Tag Archives: Jean Perron

The ’86 Cup Gang

It’s certain the Montreal Canadiens of 1986 weren’t a dominant team in the league, or a great team like the Habs of other years. Heck, they weren’t even as good as several other teams in these playoffs. But they won the Stanley Cup and the rest didn’t. And they did it through a blend of old, new, and a goalie who stood on his head.

Montreal’s 1986 Stanley Cup win over the Calgary Flames was the 23rd time the team had drank from the old mug, and surprising as it was for all the armchair quarterbacks and hockey experts of the world, there were actual reasons why they were able to do this drinking.

Patrick Roy standing on his head was a very good reason. The rookie won the Conn Smythe for his performance in these playoffs, and one stop in particular may just have saved the day for the Habs. Coach Jean Perron had called a timeout with the game winding down and Montreal leading 4-3, when just 30 seconds after the timeout and only 14 seconds left, Jamie Macoun thought he had it tied when he fired and waited for the red light. But Roy pulled out the most important big stop of the series to maintain the lead. “I wasn’t on the ice when Roy made that save,” grinned Bobby Smith.  “When he made it, I was on my feet yelling: ‘Roo-ah! Roo-ah!’ This smile is going to be on my face until September.”

But Roy wasn’t the only reason the Canadiens came through. It was simply an amazing and unheralded bunch.

Ryan Walter for example, who played with a half-healed broken ankle, and played like a demon. Team doctors said with astonishment that if it was the regular season, Walter wouldn’t have even skated for another three weeks. Walter later explained, “Adrenaline is an amazing healer with a Stanley Cup in sight.”

Guy Carbonneau, playing with a serious knee injury.

Chris Nilan, who sat out the last two games with a damaged ankle, said of journeymen Serge Boisvert and Steve Rooney, who had filled in, “I’m glad it gave these guys a chance to get their names on the Cup. They deserved it because they worked like hell and never opened their mouths.”

Brian Skrudland, who was knocked out cold early in the final game, put the Canadiens ahead, 2-1, for good in the second period and never missed a shift. Later, in the dressing later, he blurted out, “You don’t know how much being a part of this means to me.  Since I can remember, I’ve always cried when the Canadiens and Saskatchewan Roughriders lost.”

Gaston Gingras, a player who was made fun of in previous years because of miscues and a big shot with no control, was a big-time player in the finals, scoring three large goals. No one made jokes about Gingras after this series was over.

Craig Ludwig, a solid defenceman, with a back so bad he could hardly get out of bed in the morning.

Claude Lemieux, the target of every player in the league, losing two teeth and creating havoc and playing like a man possessed whenever he stepped on the ice.

Rick Green, who performed so well on the blueline he was considered the best defencemen in all of the 1986 series, including those from the other teams. And Green had been a scapegoat because he and Walter had come to Montreal in an unpopular trade that saw Rod Langway, Doug Jarvis, Brian Engblom and Craig Laughlin sent to Washington.

Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson, thinking their time may have passed and wondering if they would ever win another Stanley Cup – and they played big and won again.

Coach Jean Perron saying this 1986 team was the best defensive team in Montreal history. “When you don’t have great scorers you have to be great defensively. When we hang up that banner in the Forum, it will be screaming ‘defence…defence.’ ”

And there were others who made their mark too; Mike McPhee, Smith, Mats Naslund, Lucien Deblois and Mike Lalor to name a few, and Chris Chelios in just his second full year in the NHL.

Montreal would win again in 1993 and that would be it. We’re still waiting for another.

The Habs In 1986 – Getting Noses Dirty, And Winning It All

It’s certain the Montreal Canadiens of 1986 weren’t a dominant team in the league, or a great team like the Habs of other years. Heck, they weren’t even as good as several other teams in these playoffs. But they won the Stanley Cup and the rest didn’t. And they did it through a blend of old, new, and a goalie who stood on his head.

Montreal’s 1986 Stanley Cup win over the Calgary Flames was the 23rd time the team had drank from the old mug, and surprising as it was for all the armchair quarterbacks and hockey experts of the world, there were actual reasons why they were able to do this drinking.

