norris Division, and common sense says if that holds, they will be on their way to a Norris Division title. The Blues and Blackhawks have a showdown at the St. Louis Arena Sunday night.
The Flames hit a rough patch this week, going 0-2-1, but only lost 1 point on 2nd place and still hold a 10 point lead over the Kings. Los Angeles is in a tight battle for second place, changing places with the Jets on a couple occasions this week, as Vancouver stalks them in 4th. The Kings kept slightly ahead of the pack thanks to Bernie Nicholls’ hat trick Saturday night to keep the Canucks at bay.
Now on to the NHL’s league leaders through the eleventh week of action.
Olczyk and Gretzky came into the week tied for the points lead, each put up 5 points, and move on, still tied for the NHL points lead
Gary Leeman has asserted himself as the NHL’s best goal scorer
POINTS PER GAME LEADERS
Christmas comes early when you are playing Quebec, Vancouver, or the Rangers
PENALTY MINUTES LEADERS
Manson has taken hijinx to a new level, on pace to challenge Dave Schultz’s NHL record 472
FACEOFF PERCENTAGE LEADERS
Bob Carpenter has been a consistent force in the faceoff circle and it paid off this week against the first-place Whalers
POWERPLAY GOALS LEADERS
GAME-WINNING GOALS LEADERS
SHORT-HANDED GOALS LEADERS
SHOTS ON GOAL
SAVE PERCENTAGE LEADERS
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE LEADERS
Hoffort has put up solid numbers in limited time as he spearheaded the Flyers’ turnaround with 4 solid starts.
GOALIE RATING PERCENTAGE LEADERS
Mike Vernon has moved into a 3-way tie for wins in the NHL
Game of the Week:
Defense Takes a Night off Monday Night in Toronto
The Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues came into Monday night tied atop the Norris Division standings. They clashed in Maple Leaf Garden, but neither team would emerge as the victor. It was the lone NHL game for the night, so all eyes were on Toronto.
The game started out with plenty of fireworks. Gary Leeman netted his 24th 49 seconds into the game, thanks to a nifty passing play from his linemates Mark Osborne and Ed Olczyk. Shortly after, Gino Cavallini scored his 3rd of the season, set up by Paul MacLean and Mike Lalor to put the Blues ahead just 1:48 into the game. Only 31 seconds later, MacLean scored a goal of his own, his 15th, assisted by both Cavallinis to make the score 2-0 and temporarily silence the Maple Leaf faithful.
The Leafs would answer later in the period. Wendel Clark and Al Iafrate scored goals 14 seconds apart to put Toronto ahead once again. 5 Goals had been scored in the first 8:45 of the contest. Vincent Damphousse capped the wild first period, tapping in a rebound from a Rob Ramage shot from the point to put the Leafs up 4-2 into the break.
Early in the second period, Mark Osborne and Paul MacLean engaged in some fisticuffs, further feeding into the sellout crowd. The fight completed the Gordie Howe Hat Trick for Paul MacLean.
Coming out of the fight, 40 seconds later, Damphousse scored his second of the game to put the Leafs on top 5-2, and it looked like they were cruising.
However, the Blues had other ideas. They managed to chip away at Toronto’s lead, thanks to late second period goals by Brett Hull and Peter Zezel, who scored on the powerplay, while Damphousse was in the penalty box. The teams went into the locker room for the second intermission with the Leafs leading by the slimmest of margins 5-4.
The Leafs’ woes carried over into the third period. 2:53 In, Rod Brind Amour erased the Leafs’ lead, as MacLean chipped in his 3rd assist and 4th point of the night. A few minutes later, Al Iafrate took a bad tripping penalty, and Adam Oates converted early in the powerplay to put the Blues ahead 6-5.
Later in the period, Tom Kurvers jumped up to join the offense and cashed in a rebound to tie the game at 6. It was short-lived though as Zezel scored less than a minute later to put the Blues ahead 7-6 with 5:25 left to play.
With 3:07 left, Gary Leeman jumped on a Dave Lowry giveaway and pumped in a backhand past goaltender Vincent Riendeau to tie the game at 7, which is how it ended as neither team was able to get traction in overtime. Riendeau took over for Jablonski after Jablonski allowed 4 goals on 13 shots in the first period.
All in all, the game saw 14 goals, 5 lead changes, and 23 players getting a point. The teams left Monday the way the entered it, in a tie for first place in the Norris Division.
Fight of the week:
The Leafs and Blackhawks met in a home and home series Friday and Saturday. Front and center was Dave Manson. Friday night, at the Chicago Stadium, Manson came in with a dangerous elbow/charge on Dave Reid, who had scored 39 seconds earlier. Manson was given a 5-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct for a match penalty/intent to injure. The Toronto bench was livid. Wendel Clark scored on the ensuing 5 minute powerplay to tie the game at 2, but the tenor of the game was changed, and the Leafs only managed 3 shots in the third period and the Blackhawks won 4-2.
