When it comes to historic dates in the National Hockey League, December 19 is right near the top of the list. The first match in tournament history was played on this day, and it also saw the 1,000-point mark hit faster than ever or will repeat. Let’s start our daily trip through hockey history.
The biggest day in NHL history
The NHL began its inaugural season on December 19, 1917, with a pair of games. The Canadian Montreal took a 7-4 win over the Ottawa Senators, and the Montreal Wanderers took a crazy 10-9 win at the Toronto Arenas.
Wanderers defender Dave Ritchie made history just a minute after his game by scoring the first goal in NHL history. He scored the second goal in the third inning, proving to be the winner of the game. Harry Hyland scored five for the winning team, while Reg Noble scored four for Toronto.
Team scoring was the theme of the night as Joe Malone scored the first goal in Canadianiens history on the way to a five-goal game. He earned his first NHL scoring title with 44 goals and 48 points in 20 games. How about that for a goal to assist ratio?
Exactly one century later, on December 19, 2017, the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate 100order celebrated their first game with an 8-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Leafs wore Arenas’ jerseys for their “Game of the Next Century”. They received goals from eight different players in the margin of victory.
Gretzky, fastest to 1,000
Wayne Gretzky scored twice and added four assists on December 19, 1984, in the Edmonton Oilers’ 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. A superb performance earned him 1,000 points from just 424 career games. This is the fastest rate at which any player scores 1,000 points. Not only did he break the record, but he broke it into a million pieces. The previous record was held by Guy Lefleur, who needed 720 games to hit 1,000 points.
Five years later, on December 19, 1989, Gretzky had another six-point night. He had two goals and four assists, this time helping lead the Kings to a win, 9-5 over the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
Big day in Boston
Tiny Thompson made 34 saves in the 41st game of his career on December 19, 1933, and Bob Gracie scored at 6:24 in extra time for the Boston Bruins; 1-0 win over Montreal Maroons. All of the game’s proceeds, nearly $7,000, were donated to Ace Bailey’s wife. Bailey, a front for Maple Leafs, suffered a career-ending injury a week earlier. He fractured his skull when his head hit the ice following a massive blow from the Bruins guard Eddie Shore.
On December 19, 1945, Bill Cowley scored twice and provided two more assists as the Bruins beat the New York Rangers 8-7 in a game without penalties. Herb Cain scored the winning goal with 20 seconds remaining in the allotted time.
Phil Esposito set a new team record with seven points on 19 December 1974, by scoring three goals and four assists in the Bruins’ 11-3 win over Rangers. This is 23rd hat trick in his career.
Rick Middleton earned his 800th NHL point on December 19, 1984, when the Bruins lost 6-5 to the Hartford Whalers. Terry O’Reilly had an eventful night as he took nine penalties in total; Five minors, three adults and one misbehavior in the game.
Bruins and St. Louis Blues scored the fastest two goals in NHL history on December 19, 1987. Ken Linseman scored after less than a minute of play to shorten the Blues’ lead to 6-5. When the scorer was on the bench for an additional attacker, Doug Gilmour scored two seconds later with victory in the next encounter and shot into an empty net.
Related – 50th scorer for the Boston Bruins
Ray Bourque has scored 300 pointsorder career goal on December 19, 1993, to lead the Bruins to a 2–1 win over the Florida Panthers. He, along with Paul Coffey and Denis Potvin, were the only defenders to score 300 goals. His 410 career goals are still the most in NHL history by a blueliner.
Federko & Gartner Shine
A pair of Hall of Famers, Bernie Federko, the Blues’ all-time top scorer, and Mike Gartner, one of the only eight players scored 700 goals, both had a big night in this date.
Federko started things off with four assists on December 19, 1978, helping to end St. Louis (0-6-1) with a 7-4 win over the Atlanta Flames. Brian Sutter was successful in scoring twice and assisting two others, while rookie Wayne Babych had one goal and three assists in the win.
Three years later, on December 19, 1981, Federko extended his team’s assists record to 10 consecutive games in the Blues’ 5-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Goalkeeper Mike Liut had the fifth start of his career.
Gartner scored his seventh goal of the season on December 19, 1986, to become the first player to score 600 points as a member of the Washington Capitals. The milestone was the 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils.
On December 19, 1992, now a Rangers member, Gartner scored his 556th goal, beating Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk to eighth on the NHL’s all-time list. This historic goal came in a 4-4 draw with the Whalers.
Odds & Ends
Harry Lumley became the youngest goalscorer to appear in an NHL game on December 19, 1943, in the Detroit Red Wings’ 6-2 loss to Rangers. He was only 17 years and 38 days old when he kicked. It was the first appearance in a long career that lasted until 1960 and saw him win 330 games.
Rookie goalkeeper Tony Esposito scored his fifth appearance of the season on December 19, 1969, in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-0 win over the Oakland Seals. He ended the 1969-70 season with 15 appearances, an NHL rookie record.
Charlie Simmer set the modern NHL record with his 10th consecutive goal on December 19, 1979, in the Kings’ 4-4 draw at the Maple Leafs. He extended this streak to 13 games before it broke. It remains the longest scoring streak in the modern era and the fourth longest overall.
The Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars made a big deal on December 19, 1995, benefiting both teams. The Flames traded Joe Nieuwendyk to the Stars for Corey Millen and Jarome Iginla, whom they drafted in the first round of the previous NHL Entry Draft. Nieuwendyk was a very important part of Dallas’ Stanley Cup victory in 1999, and Iginla went on to become Calgary’s all-time leader in goals and points.
Defender Michel Petit became the first player in NHL history to score a goal for nine different teams on December 19, 1997, when his first goal of the season helped the Phoenix Coyotes win 6-2 before Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Wade Redden had one goal and one assist on December 19, 2002, in the 500th game of his career against the Senators. Daniel Alfredsson was credited with four assists in a 9-3 win over the San Jose Sharks.
On December 19, 2015, Phil Kessel become 23rd player in NHL history to play in 500 consecutive games. He was dropped from the scoreboard when the Pittsburgh Penguins lost 2-1 at home to the Carolina Hurricanes.
A group of 19 NHL players born on this day is headed by late Hall of Fame guard Doug Harvey, who was born on December 19, 1924. Other notable players share birthdays on the same date. today are Ron Schock (78 years old), Behn Wilson (63 years old), Eric Weinrich (55 years old), Robert Lang (51 years old), Matt Stajan (38 years old) and Carter Hutton (36 years old).
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and is a venue manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and is fully certified for the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers have included the Blackhawks, AHL, columnist “Days of the Day”. now in hockey history” daily, serving as a copy editor, appearance and host many YouTube shows, including the Blackhawks Banter. He holds certifications with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs and Milwaukee Admirals, and is a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full, Greg hosts quizzes in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or providing topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and access.
https://thehockeywriters.com/dec-19-history-gretzky-gartner-iginla/ Today in Hockey History: December 19