Saturday, 1 June 2013

Today in Habs History: June 1st Edition

Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille celebrate a goal in Game One of the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals. (Photo: AP)

 

1993: The Montreal Canadiens are back in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in four years, as they faced off against the Los Angeles Kings in Game One. It was Montreal’s 34th trip to the final battle for the Cup, and the first in the 25-year history of the Kings.

 

The Kings would win the first game by a score of 4-1, with Wayne Gretzky actually factoring on all five of the goals. “The Great One” had a goal and three assists for the Kings and errantly deflected a pass by the Canadiens’ Ed Ronan, intended for Paul DiPietro, into his own net.

 

“Gretzky toyed with us tonight.”said Canadiens coach Jacques Demers. “He did what he wanted. This was The Great One we saw tonight. Everybody just followed the pattern of Wayne Gretzky.”

 

Canadiens defenseman Sean Hill summed it up best. “We can’t let Wayne play like that,” Hill said. “He’s the best in the world.”

 

For Kings winger Luc Robitaille, who grew up idolizing the Habs of the seventies in Montreal, the nerves of playing a Cup Final game at the Forum were certainly not there. Having set a new record for goals by a left winger (63) in the regular season, previously held by Canadiens legend Steve Shutt, Robitaille scored two goals for the Kings in the first game.

 

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Montreal’s power-play, which had become non-existent since Game One of the Wales Conference Finals, went 0-for-5 on the evening. Leading into the Finals, the Canadiens had been 8-0 at home and outscored their opponents 32-17.

 

Patrick Roy made 34 saves for the Canadiens, while Kelly Hrudey had 31 for Los Angeles.

 

Also on this day…

 

1961: The Canadiens deal the rights to Norm Corcoran (Quebec Aces) to the Rochester Americans (AHL) for Guy Rousseau. Corcoran, who played prior and the NHL, and Rousseau, who had played our game for the Habs before, never made it back to the NHL.

 

The Canadiens also dealt Bob Turner to the Chicago Black Hawks for Fred Hilts. Turner, who played on the Canadiens five-straight Cup winning dynasty, played two more NHL seasons on the blue line with Chicago. Hilts never saw the light of day in the NHL.

 

Montreal then sent Terry Gray and Cliff Pennington traded to Boston Bruins for Willie O'Ree and Stan Maxwell. None of these four proved any success for either team. The only notable name in this group in O`Ree, who became the first black player in NHL history, three seasons prior. O’Ree never saw action for Montreal. He was sold the WHL’s Los Angeles Blades the following November, where he was a prominent player in that league for the next 13 seasons.

 

1968: Claude Provost becomes the first player to win the Bill Masterton Trophy for “Embodying the definition of perseverance and dedication to hockey.” Provost had 48 points that season for Montreal.

 

1988: Jean Perron resigned as coach of the Montreal Canadiens, citing major differences with GM Serge Savard. In Perron's three years as coach, the Canadiens were 126-84-30 during the regular season and 30-18 in the playoffs. Pat Burns is named as his replacement.

 

1998: Pierre Dorion becomes Chief of Scouting replacing Pierre Mondou.

 

2009: Jacques Martin is named the 24th head coach in the history of the Canadiens.

 

Habs Born on This Day: Johnny Matz (1892), Wilfred Hart (1901), Michel Plasse (1948), Serge Boisvert (1959), Jeff Hackett (1968), Murray Baron (1967),

 

 

Sources:

www.hhof.com

www.sihrhockey.org

Mike Nadel (AP), June 2, 1993

Milwaukee Journal – “Net gains for Gretzky, LA”, June 2, 1993

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