Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by brother52, Nov 16, 2006.
Did it ever happen on the pro level (NHL, RSL, WC, Olympics), and if so, how often?
I know I've read about it happening in the NHL. 1940s, I think. I believe there was a game without a penalty or a goal.
Game 7 of the Detroit vs. Toronto series in 1993 had one penalty. Referee Don Koharski recognized the significance of the game, put the whistle away and let the players play. It was a great game, and the best-reffed game I've ever seen.
I'm pretty sure there was a Chicago-Calgary game just a couple seasons ago that didn't have any penalties called. It's definitely happened.
I have been able to find some of the NHL penalty-free games in history. Perhaps someone else may have a complete list.
On January 31, 1923, the Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Tigers played the very first penalty-free game in the NHL.
In 1926, Montreal Canadiens beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 in a penalty-free game at Pittsburgh. It was the 3rd penalty-free game in NHL history.
On February 20, 1944, Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks played the only scoreless and penalty-free game in NHL history. The game, handled by referee Bill Chadwick, took only one hour and 55 minutes to complete.
On February 4, 1973, Buffalo Sabres defeated New York Islanders 5-1 in a rare, penalty-free game.
On March 13, 1976, New York Rangers beat Vancouver Canucks 7-3 in a penalty-free contest officiated by Lloyd Gilmour.
On January 26, 1980, New York Islanders defeated Hartford Whalers 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum in a penalty-free game. Referee Wally Harris called no penalties. Isles' coach Al Arbour remarked: "I thought the ref and the linesmen had been taking tranquilizers. They didn't see anything, they didn't call anything."
On February 17, 1980, Montreal and Buffalo skated to a 2-2 tie. The game was played without a penalty called by referee Wally Harris.
On April 9, 2000, Colorado beat Detroit 3-2 in the first penalty-free NHL game in 20 years. Referees Greg Kimmerly and Dennis LaRue whistled zero penalties.
On March 28, 2001, Boston shutout Toronto 3-0 in a penalty-free game handled by referees Don Koharski and Dennis LaRue.
I believe there have been several penalty-free games in the long history of the IIHF world championships. I would need to do further research on this. However, I do know there were 2 such games at the 1957 World Championship in Moscow. On March 1, 1957, East Germany defeated Japan 9-2 in a penalty-free game before 4,000 in Lenin Stadium. And in the final game of the tournament to determine the gold-medal winner, March 5, 1957, the Soviet Union and Sweden skated to a 4-4 tie in another penalty-free game played before more than 50,000 fans at the outdoor Lenin Stadium. Both referees, Anton Neumaier of West Germany and Jan Wycisk of Poland, called no penalties on either team as Sweden captured its 2nd world hockey title.
Some other interesting facts that I discovered and had never heard of before:
March 19, 1933 -- The first afternoon game ever in the NHL is played in Chicago Stadium. Detroit defeats Chicago, 4-3.
March 18, 1940 -- The first chartered flight in NHL history occurs as Chicago flies to Toronto for the first round of the Stanley Cup finals.
March 16, 1941 -- Chicago coach Paul Thompson, in the season's last game, pulls goaltender Sam LoPresti for an extra attacker, marking the first time this tactic was used in an NHL game.
I had thought this tactic had been used in an NHL game much earlier than this, but have not found any other information as yet. Perhaps someone with more knowledge on NHL history may be able to offer a better answer.
Interesting stuff, thanks for the info.
Yes, there was a game in the 40s with no goals and no penalties.
I remember this one. Amazing if you think of how much these two hated each other.
Detroit and Colorado had one a few years ago, right around the time where the whole Detroit/Colorado rivalry was dying down.