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Best hockey games of all time?

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01-16-2012, 07:41 PM
  #1
Mathradio
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Best hockey games of all time?

Surely you guys have watched more games than I did. There are those games who go down in history and sometimes labeled as "the greatest hockey game of all time" and the last game I watched with such a label was the Olympic gold medal final in 2010.

However, I could also say the 1980 Olympic Miracle on Ice or Game 8 of the Summit Series (1972). Are there other games you could list that could realistically be called "the greatest hockey game of all time"?

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01-16-2012, 08:59 PM
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Killion
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According to many the "greatest game ever played" was held on December 31st, 1975 at the Montreal Forum between the ascending Habs with Dryden, Lafleur, Shutt, Robinson et al vs. the Soviet Red Army Team, whose line-up included most of the players from the 72 Summit Series. Ended in a 3-3 tie... Tretiak was beyond sensational, the ebb & flow of the game, the artistry incredible. Clean. No garbage or cheap shots, intimidation tactics.... At the time, Philly had won its 2nd Stanley Cup & with the exception of Montreal most of the teams were & the NHL/WHA game was pretty brutal. Clutch & grab, hacking, slashing, fights breaking out every 5 minutes, bench clearing brawls. Dont get me wrong, I enjoyed some of that as well, but for "pure hockey" no one did it better than the Habs of that era, one of the greatest teams of all time against the brilliant Russians. Incredible game.


Last edited by Killion: 01-16-2012 at 11:31 PM. Reason: typos...
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01-16-2012, 10:24 PM
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From an NHL regular season stand point March 26th 1997 had a pretty good one between the wings and avs. Definitely my favourite NHL game all time

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01-16-2012, 10:27 PM
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Game One of the 1983 SCF between NYI and Edmonton should be required viewing for any hockey fan.

Arguably the greatest goaltending exhibition ever by Billy Smith. And, a ridiculously exciting 1-0 game (until an empty netter) involving two dynasties including, ironically, the greatest offensive team ever.


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01-17-2012, 06:20 AM
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The designation of the Habs/Soviet game as the best of all-time is a joke.

My favorite non-Flyers games of all-time.

NHL version

Isles-Caps - Easter epic, game 7 round one in 1987.

Flames-Canucks - Game 7, 1989 first round, Joel Otto kicks in the game winner.

Rangers-Devils - Game 7 1994 ECF Brodeur gives up a softy to Matteau

International

1987 Canada Cup Finals - all three games, but especially the 2nd game.

1996 World Cup Semi-final - Canada - Sweden

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01-17-2012, 06:42 AM
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Yurog
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In Nhl between locokouts

Blood Game 1997
Washington-Detroit Game 2 of the Finals 98 (Tiikkanen missed the net)
Colorado-Dallas Game 7 WCF 2000 (Ray Bouque crossbar)
Pittsburgh-Buffalo Game 7 EC Semifinals 2001 (Kasparaitis goal)
New Jersey - Ottawa Game 7 ECF 2003 (Friesen Goal)

Sorry fo my English. I'm rookie of hfboards

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01-17-2012, 08:43 AM
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McGuillicuddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
The designation of the Habs/Soviet game as the best of all-time is a joke.
Care to elaborate?

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01-17-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy View Post
Care to elaborate?
People forget that Dryden stunk that night. The Canadiens outshot and outchanced the Red Army something like 3:1 and ought to have won the game by a similar score. It is a highly overrated game. Give me the 87 Canada Cup over that tilt any day.

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01-17-2012, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy View Post
Care to elaborate?
Habs dominated the game. Dryden let in a few softies, and Tretiak was very good.

If that exact game was played between the Sabres and Moscow Dymamo nobody even remembers the game.

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01-17-2012, 06:43 PM
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double5son10
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"People forget that Dryden stunk that night. The Canadiens outshot and outchanced the Red Army something like 3:1 and ought to have won the game by a similar score"

"Habs dominated the game. Dryden let in a few softies, and Tretiak was very good."

I've watched the game many times and I think Dryden gets a bum rap. Tretiak is outstanding and is the clear story of the game, but of the three goals Dryden gives up I'm not sure I'd call any of them soft. Goal #1 Mikhailov is allowed to skate right between the circles unmolested and rips a shot into the top corner over Dryden's glove. Goal #2 Petrov makes a nifty pass at the blueline that springs Kharlamov, who gets past Savard and whips a beautiful backhand past Dryden. Goal #3 Don Awrey (who always sucked against the Soviets, far worse than Dryden ever did) gets caught pinching up the ice leading to a two-on-one, Zhluktov feeding Alexandrov after Robinson mistimes his slide to break up the pass. Dryden gets a piece of it, but it trickles in. Of the three maybe Dryden can be criticized for being too deep in his net on the first goal, but if he's out any further Lapointe probably backs into him; Lapointe and Savard both gave Mikhailov too much room, and again it's a perfect shot by the Red Army captain, not some scrub. The other two goals are just great passing plays that Dryden has little chance on. Anyway a great, great game. The rematch, Dec. 31 '79 was a lot of fun too.

