Tag Archives: Eric Desjardins

Chewed By Panthers

It took six skaters from each team in the shootout before it was decided, and in the end, the Florida Panthers managed to make both Habs fans and Bruins fan unhappy at the same time.

It seems a truly unnatural act – Habs and Bruins fan on the same page. Doesn’t seem right and I never want it to happen again.

The Panthers left town with a 3-2 win over the Habs, with their two points putting them within spitting distance of the Boston Bruins and the final wild card slot in the East. The Canadiens hang onto first place in the East by a thread, tied with the Islanders, who thumped Nashville 5-2 on this same night, but our boys have a game in hand.

It was going so well too. Carey Price was once again allowing nothing. Brendan Gallagher had his team up 2-0 with a couple of nice goals from close in.

But soon after, the walls came tumbling down. Shortly after Gally’s second marker, Florida narrowed it to 2-1. And in the third frame, a shot from Price’s side blew by him and the game was tied.

The Canadiens had two great chances in overtime, first by Tomas Plekanec who swooped in and was promptly denied, and then Max, in the dying seconds, was also in close but couldn’t get a handle on it.

So that’s that. So far in February the boys are five wins and five losses, the first .500 month this season. Although there are still four games left in the month and maybe they can fix that number in a big way.

A couple of players to mention. Jiri Sekac, after being a healthy scratch lately, was a force to be reckoned with. He skated miles, made great plays and had fine chances, and in my mind was his team’s best player. It was much like the last time he returned after being scratched (remember that? His dad was pissed).

Maybe that’s the key with this first-year fellow. Sit him in the press box every so often. Do it again with a few games left before the playoffs start and have him raring to go when it really counts.

P.K. Subban was a bit of a P.K. Most of us have whined at times about our guy not being able to freewheel like he can, and tonight he was full steam ahead. But he also lost the puck on occasion, made some poor decisions, and kept things slightly uneasy and unorganized as he did his dancing and zipping around.

I don’t know what I want from the poor guy. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. All I can say is, I’ll take clever over cute, and PK was a bit too cute on this night.

Canadiens outshot the Floridians 39-21, which should’ve translated to a convincing win don’t you think?

Random Notes:

Brendan Gallagher’s first goal of the night marked his 100th NHL point.

Alex Galchenyuk was out with the flu.

Jarred Tinordi found himself in a scrap with Alex Petrovic after Tinordi had sideswiped Tomas Fleischmann.

Word is Alexei Emelin is gone for six weeks or so. I know some Habs fans won’t miss him at all. But I will.

Former Hab Eric Desjardins was inducted into the Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame tonight. Fine player, Desjardins. Traded, along with John Leclair and Gilbert Dionne, to Philly in 1995 for Mark Recchi and a draft pick. Not GM Serge Savard’s finest moment.

Are Mad Dog Kelly, Dave Schultz, and Don Saleski in the Flyers HOF?

Next game for the Canadiens – Saturday, when Columbus pays a visit. Once again, time to right the ship.

And one last thing. Even though I mentioned that I might explain my ongoing personal situation, after thinking about it all day, I realize I’m not able to. It’s too sensitive and could affect others, and there’s just no way to write it properly.


The Last Time They Played 48

While we wait to see what the Habs schedule will look like, have a look at the last time the team played 48-games, which was during the 1994-95 lockout season.

As you can see, the Canadiens never traveled out of the east, they kicked things off on January 21, and they played four games each against the Rangers, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Buffalo, and Ottawa, while it was three games against Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida, and the Islanders.

It was also a dismal year for the team. They missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1969-70 season (25 years), won only 3 of 24 road games, and came out ahead in just 11 of their final 32 games.

This with Patrick Roy in nets (with a little help from Ron Tugnutt), and Dr. Recchi scoring and diagnosing. The good doctor had joined the Habs on Feb. 9/95 , with John Leclair, Eric Desjardins, and Gilbert Dionne heading off to Philadelphia.