Patrick Roy standing on his head was a very good reason. The rookie won the Conn Smythe for his performance in these playoffs, and one stop in particular may just have saved the day for the Habs. Coach Jean Perron had called a timeout with the game winding down and Montreal leading 4-3, when just 30 seconds after the timeout and only 14 seconds left, Jamie Macoun thought he had it tied when he fired and waited for the red light. But Roy pulled out the most important big stop of the series to maintain the lead. “I wasn’t on the ice when Roy made that save,” grinned Bobby Smith.  “When he made it, I was on my feet yelling: ‘Roo-ah! Roo-ah!’ This smile is going to be on my face until September.”

But Roy wasn’t the only reason the Canadiens came through. It was simply an amazing and unheralded bunch.

Ryan Walter for example, who played with a half-healed broken ankle, and played like a demon. Team doctors said with astonishment that if it was the regular season, Walter wouldn’t have even skated for another three weeks. Walter later explained, “Adrenaline is an amazing healer with a Stanley Cup in sight.”

Guy Carbonneau, playing with a serious knee injury.

Chris Nilan, who sat out the last two games with a damaged ankle, said of journeymen Serge Boisvert and Steve Rooney, who had filled in, “I’m glad it gave these guys a chance to get their names on the Cup. They deserved it because they worked like hell and never opened their mouths.”

Brian Skrudland, who was knocked out cold early in the final game, put the Canadiens ahead, 2-1, for good in the second period and never missed a shift. Later, in the dressing later, he blurted out, “You don’t know how much being a part of this means to me.  Since I can remember, I’ve always cried when the Canadiens and Saskatchewan Roughriders lost.”

Gaston Gingras, a player who was made fun of in previous years because of miscues and a big shot with no control, was a big-time player in the finals, scoring three large goals. No one made jokes about Gingras after this series was over.

Craig Ludwig, a solid defenceman, with a back so bad he could hardly get out of bed in the morning.

Claude Lemieux, the target of every player in the league, losing two teeth and creating havoc and playing like a man possessed whenever he stepped on the ice.

Rick Green, who performed so well on the blueline he was considered the best defencemen in all of the 1986 series, including those from the other teams. And Green had been a scapegoat because he and Walter had come to Montreal in an unpopular trade that saw Rod Langway, Doug Jarvis, Brian Engblom and Craig Laughlin sent to Washington.

Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson, thinking their time may have passed and wondering if they would ever win another Stanley Cup – and they played big and won again. 

Coach Jean Perron saying this 1986 team was the best defensive team in Montreal history. “When you don’t have great scorers you have to be great defensively. When we hang up that banner in the Forum, it will be screaming ‘defence…defence.’ ”

And there were others who made their mark too; Mike McPhee, Smith, Mats Naslund, Lucien Deblois and Mike Lalor to name a few, and Chris Chelios in just his second full year in the NHL.

Montreal would win again in 1993 and that would be it. Until this year, when they get solid efforts from the unexpected, and Carey Price comes through like Patrick Roy did back then.

Stan Fischler Tells Us About Chris Chelios And Other Habs In 1988

I pulled this book from my bookcase because it was there and I was bored. It’s called Breakaway 88-89. written by Stan and Shirley Fischler, and it’s billed on the front cover as “The Essential Viewer’s Guide to the NHL.”

 

“I wouldn’t think of broadcasting a game without consulting Breakaway” gushes John Davidson. “If it’s not in my briefcase on a road trip, I’m in trouble.”

 

Don Cherry adds, “Everything anyone would want to know about the 1988-89 season.”

 

Here’s some of what Fischler wrote. Just keep in mind that it was Fischler who said Carey Price is a bum.

 

“There is so much conflict inside the Montreal Canadiens’ dressing year after year that one sometimes gets the feeling that the United Nations’ Security Council should be convened to handle the matter of who’s right and who’s wrong with the Habs. Consider:

 

-On a trip to Chicago, Chris Chelios engaged coach Jean Perron in a public argument on the team bench at Chicago Stadium.

 

-A mutiny threatened when Chelios accused teammate Chris Nilan of telling young defenceman Mike Lalor that the other backliners planned to convince Perron to employ only five defencemen – excluding Lalor.

 

-Perron angered French-speaking players on his team by declaring that some francophone Canadiens tend to think they’re big shots and need to be cut down to size.

 

-Nilan openly criticized Perron, asked to be traded and was dealt to the New York Rangers.

 

-Veteran defenceman Larry Robinson told friends he was tired of all the politics on the team and also took Perron to task. Eventually, Perron was fired.

