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April 22, 2007

NHL Playoff Legends - Bobby Baun

Bobby Baun's playoff heroics are what the Stanley Cup is all about.

With 10 minutes left in the sixth game of the 1964 finals between the Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, Bobby Baun fearlessly sacrificed his body, sliding down onto the ice to block a Gordie Howe shot. The heavy shot bounced off Baun’s foot at exactly the worst spot, breaking a bone in Baun's ankle. He was carried away on a stretcher and he should have seen his season to come to an end.

But he didn't.

In one of the most courageous and famous moments in hockey history, Baun returned to the lineup in the very same game. The game had gone into over time, and Baun refused to go to the hospital. Instead he was given painkillers and had his ankle taped tightly, and returned for the extra period of play.

Just a couple of minutes into the over time, Baun became a hero of legendary proportions. Baun picked up a failed Detroit clearing attempt at the blueline and directed a shot on the Detroit goal. It deflected off of Detroit defenseman Bill Gadsby and over Terry Sawchuk and into the net, forcing game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals!!

There was no way Baun would miss game 7. He refused to allow doctors to examine his ankle. He suffered in severe pain but knew if doctors looked at it he would be forced to sit in the biggest game of a professional hockey player's career. He didn't miss a shift that game as the Leafs won 4-0 and tasted champagne from Lord Stanley's Cup.

After the game the doctor's finally x-rayed Baun's ankle. It was revealed that he indeed had a badly broken ankle. That's hockey!

Baun's playoff heroics overshadow a great career....Full Bobby Baun Biography

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