Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Top 10 Dougie Moments

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:

Good times.

#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.

No problem.

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.


  1. Great post.

    For some reason, I think I remember the head butt being in game five because the Kings wanted him suspended in a possibly deciding game.

    The Gallagher interview should be higher though. The one time a player tells a member of the Toronto media what we all want them to hear.

  2. Well done, impressive list... even more impressive is that you restrained yourself from mentioning, "Kerry Fraser fuckin screwed us" not even once.

    1. Yup, although Dougie shouldn't have even been playing in Game 6 because of the Game 5 headbutt, it's Fraser's fault that the Leafs lost. Afterall, there is 100% certainty that the Leafs would have scored on the ensuing powerplay. Why didn't the Leafs just score in overtime in game 6? Or ohh, I don't know, win game 7? All Kerry's fault, yup. It's the equivalent of blaming an NFL ref for a missed call at the end of the first half.

  3. @PPP... I think you're right, now that I think about it the head-butt was some time in the playoff series.

    @Scout... I just kicked my dog because of you.

  4. Someone is getting absolutely embarrassed at 1:20 of video #5.

    Also: The Gallagher interview is the best example I've ever seen about why everyone loves Killer. He always seemed like he was a regular, friendly Kingston boy who just happened to also be the best player on the biggest hockey team on the planet. It never seemed to go to his head, and he never looked like he thought he was bigger than the game. It seems like everyone you talk to today has a story about the time they met Dougie somewhere and he had no problem posing for a picture or sitting down for a beer.

    It's your night Killer, you deserve it.

  5. Anybody who headbutts Enrico Ciccone is okay with me.

  6. Great list, DGB.

    I'm going to now go watch The Passion Returns. Again. God bless Dougie.

  7. For some strange reason, I clearly remember the Enrico Ciccone head butt. Ciccone was on the Bolts at the time, and I thought Bowen and Ralph were going to lose it on air. They were laughing so hard.

    Then I thought later if Alanis Morissette gave Enrico a different kind of head butt later on...

  8. Not only did we get 10 great Dougie moments, a few videos, we got to hear a bit of the Borchevsky "unbelievable" interview.
    Good work DGB!