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 16-5-3 record into a game against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 28, 1992 at the Forum. Below is Red Fisher’s story from that game
Canucks rally to earn victory over Canadiens
Patrick Roy wants his associates to know he doesn’t hold a grudge.
Oh, it’s true that 37 Vancouver shots along with 44 by the Canadiens represent major league shoot-and-run offence which can cost teams games, such as last night’s 6-5 loss to the Canucks. But, says Roy, keep ‘er goin’, chaps.
“The only thing that beat us,” said Roy, “is a little breakdown in communications. On the first goal, for example, I thought I had the puck, but it was in the net.
“I could play the same game against Buffalo on Monday, allow four goals, and that would be enough to win the game.”
What the Canadiens learned last night is that offence is fine, but there will be nights when the game plan can be just as appealing and as productive for the opposition.
What’s clear, as well, is that the Canucks did it the hard way: they worked for it. What that means is that although they led briefly, 2-1, in the first period, they didn’t move in front to stay until they came from behind three times.
Petr Nedved, who’s been on fire lately after absorbing a generous amount of heat from Vancouver management, once again was the Canucks’ big shooter, with goals in the first and third periods. His second goal in the third minute of the final period was his 14th of the season and provided Vancouver with the first two-goal margin either team enjoyed on this night.
Other Vancouver goal scorers were Sergio Momesso, Gerald Diduck, Greg Adams and Pavel Bure.
Mathieu Schneider, Mike Keane and Kirk Muller provided the Canadiens with a 3-2 lead in the first period.
Ed Ronan’s goal early in the second lifted them into a 4-3 lead, but the Canucks put this one away with three consecutive goals.
This was high and hard shooting at its finest which, at the very least, represented quality entertainment.
It had large chunks of everything, except restraining tactics, which is why two of the National Hockey League’s premier goaltenders – Roy and Kirk McLean – went through a night that neither one is likely to retain among his treasured memories.
“You could say,” said Roy, “there wasn’t too much defence out there, but it’s something I’ve got to expect now and then. It didn’t work for us tonight, so I’m not happy, but it’s worked most of the time.
“It was spectacular … a great show for the fans, but what we need is a little more work in our zone.”
The game, in every way, was precisely what somebody up there had in mind when the National Hockey League introduced rules aimed at removing restraining tactics. Wide open stuff. Teams Whoosh! So it was that fewer than two minutes into the game, Schneider’s shot struck Robert Dirk’s skate during a power play, the deflection eluded McLean – and the fun game was on.
The best, by far, however, was yet to come.
There’s the matter, for example, of second effort by a chap named Momesso, for a Vancouver goal only a couple of minutes later. Then, it’s Nedved, courtesy of Eric Desjardins, who was victimized at the beginning and end of a play gone awry. First, Desjardins was stripped of the puck several feet outside his blue line. Then, he struck an airball in his attempt to intercept a Geoff Courtnall pass. Courtnall had pilfered it in the first place.
This was vintage offence – by both sides. Up, down … highs and lows from moment to moment. Wide-open hockey at its best. Bottle and sell it across the counter, chaps.
Obviously, it was an easy sell right up to the last moment. There’s no other way to describe the thunderous ovation which greeted the Canadiens’ final goal – by Desjardins late in the third period. It lifted the Canadiens to within a goal of the Canucks – which always makes the opposition fair game in this part of town.
The goal came after some intense pressure in the Vancouver zone, but that’s as far as the Canadiens got on a night when the Canucks weren’t prepared to capitulate. On the other hand, Patrice Brisebois was in a position to tie the score when he was confronted with a gaping open side with three minutes remaining. Patrice (sigh) flubbed his shot.
The loss – only the Canadiens’ second in 14 home games, may turn out to be costly. Guy Carbonneau stopped a shot with his instep in the third period and was dispatched to the hospital for X-rays.
NOTES – Defenceman J.J. Daigneault left the game with a bruised knee after the first period… . Benoit Brunet won’t accompany the team on its four-game road trip, which starts in Boston on Thursday.
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)