A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 13, 2014
“Good things happen when you put the puck on the net” (hockey adage)

"Good things happen when you put the puck on the net” is a hockey adage. The puck could go in the net for a score, or a score could occur from a rebound of the shot. “‘I just wanted to put the puck on the net,’ he said, adding that ‘anything can happen’ when you do” was cited in print in 1985, “Good things happen when you shoot the puck on the net” was cited in print in 1997. “Honestly, how many times can you hear ‘We just have to throw the puck at the net, and good things happen when you put the puck on net.’ in one lifetime?” was cited in 1999.

It’s not known who first said the hockey adage. “‘Good things happen when you put the puck on the net.’ - Every hockey fan, coach, and player ever” was cited on Twitter on June 12, 2013.


Google News Archive
21 November 1985, (New London, CT), “A hero, but not for long” by The Associated Press, pg. C7, col. 1:
“I just wanted to put the puck on the net,” he said, adding that “anything can happen” when you do. 
(Edmonton Oilers hockey player Mark Messier, who scored the game-winning goal.—ed.)

8 October 1990, Indiana (PA) Gazette, “Penguins throttle New Jersey, 7-4,” pg. 17, cols. 1-2:
“We had great chances, and any time you continue to get good chances, the goals are gonna come,” Penguins coach Bob Johnson said. “The nets are 4 by 6 and the puck has some real strange ways of getting in there.

“That just goes to show that as long as you get the puck on the net, anything can happen. We need to shoot more and let (the puck) bounce around and think rebound. We’re a quick team and we’ll score some goals that way”

18 April 1991, Boston (MA) Herald, “Neely puts Canadiens in a 1-0 hole,” pg. 89, col. 4:
“I just wanted to take a back-hander,” said Neely. “You never know what can happen when you put the puck on the net.”
(Boston Bruins hockey player Cam Neely.—ed.)

Google Groups: alt.sports.hockey.nhl.ny-rangers
Thoughts on the Rangers-Panthers game
wro...@aol.com
12/18/97
>However, Alex, you’ve just got to hit the net on those odd-man rushes!>
I was shaking my head with every shot he took that missed the net.  In fact, the Rangers take an awful lot of shots that don’t hit the net, which is very annoying.  As one of the announcers said during the Wings-Avs game on ESPN2 after Lemieux shot the puck and Forsberg tipped it in for the tie, “good things happen when you shoot the puck on the net”.  Seems obvious, huh?  Someone tell the Rangers.

Google Groups: alt.sports.hockey.nhl.col-avalanche
Joe Sakic @ TheHockey.Net
Peter Steen
5/18/99
(...)
> What is the point of interviews in hockey?  Ninety percent of them
> are basically nothing more than a tape loop of cliches handed down for
> years.  Aside from the occasional unique personalities, Fleury, Roenick,
> Amonte come to mind, you can sum up every interview question and answer
> in a total of about 40 phrases.  Honestly, how many times can you hear
> “We just have to throw the puck at the net, and good things happen when
> you put the puck on net.” in one lifetime? 

Google Groups: alt.sports.hockey.nhl.tor-mapleleafs
Berezin
Neil DeSouza
3/30/00
Berzin has been passing more of late I have noticed and to his credit I’m glad he shoots the puck a lot.  The old saying that good things happen when you put the puck on net is true.  There aren’t a lot of “elite” goalies in this league and I his chances at getting the shots on net.

Los Angeles (CA) Times
Kings Rebound Nicely
Game 5: Johnson scores in overtime when Modry’s pass deflects off his skate and past Roy for 1-0 win.

April 26, 2002|JERRY CROWE | TIMES STAFF WRITER
(...)
“They say only good things happen when you put the puck on the net,” Modry said. “I saw Craig wide open in front of the net and tried to hit him. It worked out good. He’s a hero and we’re going back home for Game 6.”

NHL.com
Sidney Crosby wins Stanley Cup, changes his game - now, Sid’s a shooter, too
Monday, 01.18.2010 / 7:38 PM / News
The Canadian Press
PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby skates hard as he nears the top of the circle on a 3-on-2 break, both of his linemates and the goaltender anticipating one of those on-the-tape passes he makes as well as anyone in hockey.
(...)
It’s almost as if, at age 22, Crosby decided there’s something to hockey’s ancient axiom that only good things happen when you put the puck on the net.

Twitter
Todd Fuhrman
‏@ToddFuhrman
“Good things happen when you put the puck on the net.” - Every hockey fan, coach, and player ever.
9:33 PM - 12 Jun 2013

The Hockey Writers
Avalanche Snap Scoreless Streak, Shock Bruins for First Victory
October 13, 2014 | by Brett Slawson
(...)
Just like the old saying, “good things happen when you put the puck on the net,” Jan Hejda let loose a quick shot with two seconds remaining. Hejda’s shot was batted down by Briere in an attempted tip, who then moved quickly to his right, beating a desperate Svedberg with 0.4 seconds left, bringing a great hockey game to a shocking end.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, October 13, 2014 • Permalink