1993 Stanley Cup flashback: Habs get ready for Game 2

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup championship.

The Canadiens lost Game 1 of the Cup final 4-1 to the Los Angeles Kings on June 1, 1993, and were preparing for Game 2 after Wayne Gretzky had a goal and three assists in the opener.

Below are the columns by Michael Farber and Red Fisher that were published in The Gazette as the Canadiens and Kings prepared for Game 2 on June 3, 1993 at the Forum.

(Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

Captain Carbo seeks responsibility of Gretzky

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 3, 1993

MICHAEL FARBER
THE GAZETTE

Carbo wants 99.

If the Stanley Cup final really were the World Wrestling Federation on blades as some ESPN watchers think it is, Guy Carbonneau would have screamed that at 7:30 tonight at the legendary Montreal Forum, he was going to rip the cape off Superman’s back. But Captain Carbo’s game is based on nuance, subtlety, and sometimes you must read between the lines when he speaks publicly. Carbonneau read between the lines in Game 1, saw Wayne Gretzky frolic in a demilitarized zone, and reached the conclusion that his line is best equipped to deal with His Greatness. Yesterday he passed on his give-me-Gretzky plea to coach Jacques Demers, who replied, “I’ll think about it.”

How often has Demers said no to you?

“I haven’t counted,” Carbonneau said.

If Demers were any more open to suggestions, he would take hand votes among his veterans. But he is unquestionably the boss. In a city where hockey is a religion, the gargoyles don’t run the cathedral.

But Carbonneau is the Canadiens’ wise man, the coach-without- portfolio. Kirk Muller has called him the smartest player he has ever seen. Demers trusts his judgment. “I say what I think about different players,” Carbonneau said. “I’ve been around 11 years and I know the players and I know the reaction to hockey in Montreal as well as anyone.”

While Carbo is first team All-Yap on the ice, he is less scattershot with his words in the dressing room. His opinions carry extraordinary weight, which already makes him a kind of Montreal shadow of the man he wants to cover tonight in Game 2.

Demers reported the Gretzky breakdown in Game 1 (courtesy of CBC stopwatches) was this: at even-strength, Muller was matched against Gretzky for 11 minutes, Carbo had him four and change and Stephan Lebeau took him for two. (Since Lebeau changed the names of his cats from Wayne and Janet to Savvy and Mona in honor of Denis Savard and bride, it’s no longer a conflict of interest when he and Gretzky are on the ice together.) Gretzky had two assists on the power play and scored into an empty net to account for three of his four points but always made Montreal queasy straight up.

Demers said Gretzky toyed with his team, and Muller is nobody’s boy toy. For the past six weeks Muller has played Joe Sakic, Pat LaFontaine and Pierre Turgeon, and their whereabouts are unknown. Carbonneau adores Muller, and is amazed that neither he nor right- winger Mike Keane were nominated for a Selke.

But Gretzky is different. Gretzky is Gretzky. And Muller must think about the other end of the ice because no one expects His Greatness to keep carrying the Montreal offence.

“If Carbo feels that way – and he’s a pretty smart player – then it’s probably worth considering,” said Muller, who bears as strong a physical resemblance to No. 99 as Carbonneau has to Gretzky in terms of influence on a team. “He’s more a defensive player, and our line has to score. No matter what happens tonight, when the puck is turned over and we get it, we have to jump on offence. We have to play our game, use our assets. We were worried to much about them. About Wayne. I admit I do have a tendency to get a little more cautious when he’s out there.”

As summer drew uncomfortably close after the disastrous Game 2 in Quebec, Patrick Roy gave a fire-and-brimstone speech – seconded by the captain – about how the team had afforded the skilled Nordiques too much respect. Worry about us, the goalie ordered, not about them. The Kings are similar to Quebec in the way they skate and forecheck, and after losing the opener to Los Angeles, the orators were at it again.

Carbonneau and Roy didn’t wait until after tonight because the Kings are twice as good as Quebec, and the final is twice as important.

“I’m like Jacques Demers,” Carbonneau said of his speechifying Tuesday night. “I talk with my heart. Sometimes I’m not kind. If I have a message to deliver, I don’t (mince) words. When I have something to say to the guys, I say it.”

Carbonneau was genuinely angry over what he considered a lack of effort, seething at first and but soon thinking. He saw how many times the Canadiens No. 11 went into 99, knew Montreal had to free Muller for more creative work and remembered times when the Canadiens had slowed Gretzky by assigning a full-time shadow. Then he stuck his hand up.

Take me. I volunteer.

