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 15-5-3 record into a game against the Whalers on Nov. 25, 1992 in Hartford. Below is Pat Hickey’s story from that game.
Damphousse playing with power now
HARTFORD – You can forget all that talk about Vincent Damphousse being in a slump.
Damphousse, who has said all along that he was due to leave his early-season woes behind, scored three goals and added an assist last night as the Montreal Canadiens buried the Hartford Whalers 6- 1.
“I was hoping this season would follow the same pattern as last year,” said Damphousse, who suffered through a 16-game slump in Edmonton before exploding for 30 goals in 35 games. “I’ve been working hard and it all came together tonight.
“I’m back to where I thought I should be at this point in the season,” said Damphousse, who has eight goals and 13 assists.
And Damphousse also took some pride in the fact the Canadiens’ power play produced four of the six goals last night, although the official record will show that the Canadiens went 3-for-5 with the man advantage.
Those figures are misleading because it was the power-play unit that was on the ice for the Canadiens’ second goal. A two-minute penalty to Hartford’s Steve Konroyd expired four seconds before Damphousse came around the net and put the wraparound between Hartford goaltender Sean Burke’s legs at 1:05 of the second period. That goal gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead.
“We had a talk about the power play in the morning practice,” said Damphousse, “and we concentrated on jamming the net. We got some bounces but it was a question of jumping on the puck.”
After Adam Burt cut the Canadiens’ lead in half at 5:34, the Canadiens restored the two-goal lead with a power-play goal that counted as a power-play goal. On this one, Damphousse dug the puck out of the corner and Kirk Muller fed a perfect pass to Brian Bellows in the slot. Bellows’s goal at 9:25 was his 13th of the season and his sixth on the power play. It was also the Canadiens’ first power-play goal in the past six games.
The Canadiens added two morepower-play goals in the third period as Eric Desjardins made it 4-1 at 6:11 and Damphousse completed his hat trick 53 seconds later.
The Canadiens rubbed some salt in the Whalers’ wounds when Gilbert Dionne scored a short-handed goal at 17:40 of the third period with Todd Ewen in the penalty box. Guy Carbonneau picked up an assist on the goal for his 500th NHL point.
Hustle was the key to the Canadiens’ first goal. There was Stephan Lebeau hustling to get his stick on a difficult pass from Mike Keane. Then, there was hustle on the part of Damphousse, who stepped around a defender and lifted a backhander over Burke’s blocker at 12:07 of the first period.
“We did what we wanted to do tonight,” said coach Jacques Demers. “We knew they were going to come out strong and play bump-and-grind with us and that’s what they did for 10 minutes. Then we took control.”
Canadiens goaltender Andre Racicot picked up his fifth consecutive win, although he had a relatively easy night. The best of the 22 shots which came his way were the goal by Burt and Mark Janssens’s effort from the slot early in the third period.
After giving up eight goals in his first start – an 8-2 loss to Buffalo – Racicot has lowered his goals-against average to 3.33 and has allowed only three goals in his last three starts.
Feelings ran high throughout the game, but particularly after Ed Ronan of the Canadiens checked Eric Weinrich and sent him flying into the boards. Weinrich was taken to a hospital for precautionary X-rays and was diagnosed as having a concussion.
Ronan was called for a high-sticking penalty on the play but the Whalers were deprived of a power play when Randy Cunneyworth charged Ronan and picked up a minor of his own.
Weinrich might have suffered a more serious injury if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet. The same can be said for Burt, who went crashing into the boards after tangling with John LeClair in the first period.
Burt was attempting to check LeClair but the Canadien caught him with his shoulder and sent him flying. He hit his head as he slid into the boards and lay motionless on the ice for 30 seconds. Burt had to be helped from the ice but he recovered to score the Whalers’ only goal.
(Photo by Richard Arless Jr./The Gazette)