1993 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1993 Stanley Cup Final series was contested by the Los Angeles Kings and the Montreal Canadiens to decide the NHL championship for the 1992–93 season. It was the first appearance in the Final for the Kings, and the 34th for Montreal, their first since the 1989 Final. The Canadiens won the series four games to one to win the team's twenty-fourth Stanley Cup. The year 1993 was the 100th anniversary of the first awarding of the Stanley Cup in 1893. The Canadiens remain the last Canadian team to have won the Cup. The 1993 Canadiens are also the last Stanley Cup championship team to be composed solely of North American-born players.
Road to the Final
Los Angeles had started well but then went through a terrible run of form from December to February, though they managed to rebound and clinch a playoff spot. Superstar Wayne Gretzky sat out from October to January due to injury. Los Angeles did not have home ice advantage for all four rounds of the playoffs, and was the only club to face Canadian teams in every round. To reach the final, Los Angeles defeated the Calgary Flames 4–2, the Vancouver Canucks, 4–2 and the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4–3.
Montreal defeated their in-province rivals, Quebec Nordiques, 4–2, the Buffalo Sabres 4–0, and the New York Islanders 4–1. The Canadiens initially lost the first two games in round one against the rival Nordiques, due in part to a couple of weak goals let in by star Montreal goaltender (and Quebec City native) Patrick Roy. Afterward, a newspaper in Roy's hometown district suggested that he be traded, while Nordiques goaltending coach Dan Bouchard also proclaimed that his team had solved Roy. The Canadiens then responded by winning the next four games to eliminate the Nordiques, then swept the Sabres, and took the first three games against the Islanders, tying a record of 11 consecutive playoff wins.
Both conferences saw numerous upsets, with the top two teams in each conference being eliminated before the conference finals. The Campbell Conference saw last year's Cup finalists, Chicago Blackhawks, get swept in the opening round by the St. Louis Blues. With their rivals the Boston Bruins being eliminated by the Sabres in the division semifinals, as well as the two-time defending Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins being eliminated by the Islanders in the division final, Montreal's path to their first final since 1989 became much easier. The Bruins had eliminated the Canadiens in the playoffs for three straight years, mainly due to Boston goaltender Andy Moog, who was often referred to as the "greatest Hab killer" the Bruins ever had.
This would be the last Stanley Cup Final series to be played in the Montreal Forum, and the last time Wayne Gretzky would play in the Finals as well. Gretzky was trying to become the first player to captain two teams to the Stanley Cup, having led the Edmonton Oilers to Stanley Cup championships in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988. It was Montreal's first trip to the Finals since 1989, when they lost to the Oilers' provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames. Meanwhile, it was the first-ever trip to the Finals for the Kings in their 26-year history. This is the most recent time that a Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup Championship. It is also (to date) the last time the Canadiens have advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. It was the last Final in which a Canadian franchise would have home ice advantage with the Stanley Cup up for grabs until the Vancouver Canucks reached the Finals in 2011.
|Tuesday, June 1||Montreal Canadiens||1–4||Los Angeles Kings||Montreal Forum|
In game one at the Montreal Forum, the Kings jumped out to a 1–0 lead on Luc Robitaille's power-play goal at 3:03 of the first period. The Canadiens tied the game late in the first on Ed Ronan's goal at 18:09 (although it was merely a pass that Gretzky accidentally deflected into his own net). Robitaille would break the 1–1 deadlock with his second power-play goal of the game at 17:41 of the second period. Jari Kurri added an insurance marker off a Patrice Brisebois turnover at 1:51 of the third, and Gretzky sealed the 4–1 win for the Kings with an empty net goal at 18:02.
|Thursday, June 3||Montreal Canadiens||3–2||OT||Los Angeles Kings||Montreal Forum|
The turning point of the series for the Canadiens came late in the third period of game two. With the Kings leading by a score of 2–1, Canadiens coach Jacques Demers called for a measurement of the curve of Kings defenceman Marty McSorley's stick. The stick was deemed illegal and McSorley was given a two-minute minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. As it was late in the game and Montreal was facing the prospect of going to Los Angeles down two games to none, Demers pulled goalie Patrick Roy, producing a 6-on-4 advantage for the Canadiens. In dramatic fashion, Montreal's Éric Desjardins scored from the point to tie the game at two and force overtime. Desjardins then scored his third goal of the game 51 seconds into overtime to give Montreal the win and the momentum heading toward games three and four at the Great Western Forum. Desjardins is the first and only defenceman to get a hat trick in the Cup Finals; before this game he had scored just two playoff goals.