The next night, in Maple Leaf Garden, there was a buzz in the air with expectation that there would be some retribution against the NHL’s leading penalty minute getter in Manson. Manson avoided conflict and allowed Brian Curran to take some minor penalties trying to be the aggressor. This caught up to Toronto as Keith Brown scored with Curran in the box late in the second period to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.
Both players were out on the ice at the end of the period when Curran dropped his gloves and grabbed Manson, who at that point had no choice but to defend himself. The fight was fairly even, outside of Curran landing some telling blows early before Manson was fully engaged in the fight. The home crowd went wild. Curran received an extra 2 minute minor and 10 minute misconduct though, and his night was all but finished.
Meanwhile, Dave Manson got the last laugh, netting the eventual game-winning goal just seconds after getting out of the box serving the fighting major. He cashed in a rebound off a Larmer shot, all made possible, ironically, by a Dave Reid giveaway. The crowd was pretty ugly at Maple Leaf Garden, showering Manson with boos and the game was delayed as fans littered the ice with trash. The Blackhawks went on to win the game 6-3, sweeping the huge home and home tilt.
MOLSON 3 STAR POINTS LEADERS
3 Stars of the Week:
Mike Bullard gets the first star of the week for leading the Flyers to a perfect 4-0-0 record this week. Bullard put up 5 goals and an assist for 6 points. Bullard is exceeding projections and is currently sitting second in the NHL goals race with 26. Bullard follows up his 3rd star performance from last week. Savard had 3 goals and 4 assists to put up 7 points in 4 games on the week for the second star. Rounding out the 3 stars is Petri Skriko, who had 1 goal and 7 assists for 8 points in a good week for the Canucks, that ended with a tough late 3rd period loss at the Kings.
TEAM PP% RANKINGS
TEAM SH RANKINGS
Bob Carpenter leads the NHL’s best Penalty Killing Unit
TEAM GOAL DIFFERENTIAL
Bergevin came into the season knowing tough times were in store for the Nordiques
Nobody Wants to Face the Chicago Blackhawks
REPLAY VS. ACTUAL POINTS
This Week In the News
December 20th, 1989
George Bush invades Panama – Operation Just Cause
The United States invades Panama in an attempt to overthrow military dictator Manuel Noriega, who had been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges and was accused of suppressing democracy in Panama and endangering U.S. nationals.
In 1970, Noriega, a rising figure in the Panamanian military, was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to assist in the U.S. struggle against the spread of communism in Central America. Noriega became involved in drug trafficking and in 1977 was removed from the CIA payroll. After the Marxist Sandinista government came to power in 1979, Noriega was brought back into the CIA fold. In 1983, he become military dictator of Panama.
Noriega supported U.S. initiatives in Central America and in turn was praised by the White House, even though a Senate committee concluded in 1983 that Panama was a major center for drug trafficking. In 1984, Noriega committed fraud in Panama’s presidential election in favor of Nicolás Ardito Barletta, who became a puppet president. Still, Noriega enjoyed the continued support of the Reagan administration, which valued his aid in its efforts to overthrow Nicaragua’s Sandinista government.
In 1986, just months before the outbreak of the Iran-Contra affair, allegations arose concerning Noriega’s history as a drug trafficker, money launderer, and CIA employee. Most shocking, however, were reports that Noriega had acted as a double agent for Cuba’s intelligence agency and the Sandinistas. The U.S. government disowned Noriega, and in 1988 he was indicted by federal grand juries in Tampa and Miami on drug-smuggling and money-laundering charges.
Tensions between Americans in the Panama Canal Zone and Noriega’s Panamanian Defense Forces grew, and in 1989 the dictator annulled a presidential election that would have made Guillermo Endara president. President George H. Bush ordered additional U.S. troops to the Panama Canal Zone, and on December 16 an off-duty U.S. Marine was shot to death at a PDF roadblock. The next day, President Bush authorized “Operation Just Cause”–the U.S. invasion of Panama to overthrow Noriega.
On Wednesday, 9,000 U.S. troops joined the 12,000 U.S. military personnel already in Panama and were met with scattered resistance from the PDF.
The Organization of American States and the European Parliament both formally protested the invasion, which they condemned as a flagrant violation of international law.
December 22nd, 1989
Romanian Government Falls
The Romanian army defects to the cause of anti-communist demonstrators, and the government of Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown. The end of 42 years of communist rule came three days after Ceausescu’s security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Timisoara. After the army’s defection, Ceausescu and his wife fled from Bucharest in a helicopter, but were captured and convicted of mass murder in a hasty military trial. On December 25, they were executed by a firing squad. Ceausescu, ruler of Romania since 1965, had resisted the liberalization of the USSR and other Soviet bloc countries in the late 1980s. By the time of his government’s downfall in 1989, Romania was the most repressive and economically backward country in Europe.
“Another Day In Paradise” by Phil Collins takes over #1 on the Billboard 100 music charts from “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel.
On December 20th, Michael Moore’s Roger and Me was released to movie theaters
Here are some pages for the Sears Catalog from the Christmas Season, 1989.