With no end to the NHL lockout in sight, we’ll let Canadiens fans relive the 1992-93 season when the Habs won the last of their 24 Stanley Cups by posting game stories from that season.
After opening the season with a 5-1 win in Hartford on Oct. 6, 1992, the Canadiens lost 5-3 two nights later to the Senators in Ottawa.
Here is Red Fisher’s story from that game:
Chamber of horrors; Shocking Senators outwork complacent Habs
OTTAWA – Canadiens defenceman Mathieu Schneider says there’s nothing mysterious or complicated about whatever it was that happened to him and his associates in this one-sided battle at the summit with the Ottawa Senators.
“We were outworked all over the ice,” said Schneider, who was one of the few Canadiens who wasn’t, in the moments after this 5-3 wipeout.
“We were outworked in our end, in their end … everywhere.”
Schneider’s new leader, Jacques Demers, had another view:
“We have to give credit to the Senators,” Demers said. “Four or five of our guys showed up, we knew how they were going to forecheck – but it’s still humiliating.”
The firm of Schneider & Demers are impeccably right. They were outworked and humiliated.
What’s more, the two-goal margin doesn’t begin to describe how badly the Canadiens were outworked and humiliated by an Ottawa team which played the last 10 minutes with only four defencemen, after Brad Shaw left the game with a concussion and Ken Hammond was gone for head-butting.
In retrospect, Hammond didn’t really need to use that tactic. The Canadiens, you see, spent most of the night butting their own heads against a stone wall.
“Our defence played most of the game with our faces against the glass,” Schneider said. “Whenever we moved, bang! somebody from Ottawa was there.
“There’s no quesion we’re more talented, but the fact remains that they’re all National Hockey League players. I thought we were ready, but I guess what it came down to is that we … too many of us … felt that we’d take the game no matter what we did or how we played. They played simple hockey, we tried to be fancy.
“They worked, we took short-cuts,” Schneider added.
None among the Senators even hinted at anything other than going the full mile. One hundred cents on the dollar for this bunch, which got two goals from Doug Smail, and others from Neil Brady, Hammond and Sylvain Turgeon. The Canadiens, who trailed by two goals on four occasions, were delivered goals – too few and too late – by Mike Keane, Vincent Damphousse and Brian Bellows.
The Bellows goal sliced the margin to 4-3 with 29 seconds remaining. Smail put it away with an empty-net goal 15 seconds later.
Mark this down about the Senators: the two-goal margin was the genuine article. In truth, it could have been much greater.
Who is this guy Darcy Loewen, anyway? Doesn’t he realize he can’t go around knocking down people wearing the CH?
No doubt about it: defenceman Loewen can rumble. Really, he can.
Where did Turgeon, who had eight shots, find his brand new wheels this summer?
The Senators outshot the Canadiens 31-28 on the game, but the numbers don’t tell the story. The Senators had more and better scoring chances. Their work on defence was exceptional. Their goaltending excelled when it had to. As a team, they grabbed the Canadiens by the throat, shook them, and left ’em dead in the water.
Work is what the Senators were preaching going into the game, and that’s precisely what they delivered. Smail … Mark Lamb … Mike Peluso … goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz, former Quebec Nordiques player Marc Fortier … Jody Hull … the gang was all there – from the moment Brady scored Ottawa’s first NHL goal in the last 58 years.
You should know that the Canadiens didn’t lose this game: they were trashed. Their coach, Demers, says only four or five of his high-priced help showed up. He was over-generous.
Has anybody seen Gilbert Dionne since the start of training camp? Where’s Patrice Brisebois?
On this night, at least, the Senators showed they’re blessed with a remarkable work ethic, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who watched Rick Bowness’s Boston team last season – particularly when they swept the Canadiens in the Adams final. A lot of the Canadiens probably could have done without the kindly ol’ coach’s hotdoggery at game’s end (running toward the exit, stabbing his forefinger skyward) but aw, gee, give the guy his moment. Bowness, better than anybody, knows there’ll be nights when he gets the finger.
Was any of this a matter of the Canadiens not being ready?
“They saw what Tampa Bay did to the Chicago Blackhawks,” Demers said. “They know it can happen anywhere, so they were ready.”
Patrick Roy was ready, but most of his associates weren’t – perhaps because the Canadiens goaltender is one of the few members of this gang who practices what he preaches. He doesn’t take the opposition lightly.
The Canadiens, it’s imagined, won’t take the Pittsburgh Penguins lightly when they open their home season tomorrow.
(Photo by Peter Martin/The Gazette)