Busy morning round here with appointments and work (yeah, it happens, fancy that) getting in the way of the serious business of blogging.
I can't let this day go by without a mention of it, though -- 30 years ago tonight, Darryl Sittler's NHL record 10-point night happened, against Boston's Dave Reece, a goalie who vanished as quickly as he appeared.
|RON BULL/TORONTO STAR|
|Sittler's final goal -- No. 6 on the night -- 30 years ago today.|
(For a PDF file of the sports front page the day after -- actually, it was two days after, The Star not publishing a Sunday paper back in '76 -- click here.)
What's been airbrushed out of that long ago night was the role Harold Ballard played -- and you knew he did, Ballard making so much of Sittler's performance afterward. But before, it was a little bit different story. This from Frank Orr's sharp report in the (Monday) Feb. 9 Star:
Sittler's epic performance came one day after the latest of owner Ballard's carefully pipelined assaults against the dignity of the people he employs.
In ranting No. 345, Ballard claimed he was "determined to find a sensational centre" to play between the team's two top wingers, Lanny McDonald and Errol Thompson.
"We'd set off a time bomb if we had a hell of a centre in there," said Ballard.
"Undoubtedly Mr. Ballard will figure his little blast inspired me to set the record but it just isn't that way," said Sittler. "Maybe now he won't have to hunt quite so hard for that centre he wants."
Two things about this: Who's more improbable to be involved in a similar catfight now --Mats Sundin, or the anonymous bunch who dip into the petty cash to pay him?
And: Was this the finest post-1967 moment in Leafsland, given that the playoffs since have invariably ended in disappointment?