1992-93 Habs season flashback: Hottest team in NHL after beating Flames

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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 10-3-2  record into a game against the Calgary Flames on Nov. 9, 1992 at the Forum. Here is Red Fisher’s story from that game:

Canadiens switch on jets; Tied with Penguins for top spot over-all

RED FISHER
The Gazette

CANADIENS 5
FLAMES 2

Mathieu Schneider blinks into the lights of the cameras and, by lemming-like instinct, launches into saying all of the right words in paragraphs.

“I’m jumping into the play more,” he was saying after last night’s 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames – a solid drubbing which lifted the Canadiens into a tie with Pittsburgh for No. 1 over-all in the National Hockey League standings.

It also extended the Canadiens’ current roll to 10-0-1 during which they’ve made jelly rolls out of most of the teams they’ve faced.

“I jump in and that gets me more aware of what’s going on. Before, when we were playing a boring style, most of us were content to stay back and not do much of anything.

“I like this a lot more,” said Schneider. “It’s the way I played in junior, and it’s the way I’ve always liked to play.”

Schneider said many more of the right things, but all of what this splendid young defenceman was saying (he attracted a standing ovation from Todd Ewen and a sitting one from Mario Roberge after his monologue) could have been delivered in two words:

Speed kills.

Nick Polano, who’s been covering a lot of miles this season as a pro scout for the Calgary Flames, was among those who watched the Canadiens get destroyed by the Buffalo Sabres 8-2 early this season.

“I watched the Canadiens,” he was saying last night, “and boy, I had to wonder about them. Now look at them.”

Polano was among those looking at the Canadiens handle the Flames, and yep, look at ‘em now that they’re hockey’s hottest team.

“Right now, they look as if they’re faster than anyone, don’t they?” asked Polano.

“We’re out there pulling away from everybody,” said Schneider. “Every line is doing it. It’s amazing, really, but we haven’t had this much fun in a long, long time.”

Does speed kill?

Maybe not, but close.

In other words, the Canadiens didn’t leave the Flames dead in the water, but there were signs of rigor mortis all over the place.

Once again, they never trailed, getting goals from Schneider and Vincent Damphousse in the first period and Gilbert Dionne and Guy Carbonneau in the second.

Patrice Brisebois added the Canadiens’ fifth goal – on a power play – late in the final period, after a goal by Sergei Makarov midway through the period had lifted the Flames to within two goals.

Chris Lindberg was the Calgary goal-scorer in the first period.

Polano saw the Canadiens at their worst in Buffalo, and it’s safe to say he was watching them at close to, if not at their best, last night.

“I’d have to say that was one of our best efforts this season,” agreed Schneider.

They controlled the tempo with their speed. And, once again, their Big Six on defence locked an iron fist around the traffic in their zone and, in the process, provided Patrick Roy with a fairly easy night. In truth, Roy made it hard on himself when he allowed the Lindberg and Makarov goals from the same spot – sharply angled, short shots from his left which somehow managed to slip beyond him.

In other words, it wasn’t that close, almost from the moment Schneider lashed a long shot beyond Mike Vernon 37 seconds into the game. It may have been much closer, however, if Calgary goaltender Vernon had been more accomplished, let’s say, on the Damphousse backhander midway through the first period which provided the Canadiens with a 2-1 lead.

Put it this way: Damphousse is a sniper, but he’s got better bullets in his arsenal than the one he hissed beyond Vernon. The same surely can be said about the Carbonneau goal, which came with only 12 seconds remaining in the second period after Dionne’s goal lifted the Canadiens into a 3-1 lead.

Once again, as Schneider was saying, this one was an outgrowth of a team playing the game the way it should be played. The Flames, who hadn’t lost in their previous five games and were tied with the Canadiens with 22 points going into it, have been hot stuff.

Everything pointed to something closer, but the Canadiens made it look easy in spots. It could, however, be more difficult in New Jersey tomorrow night.

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

33 Comments

  1. HabFab says:

    The NHLPA states today that since it is a lock out they will not accept reduced pay for the year. Yeah the owners are going to agree to that…wow!

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Jeeze! MacKinnon almost pulled a Patches into the Stantion!

  3. kempie says:

    Apparently, Mr. Tinordi is droppin ‘em & throwin down tonight at the Bell with Radko Gudas after what’s being called a dirty hit on Bournival. Sounds like a pretty one-sided fight. I’m sure we’ll see the video here in the morning right Stubbs?

  4. otter649 says:

    Tinordi dropped his gloves for his first pro fight with someone I had never heard of before & did ok in a spirited bout……

  5. commandant says:

    MacKinnon is listed at 5’11 and Drouin is listed at 5’11

    Yet when they celebrate goals together there is at least a 2″ difference between the two.

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

  6. db says:

    I wonder when Bettman will retire… does he have another lockout left in him after this one? That would set the bar really high!

  7. 24 Cups says:

    Word on the street is that Bettman is pissed about the leaked NHLPA memo and the inaccuracies that were in it.

    Not quite home free yet.

    • Bill J says:

      Wait what? Bettman leaked to people on the street that he’s pissed about the NHLPA leaking the memo?

      Is it just me or does this not smell of High school drama?


      Go Habs Go!

    • HabFab says:

      Fehr doing his version of the rope a dope…he will drive the NHL crazy. If we weren’t the ones being screwed, I could laugh.

  8. Heisenberg_ says:

    Anyone have a link for the bulldogs game tonight?

    __________________________________________________________________ “Never give up control. Live life on your own terms. Every life comes with a death sentence.”

  9. Habfan10912 says:

    Disappointingly to say the least.

    http://m.startribune.com/?id=178216921

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  10. commandant says:

    Interesting game with Gatineau and Halifax tonight on Sportsnet. Good chance to see MacKinnon, Drouin and Fucale.

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

  11. Habfan10912 says:

    Bettman talked but apparently offered no specifics on discussions. He was quoted as saying he’s prepared to meet tonight and/ or thru the weekend. Whatever it takes.

    Reports say no real progress made today.

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  12. Habfan10912 says:

    Bettman to meet press in 5 minutes.

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  13. Habfan10912 says:

    Tweet from Chris Johnston (@reporterchris)
    The NHLPA is having a conference call with its executive committee and negotiating committee tonight.

    ———————————–

  14. Phil C says:

    A team with with 4 lines, a team that played with with speed, and defensemen jumping into the play.

    I would have taken any one of those things last year. :-(

    • Bill J says:

      I dunno, last years team… Was not “slow” generally speaking.

      PK jumped into the play a lot!

      The 4 lines thing, that’s what we miss the most in my opinion.


      Go Habs Go!

      • Phil C says:

        You are right that the Habs had some fast players individually and PK is a gift from the hockey gods, but generally I found the style of play (trapping, passive in the offensive and neutral zone when defending, chip and chase when attacking) did not promote fast hockey nor encouraged d-men to join the attack like Schneider was describing above. I really hope the new coaching staff opens things up a little more.

  15. AceMagnum says:

    Blaine Lacher had the best nickname in NHL history the Lach Nets Monster woooohoooooo

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    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  16. club_de_hockey says:

    They’re free agents. That’s not the same thing.


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