Tuesday, January 16, 2007
In Back to the Future, Part II, Marty McFly and Doc Brown try to get back to 1985, but because of unforeseen circumstances, they return to an alternative 1985.
So, of course, this got the Pensblog staff thinking, and we have decided to borrow the DeLorean and find the alternative 1993...
To see what it would've been like if the Penguins had beaten the New York Islanders in that prolific Game 7.
Sid Bream scoring on Francisco Cabrera's single in 1991...
Gumby going off TV...
...and Salute Your Shorts getting cancelled.
But the moment I knew my happy childhood was over was when David Volek cruised down the right wing at the 5:16 mark of overtime in Game 7.
Not only because it was just plain gut-wrenching, but because it prevented a possible Mario Lemieux vs. Patrick Roy/Montreal Wales Conference finals and a possible Mario vs. Wayne, winner-take-all Stanley Cup Finals.
You could only dream about what would've happened; how things would've been different.
May 14, 1993
Pens vs. Isles
The shot hits the post and bounces over the glass, killing Christina Aguilera sitting in section B15.
As OT wears on, the Pens and Isles go back and forth.
And then...it happens.
Peter Taglianetti brings the house down, beating the immortal Islander goalie Glen Healy at the 17:53 mark.
His goal will forever be known as "The Hand of Tags Goal," after a Mario Lemieux slapshot goes through his hand and past Healy. Taglianetti later dies at Mercy Hospital.
And what a series it was.
Eleven people have to go to the hospital due to his stirring rendition.
Game One was a fierce battle, but Montreal wins 4-3 on a late third-period goal by John LeClair.
Game Two will forever be remembered as "The Chicken Game".
The Pens and Habs were tied 4-4 going into the third period.
Mario Lemieux scores on a short-handed breakaway to give the Pens a 5-4 lead with about 8:00 left in the game.
In celebration of the goal, someone in the Civic Arena stands throws a live chicken onto the ice.
The Pens added an empty-net goal at the end to send the series to Montreal tied at one apiece.
Le Forum de Montreal.
The mystique and aura around playing in this heralded stadium during the Stanley Cup Playoffs makes the Penguins vomit on themselves for much of the game.
Every Penguin...except for one.
Mario Lemieux grew up around these parts and simply took this game over.
2 G, 2 A.
Pens win 3-1.
Lemieux: 4 points on the Pens' 3 goals. That's how sick Lemieux was in 1993.
This game was the defining moment in young Penguin Shawn McEachern's career.
The night before, he had hit the town with a few other Penguins.
McEachern learns French and ends up banging Patrick Roy's wife three times in the bathroom of some bar.
To add insult to injury, the next night in Game 4, Shawn McEachern scores the game-winner in overtime and blows a kiss to Roy's wife in the stands.
Patrick Roy sees this and viciously attacks McEachern, knocking him out for the rest of the playoffs.
The NHL clamps down hard, and Roy is suspended for the rest of the playoffs.
When questioned as to what Roy said to him, McEachern replied, "I don't know. I couldn't hear him 'cause his wife's thong was stuck in my ear."
Game 5 back in Pittsburgh should not have even been played.
With Patrick Roy unavailable, the Penguins beat the Canadiens and backup goalie Andre Racicot 17-3.
This sets up a Stanley Cup Final between Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.
Stanley Cup Finals
Lemieux vs. Gretzky
It brought comparisons to the other great match-ups in history:
Jordan vs. Bird
Foreman vs. Ali
Roe vs. Wade
Because of the excitement surrounding this series, the NHL and the city of Pittsburgh moves the home games in this series to Three Rivers Stadium.
Due to the ice on the field, the city is forced to part ways with the Steelers.
Prior to Game One, Wayne Gretzky's goons slash Lemieux's tires at his house in Sewickley, a Pittsburgh suburb.
Lemieux calls Jagr to pick him up for the game.
On the way to the game, in a car crash rivaled only by Philadelphia Phillies' Darren Daulton and Lenny Dykstra's car crash of 1991, Jagr is speeding and gets into an accident.
