Hockey Headlines

Monday, 18 July 2011

Overtime Heroes

The 1993 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs were won by the Montreal Canadiens as they were the last Canadian-based NHL franchise to capture the Stanley Cup. Lots of amazing things happened that year as the Canadiens downed the Los Angeles Kings in five games to deny Wayne Gretzky in what would be his last chance to capture a Stanley Cup over his illustrious career. Perhaps the most amazing thing that happened in those playoffs was the Canadiens' ability to win in overtime. There were 28 overtime games in the 1993 NHL Playoffs, and the Canadiens played in ten of those games. Their record? 10-1 in overtime that year! Ten of their sixteen wins needed to capture the Stanley Cup came in extra time!

Montreal had finished in third-place in the Adams Division behind the Quebec Nordiques, bolstered by the Eric Lindros trade, and the Boston Bruins. They were the sixth overall team in the NHL standings, though, proving that the Adams Division might be the hardest division to escape in the playoffs in 1993. Because of their finish, they played their division and provincial rivals in the Quebec Nordiques in the opening round of the playoffs. The Canadiens actually lost Game One of this series in overtime on a Scott Young goal, but they were automatic from that point on.

The Canadiens were coming together down the stretch, and were led by veterans Kirk Muller, Vincent Damphousse, Brian Bellows, Eric Desjardins, and Patrick Roy. Roy, who had a magnificent playoff himself, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the NHL Playoffs for the third time in his career. He was absolutely lights-out when overtimes began, and he helped the Canadiens win ten straight overtime games in one playoff year which is still an NHL record.

Here are the results of those ten overtime games. Check out the goaltenders that the Canadiens defeated in those ten games - some pretty big names in the goaltending community!

Let's review those goals:
  • Vincent Damphousse beat Ron Hextall (QUE) in Game Three for a 2-1 victory. Quebec led the series 2-1 at that point.
  • Kirk Muller beat Ron Hextall (QUE) in Game Five for a 5-4 victory. Montreal led the series 3-2 at that point, and would capture the series in six games.
  • Guy Carbonneau beat Grant Fuhr (BUF) in Game Two for a 4-3 victory. Montreal led the series 2-0 at that point.
  • Patrice Brisebois beat Grant Fuhr (BUF) in Game Three for a 4-3 victory. Montreal increased their lead to 3-0 at that point.
  • Kirk Muller beat Grant Fuhr (BUF) in Game Four for a 4-3 victory. Montreal captured the series in four straight games that featured a 4-3 final in each of the games.
  • Patrick Lebeau beat Glenn Healy (NYI) in Game Two in double-overtime for a 4-3 victory. Montreal led the series 2-0 at that point.
  • Guy Carbonneau beat Glenn Healy (NYI) in Game Three for a 2-1 victory. Montreal led the series 3-0 at that point, and tied a playoff record with their eleventh-straight victory. The seventh overtime victory broke the record held by the 1980 New York Islanders of most overtime wins in one playoff year with six. Montreal would win the series in five games.
  • Eric Desjardins beat Kelly Hrudey (LAK) in Game Two for a 3-2 victory. Montreal even the series at 1-1 at that point.
  • John LeClair beat Kelly Hrudey (LAK) in Game Three for a 4-3 victory. Montreal jumped out to a 2-1 lead with the win. The win broke the New York Islanders' record of most consecutive playoff overtime victories of eight.
  • John Leclair beat Kelly Hrudey (LAK) in Game Four for a 3-2 victory. This would be the tenth consecutive overtime victory for the Canadiens, and they jumped out to a 3-1 series lead. They would win the Stanley Cup with a 4-1 victory in Game Five.
I'm still amazed by the amount of overtime games won in the first minute of overtime by the Canadiens, but it goes to show you, kids: come out as hard as you can in overtime! You never know what can happen, and you might just catch the other guys off guard!

It takes ice in your veins to win an overtime game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for sure, but ten in a row? That's the stuff that legends are made of in this game.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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