1992-93 Habs season flashback: Injury bug hits Brunet again in loss to Senators

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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 14-5-2  record into a game against the Ottawa Senators at the Forum on Nov. 21, 1992. Here is Red Fisher’s story from that game.

Habs lose two players; Brunet, Savard both on sidelines

RED FISHER
THE GAZETTE

Benoit Brunet and Denis Savard have renewed their membership in Team Clinic – Brunet for at least 10 days, Savard for perhaps as long as a week.

Left winger Brunet, a hard-luck guy who’s lost a considerable amount of time to injuries in his last three seasons, has a sprained knee. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there’s no certainty his injury is confined to his knee ligament.

“I don’t think it’s the case,” said Dr. Eric Lenczner yesterday, “but I’ll be giving him a test in the next day or two to see whether or not there’s damage to his cartilage, as well as to the ligament. We’ll take a look at it to make certain. I’d be surprised, though, if his cartilage were damaged. Right now, it doesn’t look that way to me.”

“We’re saying he’s out for eight to 10 days,” said Dr. Lenczner. “If it’s only his ligament that’s damaged, he won’t be out any longer that.”

Brunet suffered his injury when he fell into the boards in the third period of Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators – the third consecutive season he’s been sidelined with injuries. Two seasons ago, he ripped up his knee during the Canadiens’ exhibition tour in Russia, which is why he played only 17 games at the major- league level. Last season, another injury allowed him to play in only 18 games with the Canadiens.

Savard isn’t playing tonight against the Washington Capitals and, probably, in Hartford on Wednesday, because he’s taking antibiotics for a severe cold. He took himself out of the lineup at the start of the third period on Saturday.

He could miss the entire week – and more if his antibiotics don’t get the required results quickly.

The absence of Brunet and Savard leaves room for Patrik Carnback and Patric Kjellberg to play tonight against the Washington Capitals. Both were recalled yesterday from Fredericton, where left- winger Carnback led his team in scoring. He scored seven goals and 17 assists in 24 games.

Kjellberg has played in only eight games, which is why his record is a modest 4-2-6.

Apparently, Carnback has been on fire with the American Hockey League team. He had spent the entire training camp with the Canadiens, but was delivered to Fredericton as soon as the regular seaon started. He’s a six-footer, and weighs 187 pounds. In other words, he’s big enough to get involved in the traffic.

The Canadiens had an uncommon amount of trouble with the Senators on Saturday. They were outshot in each period and, in the final analysis, backup goaltender Andre Racicot was the difference.

The reason? Canadiens players, who didn’t practice yesterday, pointed to a heavy schedule which had them playing five games in eight days. The reality, though, is that the Senators were on top of the Canadiens most of the game. The Senators dumped the puck into the offensive zone all night, and for one reason or another, the Canadiens’ only reaction was to dump it out. In other words, no flow.

“There was a lot of hooking and holding in the game,” said Bellows yesterday. “We just couldn’t really seem to shake loose.”

Canadiens coach Jacques Demers hopes to resolve the problem tonight with line changes made necessary by the unavailability of Brunet and Savard.

Vincent Damphousse, who scored the Canadiens’ third goal on Saturday, replaces Brunet on a line with Stephan Lebeau and Mike Keane. That means John LeClair will be on a line with Bellows and Kirk Muller.

They meet a team which has been struggling since the start of the season, but Washington turned it around yesterday with a 6-4 victory over the red-hot Quebec Nordiques.

The Capitals had gone into Quebec with four consecutive losses, 15 points behind their pace of last season.

One from the clinic

Brunet: “I’ve had injuries in each of the last three seasons with this team, and each time I’ve worn the same suit.”

Reporter: “So?”

Brunet: “When I got home on Saturday, I burned the suit.”

Reporter: “Here’s 20 bucks. Buy a new one.”

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