Good Friday Massacre
The Good Friday Massacre (French: la bataille du Vendredi saint), was a second-round playoff match-up during the 1984 Stanley Cup playoffs. The game occurred on Good Friday, April 20, 1984 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, between the Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadiens. It is notable less for its series-ending finish than its epic brawl between the players, which spanned multiple periods and resulted in 11 ejections and 252 penalty minutes. It was the most epic episode of the Battle of Quebec.
|Date||April 20, 1984|
After a number of fights, a bench-clearing brawl broke out as the siren sounded to end the second period. Amongst the fourteen altercations at the end of the second period were the Canadiens' Mario Tremblay smashing the nose of the Nordiques' Peter Stastny, and Nordiques' Louis Sleigher knocking Canadiens' Jean Hamel unconscious by hitting him in the eye. Bruce Hood, the referee for the game, sent the teams off the ice without officially ending the second period by assigning penalties for the brawl.
After the intermission, with all players from both teams on the ice to warm up for the third period, a second brawl broke out. The public address announcer started reading the penalty summary as the players warmed up, and as players heard the confirmation that they were to be ejected from the game anyway, some felt they "might as well take some guys with (them)" (per Larry Robinson), as "they had nothing to lose" (per Guy Carbonneau). In particular, the Canadiens players went after the Nordiques' Louis Sleigher, furious with him for the damage he had inflicted on Jean Hamel in the original brawl. The second brawl included a fight between brothers Dale Hunter (Nordiques) and Mark Hunter (Canadiens).
The officials had to be summoned to the ice to restore order; Bruce Hood was roundly criticized for his handling of the situation. Hood had failed to "complete" the second period by informing the time keeper and the head coaches as to what penalties had been assigned, including which players (including Sleigher) had been ejected from the game and should not return to the ice for the third period. Hood retired after the playoffs that year, doing so amidst speculation that his retirement occurred at the behest of the NHL.
A total of 252 penalty minutes were incurred and 11 players were (belatedly) ejected. Hamel managed to return for training camp in the autumn of 1984, but sustained another eye injury in Montreal's October 4 pre-season game, prompting him to retire.
When the brawl took place, the Canadiens were trailing 1-0. After surrendering one more goal to Quebec just over two minutes into the third period, Montreal scored five consecutive goals, eventually defeating the Nordiques 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 in six games.
|Apr 20, 1984||Quebec Nordiques||3-5||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum||Recap|
|1st||QUE||Peter Šťastný (2) (PP)||Jean-François Sauvé (1), Anton Šťastný (4)||5:12||1–0 QUE|
|3rd||QUE||Michel Goulet (2) (PP)||2:02||2–0 QUE|
|MTL||Steve Shutt (3)||Bobby Smith (2), Pierre Mondou (2)||6:23||2–1 QUE|
|MTL||Steve Shutt (4)||Mats Näslund (6)||9:11||2–2|
|MTL||Rick Green (1)||Bobby Smith (3)||12:14||3–2 MTL|
|MTL||John Chabot (1)||Guy Lafleur (2), Mats Näslund (2)||13:27||4–2 MTL|
|MTL||Guy Carbonneau (3)||Ryan Walter (2)||14:28||5–2 MTL|
|QUE||Wilf Paiement (3)||Jean-François Sauvé (2), Alain Côté (2)||16:51||5–3 MTL|
- Number in parenthesis represents the player's total in goals or assists to that point of the playoffs
|1st||MTL||Steve Shutt||2 Goals|
|2nd||MTL||Mats Näslund||1 Assist|
|CBC||Bob Cole||Mickey Redmond|
Dick Irvin Jr. (first 2 periods)
Don Cherry (3rd period)
|Radio-Canada||René Lecavalier||Gilles Tremblay|
|USA||Al Albert||Gary Green|
- 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.
- Fontaine, Patrice (2009). "Bataille du Vendredi saint - événements". Dictionnaire Des Sports Du Québec. Explorare.net. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
- Zarum, Dave. "Good Friday Massacre: An Oral History of One of the Greatest Games in NHL History". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- Wilner, Barry (21 April 1984). "Canadiens survive Nordiques, Brawls". Youngstown Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. p. 15. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- YouTube video of the brawls as they unfolded on YouTube
- Farber, Michael (21 April 1984). "Forum brawl disgraced game". The Gazette. Montreal. p. D1. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- "A good ol' hockey fight relived". buzzle.com courtesy of Sports Central. 2003-04-28. Archived from the original on 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
- Phillips, Randy (6 October 1984). "Injured Hamel to miss start of season". The Gazette. Montreal. p. F3. Retrieved 6 April 2012..
- "Hamel retires, but gets new contract". The Gazette. Montreal. 21 December 1984. p. D1.
- "Centenary of brutality". Vancouver Sun. Vancouver, B.C. January 12, 2007. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
- Lemieux, Josie (2003), A good ol' hockey fight relived, Sports Central, archived from the original on March 16, 2009, retrieved April 22, 2007
- Nordiques vs Canadiens Apr 20, 1984 Good Friday Game on YouTube
- Boxscore (p. 10)