During the NHL’s hiatus, we at the Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for April 1st, featuring the cancellation of the 1919 Stanley Cup Final.
Today in Hockey History
1919 Stanley Cup Final Canceled by Flu
1919: The deciding game of the 1919 Stanley Cup Final was not played because of the influenza pandemic. It was supposed be Game 6 of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Seattle Metropolitans. Only three Habs players were well enough to play.
Defenceman Joe Hall would pass away from the illness four days later. George Kennedy would never fully recover and die on Oct. 19, 1921. The Stanley Cup would be awarded every year after that until the 2004 lockout.
Other Notable Events
1926: Clint Benedict of the Montreal Maroons is the first goalie to get three straight playoff shutouts in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Maroons would beat the Victoria Cougars in five games in the last final that didn’t have two NHL teams.
1954: Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings scores nine seconds into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup semifinal. It would be the fastest post-season goal in history as the Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime.
2004: The Boston Bruins are the first team to play 30 overtime games in a single season. Boston would skate to a 3-3 tie with Washington.
2018: Alex Ovechkin is the first Caps’ player to play in 1,000 career games. Washington would beat Pittsburgh, 3-1, to get its third straight Metropolitan Division title.
Happy Birthday to You
1921: Ken Reardon
1964: Scott Stevens
1972: Darren McCarty
1978: J.P. Dumont
1983: Jussi Jokinen
1991: Reilly Smith
1996: Warren Foegele