1992-93 Habs season flashback: Game 4 blowout in Buffalo

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As we wait and hope for an end to the NHL lockout, 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.

The Habs took a 1-1-1  record into Buffalo on Oct. 10, 1992 and looked anything but Stanley Cup champions against the Sabres.

Here is Red Fisher’s story from that game:

 

Habs’ play embarrasses Demers; `I need more physical input and I need it now,’ coach says

RED FISHER
The Gazette 
 

SABRES 8
CANADIENS 2

Only four games into the old season, Canadiens coach Jacques Demers knows precisely what he wants in time for Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh: a new one.

In a few words, he doesn’t like what he’s seen of the old season – up to and definitely including Sunday’s 8-2 wipeout (there’s that word, again) in Buffalo.

“I don’t feel very good,” he was saying yesterday. “I don’t like to get beat like that. It’s embarrassing.”

He was feeling poorly when he awoke at his Hudson mansion yesterday, and much worse when he arrived at the Forum for a lengthy look, in slow motion, at the X-rated film involving the Canadiens and Sabres. It was a no-win thing from start to finish, with Buffalo leading 4-1 after two periods, and 8-1 midway through the third.

“I didn’t like what I saw,” grunted the kindly ol’ coach.

It figures. Who would want to watch a game in which Bob Sweeney, acquired on waivers only a couple of days earlier from Boston, scores one goal and assists on four others? Bob Corkum, who went into the season with four goals in 28 NHL games, scored twice. Brad May scored once, and so did Viktor Gordijuk, Pat LaFontaine, Wayne Presley and Dave Andreychuk – all against Andre Racicot, who stopped 42 shots. Benoit Brunet and Denis Savard were the only Canadiens to beat Daren Puppa among the 26 shots they tossed at him.

Anyway, back to the horror film, which the Sabres have named: We Take no Prisoners:

“I never want to say that I have a small team,” said Demers, “but I saw it against Boston and Ottawa, and I saw it against Buffalo. The new rules (no holding of the stick, no stick-checking above the waist) should favor us,” grumbled Demers. “So far, they haven’t done anything for us.”

What Demers is really saying is that his Canadiens have been paying a high price for everything they try to do.

“Size-wise, we are, so far,” said Demers. “We’re going to have to play on high emotion and skate, because it seems that the other teams know what they have to do whenever they play the Montreal Canadiens.

“I thought we played a great game (won 5-1 by the Canadiens) in Hartford. We dominated. Then we go into Ottawa where Rick Bowness, who was in Boston, got the job done with bump and grind … bump and grind.

“We played very well against Pittsburgh on Saturday,” said Demers. “Less than 24 hours later, we’re in Buffalo … and well, like I said, somebody has got to explain to me how a team can be so high one night and so low the next night. All we did was add Todd Ewen and Mario Roberge to put some extra size into the lineup up front, because Buffalo likes to come out hitting early in the game.”

Demers had all of the above, and lots more, to say to his players yesterday in a prolonged on-off-ice afternoon, which included a visit to the movies. Demers’s reasoning was that since he and his aides had to sit through the film – rated uh-oh by Montreal critics – why not have the actors do the same?

There were two rules for the players in the darkened room: no popcorn and no popping off.

“There was no yelling,” insisted Demers. “I’m not panicking. I don’t believe in panic. All I’m looking for are answers. So far, we’ve played well in one game, poorly in the next. What I’ve seen on the film is that I’m not getting physical involvement from some of my bigger players. I need more physical input and I need it now.

“We’ve played four games. Now, I want to see our guys do it the right way … well, it’s like starting a new season,” said Demers. “We’re going to work on fundamentals. Our power play has been atrocious. We’re going to make some changes in the lineup. What I’ve seen of this team so far has got to stop right now.”

Jumpin’ Jacques is dead serious. Right now, he looks like a guy who’d like to crack heads – and one route he’s taking is to remove last season’s favorite kid from the lineup.

Gilbert Dionne, who scored 21 goals in 39 games during the last half of the season, is out with a bruised ego. Dionne was rewarded with an astonishing $1.2-million, three-year contract for his regular-season work last season, even though he was largely a zero during the playoffs. This season, despite an uncommon amount of ice time, he’s been the team’s worst forward.

A positive step will be the reunion of Vincent Damphousse, Kirk Muller and Brian Bellows, which provides the Canadiens with at least one big line.

Defenceman Patrice Brisebois will be out of the lineup for at least another week with a sprained ankle.

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

49 Comments

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  2. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …”Would you be willing to forgive and forget the lockout if the NHL and NHLPA reach an agreement to start the season on Nov. 2 ? ”

    …Who thinks up these clever HIO questions ?

