guy until he’d given him a chance to stand up.
The Conference Finals are underway, and so far they haven't exactly been the most entertaining. The Penguins and Bruins may be headed for a sweep, and the Hawks and Kings have so far served up a predictable series of home team wins. While there's still time for some excitement, so far the two series haven't served up much.
That's unfortunate, and it's also at least somewhat rare. Over the years the Conference Finals have often proven to be the most interesting round of the NHL playoffs, and have featured some of hockey's most enduring moments.
Let's take a look back through the NHL history book at some memorable Conference Finals matchups.
1979 - Don Cherry's Bruins take a too-many-men penalty during game seven against the Habs, which must be some sort of call that they've since taken out of the rulebook according to current Penguins players who are pretty sure the Bruins have been using an extra guy this entire series.
1989 - Ron Hextall earns a 12-game suspension after charging from his net and viciously attacking Montreal's Chris Chelios. Or, as an entire generation of Philadelphia sports fans will grow to refer to it, "the most sensible thing a Flyers goalie has ever done in my lifetime".
1993 - While it's normal to want to celebrate taking a 3-2 series lead with a little bit of music, the Maple Leafs will later regret asking Wayne Gretzky if they could borrow that piano he's been carrying around on his back.
2000 - Scott Stevens cements his status as the league's hardest hitter on a devastating open ice check on Eric Lindros, and by "status" we mean "shoulder pad" and by "cements" we mean "fills with actual cement".
1980 - The Islanders sweep the Rangers in a series best remembered for Denis Potvin's folksy and self-effacing demeanor in the face of adversity, we assume, since MSG fans spent the rest of his career chanting "shucks" at him.
2002 - The series turning point between Colorado and Detroit comes when the Red Wings score on a goal mouth scramble while Patrick Roy is frantically waving his arm in the air. Critics initially accuse the Avalanche goaltender of hot-dogging, although he'll later explain that he just overheard someone ask "Who wants to coach a hopeless last place team in about ten years?"
1988 - Proving that absolutely anything can happen in the playoffs, the NHL witnesses the world's only known instance of somebody being unhappy about being offered a delicious donut.
1999 - The Maple Leafs lose to the Sabres in five games after realizing there's no point fighting and clawing their way back from a 3-1 series deficit to force a game seven just so the hockey gods can make something even more horrible happen.
1996 - Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins lose a seventh game to Scott Mellanby and the Florida Panthers and wait that can't be right I'm pretty sure somebody has been messing with Wikipedia again.
1994 - Facing elimination in New Jersey, Rangers' captain Mark Messier tells the assembled media "I guarantee we're going to go in and win Game 6, and bring it back here to the Garden for Game 7, and then you're all going to beat this moment into the ground for two straight decades", although everyone later agrees to just leave that last part out.
2007 - Daniel Alfredsson scores in overtime to eliminate the Sabres, although he'll later come to regret bragging so much to Chris Phillips about how much fun scoring a series-winning goal can be.
1996 - Detroit players are reluctant to shake Claude Lemieux's hand after his hit on Kris Draper, marking the last time he'll ever cross paths with the Red Wings without being enthusiastically offered a series of right hands.
1978 - The Canadiens easily sweep the Maple Leafs for the first of two consecutive years in a playoff matchup that's so dull and anti-climactic that everyone agrees they have no interest in ever seeing it again, a young Kerry Fraser assumes.
1991 - Ulf Samuelsson's game three body check on Cam Neely marks the turning point as the Penguins come back from a 2-0 series deficit to beat the Bruins, mutters Douglas Murray innocently as he circles photos of Milan Lucic's knee with a yellow highlighter.
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