A series where I post some thoughts about favorite cards. Previous cards in the series are available here.
Score released its first hockey set in time for the 1990-91 season, and really nailed some of the images—especially on their horizontal cards.
This Brett Hull card might be my favorite in the entire set. It's perfectly framed, and captures Hull doing what he did best: Shooting.
The Golden Brett scored a league-leading 72 goals the previous season, and I wonder if the shot you see here resulted in one of them. If you look at the ice and the boards behind him, you can see that Hull is on the left side of the offensive zone, positioned just inside the top of the face-off circle (similar to the "Ovechkin spot"). If not a goal, the blast—possibly a one-timer—may have resulted in a welt somewhere on that poor goalie's body. Or a dent in the boards. Or if you were a penalty killer like I was, a bruised foot or shin.
If this photo was taken during the game between the Blues and North Stars on December 31, 1989, then the shot could have resulted in Hull's 33rd goal of the year. (You can tell he's in Minnesota by the green, yellow, and white seats in the background.) That goal tied the score at 1, about halfway through the third period. But it was unassisted, which rules out the one-timer theory. And would Score send a photographer out to frigid Minnesota on New Year's Eve? I don't know about that.
The Blues had visited Minnesota twice previously that calendar year. Both times they were shut out by a 3-0 score, so that means no goals for Hull there. It wasn't for a lack of effort, though, as Hull put up five shots on goal in the first game and eight shots on goal in the second.
The only other time St. Louis visited Minnesota that season was on February 13, 1990, when they played to a 2-1 overtime win. Hull had another five shots on goal, but didn't figure in the scoring.
I suppose the photo could have also been taken during the playoffs (the Blues faced the North Stars in the second round that season). Hull did score three goals in the series, including two on the power play. However, look at the seats behind him. I see a lot empty ones. Not likely for seats that close to the ice during a playoff game.
Goal or not, the card is fantastic, and it reminds me of how exciting it was to watch this guy wind up and lean into one so many times throughout his career.
Hull's dynamism and the image alone give 1990-91 Score #300 a spot in my box of favorite cards.