Mine's bad, I was a Islander fan before I converted to the Devils and I still remember crying my eyes out when either Lanny MacDonald or Darryl Sittler scored in OT in game seven of the 1977-78 playoffs to lift the Leafs over the Islanders and to eliminate us. That's the first hockey moment that I can recall.
I always thought it was Darryl Sittler, but this link shows it was McDonald, is that correct?
The first memory I have of hockey was a negative. I hadn't turned 5, it was 1960 and Chicago had eliminated Mtl. ending their 5 Cup run. I can't remember anything other than being chased off to bed and my father being pissed and moaning about referrees and my mother's cousin baiting him. I couldn't imagine what was that important to provoke him to that point but I soon learned. I'd have to put up with Toronto winning the next 3 and putting up with that jackass Leaf fan across the street taunting me every spring. Things changed though and he seemed to not want to talk hockey anymore.
Edit: What I'm sharing isn't necessarily my earliest memories of watching hockey, but an experience from my childhood that I will never forget (both good and bad):
My first real vivid hockey moment oddly was the summer of 1977 (I was 13 at the time) when my Dad and I went to a Hockey Night in Canada Q & A session at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, where my family was vacationing. Brian McFarlane was the session emcee and he was taking questions from the audience for the panelists, including several players of the day (none of whom stuck out in my mind at the time), as well as King Clancy, the Maple Leafs defenseman from years ago who must have been about 70 or so at the time.
About halfway through the session, I was starting to get frustrated with the softball questions people were asking (who was your favorite player growing up, how do you stay in shape during the offseason, etc.), so I decided to ask a more controversial question. I raised my hand, got Brian's attention, and asked the panel, "Will the NHL and the WHA end up merging?" The audience went deathly silent; you could hear a pin drop. The three players each thought that merging the two leagues was a good idea, and the crowd starting booing louder with each response from them. Then Clancy, who I should have known would be dead set against such a merger, stands up and starts pointing his finger at me and saying all kinds of nasty things at me to the point where Brian had to tell him to settle down. I think King's tirade angered my Dad more than it did me; I know that Dad lost a lot of respect for Clancy (a guy Dad thought highly of going into the session) that day.
The thing I'll remember most, though, was Brian coming up to me after the session was over and telling me what an excellent question I had asked and that it took a lot of guts to ask it.
Last edited by Matt Foley*: 02-07-2005 at 02:51 PM.
Somewhere around the mid 60's watching HNIC with my Dad and some of his buddies. That was my indoctrination to talking hockey with 'the boys' over a couple of brews.
I remember that the telecasts used to start a half an hour into the game (I believe it was Don Messer's jubilee that was on before). So it was usually well into the first period before Danny Gallivan and the gang came on.
Specifically I vaguely remember the 67 playoffs...the Leafs against the Habs and their 'junior b' goalie.
Mid to late 70's went to see my first game with my father. A Pre-season tilt between the Flyers and the Habs at the Forum. Can't remember the final score (I think the Habs might have lost), but I got to see Guy Lafleur score and Bernie Parent stand on this head.
Bad memory. I was gettin a haircut from my mom watching Pittsburgh vs. Boston in the game where Mario scored that goal that he put the puck through Bourque's feet. I just remember my mom poking me with the scissors as he did that.
I think it was when I was about 7 and we went down to my grandparents' house on Long Island for Easter, and I watched a Rangers-Isles game on TV and was immediately hooked. That was the Spring of '94, so I believe that it could've been a playoff game(unless it was one of those years when easter came early, like this year)
I was too young to know what was going on but when I asked a family member I was told "Bobby Orr just scored a goal and Boston won the Cup (1970)." Then the photo of the goal made the memory permanent.
November 5, 1991. The company my mom works for has a pair of season tickets for the Canucks which are given to a different employee each game. Tonight she has the tickets and I just turned ten so she decided to take me. On the pre-game show on the radio there's some talk about tonight being the NHL debut of some guy named Pavel Bure. I didn't know who he was (never watched the WJC back then) but was still excited because I was young and hey... I was going to the Coliseum to watch an NHL hockey game.
When we got there, the company seats were awesome; first row in the corner, up close and personal. The Winnipeg Jets, our opponent, were in for a suprise. This little kid wearing the number 10 is flying around everywhere, getting into the open, and trying to burn players whenever he gets the puck. He had two breakaways and another really good scoring chance where he burned a defenceman and then cut in towards the net. On the breakaways it was awesome. It was like he had one speed he used to get open which was pretty fast... but then seemed to accelerate even more when he got the puck. He didn't score, but Pavel was easily the best player on the ice. He honestly looked like nobody else could keep up with him.
Over time as the memory fades a little, I sometimes think to myself, "hey, you might be exagerating the story more and more as time goes on." But, checking out some of the quotes from here http://www.pbfc.org/Oldnews/oct91/1991.html and other websites helps reaffirm what I still remember:
The Jets looked flat footed trying to contain Bure all night long. In frustration, grinding veteran Doug Evans nicked Pavel in the face with his lumber, only to receive a major penalty and a game misconduct. The Canucks would eventually tie the game 2-2 with the Jets. Rick Ley blamed the tie on the Canucks lack of focus, getting into the act of awe over Bure.
In a call in interview with Tom Larscheid on the Late Night Sports Grill, the longtime Canuck colour man who is beautiful to listen to, described Bure's first game as his single greatest non playoff Canuck memory. At the time, his comments were, "He literally lifted people out of their seats. I had never witnessed anything like that at the Coliseum."
The Vancouver Sun journalist Archie McDonald said, "Bure raised goosebumps so big you could scrape carrots on them." Barry MacDonald of Sports Page said, "It was the single most electrifying play I'd ever seen." And Pavel Bure himself had this to say: "It was very exciting. I will remember this day all my life. It was beautiful. Beautiful."
I mean, Rick Ley was critical of the team's performance by blaming them for being in too much awe of Pavel. :lol
The write up on that website mentions that he played on line with Trevor and Gregs Adams and was also tried with Gino and Ryan Walter... but it makes no mention of Larionov. He also played with Igor. One of the things I most vividly remember is the fat guy in the seat behind me yelling, "talk to him in Russian! Talk to him in Russian, baby!" whenever either one of them would get the puck. lol
Anyway... that is one game that makes me wish I could go back in time.
I started watching the playoffs in 98' when Forsberg was owning Cujo and the Oilers, before out of nowhere the Oil came back to win, including an incredible game 7 which ended 4-0 for the Oilers. (It's funny how I've come to dislike them)Actually I can trace it back a bit farther to a game on Sat. Night where I was cheering for the Oilers but they lost 6-3 to the canucks and Pavel Bure lit them up.
I also was obsessed with the Senators and I remember the crowd at the Corel centre going nuts as they eliminated the Devils. From that year on I was hooked on hockey.
The next year is when I suddenly became hooked on the Canucks out of nowhere. I guess some things you just cant explain . Anyways my first year as a fan of them was probably their worst year ever, Bure was holding out, Messier sucked(scored his 600th if I remember correctly) Anyways these are my first hockey memories.(I can briefly conjure up memories of the canucks losing in 94' and then again in 95')
First memory was seeing a sports news broadcast reporting the Penguins had won the Stanley Cup. I can't remember if it was '91 or '92, so I was either six or seven years old. I decided to cheer for the Penguins from then on, but was a fairweather fan until '98/'99.