Back in November, when the Leafs honored Wendel Clark by raising his #17 to the rafters, I spent the entire month huddled in a remote cabin typing non-stop. The end result was the Top 17 Wendel Moments list, which is currently being bound into a 32-volume series that will be sold door-to-door. I may have gone a little overboard.
With Doug Gilmour getting his turn in the spotlight tonight, I haven't done a similar tribute to my second favorite Leaf of all-time. I did toy with the idea of doing a Top 93 Dougie Moments list, but then I did the math and realized I would have had to have started in October. Also, my wife threatened to leave me.
But I just can't let the moment pass without putting something together. So while this list isn't meant to be definitive, here's my own personal Doug Gilmour top 10.
#10 - Don't fear the Reaper
This was one of Gilmour's first games as a Leaf. Late in the game, Bryan Marchment got a little too snippy with Wendel Clark, leading to Steve Smith's face exploding and, eventually, Stu Grimson going insane.
Watch at 4:00, as Gilmour executes an open field tackle, followed by what appears to be a german suplex.
Side note: I think this is the fourth time in less than a year that I've used this clip in a post. I may have a problem.
#9 - The Cow Legs
You know, I'm sure this seemed like a good idea at the time.
#8 - The Interview
Dougie always was great with the media.
#7 - The Elbow
Late in game one of the 1993 conference finals, Gilmour cut across the blue line and found himself on the receiving end of a Marty McSorley elbow. The hit dropped Gilmour to the ice for several moments, although luckily he wasn't seriously hurt on the play.
Why is this a Doug Gilmour highlight? Well, it's not, but it is an excuse to show this:
#6 - The Head Butt
I'm a little hazy on the exact details, but at some point after their playoff run-in Gilmour crossed paths with McSorley again. They went nose-to-nose (OK, nose-to-chest), McSorley said something, and Gilmour head-butted him.
Now, it is technically true that there is an obscure and rarely enforced NHL rule against head-butting somebody in the face. But I defend Gilmour here, since a.) McSorley clearly deserved it, and b.) he was probably momentarily thrown off my the fact that half of McSorley's face was still missing, thanks to Wendel Clark.
I'm pretty sure Gilmour also head-butted Enrico Ciccone at one point. That one's a little harder top justify, but I think Dougie was just mad at him for using an obviously fake name stolen from a bad mafia movie.
#5 - For Your Consideration
Gilmour's 1992-93 season was the best any Leaf has had, ever, end of story. It resulted in Gilmour getting strong consideration for the MVP award (he ended up finishing second).
That lead to the Leafs producing this video that was sent to Hart voters, a perfect storm of highlights, a ridiculous interview, and 90s techno music.
#4 - His Hair in "The Passion Returns" Video
The problem with agreeing to appear in a video like this is that sometimes, you'll look back in hindsight and realize your hair was ridiculous and embarrassing and everyone will laugh at you for it. But enough about Damien Cox. Gilmour's hair was pretty bad too.
Skip ahead to 6:40. Dear lord.
Seriously, this video lead to about a thousand identical "Dougie Scissorhands" jokes in the first week after it was released.
And since we're analyzing hair, how is it that Wendel has a full head of hair in this video even though he was going bald during the playoff run. Did they film this in the pre-season just in case?
#3 - The Six Assist Game
Doug Gilmour has 95 assists during the 92-03 season, a fact I know without having to look it up even though I don't know when my parents' birthdays are. A half dozen of those came in one game against the Stars, tying a Leaf record.
Highlights from the game start at 1:40 of this clip:
#2 - Game Seven
The Game Seven upset over the Red Wings has become known as the Borschevsky game, and rightfully so. But the game was also one of Gilmour's finest moments as a Leaf.
Most fans remember Gilmour setting up the OT winner, but some have forgotten his clutch goal to tie the game in the final minutes. Gilmour took Wendel Clark's centering pass (thankfully stealing it off the stick of Bob Rouse) and buried it to send the game to overtime.
Side note: That tying goal was scored at 17:17, which I'm pretty sure can be taken as further confirmation that the hockey gods are Wendel fans.
#1 - The Goal
Only 48 hours after the Red Wings upset, the Leafs faced the Blues in game one of their second round series. The Leafs came out flying, and were clearly the better team. But they ran into a brick wall named Curtis Joseph, who turned in one of the all-time great games in playoff history.
While the Leafs peppered Joseph with shots (and also kicked him in the head once, probably accidentally), they couldn't beat him. With the game well into a second overtime and Joseph closing in on 60 saves, it looked like the Leafs would need some sort of divine intervention.
Factoring in the situation and degree of difficulty, Gilmour's goal was the greatest I've ever seen. I can't find the CBC clip, but Bob Cole's call is a classic: "Solo job... and he's won it!" followed by Harry Neale's "The best player... wins the best game... in the best way".
Congratulations, Killer. It was a short run, but it was a great one. Enjoy your night.