January 14, 2015

A Five On Nothing Breakaway?

Every once in a while we get treated to a two or three man breakaway. I've even seen a four man breakaway once, maybe twice.

But a five man breakaway?

According to veteran scribe Al Strachan, it happened!

In his 2011 book Over The Line, Strachan tells the story of a Chicago Blackhawks game back in the 1980s. The Hawks were killing off a 5-on-3 power play, with Denis Savard, Doug Wilson and Bob Murray as the only Hawks skaters on the ice. Strachan fails to mention who Chicago's opponent was that night.

Strach went on to tell how even though his team was shorthanded by two men Denis Savard couldn't resist the urge to rag the puck on one of his dazzling rushes. Savard darted all the way into the opponent's zone and behind the net, when his helmet slipped down, covering his eyes. Not wanting to take his hands off his stick Savard jerked his head a couple of times.

The Hawks two defensemen mistakenly took the head nod as the signal to pinch in off of the blue line. Strangely, both dmen charged in looking for a pass that was never going to come.

Instead Savard tried a wraparound, hoping to score or at least to force an offensive zone faceoff. The unnamed goalie made the save, with Doug Wilson crashing into the goalie, jarring the puck loose. Unfortunately for the Hawks, and again this is according to Strachan, Savard and Murray collided and fell to the ice.

The opponent rushed up the ice, unimpeded on a five on nothing rush, although I would assume the defensemen were not really in on the scoring chance. Savard, Murray and Wilson all just scrambled to the bench, hoping a fresh body could do something.

The Hawks goalie, also unnamed, made the save, leading Wilson to quip "We'd done our job. They didn't score."

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