Search This Blog

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Hockey History As Told By Cardboard - Paul Henderson

September 2, 1972 saw game one of what became known as the Summit Series take place at the Montreal Forum. The game was between Team Canada, arguably one of the best international hockey teams ever assembled, and the underdog USSR. 

Phil Esposito scored 30 seconds in with Paul Henderson giving them a 2-0 lead only six minutes later. But then the tide turned, the red tide.  The Soviets regrouped and started to play their calculated attacking style of cycling the puck until a perfect scoring chance opened up.  They new they were better conditioned for a game of attrition and used that against the Canadian team that had only been playing together for about a month.  It was 2-2 at the end of the first period and the Soviets kept coming, scoring two more in the second, and scored three more, winning 7-3.

According to Paul Henderson, "They told us the Russians were an average team with a Junior B Goalie.  We Took a 2-0 Lead in Game 1, but they came back and beat us 7-3. Even though we won the series, we learned how good Soviet hockey was, and how good of a goalie Vladislav Tretiak was."

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Elvis Has Just Left The Igloo

Not mine, but wish it was

It's been a helluva run in Pittsburgh for Mike Lange.  The voice of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the last 46 years has finally decided to unplug the famous, old-school headset and retire from announcing. 

Here is some background for those not familiar with Mike Lange's career.  Mike never would have gotten into hockey at all if it wasn't for his friend from college, Len Shapiro, coaxing him to go to a game back in 1969. He has said on many occasions that he never had been to a game, or even watched a hockey game in his life up to that point.  But, all it took for this life-long baseball fan, was one hockey game to change his fate.  

He worked his way up from scorekeeper to PA announcer for the Sacramento State team, then moved on to announcing duties for both the San Diego Gulls and Phoenix Roadrunners of the WHL, before joining the Penguins in 1974-75. After the team went bankrupt (for the first time), he became a soccer announcer for a year, returning to the Pens in 1976-77.  He's been there ever since.  Let's put it this way...in my lifetime, he has always been the announcer for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mike's career is legendary and no team soundtrack, or my entire hockey fandom, would be complete without hearing "It's A Hockey Night In Pittsburgh" broadcast over the airwaves to begin a Penguins game.  Almost every iconic hockey play for the last 46 years in Pittsburgh has an equally iconic call by his legendary voice.  Through all of the good times with the five Stanley Cup Championships, to the bad times in the 80s and early 2000's where the team was in dire straits (not the band), Mike Lange left his indelible signature on each game. From 1976 until 2005-06 season, he had worked both the radio and television broadcasts, becoming the lead radio announcer in 2006.  I even remember a time in the late 80s when he called Pirates games as well. He even called this famous game between the Penguins and Blackhawks that I think we all remember...




One thing that his peers and mentee's alike have admired about him was his game preparation.  He would put tons of research into every game, trying to be extremely precise and as thorough as possible. He would spend hours going over players, stats, line pairings, and honing his awareness of the subtle nuances of the game.  It always surprised me how well he could predict the stars of the game during warm ups. So many times, you'd hear him talk about a player with some extra "pep in their step" on the ice and sure enough, that guy would be one of the three-stars at the end of the night. The ultimate perfectionist, Lange has said on many occasions that he felt he had only called maybe 10 "perfect" games in his entire career.  While I, and many others, would surely disagree, those ten games were good enough for immortality.  In 2001, Mike was enshrined in the Hockey Hall Of Fame, receiving the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his years of work in broadcasting with the Penguins.

Most of all, it was Mike Lange's unique catchphrases that were the calling card of his career in broadcasting. While he certainly came up with many of these, he has credited fans and colleagues alike over the years for coining the phrases or at least, giving him the ideas. When I was 11, I had a t-shirt with all the "Langism's" along with some caricatures that embodied the sayings. Wish I still had that shirt, although it would be more suitable for framing not wearing on my now 33 year older body. 

Some of the more famous lines you could hear nightly included:

"Slap Me Silly Sidney"

"I'll Be Cow Kicked"

"Michael, Michael Motorcycle" 

"Eddie Spaghetti"

"Call Arnold Slick From Turtle Creek"
(pronounced Crick...if you know, you know)

"Lookout Loretta"

"He Beat Him Like A Rented Mule"

"Make Me A Milkshake, Malkin"

"Scratch My Back With A Hacksaw"

"Shave My Face With A Rusty Razor"

"Great Balls Of Fire"

"Elvis Has Just Left The Building"

"Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley. Bring Me The Brandy"

"Buy Sam A Drink And Get His Dog One Too"

"Let's Go Hunt Moose On A Harley"

______Whoever the goalie is 
"Just Lost His Liquor License"

______Whoever the goalie is 
"Doesn't Know Whether To Cry Or Wind His Watch"

"He Smoked Him Like A Bad Cigar"

"He's Smiling Like A Butcher's Dog"

"She Wants To Sell My Monkey"

"Get In The Fast Lane Grandma. The Bingo Game's Ready To Roll"


This is by far not a complete list of Langism's but it's a good start. You can look up many of his calls, thankfully, on YouTube, forever immortalized on the internets.  There is a silver lining here, however, as the Penguins press release mentioned that Mike will be staying with the Penguins Radio Network and we will all "continue to hear Lange's voice during radio appearances and various Penguins programming." Good news for sure.