This is not ego. It is leadership. Carbonneau doesn’t want credit, he wants responsibility. He is saying give me Gretzky, give me minutes with the best player in the world and we’ll see. I’ll take the biggest guy in the room. Carbonneau is sticking his neck out knowing Gretzky can do some cross-border chopping, but he has had a fine playoff by a more modest standard. This has not been Carbo’s year. He is 33. Chronic tendinitis in his left knee makes him walk with a slight limp. He didn’t score against a goalie after Nov. 9 during the regular season, but he has had two playoff game winners in overtime.

What does Gretzky bring out in you?

“The best, I hope.”

Like the playoffs.

The idea is intriguing. Captain vs. captain. Class vs. class. Smarts on smarts. The best offensive player (a page of NHL records) against the top defensive player (three Selke Trophies) of their eras. Physically Carbonneau can’t stay with 99 forever, but this is temporary work. Two weeks, tops. If the Canadiens aren’t careful, it could be sooner.

So Carbo wants 99. He is saying pretty please. If Doug Gilmour in Toronto couldn’t burn both ends of the candle successfully against Gretzky for seven games, maybe Muller can’t either. Carbo wants the chance.

This gargoyle deserves it.

Time to get back on track: Demers

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON JUNE 3, 1993

RED FISHER
THE GAZETTE

It seems that Canadiens coach Jacques Demers had this idea of having a chat with his players to discuss what went wrong in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final with the Los Angeles Kings.

Nothing serious, he was saying. Hey, it’s only one game. Nothing prolonged, even though the Canadiens fell 4-1 at home for the first time in the playoffs in a game that wasn’t that close.

“I don’t want to talk to them about what the Kings did right,” said Demers yesterday. “All I want to do is talk about the things we did wrong. I’m looking at 15 minutes, that’s all.”

Good idea, Jocko, but if the kindly ol’ coach was able to cover that subject in only 15 minutes, he must have been shooting from the lip.

Did he tell them, hey, we’re far haven’t lost a series. All we’ve done is lose a game.

Or: “We haven’t won anything yet, but we haven’t lost anything, either.”

Did he point out to several of his young bloods that they had taken bad penalties?

Or: “Listen, chaps, this team will win only when it plays as a team.”

Did he point his purple forefinger at his young players and tell them uh-uh, this is the Stanley Cup and all these people with microphones and cameras and notepads are paying a visit because that’s what they do for the few bucks they make. Don’t get caught up in people telling you how great you are. Trust me, these media guys, and especially the ladies are, after all, just like human beings.

What he surely told them during what was supposed to be merely a 15-minute sermon was:

“Let’s play the way the Montreal Canadiens played to get to the finals, okay? We concentrated too much on the Kings. The most important thing to worry about is how we played throughout the playoffs.

“Remember, guys, it was the same in our first series. Remember how worried we were about how the Nordiques played? We worried about it for the first two games, and lost both. Then we started to worry about how we played and we won 1l straight. Okay, so seven were in overtime. Who’s counting?

“They know what went wrong,” said Demers yesterday before going into his meeting with the players. “We all believe in ourselves. We have some solid people here.”

“I think it’s all a matter of playing more collectively,” said Demers. “We don’t want to take anything away from the Kings. They played a heck of a hockey game last night. Nobody’s down, though, and I’m not gonna let anybody get down. Nobody lets anybody get down on this team. That’s the secret of our hockey club.”

The Canadiens were a secret, as a team, during most of Tuesday’s opener, but Demers is certain there’ll be a sharp improvement tonight if only because Mike Keane, who missed the opener with what Team Clinic described as back spasms, is due back in the lineup.

Keane, of course, says he wants to play. Keane also says he thinks he can play.”

“What I don’t want to do is hurt the team,” said Keane.

“We missed Keane a lot in the first game,” said Demers. “He hasn’t scored 40 goals in a season, but he plays like someone who scores 40 goals.”

There were fears that Benoit Brunet, who was among the best of the Canadiens forwards, would miss tonight’s game after leaving late in Game 1 with a bruised knee. He’s playing. So is Denis Savard.

Kevin Haller, who was part of Team Benched in Game 1, plays tonight, which means Sean Hill doesn’t.

Nothing personal, but after being overwhelmed by Team Whoosh! in Game 1, Demers suspects he could use defenceman Haller’s speed. He can also be a plus on a power play which, in the Canadiens’ last 26 opportunities, has been a runaway minus. Oh, oh for 26 is not what Demers had in mind in these playoffs, particularly against an explosive team such as the Kings.

