Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Black Aces Vintage - Ducks Edition

Tough loss for the Senators on a night they deserved better. Jonas Hiller was incredible for the Ducks with 39 saves.

The one real bright light for the Senators - and he's been building for a while now - is Milan Michalek, the forgotten man.

Coming off a major ACL surgery, Michalek has been pretty much invisible so far this season but he seems to have turned a corner here and is starting to create a lot of chances and get a few points.

He's signed for three more seasons and the Senators will be hoping that this is a preview of what he can do next year. I'm sure Bryan Murray would rather hold on to the winger instead of peddling him at the deadline, if only to prove that he did get something valuable in return for Heatley.

The Senators looked motivated and organized tonight but at some point, they are going to have to win an actual NHL hockey game.

How good would Jason Spezza look on this team right now?

***

With the rare appearance of the Anaheim Ducks in town, here's a special edition of Black Aces Vintage, Ducks style, with some old-school artifacts from the Disney movie that came to life as a hockey team.

Before Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger, there was Paul Kariya. The Ducks first bankable star, Kariya was a human highlight reel in the early part of his career before a vicious Gary Suter crosscheck to the face in the 97-98 season took the wind out of his sails.



He was never really the same afterwards, although still a very good player for a long time. In fact, his greatest moment came much afterwards in 2003 when he was bulldozed into unconsciousness by Scott Stevens in game six of the Stanley Cup final, but returned later in the game to score a big goal to cap off a Ducks win to force Game 7. An amazing moment and one of the more dramatic scenarios ever in a Stanley Cup final.



Kariya was a serious kind of dude but was somehow convinced to take part in the NHL's set of commercials in 1996 where the slogan being pushed was "The Coolest Game On Earth".  Obviously, the NHL's marketing department has come a long way since then. Peas?




This isn't exactly vintage, but just try and remember the Ottawa Senators in a Stanley Cup final. It just seems like a long time ago. Here's Chris Pronger laying out Dean McAmmond in Game Three with a sneaky elbow. Unbelievably, this isn't the worst thing that ever happened to McAmmond on the ice. He would later be nearly decapitated by Steve Downie in a pre-season game.



To lighten matters, here's the Ducks mascot Wild Wing in a 1995 pre-game stunt gone horribly awry. Classic.



Clearly, this incident inspired Will Ferrell in Old School. Go Cougars!



Another time Wild Wing, who often descends from the rafters to get the fans riled up, got stuck on the way down and was trapped for a while in front of horrified children. I couldn't find video of that one. Bummer.

And yes, this really happened. Ottawa's own Jason York in the worst NHL jersey of all-time.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I had seen an image of that Ducks jersey while just randomly browsing on the Internet, I would have thought that someone just Photoshopped that silly crest on to the jersey.

The fact that it's real ... unbelievable.

Even Jason York looks like he's holding back some vomit, in that picture.

I feel kinda bad for Kariya. I don't think that he gets the credit that he deserves for his impact on the league.

He and Lindros were arguably the best players in the league, back in the mid to late 90's. Kariya's stature, as a top player, helped stabilize and lend credibility to the expansion Ducks.

He was not only a great player, but he fit the "Disney mold"; family friendly, good citizen ... I think he did a lot for that franchise.

You can see that the Ducks' expansion cousins, the Florida Panthers, are still searching for that guy that they can build a core fan base around, to stabilize the team.

Hopefully, Kariya makes it back to the league and ends on a high note.

Sens said...

Miss Scott Stevens, Kariya should have retired after the lockout.

Any thoughts on Clouston still being coach? I know media and bloggers have been calling for his head but it looks like we're gunning for a lottery pick...no problems here.

Looking forward to your next blog(s), easily the best Sens blog out there (Like Sens Chirp for gameday stuff but he's a bit too management-friendly and 6th Sens is great in its own, irreverant way).