I’m pulling this quote straight out of Wikipedia. (Don’t judge me too harshly here.) “In ice hockey, a Gordie Howe Hat Trick is a variation on the hat-trick, wherein a player scores a goal, records an assist, and gets in a fight all in one game. It is named after Gordie Howe, well known for his skill at both scoring and fighting.” Zdeno Chara is not the brawler that several other members of the Boston Bruins are, but the biggest guy in hockey will use the biggest reach in hockey to pummel other players into the ground if necessary.
Big Z earned a Gordie Howe hat trick in the 3-2 win over the New York Rangers at the TD Garden. He started it off with the assist on the Brad Marchand goal. It was a good start for the Bruins. The Bruins then gave up two goals (one of them awfully soft.) He got his fight in a rather spirited fight with Brian Boyle. (If you’ve watched the game, and heard the declaration that it was an “unfair” fight for Boyle (who is 6’6″), it only makes you wish that Jack Edwards and NESN were the only people allowed to officially comment on Bruins games.) He finished it off with a goal (the game winner) with an outstanding slap shot against Henrik Lundqvist.
The Gordie Howe is often harder to get than a hat trick, and it’s still a fan favorite. It’s a little ironic that the man who the play is named for has only two of them himself. A bigger irony in all this is that the current record holder for the most amount of Gordie Howes is the current head of the Department of Player Safety, Brendan Shanahan with seventeen. That’s right folks, the head of safety has the record for most games that required a brawl to get it in the books. Currently, the active player with the most Gordie Howes is a member of the Boston Bruins, Jarome Iginla.
For those who say hockey shouldn’t have fighting, all that would do is make the game more dangerous and take away a vaulted tradition in the National Hockey League. Congratulations Chara on your Gordie Howe.