“I’m not nervous about our power play,” said Demers which, of course, means he’s nervous about his power play. “We’d like to have a better power play. We will have a better one. (Promises! Promises!) There are teams with a 33 percent success rate on the power play who have been playing golf for six weeks,” said Demers.

Guy Carbonneau calls Tuesday’s opener the Canadiens’ worst in the playoffs. He’d like to remedy it by taking on a fellow named Gretzky – defensively, that is. Gretzky brought some of his magic to the opener by scoring twice and assisting on three in the 4-1 game – but one of the goals was into his own *net.

Captain Carbo didn’t see much of Gretzky in the game – only four minutes, by Demers’s estimate. Kirk Muller didn’t see much of him, either, even though he was on the ice against Gretzky for roughly 11 minutes.

What Carbonneau would like to do tonight is log a lot more ice time against Gretzky and, in the process, free Muller for offensive duty.

“I just want to play a bit more against Gretzky and I’ll tell Jacques that,” Carbonneau said yesterday. “Checking the league’s top players has been my life.”

75 Comments

  1. Kimberly2u says:

    Can’t see the pens getting another goal in this series let alone tonight…unbelievable

  2. habsfan0 says:

    Even though there are similarities, I prefer the LA Kings’ unis of 20 years ago as opposed to the current ones. The 1992-93 uniforms had a much cleaner,even look to them..no excessive piping on the sweaters.

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Halpern assesses his season and talks about how special it is to play in Montreal. Have to believe when he does retire, this guy could become an excellent Asst. Coach, specializing probably on PK and faceoffs etc… Kind of like Doug Jarvis has become. Very bright guy Halpern.

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=671752&navid=DL|MTL|home

    • habsfan0 says:

      Boston is the best face-off team in the NHL.
      It is no coincidence that Doug Jarvis is the mentor of this most important aspect of the game for the Bruins. Jarvis was a magician in the face-off circle during his playing days. It was a bad day when the Habs fired him,and I’d love to see him back with the team.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I think Halpern will center our 4th line and play on special teams. (PK) and important face offs in our end. Especially if we continue to ice the puck as often as we did this year.

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    Did anyone manage to find anything from Habs on why it appears they chose not to sign Pribyl?

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    I will be sick if the Bruins get past the Pens! I have always had likes and dislikes for different teams. But I have never had a hate on like I do for Boston. Oh maybe the Broad Street Bullies long time ago.

    Where the heck was Crosby’s head last night? I think taking off the cage protection might have had something to do with his terrible game last night.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The wind through his teeth, caused them to chatter evidently.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Belleville has a 3 in 4 chance that the Stanley cup will be coming for a visit again this summer.
        Anybody but the Bruins

        • habsfan0 says:

          You mean..anybody but the Laffs.
          That would be unthinkable.

          Of course,that won’t be happening for a 46th consecutive summer.
          I’d like to see the Laffs chase the Chicago Cubs’ record for futility…105 years and counting.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Makes it easier for the Kid to “whistle while walking past the graveyard,” which is kind of what he’s doing when trying to talk tough to King Kong. Wonder if the Kid’s F-bombs have a lisp to them now. The most respect I’ll have for Chara (still below zero) came when he bent down to make out what Crosby had to say before answering back. Now that’s good listening!

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • habsfan0 says:

      Is Boston a team of destiny?
      Considering the events of April 15 and the miraculous comeback in Game 7 of the opening round,it might appear so.

      A Stanley Cup parade through the streets of Beantown so close to the tragedy of the Boston Marathon will be a logistical nightmare for security forces.

    • habstrinifan says:

      WOW! Ian I absolutely agree with you. I think, and this may sound silly, that Crosbt should put the cage back on. First pic of him on the bench wiping his mouth scared me and had me thinking the same thing. For some reason it calmed him down and had him more focus. And of course it is scary as a fan wondering how dangerous a hit could be.

      And Boston’s win just about lowered my interest 50%.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        He was not to bright in getting into it with the Neanderthal, one shot from him would have put Crosby’s career in doubt again. Either damage to broken jaw or another concussion.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      As long as they get teams to lose their cool and play to their style, Boston will win. You’d think other teams would figure this out by now. Sickening.

  6. habstrinifan says:

    Tiger Woods +7 score on 18 holes. Appearing in an episode of Weird or what?

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Caught texting again?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      This is the difference in todays #1 in the world versus the old #1 in the world. The TW version 1.0 was invincible, TW version 2.0 knows he has human blood in him, and will show weaknesses.

      He is still the best player in the world, but is beatable. The old version was virtually unstoppable.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Like Lance Armstrong was with 7 Tour de Gaul wins. He was unbeatable too while cheating.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

        • habstrinifan says:

          Disagree! Tiger is an a-hole but not a cheat re drugs etc. Too many ‘past friends’ woulda been hollering.

