West Coast Rink Rants
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No good scraps last night, although the Caps-Pens game was pretty fun to watch.

I hear Alex Ovechkin has been hounding Donald Brashear on advice and training in the realm glove dropping.

Ovechkin already throws his weight around and something tells me that if he starts dropping the mitts, he won't be half bad.

Certainly, in a different Galaxy then his teammate, Shirley Temple Semin.

 

I'm going to take this opportunity to throw a few names out there from years past that will be remembered for many years ahead for today's edition.

Our first guy we will examine is Wendel Clark.

The farm boy from Kelvington, Saskatchewan is one of my favorites.

Clark never backed down from a challenge and took on all the premier enforcers of his era.

We're talking Probert, McSorley, Berube, Kordic, and Tocchet etc.

He didn't win them all, but it was rare to witness Clark getting stomped in a scrap.

Considering he was 5'11, 200 pounds, his pound for pound skills were awesome.

If there was ever one guy who took the phrase "left everything on the ice" it was Clark.

His style of play was that of a graceful, wrecking ball and it was because of this "guts and nutts" style that left with constant bites from the injury bug.

You must admit, Leafs fan or not, that 93 Leafs team had you believing that 67' curse was close to being snapped.

Wendel was captain of that team and he along with Dougie Gilmour willed them as far as they could go.

 

"I don't care who it is. No one gets a free ride out there. I don't get a free ride, and no one gets a free ride from me."

That is my second favorite quote from Scott Stevens.

Is that a fair warning or what?

My first favorite quote is not as chilling in the Clockwork Orange brutality manner.

It is a simple "2000 Stanley Cup, eh!"

I heard him say that right as the Devils finished the handshake with the Dallas Stars, he told  one of his teammates that as they went to wait for Keystone Gary to present them the Cup.

For one, he sounded like an extra straight out of Strange Brew and secondly, after all the rigors and all the peaks and valleys his squad had to go through to win that 2000 Stanley Cup, Stevens still had the ability to turn off that Stevens the Terrible persona and morph into a kid.

You could see on his face that winning the Cup took him back to dreaming about that moment in his youth.

How many guys do you know that could change a playoff series with one stunning open ice hit?

Not many.

Stevens did it many times over and captained his New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cups.

He never played dirty, but he always played mean.

I really liken his leadership and overall ability to Ronnie Lott in the NFL, probably that's why he is my favorite 1B all-time favorite blueliner, only one dazzling leap away from Bobby Orr.

-MB

 

Wendel

 

Stevens

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