Canadiens coach Jacques Demers supposedly knew which of the Kings' hockey sticks to challenge, thanks to a Montreal Forum employee assigned to the Kings' locker room who temporarily moved the Kings' portable stick rack to the Montreal's locker room. It has been suggested that Demers' alleged gamesmanship has created a curse that prevented a Canadian team from winning the Stanley Cup again. Demers has denied this and credited captain Guy Carbonneau with spotting McSorley's illegal stick.
|Saturday, June 5||Los Angeles Kings||3–4||OT||Montreal Canadiens||Great Western Forum|
In game three in Los Angeles, the Canadiens jumped out to a 1–0 first period lead on a tip-in goal by Brian Bellows at 10:26, and Gilbert Dionne and Mathieu Schneider increased that lead to 3–0 at 2:41 and 3:02 of the second period. After a memorable check by long-time Kings defenceman Mark Hardy on Montreal's Mike Keane, the Kings fired back to tie the game in the second period on goals by Robitaille, Tony Granato, and Gretzky. With time running out in the third period, Montreal captain Guy Carbonneau appeared to cover the puck in the goal crease, which with such little time remaining (12 seconds) would have resulted in a penalty shot for Los Angeles. But the referee ruled that the puck had been shot by a Kings player into Carbonneau's equipment, and so the period remained scoreless. After the series, the referee admitted that he had made a mistake on the call. The game went into overtime and the Montreal's John LeClair scored the winner just 34 seconds into the extra period, giving the Canadiens their ninth consecutive overtime playoff victory.
|Monday, June 7||Los Angeles Kings||2–3||OT||Montreal Canadiens||Great Western Forum|
Game four was a carbon copy of the previous game. Montreal bolted out to an early 2–0 lead, but the Kings fought back in the second period with goals by Mike Donnelly at 6:33 and McSorley on a power play at 19:56. As was the case in game three, the third period in game four ended up scoreless. Once again, it was John LeClair who was the hero for Montreal as he netted the overtime winner 14:37 into the extra period, banking the puck off the leg of sliding Los Angeles defenceman Darryl Sydor. In doing so, he became the first player since Montreal legend Maurice "Rocket" Richard in 1951 to score playoff overtime goals in consecutive games, and giving Montreal an NHL-record ten consecutive overtime wins in the 1993 playoffs.
|Wednesday, June 9||Montreal Canadiens||4–1||Los Angeles Kings||Montreal Forum|
Leading the series three games to one, the Canadiens headed back home for game five. After Paul DiPietro gave Montreal a 1–0 lead with a goal at 15:10 of the first period, McSorley tied the game for the Kings at 2:40 of the second period. The Canadiens' response was swift as Kirk Muller scored just 71 seconds later, and then Stephane Lebeau scored a power-play goal at 11:31 to give the Canadiens a 3–1 lead after two periods. DiPietro scored again at 12:06 to give Montreal a 4–1 lead. That ended up being the final score, with Muller's goal turning out to be the game winner. Gretzky did not manage a shot on net during the entire game.
With the win, the Canadiens won the series four games to one and clinched their 24th Stanley Cup championship. Montreal goaltender Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time (he won it for the first time in 1986).
Montreal's Cup win, coupled with Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays' World Series win later that year, marked the only time two Canadian big league sports teams won their respective league championships in the same calendar year.
All quotes are by Bob Cole.
The tip-off is the referee leaves the stick in the penalty box, and that's where it is now. An illegal stick. Jacques Demers waiting for this moment.—On Marty McSorley's penalty for using an illegal stick in Game 2.
—On Eric Desjardins' tying goal late in Game 2.
Brunet carries in, Ronan in front of the net...there's a shot! Desjardins following the play, and he missed on the short side, there he is again! Scores! Desjardins! And the Canadiens win in overtime, his third goal of the game! And the series is a brand new one!—On the overtime goal by Eric Desjardins in Game 2.
The Canadiens win the game in overtime again!—After John LeClair scores in overtime of Game 3.
—On Paul DiPietro's goal in Game 5.
And now a 24th Stanley Cup banner will hang from the rafters of the famous Forum in Montreal! The Canadiens win the Stanley Cup!—The dying seconds of Game 5.
Montreal Canadiens – 1993 Stanley Cup champions
- Coaching and administrative staff
- Ronald Corey (Chairman/President), Serge Savard (Vice President/General Manager)
- Jacques Demers (Head Coach), Jacques Laperriere (Asst. Coach)
- Charles Thiffault, (Asst Coach), Francois Allaire (Goaltending Coach)
- Jean Beliveau (Sr. Vice President-Director of Cooperate Affairs), Jacques Lemaire (Asst. General Manager/Director of Player Personnel)
- Andre Boudrias (Asst. General Manager)
- Gaetan Lefebvre (Athletic Trainer)
- John Shipman (Asst. Athletic Trainer), Eddy Palchak (Equipment Manager)
- Pierre Gervais (Asst. Equipment Manager), Robert Boulanger (Asst. Equipment Managers)
Stanley Cup engraving
- Jesse Belanger played 19 regular season games and 9 playoff games, but did not play in the finals. His name was included on the cup even though he did not qualify.
Included on the team picture, but left off Stanley Cup.