Lemieux and Jagr spend Game One in the hospital, watching the Kings take a 1-0 series lead with a 5-1 victory.
Gretzky scores all five goals for Los Angeles.
Lemieux and Jagr return for Game Two, and the Kings didn't even know what hit them.
Lemieux and Jagr score 2 goals apiece, and Barrasso scores an empty-net goal to seal a 6-4 win.
Out in Hollywood for games three and four, the Pens take in the movie-star atmosphere.
Jim Paek is lost for the rest of the series after an all-night coke binge with Nick Nolte and Kevin Pollack.
Despite losing Paek, the Pens rally around each other and pull out an impressive 4-1 victory in the Los Angeles Forum.
Word has spread about Gretzky's goons slashing Lemieux's tires prior to Game One.
In an effort to arouse some more home-ice advantage, the Kings hand out pocket knives to everyone in attendance.
The final count isn't exact, but 350 people in attendance were dead by the first intermission.
Due to the stench of death permeating in the Forum, the Kings are forced to forfeit the game.
The Pens head back to Pittsburgh with a chance to clinch the Stanley Cup on home ice.
This game is easily one of the most memorable in hockey history.
The great Lemieux/Gretzky match-up has not turned out exactly as it was billed.
Other than committing felonies and the resulting Game One, Gretzky has done nothing to merit attention while Lemieux has stolen the headlines.
With all of the surrounding scandals, the Kings were not in any condition to play Game Five.
The Kings were down 4-0 midway through the second period when the most egregious event in sports history occurred.
During a commercial break, a male streaker jumped onto the ice and ran straight towards Wayne Gretzky.
He hugs Wayne Gretzky, and Gretzky proceeds to make out with the guy for the rest of the commercial break.
Wayne Gretzky comes out of the closet at a special press conference during the second intermission.
Because he is gay, the NHL puts an asterisk beside all of his NHL records.
He retires before the 1993-94 season.
Pens go on to handily defeat the Kings 5-1, and they win the Cup.
Due to this alternative 1993:
- Due to his team's huge win, owner Howard Baldwin has more money than he knows what to do with. He takes a chance on a script called "Titanic." He makes a few minor changes and casts Mario Lemieux to play the star role. The movie, a true story about how Mario Lemieux saves the Titanic, opens to a $500-billion weekend. Mario is payed half the profit. Howard Baldwin builds 17 new arenas.
- During the postgame celebration of the Stanley Cup, Paul Steigerwald is hit by a champagne cork in the eye. He loses his left eye and is forced to wear an eye patch for the rest of his life. Because of this, "One-Eye Steigy" is forced to do radio the rest of his days, and the Pens sign Mike Lange to a lifetime TV contract.
- The Penguins go on to win 8 more Stanley Cups in the '90s, becoming the team of the millenium. Mario wins the Art Ross Trophy (305 points) in 2001, and announces his retirement the following day. He retires and is recognized as the greatest athlete ever.
- Tom Barrasso and running partner Frank Pietrangelo are elected into the White House in the 2000 Election. Gas drops to an unheard of 26 cents a gallon. Congress amends the Consititution, and Barrasso serves as President until 2014...when he is shot from the 42nd floor of the Steel Tower by Ken Wregget.
Couldn't take the backup role like a man.
- Craig Patrick, bored with having won so much, trades Jaromir Jagr for Kris Beech, Micheal Sivek, and Ross Lupaschuk.
- Howald Baldwin pays the 2002-2005 Penguins to lose every game so they can draft Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal.
- Jim Paek uses his now infamous coke binge to catapult himself into a career in Hollywood. His big break comes in 1995 when he lands the lead role of Korben Dallas in "The Fifth Element".
- Mario unretires in 2007, becomes player/coach of the Penguins, and wins a remarkable 14 straight Stanley Cups.
- The Vermont Steelers toil in mediocrity after leaving Pittsburgh, going winless in 5 straight seasons before being absorbed into the CFL.
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