Monday, June 3, 2013
Game 1 of the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals had gone to the visiting Los Angeles Kings by a 4-1 score, making it imperative that the Montreal Canadiens respond with a victory in Game 2, played on this date in 1993, before heading to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4.
Eric Desjardins got Montreal off to a good start by opening the scoring with 1:29 remaining in the first period. Things had not gone Montreal's way however, as they trailed the Kings 2-1 with just 1:45 remaining in the game after a shorthanded goal by the Kings Dave Taylor in the second period and Pat Conacher's goal at 8:32 of the third. Then, with the moment to pull out all the stops having arrived, Montreal coach Jacques Demers called for a measurement of the Kings Marty McSorley's stick.
The officials huddled and the curvature of McSorley's stick was deemed to be outside the allowable limits, necessitating a two-minute minor against Los Angeles.
With McSorley now in the penalty box, leaving the Kings down a man, Demers pulled goaltender Patrick Roy for a 6 on 4 Canadiens advantage. The Canadiens gained control of the puck in the Kings zone and made pass after pass until defenseman Desjardins received the puck out near the blueline in the middle of the zone, where he loaded up and unleashed a slapshot which found the back of the net for his second goal of the night to tie the game with just 1:13 remaining, sending the Montreal faithful into delirium and breaking a 0-for-32 skid on the power play for Montreal.
Then, still in the first minute of overtime, Benoit Brunet broke into the Kings zone and left a drop pass for the trailing Desjardins, who fired wide to the left of the goal. The puck came to Brunet, now behind the Kings goal, who fed it out to Desjardins at the top of the right faceoff circle, as the defenseman had circled back towards the point. Desjardins then took a stride closer to the goal before letting his shot fly, which beat Kelly Hrudey between the pads for the dramatic game winner just 51 seconds into the extra period, lifting the Montreal fans even higher as the Canadiens celebrated on the ice.
Desjardins third goal of the game made him just the first defenseman in 100 years of Stanley Cup history to score a hat trick in the finals.
The Canadiens would put the momentum of their late comeback in Game 2 to good use, winning a pair of overtime games in Los Angeles before coming back to Montreal to clinch the championship with a 4-1 win in Game 5 at home.
It was revealed after the series that the Montreal training staff had snuck into the Kings locker room to secretly measure McSorley's stick in advance of their protest late in Game 2.
In the 19 other playoff games Desjardins played that season, he would score but one other goal, but did contribute 10 assists for 14 total points.
After six seasons with Montreal, Desjardins would be traded to the Philadelphia Flyers and played the remaining 11 years of his career in Philadelphia. He remains the only defenseman to score a ever hat trick in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens Eric Desjardins jersey which features the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals patch, the only time a French version of the Cup Finals patch has been created since it's introduction in 1989.
It was a busy season for the Canadiens seamstresses, as Montreal began the season wearing the 1993 NHL All-Star Game patch. Following the All-Star Game in January, the club wore the Stanley Cup Centennial patch for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, prior to earning the right to wear the Stanley Cup Finals patch as champions of the Wales Conference.
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions
Today's first video is a very well produced look at the Montreal Canadiens run through the playoffs, including the early round highlights.
Our second video is a 2012 interview (in three parts) with McSorley about his his thoughts and recollections on the infamous stick measurement incident and how it came about.