As a Canadien's fan, others Habs games I'd put from that era

Game 7 of '79 semi-finals, the Too-Many-Men game. My personal favorite as best game of all time. Gilles Gilbert playing the game of his life can't best the Guy Lafleur show. Cashman was also outstanding (he should be in the Hall) Great series, wonderful drama. Games two and three, the B's OT wins were super games as well.
The whole of the series against the Flyers in '76. Every game was a tense, tight-checking affair. The Habs may have swept the series, but it was no blowout by any means.
Game 4 vs. the Bruins in '78. Most renowned for Jonathan bloodying Bouchard, but the Bruins played out of their mind defense the whole game, tied it and took the lead in the third only to have Savard tie the game on a great play by Shutt with Dryden pulled and only 33 seconds left. Schmautz wins it by beating a partially screened Dryden shortly after Cheevers had absolutely robbed Lemaire.
There were some excellent playoff games against the Islanders in those years as well.

The run in '86 had some dandy's as well. Game 7 OT win against Hartford, both Liut and Roy were great. Game 3 in New York with Roy's unworldly OT performance. Game 4 in the Finals, the 1-0 defensive masterpiece.

And of course '93 was chock full of beauties. Divisional Game 5 vs. the Nords and then McSorley's illegal stick in gm. 2 of the Finals stand out.

And props to Bruins fans for game 7 last year.

Other non-Habs favourite
The Miracle on Manchester-just so improbable.

I'll second Smith's performance in game. 1 of the '83 Finals. His money rep was cemented.

Game 6, 1986 conf. finals: Blues comeback to beat the Flames and force game 7

Game 3, 1987 Finals: Flyers look dead and buried, down 2-0 to the Oilers in the series, down 3-0 early in the 2nd, they launch an epic comeback to get back in the series and take it to 7.

Game 5, 1991 conf. finals: North Stars eliminate defending champ Oilers 3-2. Oilers didn't play a great series, but seeing them eliminated by an over-their-heads Minnesota was a total shocker.

Game 4, 1996 semis: Avalanche defeat Blackhawks in 3 OT. More Roy heroics, but Belfour was even better in defeat.

International: all the obvious ones. Game 8 in '72, the Miracle on Ice, '87 Canada Cup Finals, the last Olympics final.


Sorry for such a long post


Last edited by double5son10: 01-18-2012 at 08:38 AM.
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Old
01-17-2012, 07:03 PM
  #11
Big Phil
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1987 Canada Cup final all three games - Instant classics. I watch them to this day knowing full well the outcomes but Game #2 in overtime still makes the hair stand on the back of my neck.

1996 World Cup final Game #3 - Even as a Canadian I can appreciate this game the way it was. A clutch performance by Richter not once, but 15 times! That guy made so many saves that were sure goals I thought I was going to faint. In a just world Canada wins that game 8-2 and just based on the scoring chances it wouldn't have surprised me. Lots of things to like about this game. Two physical teams who hated each other. Lots of lumber used in this game too. The Montreal crowd was electric. The Coffey to Gretzky pass with a minute left where the puck hops over the stick of Gretzky. In a way that symbolized that old Oilers dynasty. If it were 10 years earlier that puck goes in but I think it was almost a metaphor letting two great players know their time at the top had passed.

1980 Miracle on Ice Game - Electric and lots of political implications at bay. Imagine Iraq icing a competitive hockey team today and you get the picture of what the tensions were like in 1980

1972 Summit Series - Last two games in particular. Game 8 can never be duplicated for all the off-ice drama and political implications. It was war and you saw that on the ice.

1984 Canada Cup Can/Rus semi - Unbelievable game. Probably a game many considered the greatest until three years later.

1975 Red Army vs. Montreal - Still a classic. Two teams that played the very same style of hockey come to a deadlock. It was poetry

NHL GAMES

1984 Game #5 between Isles/Rangers - These two teams never let up for a minute. One thing to remember, this was still the Isles drive for 5 on the line. Also the Rangers tied the game with seconds left on a very controversial high stick that would have gotten a heavy, heavy look had there been video replay back then. I see the replays now and still can't decide. Its close. Either way, Isles won.

1991 Game 7 Oilers/Flames - Nice comeback from the Oilers, just shot another dagger into the Flames playoff woes. Interesting stat, other than the 2004 Cup run the Flames have never made it out of the 1st round since 1989. Another reason to love Tikkannen for this goal and a wonderful series.

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01-17-2012, 07:37 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Everyone talks about the NYE 1975 game, and rightly so, but one of my favorites was this game on NYE 1979:

http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/20...-december-31st

Again, the Canadiens played the Red Army (actually their club team) to a boisterous crowd at the Forum. I saw this game live while I was too young to see the 1975 game. This was a Canadiens team that had lost Bowman, Dryden, Lemaire and Cournoyer from their SC team in 1979. They were still exciting and a force but ultimately bowed to the North Stars in the 1980 playoffs. The two players that stand out most to me were Lafleur and Gainey. They were flying on this night.

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01-17-2012, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathradio View Post
Surely you guys have watched more games than I did. There are those games who go down in history and sometimes labeled as "the greatest hockey game of all time" and the last game I watched with such a label was the Olympic gold medal final in 2010.
The US-Canada meeting before the gold medal game that year was quite fantastic too.

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01-17-2012, 09:24 PM
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Both semi-finals in the 1998 Olympics were epic. Can-Cze and Rus-Fin.

Also Can-Cze in the 2004 world cup, IIRC.

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01-17-2012, 09:39 PM
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1994 Canucks-Rangers Game 1 of the Cup finals

Probably the best single game performance by a goaltender (Kirk McLean)


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01-17-2012, 10:11 PM
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I'm not sure but I do know one thing; it probably happened at the WJC (imo).

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01-17-2012, 10:35 PM
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"1984 Game #5 between Isles/Rangers - These two teams never let up for a minute. One thing to remember, this was still the Isles drive for 5 on the line. Also the Rangers tied the game with seconds left on a very controversial high stick that would have gotten a heavy, heavy look had there been video replay back then. I see the replays now and still can't decide. Its close. Either way, Isles won."

Great choice. I've still got this one on VHS. Both that series with the Rangers and the Conference Finals against Montreal were brutal affairs. The Islanders were absolutely gassed by the time they reached the Finals against the Oilers. The NHL monkeying with the Finals format didn't help the Islanders cause either, but they were spent facing a younger, better equipped Oilers team whose time had come.

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01-17-2012, 10:59 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
Habs dominated the game. Dryden let in a few softies, and Tretiak was very good.

If that exact game was played between the Sabres and Moscow Dymamo nobody even remembers the game.
Count me amongst those who never understood the acclaim heaped on this game. I watched it a few years ago and thought it largely uneventful, and nothing was really at stake anyway.

Oilers-Flyers Game 7 is one of my favorites. Hextall and Fuhr were both fabulous in this one.

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01-18-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetterberg View Post
The US-Canada meeting before the gold medal game that year was quite fantastic too.
A good game? Yes. But the US-Canada game before the gold medal game is by no means a realistic choice for the "best hockey game of all time". That preliminary round game has an outside chance, perhaps.

If the gold medal game was a game that won the ESPY "Best Game" award back in 2010 (for all sports) when ESPN has never been a network that was hockey-friendly, then it should be included into the discussion, even though it may not be a consensus contender.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
I'm not sure but I do know one thing; it probably happened at the WJC (imo).
What WJC game(s) would then be worthy of being into a discussion for the best hockey game of all time?

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01-18-2012, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
1984 Game #5 between Isles/Rangers - These two teams never let up for a minute. One thing to remember, this was still the Isles drive for 5 on the line. Also the Rangers tied the game with seconds left on a very controversial high stick that would have gotten a heavy, heavy look had there been video replay back then. I see the replays now and still can't decide. Its close. Either way, Isles won.
Bob Brooke point blank on Billy Smith for what would have been the winning goal in OT.

Time stopped.

So did my heart.

So did the puck, care of #31.

The dynasty did not stop (for several more weeks).

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01-18-2012, 04:05 PM
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Uncle Rotter
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Count me amongst those who never understood the acclaim heaped on this game. I watched it a few years ago and thought it largely uneventful, and nothing was really at stake anyway.
Nothing at stake? You don't remember a little thing called "The Cold War"?

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01-18-2012, 08:02 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Nothing at stake? You don't remember a little thing called "The Cold War"?
I'm well aware of the political climate at the time.

But this wasn't a Canada Cup or a Summit Series, it was one of many exhibition games touring Soviet teams played against NHL and WHA team's during the 70's. Was this honestly considered some monumental event at the time?

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01-19-2012, 10:24 PM
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Islanders @ Pens '93 patrick finals Game 7! Isles ahead 3-1 because of two horrible goals let in by Barrasso, and amazing goaltending by Glen Healy. but the pens tie it up in the last 5 minutes. David Volek scores the OT winner and silences the igloo!

also the OT game from the Blues/Leafs Series, yeah the one where Gilmour does the double rap around to win it.

in fact '93 was probably the best year for exciting playoff games

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01-19-2012, 10:52 PM
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Hanji
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Nothing at stake? You don't remember a little thing called "The Cold War"?
USA v USSR were always the meaningful "cold war" games. Any other country (Canada, Czechoslovakia, E/W Germany) was always secondary. Especially club teams.

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01-20-2012, 06:58 AM
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Hammer Time
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Quote:
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USA v USSR were always the meaningful "cold war" games. Any other country (Canada, Czechoslovakia, E/W Germany) was always secondary. Especially club teams.
I'm sure the 1969 Czechoslovakian/USSR teams would beg to differ.

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