Patrick Roy has said the Montreal Canadiens’ 1993 Stanley Cup victory was the reward not for the best team in the NHL, but the one that played the best when it counted the most.
Now, with the Canadiens heading to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, their first in 28 years, the goalie’s opinion of Montreal’s most recent championship in some ways describes the current edition.
Indeed, the Canadiens had solid, even unexpected contributions up and down the roster that 20-game playoff run during the Stanley Cup’s historic centennial year, anchored by Roy’s goaltending. So, too, has Montreal experienced a strong balance through 17 games this season, with Carey Price standing out in goal.
This season, the Canadiens won three elimination games in the first round against the favored Toronto Maple Leafs, the first two in overtime before winning Game 7. A four-video game sweep of the Winnipeg Jets followed in the second round, with Montreal advancing to the Final with a six-game Stanley Glass Semifinals elimination of the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Canadiens will play at the Tampa Bay Lightning in the best-of-7 Final with Game 1 on Monday .
There was a steely-eyed focus and unwavering belief in 1993, as there is now, among Montreal players who entered the playoffs in an underdog role.
The 1992-93 Canadiens finished third among four playoff qualifiers in the Adams Division, behind the Boston Bruins and Quebec Nordiques. They won four of their final 10 regular-season online games, Roy losing his last five starts, doing little to suggest they would make a playoff operate.
The first round against Quebec didn’t begin well on the road, Montreal dropping Game 1 in overtime, then Game 2. But Montreal rallied back home at the Forum, winning Game 3 in overtime, then Game 4.