Ron Tugnutt, Brian Boucher remember craziness of Flyers-Penguins Marathon on Ice

Ron Tugnutt, Brian Boucher remember craziness of Flyers-Penguins Marathon on Ice

Ron Tugnutt played 11 postseason games for the Penguins in the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

He lost more pounds in one of those appearances than the actual number of games he played throughout that postseason.

During the 1999-00 regular season, the netminder played only seven games for the Penguins, compiling 374:19 total minutes on the ice and 182 saves.

On one night (and morning) during the postseason, May 4, 2000, at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Tugnutt played 152:01 minutes and converted 72 saves. He was the losing goaltender in the Flyers' unforgettable 2-1 five-overtime win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

In that odyssey of a hockey game, Tugnutt said he shed 12 pounds. Twelve pounds.

"I remember needing help going up the stairs by my legs, just I had nothing left," he said on the Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice podcast. "I was drained."

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Brian Boucher, the opposing goalie, was also superb in earning the victory for the Flyers, making 57 saves through 151:48 minutes.

I honestly don’t know if I could’ve played another period," Boucher said.

"When I came out for the start of the fifth [overtime], I think this was when I was getting near the end. My legs were seizing up, my calves were seizing up, my fingers were cramping, my wrists and my forearms. I remember I was scraping the crease and my hips were like starting to cramp up so I stopped scraping the crease. I was like, 'I'm not going to do that.'

"Then I would try and go stretch one part of my hip, and when I did that, something else cramped up. So I was like you know what, 'I’m not even going to stretch either, because I don’t want to end up seizing right here before the period starts.' So I kind of just winged it.

It's probably safe to assume Boucher lost double-digit pounds, as well.

"I'm not really sure how much weight I lost during that game," Boucher said in May on the Flyers Talk podcast, "but I could remember when I got done taking my gear off, I took my skate and I could pour water out of my skate, which was pretty disgusting. But that's how much sweat that I had. I mean, sometimes in a practice I could lose seven pounds."

As both goalies were in the midst of the ultimate weight-loss workout, Tugnutt's mother needed a mental break. To her surprise, she made it back with plenty of time to spare.

"My mom couldn't watch the game anymore at around 11:30 p.m. She goes, 'That's it, I can't take this stress,'" Tugnutt said. "So she turned it off and she woke up at 1:30 a.m. She goes, 'I've got to go find out the score.' She turned it on and the game was still going. They ran out of beer in the Pittsburgh arena, people were sleeping in the stands — it was crazy."

Crazy for everyone — especially those goalies.

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2020 NHL playoffs: Without fans, will Stanley Cup Playoff games lose authenticity?

2020 NHL playoffs: Without fans, will Stanley Cup Playoff games lose authenticity?

Hockey has been on the mind all week and even the simple discussion of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs has excited fans for the return of their favorite sport — even if things are going to look different this time around. 

While the majority of new rules and procedures were laid out Tuesday thanks to commissioner Gary Bettman, there is still a lot of unknown territory. This format has never been done before, but having a plan in place is the first step to turning concepts into something tangible. 

One of the biggest changes won’t be the additional eight teams, the hub city locations or the fact the NHL has the potential to run into the late summer months, but rather the element — or lack thereof — of fan attendance. 

The safety of fans and players is without a doubt the biggest priority and as we adapt to the “new norm” for the foreseeable future, this is just one of the many things that will have to be endured. 

On the surface, it stinks. Surprisingly enough, you’re allowed to feel this way while also being excited for the hopeful return of the league and games. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are some of the most thrilling weeks in all of sports and a large portion of that is due to the atmosphere created by the fans rallying behind their favorite teams.

So without them in attendance, will games lose their authenticity and lower the overall level of interest? 

Absolutely not. 

Fans have been craving the moment they would have live sports to look forward to and even if that means they can’t physically be in the stands, it doesn’t take away the level of devotion they have.

Of course it will be different — there’s no denying that, but someone rightfully needs to be awarded the Stanley Cup for 2019-20. There are a handful of options to help fill the void, such as playing fan reaction videos on the arena vision screens during thrilling moments of a game. Hearing the “crowd” through the screen would certainly add a level of normalcy, though it wouldn’t fully replicate the atmosphere. 

There are new moments that fans could look forward to in regard to this as well — the sights and sounds that are often coated within cheers or boos. A crisp stop on skates, receiving a puck, solid check along the boards, chirps from one team to another and the celebrations following a goal. 

Also, if things are too quiet, there is a chance to get a look into life on the bench with the players. Hearing teammates interact with one another is always enjoyable when they are mic’d up for games, so imagine having that for a full 60 minutes? It’d be new for everyone, but what a fun concept it would be. 

This is a prime opportunity to view things glass half full, rather than finding negative aspects to this plan. There are still many moving parts before playoffs become a reality once again, but if things are truly done in a safe manner — I say make the most of the situation at hand and drop that puck. 

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NHL, Flyers fans going crazy after latest news on return-to-play format

NHL, Flyers fans going crazy after latest news on return-to-play format

It’s a wonderful day in the world of hockey. 

Tuesday afternoon, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman elaborated on some of the best news fans have heard in a long time … hockey is most likely returning. While a detailed layout of the league’s Phase 2 had already been released earlier in the week, this is the first time Bettman, himself, spoke about the subject

There is a tentative timeline in place for such things to begin — but everything seems more tangible now than ever. 

If there had never been a stoppage in play during March and the season progressed normally, only two teams would have been left in the race for the Stanley Cup. Now, with a promising future and the approved 24-team playoff format, we’re looking ahead to summer hockey. 

Which honestly doesn’t seem too bad, right? 

We know there are many more steps that need to be put in place before the playoffs do take off, but that doesn’t mean the excitement is going to dwindle. In fact, this has been one of the most optimistic days on social media since the league was put on hold 76 days ago — especially with Flyers fans. 

Here are some of the best instant reactions to Bettman’s press conference — feelings you are probably all experiencing now, as well.

Hang on Flyers fans, I have a feeling we're about to have one crazy summer! 

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