I thought with tonight being the first B’s/Habs game of the season, it would be appropriate to write about someone who played on both teams…
My friend Tim sent me a bunch of hockey cards a while back, and he handpicked which ones he thought I would like. Tim knew I was a fan of the enforcers, and Chris “Knuckles” Nilan certain fell into this category. Although hated while he was on the Habs (and responsible for an extra piece of glass being added to the Garden to divide visiting players from the B’s bench), I was glad to see a Boston-bred tough guy on the B’s.
On my 17th birthday, I watched Knuckles make NHL history. My dad took me to the B’s-Whalers game, and “Nilan was penalized a record ten penalties; six minors, two majors, one misconduct and one game misconduct, for a total of 42 penalty minutes.” (from Wikipedia).
I hung out with my friend Mike before the game, and thanks to my dad capturing many McGrath Moments on film; I have this picture of Mike with me sporting my sweet mullet (not to mention our almost straight across hat brims). He also got pictures of Nilan fighting Jim McKenzie, sitting in the penalty box, and being kicked out of the game. And, of course, my father took a picture of the post game scoreboard – complete with #30’s remaining penalty minutes (I think my dad takes a picture of the scoreboard no matter what the outcome, while I usually only take one if the B’s win).
It was definitely a game I’ll never forget, and I have Nilan to thank for most of that!
My father also keeps the newspaper articles to most of the games he takes pictures of, and this one was no different. Kinda gives you an idea why I have all of these things to scan and blog about, eh?
Even though the B’s lost their first game to Montreal tonight, I still love this rivalry. Like Nilan, there still is at least one Canadiens player I wouldn’t mind seeing in black and gold. Looking forward to payback on Saturday night!