The Montreal Canadiens just clinched a spot in the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals after beating the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. The Habs managed to break two curses that night for both their franchise and their country. They become the first Canadian team since the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks to play for the Cup. They also broke a 28-year drought in their franchise, dating back to 1993 which was the last time they got a chance to play the Stanley Cup Finals. Things have changed for the Canadiens since they last got there, so we’re going to look over the 1993 Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
A Quick Breakdown of the 1992-1993 Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings
The 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens had an excellent record of 48-30, finishing with 102 points, 3rd in their division, and 6th in the NHL. Vincent Damphousse, acquired by the Canadians during the 1992 offseason, made a significant impact for the Habs, as he earned 97 points that year. Patrick Roy continued to play well for the Habs posting a 31-25 record, even though his time with the Montreal Canadiens was starting to decline. During the 1993 playoffs, the Canadiens put on a magical run, first beating division rival Quebec Nordiques in 6 games, sweeping the Buffalo Sabres, and then beating the New York Islanders in 5 games to get to the Cup final.
The 1992-93 Los Angeles Kings had a slightly different way of getting to the final. While their record was not as good, with it being a 39-35 record, they still managed to get in thanks to their best player, not Wayne Gretzky. Luc Robitaille put up an unbelievable 125-point season with 63 goals and 62 assists. One interesting thought about the Kings’ run to the Stanley Cup Final run was that their route was against Canadian teams. They managed to beat the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames in 6 games.
Then came the series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tied at four going in OT in game 6 with the Leafs up 3-2, a controversial call by Kerry Fraser has haunted Leaf’s fans forever. After Gretzky high-sticked Doug Gilmour in the chin, and even though it looked like a clear penalty, Fraser decided not to penalize Gretzky, and to add on that, Gretzky scored the OT goal to send it to game 7. Making the non-call even worse- Gretzky would score a hat trick in game 7 to send the Kings to the Stanley Cup.
Games 1-3: Montreal Canadiens Use OT to their Advantage
In Game 1, Robitaille made sure to make his name clear against the Canadiens, putting up two goals in a 4-1 win to give them a 1-0 lead. In Game 2, with the Kings up 2-1 near the end of the third period, Canadiens coach Jacques Demers asked the linesmen to measure the stick of Marty McSorley, claiming it to be an illegal stick.
After measuring it, the stick was deemed illegal, giving the Canadians a PP, and Eric Desjardins would score the tying goal. Desjardins finished his hat trick off in OT, winning the game and tying the series. The Habs were good at winning OT games in the playoffs that year, and they used it to their advantage. In Game 3, The Canadiens had a 3-0 lead going into the second period. However, the Kings quickly responded with three goals in the second period to tie the game. In OT, the Canadiens managed to win their 9th straight OT game 32 seconds thanks to John LeClair.
Games 4-5: Montreal Canadiens Win the 1993 Stanley Cup
Game 4 had a lot of similarities to Game 3. The Canadiens held a 2-0 lead thanks to Kirk Muller and Damphousse. But like Game 3, the Kings responded in the 2nd period, thanks to Mike Donnelly and Mart McSorley. Game 4, also like Game 3, went into OT, which the hero of Game 3, LeClair, scored the winning goal. However, this time, it was much later, and he scored on a nice move on the backhand against Kelly Hrudey.
Going back to Montreal in game 5, the Habs wanted to finish it off in front of their fans and managed to do so. The Habs would strike first thanks to Paul DiPietro in the first and lead by going into the second. But the Kings managed to get on the board quickly in the second, thanks to McSorley. But the Habs responded almost 2 minutes later when Muller made it a 2-1 score.
With the Habs needing some insurance, a PP thanks to a Mark Hardy holding penalty helped as Stephan Lebeau scored a big insurance goal to make it 3-1 Habs. But one more goal sealed the Cup for the Habs as DiPietro scored in the third period to make it 4-1. The time winded down, and the Montreal Canadiens won the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals and their 24th in franchise history.
Come join the discussion made by the fans at the Overtime Heroics forums! A place for all sports
Main Image credit