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An Anniversary Of Injustice; Kampf Wins Gold At Worlds

May 27, 2024, 4:32 PM ET [403 Comments]
Mike Augello
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There is a school of thought that the best way to deal with emotionally traumatic events in the sporting realm is to face them, but legions of Buffalo Bills fans have not watched Super Bowl XXV highlights since Scott Norwood pushed the ball to the right of the goal post, many St. Louis Cardinals fans cannot say the name of umpire Don Denkinger without going into a fit, and to this generation of Toronto Maple Leafs fans, all you have to say is 4-1 and they are ready to drown their sorrows, but to my generation the focal point of injustice is Game 6 of the 1993 Western Conference Final between the Leafs and Los Angeles Kings, which took place 31 years ago today.

May 27th, 1993 is the date of the infamous Gretzky High Stick game. The Leafs appeared to be a team of destiny in 1993, defeating Detroit in overtime of Game 7 on Nikolai Borchevsky’s goal and beating the St. Louis Blues in seven games. The Kings and Leafs split the first four games and Toronto took a 3-2 series lead in Game 5 on an overtime goal by Glenn Anderson, but trailed 4-1 early in the third period of Game Six at the LA Forum before team captain Wendel Clark led a late three goal rally and tied the game at 4-4 in the final two minutes of regulation.

The Leafs had all the momentum heading towards overtime, but that changed when an overzealous Glenn Anderson rammed young Kings blueliner Rob Blake needlessly into the boards and was penalized by referee Kerry Fraser. During the Kings power play in OT, Gretzky’s errant stick clipped Doug Gilmour’s chin and drew blood, which should have merited at minimum a double minor for high sticking, but neither Fraser or the two linesmen decided to make the call.

“The helplessness of not knowing for sure what had just occurred as (Doug) Gilmour dabbed blood from his chin and prevented it from staining the Fabulous Forum ice lingers in my memory,” Fraser said in remembering the most infamous moment of his career. “While I don't carry it with me like "luggage," the baggage that many a Leafs fan continually pack, makes it impossible for the memory to ever go away.”


Leafs center David Kampf and Team Czechia celebrated in Prague on Sunday, as the host country beat Switzerland 2-0 in the gold medal game of the 2024 IIHF World Championships. Kampf had seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in nine games in the tournament, and scored the empty-netter late in the third period to clinch the victory.

The most impressive performance of Leafs players who headed to Europe at the Worlds is team captain John Tavares, who missed the opening game of the tournament, but still tied for the scoring lead with Dylan Cozens with 11 points.


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