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 17-6-3 record into a game against the Boston Bruins on Dec. 3, 1992 at the Forum. Below is Red Fisher’s story from that game:
Bellows injured in loss to Bruins
BOSTON – Is this where it starts for the Canadiens … when the hard times roll?
Does it start with the defensive blunders which led to their 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins last night in yet another shootout?
Or, perhaps, with the doubtful status of Brian Bellows, who left the game midway through the third period?
The Canadiens will learn more about some of the above, but it appers that Bellows is all right after being blindsided in front of the Boston net.
“There’s no fracture,” said Bellows, after having his head and neck X-rayed.
“I don’t really know what happened, but what I know for sure is that when I sat down in the penalty box, there was tingling in my arms and pains in my chest. You don’t fool around with things like that.”
What happens now depends on how he feels today.
“I really feel sore right now,” he said upon his return from hospital. “If it doesn’t get better in the next 48 hours, I can see myself missing a little time.”
There wasn’t much missed in last night’s shootout, starting with the 32 shots the Canadiens fired at Andy Moog and the 27 stopped by Patrick Roy. So much so, the wonder of it all is that the goaltenders managed to keep the goal totals to acceptable figures. And in Moog’s case, he went one step farther: he stopped Stephan Lebeau with a little more than a minute remaining on what would have been the tying goal.
“He was close, but he didn’t get all of the shot,” explained Moog. “I caught it with my pad.”
Close, but an appropriate result when it’s considered that several of the Canadiens’ problems were self-inflicted.
Coach Jacques Demers put it this way:
“You can’t play the way we did in the first period … give away the puck the way we did, and expect to win a game.”
Adam Oates made the Canadiens pay on this night with two goals, while Tim Sweeney and Dave Poulin added others. The Poulin goal was the night’s most damaging, however, coming during a shorthanded situation and lifting the Bruins at a time when the air appeared to be going out of their balloon.
Kirk Muller, with two, and Lebeau were the Canadiens goal-scorers.
The Canadiens had their opportunities even before Sweeney delivered his first goal as a Bruin.
John LeClair, for example, swept in alone on Moog a hair beyond one minute into the game – and was stopped. Lebeau sends a backhand dart at Moog. Another stop! Moog made at least four major-league stops among the 14 he made in the first period, which is why coach Demers was left muttering about giveaways by his team.
Such as three minutes into the game, for example.
That’s when Sweeney, who had been despatched to the penalty box to make amends for the Bruins having an extra man on the ice, left the penalty box.
That’s also when defenceman Patrice Brisebois delivered an errant pass onto Sweeney’s stick. Roy, however, appeared to have saved the day, or night, for the rookie defenceman. He stopped Sweeney. The puck went straight up, which was fine. Not so fine was that Brisebois had lost his footing and somehow managed to direct the puck into the net. The Canadiens goaltender was not amused.
There was nothing Roy could do on the Ray Bourque shot deflected by Oates, but where were his friends a little beyond the midway point of the second period when Poulin was allowed to sneak away along from centre ice – alone?
Worse, the Canadiens were enjoying a manpower advantage at the time.
This game was largely an adventure. Stops on both sides, and then goals in bunches. Muller, who had lifted the Canadiens to within a goal of the Bruins with his second-period goal, did it again in the first blush of the final period – and here come the Canadiens, right?
Forty-six seconds later, Oates snapped in his own rebound to re- establish the two-goal margin.
Twenty-seven seconds later Lebeau beat Moog.