Sep 212010

I’m at a sports banquet in St. Catharines, Ontario on Oct. 8, 2002. Scotty Bowman gets up to speak and tells a good story about his coaching days in St. Louis. “My team was in a close contest with Detroit and trailed 1-0 after Gordie Howe scored the game’s only goal. With five minutes to play, a young woman behind the Blues’ bench screamed at me. “Bowman, you dummy. Pull the goalie!

“Of course I ignored her but with four minutes to play she screamed again. “Hey, you dummy coach! Pull the goalie!

“She issued the same order with three minutes, then two minutes to play.

“Finally, with a minute left on the clock, I waved my goaltender to the bench and sent out an extra forward.

“Just then, Gordie Howe snared the puck and lofted it over everyone’s head and it landed in our empty net. Red Wings 2, Blues 0.

“The lady behind our bench blasted me one more time. ‘You dummy coach. You should have pulled the other goalie.’

“They didn’t know a whole lot about hockey in St. Louis in those days,” Scotty told his audience.

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