Yesterday evening fans watching the Devils-Carolina game were treated to a gem of “the craziest fucking thing I’ve ever seen” proportions when, as a result of pulling Clemmensen on a PP with seven or so minutes remaining in the game, a goalie changed on the fly. This naturally led to the obvious question: “Has anyone ever seen anything like that before? Most likely Stan! Stan Fischler!” The mere mention of Stan started a trip down history lane as written by mcguffers, Patty (in Dallas), and us. We were too sad at the thought of this time capsule being buried in the game thread forever, so we’ve lovingly recreated it here for posterity’s sake. We’re sure Stan would approve.
Schnookie: Whenever Stan opens his mouth, all I hear is “*Sound of nails on chalkboard, amplified a thousandfold*”. I have no idea whether he’s delved into his centuries of first-hand hockey history to tell us the tale of Brick “Seagull” Rafferty, the goaltender for the short-lived Pawtucket Pamphleteers, who played only 15 games in the 1908-09 NHL season. Seagull earned his nickname for the way he would swoop in and out of the goal, and he wore newspapers for pads. Those were the good old days, I tells ya. I imagine the Pamphleteers wore socks that had dozens of tiny, narrow stripes.
mcguffers: Their equipment “manager” was a delightfully, mischievous 14 year old boy who smoked cigars, poured ipecac in the opposing teams water bottles, and idolized good ol’ Gull.
Schnookie: You know it! Little Bobby “The Freckles Kid” McGinty. That kid was such a scamp. He made a fortune on his bathtub gin during Prohibition and ended up an orange grove baron in Florida in his later years. He married eight times in his life, and never lost that playful twinkle in his eyes.
Pookie: Extry, extry! Read all about it! Pamphleteers pound Poughkeepsie Plowmen in powerful playoff!
Schnookie: The Pamphleteers and Plowmen had a storied rivalry, at least for the few years before both teams became defunct. They still tell tales of the New Year’s Eve Bloodbath, that legendary game from the waning hours of 1907, when Spud Kleinmann went berserk and waded into the Plowman bench, swinging his stick like a scythe. It took the local constabulary days to quell the ensuing riots.
mcguffers:: That was the year Schenectady won the championship by default. Scranton would have made a run for it, but they had to forfeit when their train got stuck in a snow bank.
Schnookie: Schenectady went from fourth place to first overnight! It was the Miracle Finish of ‘07-’08, the likes of which we’re likely to never see again, unless someone brings back train travel and giant snowbanks in June.
mcguffers: And with the failing economy and global warming, that may not be impossible!
Schnookie: Oh my god! You’re so right! We’re going to see a repeat of the Miracle Finish of ‘07-’08! Never fear, Penguins! Hope is on the way!
Pookie: Meanwhile, the whole season fans had to hear Steamboat Springs complaining about their heavy travel while Schenectady and Poughkeepsie had cream puff travel.
Schnookie: Yeah, the Steamboat Springs fans were all, “They can take the horseless carriage to ALL of their games!”
Pookie: Meanwhile, Steamboat Springs took the Panama Canal to all their EC match-ups.
Schnookie: Hell, they had to dig the Panama Canal to get to their EC match-ups. Because rounding the Horn before every game was taking too much out of them.
Schnookie: BULLY!!! You know what made the ladies swoon back then? Hockey players who wore pince-nez.
Pookie: Why do the Brighton Beach Bull Moose always win? Because the other team is distracted by their pince-nez.
mcguffers: Those definitely were the good ol days. Before those Europeans took over. Bastards.
Schnookie: Yeah, I blame it all on the Kaiser.
Patty (in Dallas): [In response to newsie boy's headline from earlier] I’ll take one of those, little boy! Here’s a penny! Keep the change!
Pookie: That’ll be 3/8th of a sixpenny, please!
Schnookie: That’ll be one bit, lady!
Pookie: 3/8th of a sixpenny = one bit, apparently.
Schnookie: That was before the bit-to-sixpenny exchange rate spiraled out of control. You should have heard William Jennings Bryan’s early-career speech, about the Cross of Bits. He was right that the bit standard was a bad idea.
Pookie: Whoa, too rich for my blood. Look at that hobo! He’s being photographed by Jacob Riis!
Patty (in Dallas): That’s not a hobo! That’s the Little Match Girl!
Pookie: Quick, someone call Horatio Alger! Let’s give this a happy ending!
Schnookie: If that Match Girl is a Schenectady fan, she GOT her happy ending. Sheesh. She’s so demanding! What, a miracle championship wasn’t enough for her? Who does she think she is? The sick kid Babe Ruth called his shot for?
mcguffers: And neither are to be confused with the poor, sick orphan who was Plowman forward Skip McMurphy’s biggest fan. Skip and the rest of the Plowman arranged for little Bobby and some of the nuns from the orphanage to come to a game. Unfortunately, one of the nuns was knocked unconscious by a deflected slap shot. The puck bounced back onto the ice after hitting her and Skip shot towards the net for the goal that won the game. The nun was fine and got an assist. Then she and Skip signed the puck for Bobby.
Schnookie: Oh, the famous Nunshot game! That puck ended up in the Poughkeepsie Sports Hall of Fame, you know. Actually, that puck is pretty much the only thing in the Poughkeepsie Sports Hall of Fame… Regardless, Sister Mary Beauregard still stands as the only woman to register an official point in an NHL game.
mcguffers: And to think, Don Cherry was only a wee lad of 10 years old!
Patty (in Dallas): There’s a small blurb on Page 3 about how the entire town of Galveston was wiped out by a hurricane seven years ago. (The news just reached the Erie Canal.)
Pookie: Yeah, the line of people repeating the news took a long time to get South. “What,” asks Fischler, “The fire clown with gull vests on was swiped at with a furry cane?”
mcguffers: Which, oddly enough, actually did happen when the circus was up in Oswego.
Schnoookie: The local constabulary in Oswego finally had to take that fire clown’s furry cane away. He was a menace to society.
Pookie: mcguffers, you’re on fire tonight!
Schnookie: That’s because the clown in the gull vest was mcguffers’s great-great-great grandfather. Being on fire runs in the family.
mcguffers: Apparently, someone told you guys about Easter dinner last year! Poor Dad.
Schnoookie: Wait, it happened AGAIN?
mcguffers: I KNOW, RIGHT??!! I was like, “Dad! Seriously! Did Great-great-great grandpa Howard’s gull vest story teach you NOTHING?? You shouldn’t use a blowtorch to glaze the ham! I don’t care WHAT Sandra Lee does!”
Schnookie: Considering your family history, you guys need to be EXTRA careful!
Pookie: The original Sandra Lee being a traveling snake-oil salesperson. She color coordinated her covered wagon for each tincture she was selling.
Patty (in Dallas): Sandra Lee always likes to have different textures to represent her tinctures.
mcguffers: My family’s proud of our history as Fire clowns in the circus! I still have great great great grandpa’s furry cane hanging in the living room. We’re still not allowed in Oswego though. As if that’s a punishment.