Saturday, 11 October 2014

Happy Lemieux Day!

Ok, so it's not an official holiday or anything, but today marked a pretty important day in the hockey world. As you can see to the left, this article will be about Mario Lemieux. Being that he was, is, and will always be my favorite player, today is a pretty special day in the history of the Pittsburgh Penguins. His start as Penguin at the draft is well-documented, but Mario Lemieux's debut in the NHL started off in the right way.

Lemieux debuted with the Penguins on October 11, 1984 against the Boston Bruins. He scored on Pete Peeters on his first shift on the game, making Ray Bourque look rather average.
That overexposed video makes me cringe, but Lemieux showed great hands and great speed as he caused the turnover and then raced in on Peeters. That would be the first of 43 goals that season, 690 NHL regular-season goals in total, and the first of 766 NHL goals including playoff tallies.

It's hard to believe that was some thirty years ago, but it has been that long since Lemieux scored his first goal. He scored a pile of other memorable goals - 1991 Stanley Cup Final versus the Minnesota North Stars, the '87 Canada Cup in overtime, his return to the ice after retirement against the Maple Leafs - but the goal above started it all.

He arguably may not have been the best player of all-time, but he was always one of the most feared players on the ice because of his size, his skill, his vision, and his ability to seemingly have the puck find his stick. Countless trophies, two Stanley Cups, Canada Cups, a World Cup of Hockey, and an Olympic gold medal, and it was all started thirty years ago against the Boston Bruins.

First goal. First shift. First game.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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