Good Friday Massacre

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Good Friday Massacre
1 2 3 Total
Quebec Nordiques 1 0 2 3
Montreal Canadiens 0 0 5 5
Date April 20, 1984
Arena Montreal Forum
City Montreal, Quebec,  Canada
Attendance 18,090

The Good Friday Massacre, (French: la bataille du Vendredi saint),[1][2] was a second-round playoff match-up during the 1984 NHL Playoffs. The game occurred on Good Friday, April 20, 1984 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, between the Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadiens. It was broadcast on CBC Television and Télévision de Radio-Canada in Canada, and on the USA Network in the United States. After a number of fights, a bench-clearing brawl broke out near the end of the second period.[3] When the teams returned to ice for the extended third period, as they were warming up, a second brawl broke out between the teams, including players who had already been ejected from the game but had not been notified prior to their return to the ice. The officials had to be summoned to the rink to restore order.

Bruce Hood, the referee, was late in announcing the penalties as the third period began, and the players reassembled on the ice. As a consequence, a second brawl erupted and lasted until the players left once more. Hood was roundly criticized for his handling of the fight[4] and eventually retired after the playoffs that year, doing so amidst speculation that his retirement occurred at the behest of NHL officials.

A total of 252 penalty minutes were incurred and 10 players were ejected. Amongst the fourteen altercations[5] were the Canadiens' Mario Tremblay smashing the nose of the Nordiques' Peter Stastny, and Louis Sleigher knocking Jean Hamel unconscious by hitting him in the eye. Hamel managed to return for training camp in the autumn of 1984, but sustained another eye injury in Montreal's last pre-season game, prompting him to retire.[6][7][8]

When the brawl took place, the Canadiens were trailing 1-0. They came back to score all five of their goals in the third period to defeat the Nordiques that night by a score of 5-3, thereby winning the series 4 games to 2. However, the Canadiens were defeated in the Prince of Wales Conference Finals by the New York Islanders.


  1. ^ Club de hockey Canadien, Inc. (2009). "La bataille du Vendredi Saint". Site historique des Canadiens de Montréal (in French). Club de hockey Canadien, Inc. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  2. ^ Fontaine, Patrice (2009). "Bataille du Vendredi saint - événements". Dictionnaire Des Sports Du Québec. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  3. ^ Wilner, Barry (21 April 1984). "Canadiens survive Nordiques, Brawls". Youngstown Vindicator (Youngstown, Ohio). p. 15. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Farber, Michael (21 April 1984). "Forum brawl disgraced game". The Gazette (Montreal). p. D1. Retrieved 16 April 2012. .
  5. ^ YouTube video of the brawls as they unfolded on YouTube
  6. ^ Phillips, Randy (6 October 1984). "Injured Hamel to miss start of season". The Gazette (Montreal). p. F3. Retrieved 6 April 2012. .
  7. ^ "Hamel retires, but gets new contract". The Gazette (Montreal). 21 December 1984. p. D1. 
  8. ^ "Centenary of brutality". Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, B.C.). January 12, 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-04.