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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

TTM: Steve Penney

 In 1983-84, the Montreal Canadiens posted their first losing season since the 1950-51.  In the first round of the play-offs, their opponent were their rivals, the Boston Bruins, a team that finished 29 points higher than the Canadiens in the regular season.  The first surprise was that the Habs starting goalie would be rookie Steve Penney, a goalie who lost all 4 games he played in his career.  The second surprise, was that Penney led the Canadiens all the way to Wales Conference final, before losing to the New York Islander.  Penney, who led all goalis in GAA and shutouts in the playoffs, was being compared to another rookie netminder who come out of nowhere to carry the Canadiens in the play-offs, Ken Dryden.  Penney played solid in 1984-85, with the Canadiens bowing out of the play-offs, after losing a thrilling overtime game 7 against provincial rivals, Quebec Nordiques.  1985-86 mark a turning point in Penny's career.  It was a season marred by injuries, poor play and the emergence of rookie Patrick Roy.  Although the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in 1986, Penney didn't play enough games to get his name engraved on it.  The team did give him a ring.  In the off-season, Penney would be traded to the Winnipeg Jets, playing 15 more career games before retiring at age 27. 
   Burdened with expectations of being the next Ken Dryden and nagging injuries, Steve Penney, who was born in Quebec, never lived up to the hype his 1984 play-off performance created.  Mr. Penney signed and returned my card, all 3 copies of the picture, he never kept any as offered, and also included a signed Molson Ex card.  Thank you, Mr. Penney

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