"I see a superstar in need of a lesson." - Bruce Bennett
Wayne Gretzky was notoriously hard to hit, as hard hitter Darius Kasparaitis acknowledged when Stan Fischler told him he had to do it. So Kaspar did ... and scored a goal seconds later.
Darius Kasparaitis' ownership of Mario Lemieux during the intense 1993 New York Islanders - Pittsburgh Penguins playoff series is legend to Isles fans (and no doubt a curse to the five pre-Crosby Penguins fans). Not that Kaspar kept Mario off the scoresheet -- that's impossible -- but he got in Mario's kitchen enough to get the Hall of Famer off his game.
What's lesser known is a regular season encounter a few seasons later between Lemieux's Western counterpart, Wayne Gretzky, when he was with the Los Angeles Kings.
This was during the dregs of the Milbury and fishsticks era for the franchise, so the meeting is nowhere near as significant. But the sequence still warms a Kasparaitis fan's heart:
During the intermission on SportsChannel, Stan Fischler tells the not-so-friendly ghost: "We've seen you hit the big guys like Messier, Mario Lemieux...do you want to hit Gretzky?"
Kasparaitis goes on to explain that Gretzky is very good at eluding hits -- a lament most of Gretzky's opponents shared -- so Fischler says, "Yes, but you have to wait until he's looking the other way. Gotta get him that time, right?"
The rest is obscure but delightful history:
via thezoan on YouTube | h/t CIL, who dug up a lot of classic videos in the responses to this de facto new Isles fan orientation post.