Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's St. Patrick's Day on FHF

Well this is it. #33 goes to the rafters tonight. Whatever controversy about whether or not the Habs should retire Patrick Roy's number, or whether they should be doing it now, is behind us. Well, probably not, because I am sure that will be the main topic of conversation in the comments today and in the thread tonight. Ah well. ANYWAY, I'm not here for that. I'm just here to start the day off with my own memories of St. Patrick. You know, from on the ice. FHF resident goalie Panger will be bringing you the main feature this afternoon, that will be your preview and open thread for the big bad (yet now Easter Conference-leading) Bruins tonight.

For now, let's take a trip down memory to that beautiful time of 1993. David Koresh went postal on the ATF. Pearl Jam was slowly taking the grunge mantle from Nirvana. The breakup of Czechoslovakia ensured that Jagr and Hossa would never play together. And the Montreal Canadiens went on the greatest playoff run I've ever seen, led by #33.

It started like crap. I remember watching the first two games against the Nordiques at the old Lincoln Pub with some friends from school. One of them was a HUGE Habs fan, and was very upset that he would only see the first two games, because he was off to France for the summer. After we lost those first two (leading to the fans and media calling for Red Light Racicot!), he was happy as he left us and went home to pack. "Now I won't miss anything - Habs will be out in four straight."

You all know what happened next - Habs reel off 11 straight wins and 10 straight overtime wins on their way to the Stanley Cup over the Kings thanks to a bad-ass curved stick. It was magical. But what I really remember was Patrick. I have never seen a goalie like that either before or since, and I've seen alot. You talk about sports stars being in a zone, but this was beyond the zone. After a few games you just knew, if the Habs got to OT, Patrick wasn't letting in a goal. I'm really not sure what you could compare it to. Maybe Mariano Rivera for the Yankees in 1999, or Michael Jordan for the Bulls in several of those championship years. You just knew if the team kept it close, those guys would close the deal. Patrick was like that in 1993.

His GAA from those playoffs was merely very very good, at 2.13. But the numbers don't tell the story. It was the feeling, that with Patrick on our side, destiny would be fulfilled. I barely remember the rest of that team (Brian Bellows? Gilbert Dionne?) because that team was Patrick. Patrick carried a mediocre team on his back, something he did time and time again. That's what I'll remember, and even smile at, when that 33 banner goes up.

Sports Illustrated recap of the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs

1993 Road to the Cup on YouTube


moeman said...

Long live St. Patrick.

For me his play (and attitude) in 1993 was inspiring. So much so I named my son after him.

I loved how he out-starred Gretzky and literally changed goaltending. He deserves the jersey retirement and the on-ice accolades for being one of if not the best tender of all times.

Robert L said...

33 Things You Might Not Know About Patrick Roy

Anonymous said...

His jersey should be retired. He might be an asshole, but one of the greatest goalies of all time both in regular season and playoffs.
If it wasn't for Mario Tremblay, St. Patrick would never have left Mtl. Should be a great night ceremony tonight.

Dave said...

From SI in 1993:

"Always Sandstrom is in my crease, bothering me, hitting at me when I have the puck," Roy (pronounced WAH) said. "When I made the save on Robitaille, Sandstrom hit me. So I winked. I wanted to show him I'd be tough. That I was in control."

More amazing even than the famous wink is how Sports Illustrated thinks Roy was born in Saigon.

Beta169 said...

The picture of Roy would be much better if you would photoshop Breezer out of it. I'd like to remember Roy and 1993 without being reminded of a guy that would best serve the team in the trunk of Panger's car.

Well, there you go, let's put aside our differences regarding the appropriateness of tonight's ceremony and unite in our dislike of good 'ol Breeze-by.

Anonymous said...

If the 6 minutes Road to the cup video on youtube is not enough for you, then you should really look at the 59 minutes recap of the 93 playoffs, narrated by Gretzky and Roy himself, on the LA Kings website:

Enjoy the video!

L Dude said...

I remember '93 vividly. My first-born arrived on March 2nd. He and I watched many games together - he just couldn't sleep knowing a game was on. Did a lot of pacing back and forth in front of the TV with baby puke running down my back. UNFORGETTABLE!
He's a proud Habs fan to this day and I hope it's soon, really soon, that he sees a Habs cup that he will remember so fondly.

On another note, anybody know how Weber's doing in the 'A'? He seemed like a Streit clone from what we saw of him in the preseason and not just because he's Swiss. Good shot, good hockey sense.

Anonymous said...

The myth of 93 grows with every year. You should this to understand why his legend grows unfairly.

The habs in 1993 were actually a very good team. They were in the running for the league best record until a late swoon in the season. As it stood they had a bad end to they ear.

Yes Patrick Roy was a key element of the 1993, but the team was not mediocre.

The reason we remember it as mediocre is because the 1994 team was mediocre. And the 1995 was even worse. And the 1996 sucked.

But the 1993 team was actually very, very, very good.

In fact the team from 1986->1993 was one of the top teams in the NHL.

So although Patrick Roy was great, he wasn't the only reason they won.

And yes to win a cup your best players have to play like your best players. So he deserves credit.

But please don't attribute everything to him.

A still cranky, po'ed habs fan over the way patrick quit.

copyranter said...

My favorite Roy memory happens to be from 1986, game three conference finals against the Rangers in NYC. In the OT, the Rangers absolutely dominated, out-shooting the Habs something like 10-0, but Patrick was a stone wall...and then Pepe Lemieux shockingly scores the winner, putting the Canadiens up 3-0, and effectively ending the series.

Bryan Driscoll said...

i have to meet a chick for coffee this aft and im going to the flames/wings game tonight, so i doubt i'll get to see any of it. hope it's on youtube and stuff later