As we wait and hope for an end to the NHL lockout, Canadiens fans can relive the 1992-93 season – the last year the Habs won the Stanley Cup – at HIO as we post game stories from that season.
The Habs took a 12-4-2 record into a game against the Boston Bruins Nov. 16, 1992 at the Forum. Here is Red Fisher’s story from that game:
Comeback kids; Canadiens get six straight goals to shock Bruins
Was this the night the Canadiens finally realized – as a team – that it’s out there somewhere for them?
Is that what it takes: a 6-3 victory over the Boston Bruins – not necessarily because of the victory, but because of the way it was won?
Was this one extra-special?
“Not only was it extra-special,” said Brian Bellows, “but it was a superior test of the guys’ character.
“You look around the league and you’ll see a lot of teams fall down when they give up the first three goals at home. We’ve always felt that if we hold the other team to three goals or less, we’re going to get it back. We’re not always going to make it up, but we’re not going to give up trying, either.”
Bellows has that right. Fewer than three minutes into the second period, the Bruins had goals from Steve Leach, Adam Oates and Steve Heinze – on five shots. That’s when the air should have gone out of the Canadiens balloon after a scoreless first period.
Thirty seconds later, Mathieu Schneider started an uplifting assault in a wild period which didn’t stop until other goals had been added by John LeClair, Gilbert Dionne, Stephan Lebeau and Eric Desjardins. Kirk Muller scored into an empty net for the third period’s only goal.
“I was out there for some of it, and I could just feel the rush of adrenaline,” said Bellows.
That’s one explanation, but can anybody really begin to explain whatever it was that happened here last night?
Goaltenders, particularly Patrick Roy, don’t play much better than he and Andy Moog did during a scoreless first period. Then: the nightmare.
Five shots into the second period, the Bruins had goals from Leach, Oates and Heinze, and now it was a matter of trying to play catchup hockey from far back. Too far, on most nights, particularly against a team such as Boston, which normally doesn’t give up much.
The Bruins’ three goals were lashed beyond Roy in 1:35, the first – on an easy rebound – only 42 seconds into the period.
What now? Is this when the Canadiens’ worst pre-season fears about their goaltending are realized? If not Roy, who? If help is needed, where?
Canadiens coach Jacques Demers swears on a stack of pucks that at no time did he consider removing Roy, and there’s no reason to doubt him. Coaches simply don’t thrust a backup goaltender into that kind of a situation – or shouldn’t. What’s more, the idea was to use Andre Racicot in tonight’s game in Ottawa, so what’s the rush? What’s the sense? Would it make any sense?
Thirty seconds later, Schneider jump-started what appeared to be a dispirited Canadiens gang with his fourth goal of the season.
Fifty-two seconds later, LeClair had hauled up his associates to within a goal on some second-effort around the Boston net – but only after Moog had produced his finest stop of the game on a short, quick LeClair shot.
Then it’s Dionne, after some sloppy defensive work by the Bruins, Lebeau on some poor work by Moog, and Desjardins, whose long shot was deflected beyond Moog by defenceman Gord Roberts.
Seven goals in a hair over seven minutes. Forty-one shots (21 by the Bruins) in one period. Five consecutive goals by the Canadiens in 9:02.
“That was Andy Moog’s impersonation of Patrick Roy in the playoffs,” grunted an exercised Boston general manager Harry Sinden.
When does the Stanley Cup parade start?
Okay, so it’s a little early in the season, but winning records are built on remarkable comebacks such as these. They’re also constructed on the goaltending Roy provided after his desperate work earlier. He wasn’t merely hot: he was on fire.
It’s late in the period, for example, and there’s Jozef Stumpel, cruising in alone on Roy in this, first game with the Bruins this season. Roy made the initial stop on the breakaway and then made an even better stop on the short rebound he had allowed.
“I had a feeling about this game,” Muller was to mention much later. “Even when they got the first goal, I had a feeling we could do it.”
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)