    …the Usual Suspect I gather :(

    …pleeeze bring back Boone

  3. commandant says:

    On, Qualier, he may have more offensive potential than just a third liner.

    A darkhorse candidate, and a long shot. But there may be some offence there.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  4. Morenz7 says:

    Also in the NHL proposal
    “- Money paid to Players on NHL SPCs (one-ways and two-ways) in another professional league will not be counted against the Players’ Share, but all dollars paid in excess of $105,000 will be counted against the NHL Club’s Averaged Club Salary for the period during which such Player is being paid under his SPC while playing in another professional league.”

    In short, no burying problem contracts in the minors. Scott Gomez lives.

    There’s nothing in there about a buyout window. The proposal would, however, eliminate re-entry waivers, and allow teams to split a player’s cap hit to a maximum of $3 million in order to get a trade done.

    Can’t see that being enough to get Gomer moved, but you never know.

  5. Kooch7800 says:

    Man, that Quailer kid is pretty big. He could turn out to be a great third line type player that could fill in as a power forward on the top two lines.

    Man I can’t wait to watch the dogs game on Friday

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Kooch buddy of mine called me last night and has tickets for this Friday so I will be there, not sure of where my seats are. Once I know I will post on here, we can have a beer at Copps, Cheers bud. Will be great to meet you.

  6. huge_polar_bear says:

    The NHL is really trying to put the pressure on the players… they actually published all the details of their proposal.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=643570

    • Kooch7800 says:

      This plan is all strategy from the owners. Why didn’t they do this a week ago or even last month? The owners want to put the players under pressure to force them to move from their current stance.

      These lawyer sleeze balls have this all thought out well in advance

      • huge_polar_bear says:

        I personally think that this is not what Betman had in mind, but that the owners put pressure on him to get a deal done not to lose an entire season. That added to the leaked report that the NHL had a hired a PR guru. It leads me to believe that he sold the owners on the fact that public perception helps sway results. Basically do everything to get the fans on your side, it’s a mighty bargaining chip, when fans begin tweeting the players and asking them hard questions… Begin stopping them on the streets / in restaurants and asking about how can you possibly want more than 50/50

    • Bripro says:

      There are a few clauses subject to interpretation, such as stating conditions under the “current CBA” for long players’ contracts.
      But the one statement I find has the biggest implication is:
      “If, at some subsequent point in time the Player retires or ceases to play and/or receive pay under his NHL SPC, the Cap charge will automatically revert (at full AAV) to the Club that initially entered into the contract for the balance of its term.”
      If it’s an honest statement without a loop-hole or two, this should dissuade owners and over-zealous GMs from offering ridiculous long-terms contracts, then try and dump the player. It might be moot if the 5-year maximum contract clause is honoured.

      *********************************************
      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • mark-ID says:

      Joffrey Lupal on twitter posted “wait I thought negotiating publicly is unfair to the process? why should I be surprised….”

      Re-tweeted by BizNasty…..i guess the players aren’t happy that the pressure is on them now. Man do I hate listening to both sides of this.

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  7. ed lopaz says:

    Speaking of prospects, I really like Charles Hudon’s energy and his determination he brings to the ice. The guy is very talented but it takes a special player to bring it night in and night out.

    In case any of you are wondering how a franchise ends up in the crapper year after year, look no further then the scouting staff of the New York Islanders.

    In the 4th round of the 2012 draft, the Islanders had the 103rd pick overall and chose Loic Leduc – who I have seen play for several years. The young man was about 6’4 when he played Midget Espoir in grade 10, having been cut by the Midget AAA Chateauguay team.

    This is not personal. But other then the fact that he is 6’6 there is no reason for him to have even been drafted to the NHL. In fact, other then the fact that he’s 6’6, there was never any reason for him to make major junior.

    So why would he actually be drafted by an NHL team? He could have slid to the 7th round very easily, or he could have gone undrafted and then signed as a free agent.

    This is one of those “quiet” mistakes that no fans following the Islanders will even know about – a 6’6 defenceman, they will think. Maybe he’s another Chara in the making??

    Well, had the Islanders passed on Leduc they probably could have chosen about 100 other defenceman that are much more likely to play a game at the NHL level. (really maybe much more than 100, but I decided to choose a round number)

    Of course, if they were looking at their Quebec scout he could have suggested Charles Hudon!!

    The days of the Islanders stealing Mike Bossy at #15 overall out of Quebec are long, long gone.

  8. Clay says:

    With all due respect to HIO, this is crap. Find stories to write. There are still plenty of relevant hockey and Habs related things to write about. Posting this old stuff is just lazy.

    __________________________
    ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • HardHabits says:

      I couldn’t agree more. There are prospects playing all over the minors and HIO is content with fantasy hockey and reliving the past. Then again this is a Habs related web site. Seems like that’s all we’ve been doing even when hockey wasn’t locked out. Carry on.

