Skip to main content

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."


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M