          Edit: to lafleurguy. I stay away from moral judgements on sins of the flesh the first time I commited the venal sin of masturbation and didnt immediately perish.

  7. Ian Cobb says:

    Click onto link below!
    HIO MEMBERS!!
    Don’t forget to stay tuned for when the new schedule comes out. I will be picking a game date for our weekend SUMMIT in Mtl. at the end of Oct. Those that have already purchased their tickets from the cancelled game last fall, will have replacement tickets given to them. For others that want to participate with us in Oct. please stay tuned for information on all our weekend events and game tickets.
    Ian

    HIO contact site-Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125
    Scroll down and click onto Summit pictures, for more pictures behind them.

  8. habstrinifan says:

    “Keane, of course, says he wants to play. Keane also says he thinks he can play.”

    “What I don’t want to do is hurt the team,” said Keane.

    Kevin Haller, who was part of Team Benched in Game 1, plays tonight, which means Sean Hill doesn’t.”

    Wouldnt you like all 3 on our current team?

    Do you think Sean Hill would be a scratch?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I love how Reggie Houle just threw Keane in the Roy trade for a little extra insult to injury.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I have no basis to think this but I just feel Houle and Keane had no respect for each other. Houle allowed himself to be caricatured too easily and Keane’s refinement extending only to splitting logs.
        Two people totally shaped by their world!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Houle was just in over his head, and Corey as President provided even less leadership. A shame….

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So when Keane plays through an injury its good, when Gionta does the same its bad?

      • habstrinifan says:

        I was waiting for this to be brought up. Look at what Keane said. His main concern was “not hurting the team”.
        And the injury was absolutely not as delimiting as Gionta’s.

        Gionta knew he “couldnt shoot” but thought he was still better than anyone else. The whole chronology and scenario surrounding the ‘injuries’ are different. Gionta should NOT have played. We may not have won! But based on what happened in game #2 and the events/news surrounding game #3… Gionta should NOT have played.
        This debate does not affect my admiration/respect/like of you as a poster… but even while we, (with your permission) share a beer at the summit, I will say you are WRONG on this one… and Gionta hurt the team by putting himself first.

        • Mark C says:

          How did he hurt the team despite being one of the better forwards that game? He assisted on the only goal, Anderson robbed him on a breakaway. He generated at least one other high quality scoring chance, certainty provided more than could be reasonably expected from a player like Dumont.

      • ebk says:

        It’s the coaches decision whether Gionta dresses or not. Therrien and the Habs knew how physically limited he was and they still decided to dress him because they(the coaches) thought that an injured Gionta was better than their other options. All Gionta would have said is, he thought he was capable of playing, after that, it’s Therrien’s call.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Theoretically you are right. But given the ‘pronouncements’ of Therrien at the start of the season you would have to guess that Giona had more than the usual or wise sway in the decision. And a close look at the information coming out of camp (example Weekes) prior to games 3 and 4 and after the series does tend to support the point of view that dressing Gionta invoked more haplessness than inspiration.

          • ebk says:

            It’s the coaches decision who dresses, it’s not theoretical. Unless you know for a fact Gionta made up the line up card or Therrien absolutely gave him the right to decide if he would play, it’s all just conjecture. Gionta played well in the game, so it was the right decision on Therrien’s part.

  9. SmartDog says:

    IF I AM THE PENS…

    I tell my team to start playing 5 man defense and tell the D to take the body and join the fight – legally. Hammer the Bruins as hard as you can. They won’t win a physical fight, but it was the Pens forwards who were taking it to the B’s in the physical department, and that’s a mistake. I like Malkin taking on Bergeron. At least someone put up a real fight and that’s also standing up for your Captain. It’s also a fight he can win and Bergeron is a dominant defensive player.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  10. Lafleurguy says:

    What’s causing all these flashbacks?
    New Sunday morning feature, “About Last Century.”*

    “May you live in interesting times.”
    *thankssmartdog

  11. habstrinifan says:

    Farber: “For the past six weeks Muller has played Joe Sakic, Pat LaFontaine and Pierre Turgeon, and their whereabouts are unknown.”

    No comment needed.. but whaddya think eh whaddya think…. brilliant.

    This article says so much about the class on that team.

  12. JF says:

    The Bruins succeeded in getting under the Penguins’ skin last night pretty much the way the Flyers did last year. If the Pens keep allowing this to happen, they will be ousted in the same way they were last year, which should IMO raise questions about Bylsma as a coach and Crosby as a captain. If I remember correctly, Crosby was responsible for a lot of the scrums and undisciplined penalties the Penguins took last year, and Bylsma was unable to restore his team’s composure. Could we be about to see a repeat?

