“I remember in the playoffs we were playing Calgary and we were winning 2-1 and outshooting Calgary pretty badly in the game,” Gretzky said. “Kenny Linsemen had taken a penalty and they tied it 2-2 and on his next shift took a penalty and they made it 3-2.
“He got back to the bench and I think it was the only time in my career I stood up and got in a guy’s face and I basically said that if he loses us the Stanley Cup I was going to break my stick over his head. He went out scored two goals and then set up the next goal. He was the best player on the ice the rest of the game. I remember I went up and apologized to him, because without him, we probably wouldn’t have gotten through that series and we wouldn’t have won that hockey game.”
The Oilers survived seven games with the Flames in the Conference semifinals before sweeping the Minnesota North Stars in the next round. They beat the New York Islanders in five games to win their first Stanley Cup.
“The intensity get so high and you want to win so badly and Kenny was one of the best hockey players I’ve every played with,” Gretzky said. “With that, he was so intense and I remember that like it was yesterday. And thankful he was an important member of our team and he scored some big goals.”