NHL: Blunders That Would Make Any Fan Squirm

Adam GreuelSenior Analyst IAugust 20, 2008

Lets face it, in any type of sport, mistakes and errors will be made, whether you are a professional or not.

Now some of these mistakes will makes us laugh, others may make us cry, and some may just be completely sad.

I am writing this to tell you about the five most important blunders in the entire history of the NHL.

5. Montreal Canadiens VS. Boston Bruins, First Round, Game Four, 2004

This mistake did not end up being fatal to the Montreal Canadiens success against the Boston Bruins, but may have made the Canadiens pay later on in the 2004 playoffs. Boston was leading the series 2-1, with game four going into double overtime tied at three.

Alex Kovalev was carrying the puck just outside his own blueline when he was nicked on the wrist by the stick of Travis Green. Now, instead of going to the bench or continuing to play, Kovalev doubled over in pain despite the "slash" being a slight tap and wandered aimlessly into teammate Sheldon Souray.

Glen Murray proceeded to pick the puck up from Kovalev and with Souray now out of the way he was allowed to break in on Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore uncontested. Murray would score the game winner, giving the Bruins a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Fortunately for Kovalev and the Canadiens, they were able to reel off three straight wins for the upset. The next round proved to be much tougher though as Montreal was ousted by the eventual cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Perhaps the Canadiens were too tired after having to win an extra game because of Kovalev's gaffe? We will never know.

4. Montreal Canadiens VS Boston Bruins, Second Round (only three rounds back then), Game Seven, 1979

This mistake not only cost the Boston Bruins the Cup, but it also cost Don Cherry his job. The Bruins were well on there way to the Stanley Cup finals against the New York Rangers, leading the Canadiens by one with only 2:34 left in the game.

Unfortunately for them, they were caught with to many men on the ice, some say as many as seven players were on the ice at the time! With the power play, the Canadiens were able to tie the game up on a goal from Guy Lafluer. Yvon Lambert would end the game in overtime, giving the Canadiens a 4-3 series victory.

3. Detroit Red Wings VS Colorado Avalanche, Third Round, Game Six, 2002

Being a Wings fan, this has to be my favorite blunder of all-time. The Colorado Avalanche appeared to be destined to make their second straight Stanley Cup final, but a blunder from Hall of Fame goaltender, Patrick Roy, likely cost them the chance to repeat.

The Avalanche were holding on to a 3-2 series lead after five games. In the first period of game six, Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman wristed a shot into the pad of Patrick Roy. Thinking he now had the puck in his glove, the always cocky Roy lifted his glove in triumph, to bad the puck was still lying on the ice directly in front of Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan proceeded to slide it in for the winning goal and Detroit went on to win the series with a 7-0 game seven triumph.

2. Edmonton Oilers VS Calgary Flames, Second Round, Game Seven, 1986

This is a tough one for Oilers fans, as it occured against there provincial rival. The two teams were tied at two in the third period of the seventh game. Steve Smith, a rookie defense men, made the smart move of taking the puck back behind the net. His next move was not so smart.

Instead of shooting it hard around the boards like your supposed to, Smith tried a cross ice pass instead. The puck hit the back of goalie Grant Fuhr's leg and glided into the net. There was still 15 minutes left to play but Calgary held on for the win and Steve Smith is forever remembered for being the guy that cost the Oilers there chance for five straight cups.

1. Los Angeles Kings VS Montreal Canadiens, Stanley Cup Final, Game Two, 1993

Marty McSorley had a great post-season in 1993 with the Los Angeles Kings, but that is definitely not what he is remembered for. The Kings were very close to taking a 2-0 series lead against the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup finals when McSorley got an unnecessary penalty.

With the Kings up by a goal, Canadiens coach Jacques Demers called the referees over and told them to take a measurement of McSorley's stick. The stick proved to be illegal and McSorley was sent off with a two minute penalty. Eric Desjardins scored on the power play and in overtime to give the Canadiens a very important victory. The Canadiens would win the next three games and be crowned champions for the 24th time in franchise history.