I always wanted to meet Mike but never got the chance. Back in the 80s and early 90s, Penguins personalities were always somewhere, making appearances, doing promotions, signing autographs, etc. But there wasn't a time where I crossed paths with the legendary voice of hockey in Pittsburgh. I'll get an autograph one day.




_________________________ 
 Like what you read? Have a comment? Be sure to leave one below.

Check out TheRealDFG on Twitter @therealdfg. 

Be sure to check out the latest #PuckJunkPodcast. 
Just search and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Podchaser, PocketCasts, Castbox, Castro, Overcast, TuneIn or SoundCloud.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Latest Puck Junk Podcast: The One In Which We National It Up


Puck Junk was at the National Sports Collectors Convention this past weekend. Sal was there with a booth set up, selling the wares of the site and Podcast as well as cards.  Jessica (my wife) and I were there on Saturday to wander and spend money.  Overall, the show was lots of fun for us. We had a great time hanging out, searching for hockey cards, and wearing out the soles of our shoes.  

In the latest Puck Junk Podcast, we reflect on the show, what we liked, what we didn't like, and our overall opinion. We are joined today by Jess to give her thoughts as someone that was new to the hobby only a few years ago and has a "non-traditional" type of collection. She also has her own trading card made by Upper Deck, which neither of your esteemed hosts possess.  

Check out our fun recap show.


Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Follow Jessica on Twitter @WifeOfDFG.
Podcast opening and closing music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.

Subscribe to the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyiHeartRadioStitcherPodchaserPocketCastsCastbox , Castro,

Love hockey? Join the Puck Junk Facebook Group and subscribe to Puck Junk on YouTube

Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Latest Puck Junk Podcast: The One In Which Duncan Heads North


In the latest Puck Junk Podcast, Sal & I chat about all sorts of recent NHL news like the Duncan Keith trade, the NHL Draft (both entry and expansion), the Stanley Cup Final, and more.

We also chat about some of the new hockey releases, as well as ones on the horizon. Then we chat about the up coming National Hockey Card Day and the National Sports Collectors Convention.

Check it out.

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.
Follow Tim Parish on Twitter @TheRealDFG.
Podcast opening and closing music by Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard.

Subscribe to the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyiHeartRadioStitcherPodchaserPocketCastsCastbox , Castro,
OvercastTuneIn and SoundCloud.

Love hockey? Join the Puck Junk Facebook Group and subscribe to Puck Junk on YouTube

Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Latest Puck Junk Podcast: The One In Which We Foretell The Future


In the latest Puck Junk Podcast, Sal & I discuss a bunch of the latest or upcoming hockey releases like the 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended Series, 2021-22 OPC, 21-22 MVP, Upper Deck Series One and the new Topps NHL Stickers.  We also talk about this coming weekend's Sports Card Expo Virtual Edition and the auto guest list for the National coming up at the end of July.  

Check it out!

Subscribe to the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyiHeartRadioStitcherPodchaserPocketCastsCastbox , Castro,
OvercastTuneIn and SoundCloud.

Love hockey? Join the Puck Junk Facebook Group and subscribe to Puck Junk on YouTube

Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Latest Puck Junk Podcast: The One In Which Gregg From Leaf Joins Us


This week's Puck Junk Podcast has a special guest. This week, Sal & Tim are joined by Gregg Kohn from Leaf. Greg is the current VP of Product Development for Leaf, was a former card shop owner and  executive with Upper Deck.  Gregg talks about working on current sets like Lumber Kings, Pearl, and the upcoming Pro Set Memories hockey set.  

Check it out.  

Subscribe to the Puck Junk Hockey Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyiHeartRadioStitcherPodchaserPocketCastsCastbox , Castro,
OvercastTuneIn and SoundCloud.

Love hockey? Join the Puck Junk Facebook Group and subscribe to Puck Junk on YouTube

Support this podcast and buy a shirt from the Puck Junk Online Shop.


_________________________ Like what you read? Have a comment? Be sure to leave one below. Check out TheRealDFG on Twitter @therealdfg. Be sure to check out the latest #PuckJunkPodcast. Just search and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Podchaser, PocketCasts, Castbox, Castro, Overcast, TuneIn or SoundCloud.