Tag Archives: John LeClair

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.

Guest Blogger With A Great Name Tells His Story

A fellow in Vermont contacted me after finding this site, and sent in this story.  He and I have one major thing in common. We have the same name. 

The Hockey Story of another Dennis Kane
I recently came across your site and was drawn, I admit, less because I am a die-hard fan of the Canadiens, than because I think you are the first other Dennis Kane I have come across.  I am, I’m sure you will be relieved to know, a hockey fan, both my daughters and my son played through high school.  The oldest two played club hockey in college and the youngest is aiming to play in college next year.  She is now playing for the Taft School in Connecticut.  So I have been to countless youth games.
I was raised in New Jersey and was never a hockey fan growing up.  Upon moving to Vermont to go to graduate school I discovered the college game where a ticket to get into some University of Vermont games was as tough as getting in to see the Yankees when they were winning.  What really got me hooked was following UVM when Martin St Louis, Tim Thomas and Eric Perrin played together and the team went to the Frozen Four.  St. Louis and Perrin were amazing to behold and once I saw St. Louis come within 1 second of scoring a hat-trick of short-handed goals.
My friend and I started a tradition of taking my son and his friend to college conference tournaments every spring for eight years and they still talk about those trips to rinks all over the northeast US.  We also began to follow the UVM players in the NHL including John LeClair, Patrick Sharp and now, Torrey Mitchel of the Sharks and so have seen a bunch of games of the Lightning, Bruins and Blackhawks.
My one hockey experience at the Fourm was watching the USA play Canada in the World Cup and seeing Gretzky, LeClair, Hull  and a host of majors stars play an amazing game (from our perspective, anyway).  It was quite an experience cheering for the USA at that game.  Not much of a hockey history compared to a life-long Canadiens fan I’m sure.
I still live in Vermont.  I’m 60 years old and play in a fantasy hockey league with my son and his friends. (I won last year).  My branch of Kanes was for many years in northern NJ and has been traced to Ireland.
I put your site on my favorite list and will be checking in on my hockey rounds.  The Canadiens look good this year and seem to be strong in every position.  It would be a great thing for them to win it all this year.
Nice to come across you.  You might be interested to know that I have always remembered when I was in high school in some literature class the teacher used my/our name as an example of a particularly smooth sounding phrase, a “euphonious” phrase that she compared to Mark Twain’s favoite of “cellar door”……..go figure……my 15 seconds of fame.
Nice to come across you

Dennis Kane
VT Higher Education Collaborative