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    OK. Realistic ways we can get Drouin or McKinnon without giving up P.K.

    Best answer wins a free diet Coke.

    • Cal says:

      Step 1: Kidnap MacKinnon.
      Step 2: Perform radical facial plastic surgery on him.
      Step 3: Create a player history with a false name and sign as a free agent, subverting the league.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Use the “Quebec is an independent Nation act( it’s on the books)”
      and make the draft inapplicable to QJMHL players.

      By the tie the courts work it out we woulda have Stanley safely back in his glass case.

      Edit: While they at it.. show PJ the boder.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Wait however many years it is until they’re eligible to become unrestricted free agents and pray they haven’t signed long-term deals before then. In the meantime build a team that’s a contender for the Cup every year and is only a player or two away from winning a championship. (This is where the idea might falter on the ‘realistic ways’ proviso.)

    • ont fan says:

      That ship has sailed. A loser season is what was needed. What would you have taken last year for the 3rd pick? Priceless!

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I’ll have a talk with them, and let them know! Piece of cake!

  14. Hobie Hansen says:

    Aside from the bitching and complaining to the refs, I have to hand it to Crosby for standing up to Chara last night. We know Chara isn’t going to drop the gloves in a playoff game and starting beating the hell out of Crosby but it still takes guts.

    With all that yapping and pushing and shoving Crosby was doing, he’s going to take some serious punishment from Chara in the corners. Takes a lot of balls on Crosby’s part.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I agree with you that Crosby and Pens will have to stick to their game and not try to outbruins the Bruins… something I am surprised they fell into.

      However the Bruins are such chep foul artists and do so many ‘hidden’ dirty plays that it is so irritating. No team elbows as the Bruins…. and get away with it. Bruins rarely deliver eye-opening huge hits.. they just harass the arse outta you by dirtiness.

      The one team and coach in the league that matches that mentality.. the Leafs. And see what they almost did to the Bruins. Flyers with Pronger around was also a match.

      Penns will have to maybe ‘slow down their game’ like the Habs do again the Bruins and have a Letang play with a P.K like nuissance factor. Or… yes.. I gotta say it… set Cooke loose to be Cooke.

      The playoffs lost a liitle for me… with this B victory. I dont wanna watch as much.

      • Cal says:

        If I’m the Pens, I back up the captain by injuring the Gooins players. On purpose and with malice aforethought. Shoot at their heads when they try to block shots. Spear them in the groin at every opportunity (like when they are within reach of your stick).
        Boston doesn’t play hockey- they are goons. Do what the Habs did in the 70s to the Flyers. Kick the living sh– out of them and then score like crazy. It’s the only way.

        http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  15. The Boston Bruins have a Cap Space of $6,657,857. They have a total of 17 signed in NHL & 22 in AHL for a total of 37 players. IMHO, Salary Cap will be going up again in this off season to accommodate Bruins to keep their team intact. Here’s a list of Their UFA’s & RFA’s in NHL & AHL;

    UFA’s are Jagr, Horton, Pandolfo, Ference, Redden, Johnson, Khudobin, Hanson, Exelby, Tardif & Whitfield.

    RFA’s are Daugauins, Rask, Caron, Cohen, Hutchinson, Camper & Miller.

    Tuukka Rask is going to get a raise of more than 3.5m since Rask is 26 years old. Horton will get a little higher than 4m and them 2 players alone puts Bruins over the Cap with only 19 signed. Rask could get CP money this off season perhaps? Just throwing this out there for HI/O Readers. Who thinks it will be a Bruins & Black Hawks final?

    • SmartDog says:

      I still think the pens will take it, but after last night, no-one would be surprised if the Bruins upset them. The B’s gave constant pressure to the Pens which seemed to upset their game, especially later. If it’s a battle of goaltenders, I’d put my money on Rask. (Thanks again Toronto, you idiots.)

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  16. SmartDog says:

    In news from this century, the Boons beat the Pens last night.

    A lot of luck there – Pens hit 3 or 4 posts. But the Bruins got better as the game went on, and were the more aggressive team overall.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  17. Ncognito says:

    Ok First then :-)

  18. JohnBellyful says:

    WHAAAAAAT!!!
    I’m on now??!!!
    I thought my line was in Act 2 – ACT 2!!! – Scene 1!
    No?
    Okay, okay, I can do it:

    “Second!”

    NOW WHAAAAAT??!!!


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