Meet The 1985 Washington Capitals’ ‘Goal Dust Twins’

They don’t make team yearbooks like they used to. Like this one, for example:

I’m just old enough to remember Mike Gartner as a badass goalscorer, but I don’t remember Bob Carpenter, nor was I aware of the “Goal Dust Twins” moniker. From this story:

With Gartner (the fourth overall choice in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft) and Carpenter (the third overall choice in 1981) playing on the same line, the Caps’ top two offensive weapons were together. Local wags christened them “The Goal Dust Twins.”

[Caps coach Bryan] Murray had tried playing them together previously, but it wasn’t until 1984-85 that the twosome clicked consistently.

[ ... ]

“Mike has great speed and he has to get the puck. Bobby didn’t do that before. But Bobby has matured as a player. Not only is he a great goal scorer, but he’s much more creative. Mike is improving, he’s finishing better and he’s getting the puck in better situations. A lot of that is because of Bobby.”

The 21-year-old Carpenter was also in the midst of his best NHL campaign. He played 18 seasons in the league, but never before or after did he approach the 53-goal, 95-point season he posted in ’84-85.

And here I thought it was just some weird Fleetwood Mac reference.

4 thoughts on “Meet The 1985 Washington Capitals’ ‘Goal Dust Twins’”

  1. I remember Bobby Carpenter’s creepy picture on SI in 1981 with the title “Can’t Miss Kid”. He played in exactly one all star game.

  2. I just remember, as an 8 year old, asking my dad what the heck the nickname even meant. I had never heard of gold dust, and apparently neither had he. He thought the nickname was ridiculously stupid. It was pretty bad.

  3. That marketing push never caught on. Ron Weber attempting to help it along quite a bit, but as I recall, the team itself didn’t do much with it after the first few months of the season.

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