Jacques Demers, the last coach to lead the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup championship in 1993, is the guest on our second Hockey Inside/Out show that is now available on hockeyinsideout.com/show or by clicking on the “H Show” link to the right.
Demers, who is now a senator in Ottawa, joined Gazette sports editor Stu Cowan and columnist Dave Stubbs for a discussion looking back at that championship team and he also comments on the current Habs.
Demers talks about the great mix of francophone and anglophone players on that 1993 team and the important role character played on that squad. And he recalls telling the players before that season started that they were going to “shock the hockey world.”
They certainly did, winning 10 straight overtime games en route to the championship, and Demers shares some of his personal memories from that special night at the Forum when the Canadiens hoisted the Cup for the 24th time in franchise history.
A special thanks to all the HIO fans from across North America who emailed in their questions for Demers. The winner of the HIO gift bag is Chris Barnes of Winnipeg for sending in the following question, which Demers answers on the show:
“At what moment in the 1993 playoff run did it hit you that the team was going to win it all? For me it was when (Paul) DiPietro completed the hat trick to finish off the Nords in the first round.”
Chris Nilan was the special guest on the first episode of the HIO show. Look for the third episode in mid-April.
The Canadiens practised Monday in Brossard as they prepare for back-to-back games Tuesday in Pittsburgh and Wednesday in Boston.
Carey Price will get the start in net on Tuesday against the Penguins in a game that will be a “huge challenge for us,” coach Michel Therrien said.
“Right now this is the hottest team in the NHL,” Therrien said of the Penguins, who have won 12 games in a row.
Rene Bourque, who has been out with a concussion, hasn’t skated since last Thursday when the Canadiens were on Long Island, N.Y.
“He doesn’t progress like we were hoping,” Therrien said. “So that’s the frustrating part with a consussion.”
The other players not travelling with the Canadiens to Pittsburgh are Raphael Diaz, who is also out with a concussion, Ryan White (lower-body injury) and Brandon Prust, who suffered a first-grade separation of his left shoulder on March 9 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Prust skated on his own on Monday with Pierre Allard, the Canadiens’ strength and conditioning coach.
“It’s coming along,” Prust said. “We’re getting there.
“We’re just making sure it’s going to be 100 per cent when … I get back. It’s not 100 per cent yet, but it’s getting close.”
Jeff Halpern, claimed off waivers Saturday from the New York Rangers, practised with his new teammates for the first time Monday.
The lines at practice were: Ryder-Plekanec-Gionta; Galchenyuk-Eller-Armstrong; Moen-Halpern-Dumont; Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher. Blunden was the odd man out.
Defence pairings were: Gorges-Subban; Markov-Emelin; Tinordi-Bouillon; Weber-Kaberle.