When you think of all the great professional sports cities it’s amazing to note that Boston and St. Louis are the only opposing cities to have played each other in the finals of all four major sports.

In 1946 The Cardinals deprived Ted Williams of his one opportunity to win a World Series ring. The Cards beat the Red Sox again in 1967 but the Sox prevailed in 2004 and 2013. In 1957 The Celtics led by sensational rookies Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn, defeated The St Louis Hawks for the championship.   In 1958, The Hawks took advantage of a Russell injury to win the championship. Starting in 1959, Russell would lead the Celts to eight straight world championships including two more series victories over St Louis.

In 2002 Tom Brady won his first
Super Bowl defeating the St. Louis Rams, the loathsome self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Show on Turf”, coached by the odious egomaniac Mike Martz (Strong letter to follow).

When Bobby Orr’s Bruins beat St. Louis for the championship 49 years ago, few players wore helmets, some goalies still played without masks and players smoked in the locker room. The average player’s height was 5’10 and weighed 180. Today the average player stands 6’1 and weighs 205. In 1970 NHL goalies Gump Worsley and Rogie Vachon were only 5’7 and most likely existed on a diet of Poutine, Molson and Lucky Strikes. Today there are 40 NHL netminders that are 6-foot-2 or taller and they are much more athletic than their plucky predecessors.

St Louis is one of 11 active teams who have yet to win the Stanley Cup.

The fastest slapshot ever recorded was by Boston’s captain Zdeno Chara at 108 MPH.

Every member of a Stanley Cup winning team gets a personal day with the Stanley Cup. Over the years the cup has been lost in airports and has been used as a bowl for cereal, chicken wings and ice cream.

Even if he had never scored a NHL goal, Wayne Gretzky would be the all- time leading scorer (assists and goals each count as one point). Gretzky holds the record for most career goals (894) and points (2,857).  Gretzky’s record breaking 1,963 assists are more than second place Jaromir Jagr’s number of total points (1,921). The Great Gretzky holds a remarkable 61 NHL records.

Like many players, Gretzky had his share of superstitions. Before every game, Gretzky drank four beverages in a specific order: a Diet Coke, a glass of ice water, a Gatorade, and a second Diet Coke.

Speaking of superstitions, goaltending great Pelle Lindbergh for his entire career wore only one shirt under his equipment for every game. He never allowed it to be washed. If the shirt began to tear he had it sewn. Lindbergh only drank Phipps, a Swedish soda, between periods. It could only be served by a certain trainer and had to contain exactly two ice cubes. Lindbergh would only accept the Phipps with his right hand.

When the Red Wings score during the playoffs, many Detroit fans throw octopi on the ice. The tradition dates back to the Original Six Team era when it only took eight wins — one for every octopus tentacle — to capture the Stanley Cup.

The last player in the NHL to play without a helmet was Craig MacTavish in 1997. The last goaltender to play a game without a mask was Pittsburgh’s Andy Brown in 1974.

A goaltending record that will never be broken is Glenn Hall’s 502 consecutive games that spanned eight seasons with the Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. In 1967, Chicago left the aging Hall unprotected for the player draft that expanded the league from 6 to 12 teams. The new St Louis franchise eagerly scooped up “Mr. Goalie” and on May 10, 1970 Hall was in the net when Orr scored his signature goal.  

Another Reason to Buy Season Tickets

NHL rules state that If a team’s two goalies are injured during a game, anybody can play the position — including a fan from inside the arena. What could go wrong?

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