- Stephane T. Molson (Secretary - Molson Family Foundation)†, Eric H. Molson (Chairman of the Board, The Molson Company Limited)†
- #9 Oleg Petrov played 9 regular season games and 1 playoff game, but was left off the cup, and team picture. He spent the rest of the season in the minors.
- Montreal did not include Aldo Giampaolo, Fred Steer, Bernard Brisset (Vice Presidents), and Claude Ruel (Director-Player Development) on the Stanley Cup, even though there is more than enough room. In 1986 Montreal included 3 of their 4 vice presidents, and Director-Player Development on the cup. All 7 members were awarded Stanley Cup Rings, along with all the scouts.
The 1993 Montreal Stanley Cup riot occurred in Montreal after the Montreal Canadiens won their 24th Stanley Cup. Fans poured out of the Montreal Forum and began to commit acts of vandalism and violence while their team was celebrating inside. In the epicenter of the riots, Ste. Catherine St., stores were looted and police cruisers were set ablaze. The riots caused $2.5 million in damage, $3.59 million in 2014 dollars.
At the high point of the riot 980 officers were dispatched and they made 115 arrests. The police reported 47 police cars damaged, 8 of those 47 cars were completely destroyed. Rioters were arrested after they broke windows, looted stores and set fires. Some of the rioters were suspected of planning to loot stores using the riot as a decoy. 168 were injured, including 49 police officers.
Due to the Kings being the Canadiens' opponents, most of the Los Angeles news media, including the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News, also covered the riots; Times staff writer Helene Elliott was pressed into service as a news reporter minutes after the riots began.
As mentioned, this was the last Cup final won by a Canadian team to date. Subsequent appearances by Canadian teams in a Cup final followed (Vancouver Canucks – 1994, 2011; Calgary Flames – 2004; Edmonton Oilers – 2006; Ottawa Senators – 2007) but each ended in a loss.
The Canadiens, after winning at least one Stanley Cup in every decade of their existence, would win only six playoff series and missed the playoffs seven times in an 18-year period, the longest such drought in team history. The closest they would come to the Cup final during this span was in a 2010 conference finals defeat to the Philadelphia Flyers, denying them an opportunity to have a Stanley Cup final held at the Bell Centre, where the Habs moved during the 1995–96 NHL season. Much of the Canadiens' lengthy drought was blamed for the infamous trade of disgruntled goalie Patrick Roy to the Colorado Avalanche, formerly the Canadiens' provincial rival Quebec Nordiques. Roy later won two Stanley Cups with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001.
The Kings would not return to the Cup final until 2012. In between Cup finals, the Kings missed the playoffs 11 of 18 times, during which the team was sold by cash strapped owner Bruce McNall to Anschutz Entertainment Group, Wayne Gretzky was traded and then the team moved from the Forum to the Staples Center. Under general manager Dean Lombardi, the Kings rebuilt and developed the team using the draft and their minor league affiliate Manchester Monarchs, as opposed to McNall's free-spending ways in a buildup to the 1993 finals. With Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick leading the way, the Kings would win their first Stanley Cup in 2012 as the eighth seed, the first such occurrence in NHL history.
- Inline citations
- Morrison 2008, pp. 142–145
- Dupont, Kevin Paul (April 25, 1993). "Sabres send Bruins packing May's OT strike completes sweep". Boston Globe. p. 49.
- Dupont, Kevin Paul (April 28, 1990). "The KO Punch Wesley Scores with 1:13 Left as Bruins Send Canadiens Packing". Boston Globe. p. 33.
- Yannis, Alex (April 30, 1991). "Moog Leads Bruins Into Conference Final". New York Times. p. B11.
- Shuster, Rachel (April 30, 1991). "Bruins bump Canadiens". USA Today. p. 1C.
- Dupont, Kevin Paul (May 10, 1992). "A Four-Gone Conclusion Bruins complete sweep of Montreal with shutout". Boston Globe. p. 49.
- Keri, Jonah (March 21, 2008). "Canadiens-Bruins rivalry alive and well this season". ESPN. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- Shaughnessy, Dan (June 2, 2011). "A rough start for Bruins". Boston Globe. p. A1. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. May 27, 2012.
- Foster, Chris (May 28, 2012). "Kings fans can't forget stick incident in 1993, but there's more to the picture". Los Angeles Times.
- ALLECHINSY, DAVID; WALLACE, AMY; IRA BASEN and JANE FARROW (December 27, 2005). "4 Canadian sports riots". Macleans.ca. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- "SPORTS PEOPLE: HOCKEY; Cup Riot Bill is $2.5 million". The New York Times. July 4, 1993. p. 8.8.
- Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada) Last modified 2013-12-20. Retrieved January 8, 2014
- "HOCKEY; Victory Party Turns Into Riot and Looting". The New York Times. June 11, 1993. p. B11.
- Morrison, Scott (2008). Hockey Night in Canada: My Greatest Day. Toronto: Key Porter Books. ISBN 978-1-55470-086-8.
Stanley Cup Champions
New York Rangers