More than any other big-league sport on the continent, the NHL is full of explosive moments, moments where a bold strategy pays off or two players start duking it out on the ice. With fighting and other passionate displays essentially permitted, there have been many moments in NHL history that can only be described as crazy.
Today we’re looking at some of the highlights that show how entertaining and chaotic the world of ice hockey can get. The sports betting scene surrounding ice hockey has blown up in the last few years. If you want to be a part of the action, check out some Stanley Cup odds where it’s all to play for.
“Have Another Donut!”
Starting off with a classic, we have that time New Jersey Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld unleashed a tirade at referee Don Koharski. It was 1988 at the Wales Conference Finals, where the Devils were up against the Boston Bruins. The Bruins won handily at 6-1 but Schoenfeld clearly disagreed with decisions made during game 3.
In the tunnel after the game, Schoenfeld badgered Koharski. As the pair bicker, Koharski seems to trip but then accuses Schoenfeld of pushing him. Naturally, this just made the argument more explosive and Schoenfeld hurled two choice quotes in response to the accusation – “Good, ‘cause you fell you fat pig!” and “Have another donut!”
The Boston Garden Blackouts
The Boston Bruins are at the center of our next craziest moment in NHL history, which also occurred during the 1988 championship series. In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Bruins were up against the Edmonton Oilers in a best-of-seven series. The Oilers won the first three games, so it was all to play for going into game 4.
That’s where the fun begins. Multiple stoppages were required during the game due to fog building on the ice. The players had to skate around on the ice to disperse it. When the game finally approached its conclusion, an Oilers goal kept the score at 3-3 with just three minutes left. The Bruins readied themselves to defend their chances of surviving the season.
Then the lights went out. A power failure had rocked the Boston Garden and caused the game to be suspended. Game 4 was rescheduled at the home of the Oilers in Edmonton, where they won and swept the Stanley Cup effortlessly.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Bruins and the Oilers faced each other again in 1990. The two teams clashed in the Boston Garden but, in game 1, another blackout happened. While it wasn’t as serious, this prompted the venue’s replacement.
Somebody Steals The Stanley Cup
In 1962, a fan would try to take things into their own hands when the Stanley Cup series wasn’t going their way. In the Chicago Stadium, the Blackhawks are defending the Cup against the Montreal Canadiens, which is a bad position to be in. Despite this, the Blackhawks were holding their own against the best team in the NHL.
During game 3, the Stanley Cup was displayed to celebrate the Blackhawks’ win last season. Amongst the crowds was Montreal native Ken Kilander, only 25 at the time, who had journeyed to Chicago with a mission. He had even announced his intentions to nearby reporters but it happened to be April Fools’ Day, so nobody believed him.
Then he did it. He didn’t get far and he escaped any theft or bribery charges from his attempt. He was fined $10 in total. The Toronto Maple Leafs would later beat the Blackhawks anyway, so neither team won the cup anyway.
The Legend Of The Octopus
Only in ice hockey can there be a tradition that involves throwing dead octopi onto the playing field. How does that even start? It first happened during the 1952 playoffs to decide which team would bag the Stanley Cup. The Detroit Red Wings had faced the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in a shocking series where the Red Wings won 8-0.
On April 15th, the last game, market store owners Jerry and Pete Cusimano threw a dead octopus onto the ice. With its eight arms, the octopus symbolized those eight wins that the Red Wings scored to get the Stanley Cup.
Since then, it has become a tradition for most diehard fans to somehow acquire an octopus and throw them onto the ice. When the home arena of the Red Wings was demolished, it had happened 35 times. A big purple octopus called Al also became the unofficial mascot of the Red Wings.
As recent as 2017, people have also thrown other sea life such as catfish, ducks, sharks, or fake snakes to support their own team. Other teams haven’t been as receptive to this tradition as the Red Wings, however.