 

Smartest Hab – Bobby Smith

Most entertaining/quotable – Craig Ludwig

Most overrated – Chris Chelios

 

Patrick Roy: He often falls prey to the inherent drawback of that style – flopping is not a precise science (as opposed to playing the angles), which makes it tough for him to duplicate his success.

All Tom Kostopoulos Has To Do Is Just Keep Proving People Wrong.

If you had a team made up of only players like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, and Mike Bossy, with the same type of all-stars on defence and in goal, you wouldn’t win every game. You probably wouldn’t win the Stanley Cup. All you’d be is a fancy team that’s missing something.

 You wouldn’t have the type of players who battle in corners, who scrap to protect, who check other teams’ best lines, and who add colour and blue collar work ethic and dedication and the willingness to overcome odds that they’ve been overcoming for years.

 That’s why every good team needs the plumbers. And that’s why Tom Kostopoulos is not only one of my favourite Habs, but also a key ingredient on the club.

 This is a guy who was buried in the minors, had minor success with Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, and by all accounts, was going to be just another player in a long line of players who play a few years in the bigs and then become roofers and car salesmen.

 But Kostopoulos somehow made his way into the Montreal Canadiens lineup as a free agent a year ago, and he’s fit like a glove. He’s not a star, just a fourth-liner who sometimes replaces others on other lines. He’s a grinder, a sometimes-goal scorer, a guy who defends his teammates although he’s not huge (6′ 200 lbs.), a guy who gets his nose dirty, and in his own little way, is just as important as any player on the Habs.

 I remember the reactions on Habs forums when he was signed. Krustyopoulos they called him. What was Bob Gainey thinking, they cried. Fire Gainey. Imagine, signing a minor leaguer when there were good NHL’ers to be had.

 Early in last year’s season, a Quebec TV show called 110% was aired, with hockey people like Michel Bergeron and Jean Perron, and another named Michel Beaudry, and talk started about how the Habs should be playing their French Canadian players more, like Steve Begin, and forget about Kostopoulos, who’s from Mississauga, Ontario.

Beaudry, on live TV, and to the chuckles of the others, called him Kostfuckupoulos. 

 Not only did Kostopoulos prove Beaudry wrong with his great play on the ice, but Beaudry was fired from his TV show. 

 Bob Gainey, as usual, knew what he was doing when he signed this guy. Tom Kostopoulos would help any team in the league.

He helped the Habs last year with his character, grit, the way he played hurt, and the way he went up against anybody at any time. 

 And this year, he’s going to help them go a long way.

Rick The Trucker Reports On a Very Disturbing, And Rascist, Quebec Hockey TV Show

Because Rick pulls his 53 foot trailer between Ottawa and Montreal, he listens a lot to Montreal sports talk radio in his truck. The other night, the topic on his radio was a french television show that talks hockey. And what he reports is pretty surprising. Take it away, Rick. 

“Today’s big topic was about last night’s 110% show on TV. It’s on french TQS channel and has a bunch of Quebecers who don’t like any Hab who isn’t a native of Quebec. Some of the panel include Michel Bergeron, Jean Perron, and a bunch of other know-it-alls.

“Anyway, last night they were bitching about Tom Kostopoulos (english) playing and Steve Begin (french) sitting out. PJ Stock, who guests at times even with his limited french, was trying to make the point that at least Kostopoulos will drop the gloves and fend for himself and his teammates. Then guest Michel Beaudry called Kostopoulos, on live TV, “Kostfuckupolis, to quite the chuckles from the other guests. And he thought that was so great, he said it again.

“The whole show revolves around shitting on non-french players. And the point PJ Stock, as well as half the city of Montreal was making, was that Maxim Lapierre’s habit of stirring up shit on the ice and leaving the mess to Bouillon or Kostopoulos to clean up has to stop. Insiders say even his own teammates are sick of it, and if he decided to clean up his own mess, he’d gain more respect from his teammates.

“So on the radio last night, all the greeks and anglos, as well as many french, were calling in about the name-calling on live TV.

“Just another day in Montreal.”

“In other news: I heard Chris Nilan in an interview with old teammate Gary Galley, and he’s a GREAT interview. Also, Jean Beliveau said that what happened in Florida was no big deal, but the idea of players making rookies buy 500 dollar bottles of wine at rookie dinners wasn’t right. He said as captain, he would never allow that. He doesn’t agree with rookie dinners at all. In his day they had their own initiations, but he wouldn’t elaborate.”

Thanks Rick. Now get back to work.