01/21/1995 at NY Rangers 2 5 Loss
01/25/1995 vs. Washington 2 0 Win
01/28/1995 vs. New Jersey 5 1 Win
01/29/1995 vs. Philadelphia 2 2 Tie
01/31/1995 at Tampa Bay 1 4 Loss
02/02/1995 at Florida 1 1 Tie
02/04/1995 vs. NY Islanders 4 2 Win
02/07/1995 at Boston 4 7 Loss
02/08/1995 at Ottawa 4 2 Win
02/11/1995 at Pittsburgh 1 3 Loss
02/13/1995 vs. Hartford 2 2 Tie
02/15/1995 at Hartford 1 4 Loss
02/16/1995 at NY Rangers 2 2 Tie
02/18/1995 vs. NY Rangers 5 2 Win
02/20/1995 vs. NY Islanders 3 2 Win
02/23/1995 at Florida 5 2 Win
02/25/1995 vs. Philadelphia 0 7 Loss
02/27/1995 at New Jersey 1 6 Loss
02/28/1995 at NY Islanders 1 2 Loss
03/04/1995 at Washington 1 5 Loss
03/05/1995 at Buffalo 1 4 Loss
03/08/1995 vs. Buffalo 2 2 Tie
03/11/1995 vs. NY Rangers 3 1 Win
03/13/1995 at Pittsburgh 2 4 Loss
03/15/1995 vs. Pittsburgh 8 5 Win
03/16/1995 at Boston 0 6 Loss
03/18/1995 vs. Quebec 5 4 Win
03/20/1995 at Philadelphia 4 8 Loss
03/22/1995 vs. Florida 2 3 Loss
03/25/1995 vs. Ottawa 3 1 Win
03/27/1995 at Tampa Bay 2 3 Loss
04/01/1995 at New Jersey 1 4 Loss
04/03/1995 at Ottawa 5 4 Win
04/05/1995 vs. Quebec 6 5 Win
04/06/1995 at Quebec 2 3 Loss
04/08/1995 vs. Pittsburgh 2 1 Win
04/10/1995 vs. New Jersey 2 1 Win
04/12/1995 at Philadelphia 2 3 Loss
04/14/1995 at Hartford 3 4 Loss
04/15/1995 vs. Boston 2 3 Loss
04/17/1995 vs. Washington 5 2 Win
04/19/1995 vs. Ottawa 4 1 Win
04/22/1995 vs. Tampa Bay 3 1 Win
04/24/1995 vs. Hartford 3 4 Loss
04/26/1995 at Quebec 1 1 Tie
04/29/1995 vs. Buffalo 3 3 Tie
05/01/1995 at Buffalo 0 2 Loss
05/03/1995 vs. Boston 2 4 Loss

Three Big Similarities Between A Cup Winner In 1993 And A Non-Cup Winner In 2010

“You always wonder whether guys are ready to pay the price in games like these. You wonder and then you’re afraid maybe a few of the guys won’t or can’t go higher and farther, and that could be enough to hurt you.”

So said then-forward and now assistant coach Kirk Muller after his team had defeated the Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 Stanley Cup final to capture their 24th, and last, championship title.

Those Canadiens got the job done with just one superstar, Patrick Roy, and a whole lot of hard-working role players who stepped up and got their noses dirty and who stood uninvited in front of LA goalie Kelly Hrudey game in and game out. They managed a magical ten consecutive victories in overtime. They fell behing the Quebec Nordiques two games to none and stormed back to win the Adams semi-final. Then it was a four-game sweep over Buffalo, with three of the games going to overtime, before finishing off the Islanders and then the Kings.

It was Patrick and a cast of construction workers – Muller, Mike Keane, Brian Bellows, Eric Desjardins, Paul DiPietro, Stephan Lebeau, Guy Carbonneau, and a dozen more. It was a measurement on Kings’ defenceman Marty McSorley’s illegal stick in game two with just two minutes left in the game which allowed the Habs to tie and win it and even the series at one apiece. It was an overtime hero on ten different nights, and a big effort by John Leclair throughout, who was called cement-hands in Montreal before he joined the Philadelphia Flyers and scored 50 goals three times and 40 a couple more.

They resembled the 2010 Montreal Canadiens in several ways, beginning with a goalie who stood on his head with a team of mostly non-stars in front of him. The big difference was, I suppose, the 1993 version dug deeper, everyone stepped up, and most importantly, all contributed. “All of us did it tonight,” said Muller. “It was there for us. We…all of us…reached out and didn’t let go.”

Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette said at the time that the Canadiens really didn’t become a team until game 30 of the season that year, when they played the LA Kings, the team they would meet in the finals, in a neutral-site which happened to be Phoenix of all places, long before the city had the Coyotes. The Kings led 5-2 well into the third period when the Habs crept back and Vincent Damphousse tied it with 31 seconds left. That was the beginning, said Fisher.

They also resembled this year’s team in another way, a Markovian way. “They grew even more,” wrote Fisher, “when the team’s best defenceman at that point, Mathieu Schneider, was lost in game 53 with a broken ankle. In their next 13 games after that, they went 11-1-1, and said they had learned in Phoenix that it ain’t over ’till it’s over. And after losing Schneider, they learned that adversity hurts only for a little while when others dig deeper.”

There is also another comparison, and a big one in my book. Jacques Demers, coach of the team in 1993, wouldn’t speculate after the last game on what that team required to repeat, but noted that the 1993 club was one of the smallest clubs in NHL history to capture a Cup.

They were small, had a goalie standing on his head, and one of their best defencemen was injured. Imagine.

Everyone contributed in 1993 in many different ways, and that’s the difference between then and now. There were those now who were stars, (Cammalleri, Halak, Gionta) and some who slept through most of the playoffs. You know who they are and they know who they are. At least I hope they know who they are.