March 26, 2016

Stanley Cup Finals Game Ends 0-0

March 26th, 1919. In the longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history (to that point), the Montreal Canadiens and Seattle Metropolitans played 100 minutes of overtime without scoring a goal. The game was mercifully ended and declared a draw. It was the first 0-0 tie in NHL playoff history.

But that was not the biggest story of that Stanley Cup final.

The world was barely at ease from the ending of World War I when apprehensions of a killer flu arose. The influenza epidemic spread from Europe to North America no one realized the among the many victims would be one of hockey's greatest players and the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Not that the Spanish Flu was a huge concern when the Stanley Cup playoff began. The Montreal Canadiens journeyed all the way to Seattle to meet the strong PCHA champion Metropolitans, led by the great Frank Foyston. The hotly contested series was tied 2-2-1 when, after the conclusion of overtime in game 5, several Montreal players became violently ill with the flu. Jack McDonaldBilly Couture,Newsy LalondeLouis Berlinquette and manager George Kennedy were immediately be ridden. Hall of Fame defenseman Bad Joe Hall was the most seriously affected. He was rushed to a Seattle hospital where he would die a week later.

The Stanley Cup was then cancelled. Seattle refused to be declared champion via Montreal's forfeiture. Montreal offered to complete the series by borrowing substitutes from the PCHA Victoria Cougars, but that idea was also nixed.

As a result, there was no winner of the Stanley Cup in 1919.

No comments: