30 years ago today...

I didn't realize it was the anniversary of one of the NHL's most notorious episodes till I saw this posted on a couple other blogs. I know it's the season of peace on earth, goodwill to all and whatnot, but I'd be remiss in not posting this bit of Bruins history. I'll try to go a few posts without any fights...more recipes, perhaps?

from The New York Times piece "30 Years Later, Memories of Garden's Shoe Brawl," subtitled Over the Glass and Into Hockey Lore:  "Thirty years ago, on Dec. 23, 1979, Bruins defenseman Mike Milbury whacked John Kaptain, a Rangers fan from New Jersey, with a shoe during a bizarre altercation in which all but one Bruins player went over the glass and into the stands at Madison Square Garden. The incident, after a 4-3 Bruins victory, resulted in three players being suspended, lawsuits and the installation of higher glass in the arena." (I first saw this linked at Greatest Hockey Legends, where a commenter quipped [because the article refers to the "late" fan] "I can't believe Milbury only got suspended 6 games for killing that guy.")

this is the five and a half-minute version, but you can find shorter clips...plus related videos of other hockey line brawls and incidents with fans, if you'd like an alternative to all the sentimental holiday viewing:

the Times also notes, "Bruins fans, in particular, still relish the incident."


Frederick said...

Great post, k of c. My friend Nate was the Bruins P.R. guy at the time. He came within 25 minutes of the fracas on his way to the lockerroom and then high-tailed it in the other direction ASAP.

Ken Socrates said...

Relish the incident? Absolutely. In fact, throw on a little spicey brown mustard, maybe some diced onions, too. It's delicious.

It's just one of those great Slapshot moments in hockey. Chaotic, hilarious, insane. It's New York and Boston, it's Mike Milbury being Mike Milbury.

Even though our history has Stanley Cups and Bobby Orr end to end rushes, HoF players, legendary coaches, everything that makes hockey glorious and beautiful, it's still moments like that that embed themselves in your mind and that you recall with such fondness.

Perhaps it's what a lot of folks might not understand about hockey culture but who cares? Brings a warm smile to my face every time I see it.

Thanks, K, and Happy Holidays.

k of c said...

Aw, thanks, glad people enjoyed it. I won't lie, this is my favorite hockey mayhem moment that isn't a goalie fight (nothing beats goalie fights, in my opinion).

Frederick said...

Got start proofing better. It was "25 feet."