      • Luke says:

        I agree. Would love to see more about the prospects, even just links to game reports, on this site.
        Maybe a little side bar that has the stats lines for the prospects.

        However, one must keep in mind that this is not a “Montreal Canadiens Fan’s Site” but the Gazette’s hockey coverage, so their priorities are different from what someone at “www2.HabsHockeyIsTheCoolest.bf”

        • shiram says:

          No, it’s a Habs blog first and foremost, hockey comes second. They had to change the name, but it did not change the subject of the blog.

          • Luke says:

            Yup. Sorry my mistake, I just interchanged Habs and Hockey coverage. I didn’t mean that this was the Gazette’s generic hockey coverage. I meant it was the Gazette’s Hab coverage.

  9. centre hice says:

    The Habs should try their best to acquire another 1st round pick for next year’s draft.
    2013 prospects available are incredibly talented.

    Barkov, Nichushkin, Monahan, lindholm

    • commandant says:

      The talent level available also means teams are less likely to give up their picks.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Unfortunately, I worry about how expensive a first round pick will be this season. Since before last seasons draft, the Pundits have been discussing what a deep draft 2013 will be. This won’t be lost on most GM’s who will try to use the supposed pedigree of this draft class to sweeten deals.

      • commandant says:

        Lets wait until the final months before the draft before believing how “deep it is”

        The depth of a draft is always better at the beginning of the season than the end (as prospects games are picked apart).

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HardHabits says:

      Maybe Dallas would like to trade their 1st for Gomez. I hear they have a new adviser that is into that sort of thing.

  10. j2w4habs25 says:

    anyone think Brendan Gallagher, Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu, Michael Bournival will get called up this year?

    Carey Price #31

    • shiram says:

      It will be interesting to see who gets called up first, would St-Denis get the nod on D first, he has NHL experience after all, same thing with the likes of Palushaj, Leblanc and Geoffrion.
      On forwards I think Leblanc has the edge on all the other prospects, but it also depends which position needs filling.

      • geo_habsgo says:

        I’d be happy to see St-Denis called up first. He has experience and has proven to be quite reliable, if not spectacular, at the NHL level. The next in line in my mind is Tinordi, but I think he will benefit this season being one of the top guys in Hamiton.

        In the forward positions, I think Leblanc deserves a call up because of what he’s accomplished in a small degree at the NHL level last season. Additionally, I think that Gallagher deserves a taste of real NHL action. He is a hard worker and I think in his case, having a chance to play a few games against established NHL players would help him figure out what he needs to do to take his game to the next level. He has it in him for sure.

        • shiram says:

          Maybe Pateryn could get a spot, it would take some sting away from the Grabovski trade, from what i read he seems like the type of D that could help the team.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Performance this year also means a ton. Lets see how players like B Gallagher play in the pro’s. It is a big step from Junior and make take him a bit to adjust. I think all of the above noted will eventually make the NHL

      On D I agree with Shiram that it would most likely be St Denis as he is the most ready but if he gets outshined who knows.

      LL would be my pick on Forward to go up as he can play wing or centre and is sound defensively.

      When they heck did we pick up Darryl Boyce?

  11. Kooch7800 says:

    I liked Demers as a coach. He had passion and was a smart hockey guy

    • frontenac1 says:

      Yep. He delivered. And did all without being able to read or write.
      Amazing job he did . really.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I remember watching a program where it talked about him not being able to read and write. It must have been extremely stressful on a day to day basis trying to make sure it all worked out and no one found out his secret. Also, contending with running a hockey hotbed franchise

        • Bripro says:

          In the mid to late 70s, he was our Chateauguay Cougars junior B hockey coach. He was as charismatic and a “player’s coach” then as he was at the helm of the Habs.
          And you would have never know that he was functionally illiterate.
          He’s a great guy!

          *********************************************
          “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I would like to meet him someday. He has my respect.

            You coming next week Bri?

          • Bripro says:

            I think so, Shawn.
            I have a few issues to clear up. I’m trying to turn it into a business trip to Brampton, for a key account I have there.
            And my wife is checking with her (best) friend, who lives in Keester something-or-other, 25 mins from Hamilton. I hope to know before the end of the week.
            I assume you’ll be there, right?

            *********************************************
            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I will be there. I have called the ticket guy yesterday and am waiting to hear back. Worst comes to worst I just buy them at the arena.

            Hopefully you can make it. Would be nice to meet you and have a beer with everyone

  12. Habfan10912 says:

    TSN reports on letter sent to NHLPA members.

    http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/bob_mckenzie/?id=407542
    ———————————–

    • Bripro says:

      Not too positive, is it?

      *********************************************
      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”


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