I didn’t really expect the blog to go dark for six-plus weeks. It actually was that busy of a time here. With the new year upon us, there is finally a moment to sit and reflect on things like, say, Glen Hanlon’s RC.
Glen Hanlon was not always one of my favourite people. I had no real beef with him as a Canuck or a Ranger, but he found his inner evil as a Red Wing (don’t they all?) and this became really apparent in the second round of the 1987 playoffs. The Leafs, riding a real hot postseason from Steve Thomas, were up 3-1 in the series and needed just a win to make the semis. Glen Hanlon, who hadn’t done much of anything to that point, suddenly became convinced he was the second coming of Terry Sawchuk. He was unbeatable. The Leafs couldn’t do anything against him and the Wings won three straight to take the series.
It was the first time they’d met in the playoffs since the Bobby Baun broken-leg series of 1964, and I think the last until 1993.
I had pulled this card from my piles of stuff in order to send it to someone (I won’t say who because that would set expectations and I’m months behind in this sort of thing) and was giving it a once-over before putting it safely in a holder. Hanlon is very young here, obviously, though he didn’t look appreciably different after he became evil.
That said, it was not the front but the back that caught my attention:
Hanlon played 31 games as a rookie in 1978-79, but his career line read 35. What makes that total more interesting is that two of those four games were shutouts. Given that he only played 200 minutes (three full games plus one period, I presume) in total, that means that the total number of goals he gave up (nine) occurred in the remaining 80 minutes of hockey.
So Hanlon, in his first call-up, was either being lit up to the tune of 6.75 goals per game, or was completely untouchable.
Sounds just like 1987.