The Habs took an 8-3-2 record into a game against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 4, 1992 at the Forum. Here is Red Fisher’s story from that game:
Canadiens win, dodge injury bullet; X-rays are negative after cross-check to ribs fells Muller
RED WINGS 1
Is this the year everything turns out squeaky clean and near-perfect for the Canadiens?
There’s the matter of Kirk Muller, for example, a third-period casualty during last night’s 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Muller, who is surely one of the Canadiens’ most prized possessions, left the game after being cross-checked from behind – but X-rays were negative.
In other words, while doctors feared he may have suffered a cracked rib, which would have been a long-term injury, they’ll settle happily for what the Montreal General Hospital picture showed.
He was told to cuddle up with an ice-pack overnight, report for an examination today, whereupon a decision will be made on whether or not he’ll play tomorrow against the Calgary Flames. Probably not, but he should be all right for Wednesday in New Jersey.
That makes it all right for everyone associated with the Canadiens, who are on a 9-0-1 roll and who have John LeClair snorting and pawing at the ground (or ice?) like an old warhorse in his anxiety to return to the roster. He has been sitting out more than a week recovering from a concussion.
The Muller injury arose out of a cross-check from behind by Soviet defenceman Vladimir Konstantinov. It was delivered with sufficient force to leave Muller bent over painfully, and the Canadiens family reaching for the headache pills.
Muller, after all, has been the Canadiens’ best forward this season – again. In a few words, he’s one of the unflinching ones. He comes to play every night.
He was into the heavy traffic on a power play when he was struck down while he and his associates were sitting gingerly on a 2-1 lead. What followed was that Gilbert Dionne scored on the ensuing 5- on-3 manpower advantage, Stephan Lebeau added another and Mike Keane scored his second of the night to leave the Red Wings dead in the water.
Keane had opened the scoring in the first period. The judges went to the film to determine that Keith Primeau scored midway through the period and Eric Desjardins re-established the Canadiens’ one- goal margin seconds later.
Desjardins had something to celebrate on this night – a three- pointer which effectively doubled his output for the season. It’s apparent he’s getting the feel of it, and likes the feeling. A lot, maybe.
“It was a good night for points,” he said, “but what I like about it mostly is that our defence has been tightening up lately. We’re playing well as a group. I’ve been hearing for several years that the defence is young, it’s not strong enough, it needs help and if we don’t get help we’re in trouble. Well, I think this defence is doing the job. The whole team is doing the job.”
The interesting thing about what developed into a rubout was that the Red Wings appeared to control much of the play during the first two periods. They faded badly in the third, perhaps because they didn’t arrive in Montreal until noon in the wake of a 5-2 victory over the Hartford Whalers on Friday.
The difference, needless to say, was Patrick Roy. He made life miserable for Steve Yzerman on several occasions – at a time when a goal would have put the Red Wings back in the game or even on top of it.
It was Roy’s brilliance (he stopped 26 shots) which held the Red Wings to only a first-period goal which, by the way, was allowed only after going to the replay.
That one came during a high and soaring moment, with Primeau doing the damage. He had unloaded a shot at the open side of the net midway through the period, and to most of the observers in the place – other than the one on the television camera – it appeared that Roy had made a mini-miracle of a stop. The crowd obviously thought so, too, because it rose to its feet to provide Roy with a thunderous ovation.
Roy knew he had stopped the puck with the blade of his stick at least a foot inside the net and, in one motion, snapped it into the traffic. Most of the spectators didn’t, but linesman Gerard Gauthier’s eye was quicker than Roy’s hand. It was Gauthier who suggested to referee Rob Shick that perhaps the salute to Roy was a misguided one or, at least, premature. Gauthier was dead right.
So were the Canadiens most of the night. They’re the NHL’s hottest team awaiting tomorrow’s skirmish with the Flames.
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)