Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 1
Saturday, November 18, 2000
Centre Molson, Montréal, Québec
You couldn’t have blamed Jonas Hoglund one bit if he had skated directly to centre ice, kicked up a bunch of snow on that majestic CH and yelled at the top of his lungs “Na, na, na, na, na!”
That, of course, would have been directed at a Montréal Canadiens organization that gave up on him and is now the proud owner of 30th place in a 30-team NHL.
But it also would have been for the benefit of those who roasted him on the call-in shows during the playoffs last year and the media types who continually wrote his Leafs’ obituary during training camp.
It turns out that stories of Hoglund’s demise were greatly exaggerated.
In what was likely the most inspired performance of his NHL career, Hoglund picked up his first career hat trick in a 6-1 thrashing of the Canadiens.
The three goals gave him the team lead with nine. And he’s tied for the team’s scoring lead at 15 points with linemate Mats Sundin.
Hoglund, who now has six goals in the last seven games against his former team, had every reason to be a quivering mess this season, but he’s playing with more confidence than ever. Even when he was pulled off the first line, he performed effectively.
Hoglund, who signed with the Leafs as a free agent two seasons ago, says he doesn’t feel like a man on a mission, a player out to prove wrong those who thought he was riding Sundin’s coattails last season.
“Why should I?” Hoglund said. “I can’t control what everybody else thinks and says, I can only control what I do out there, and so far I’ve been doing a pretty good job, I think.”
As has been the case much of this season, Hoglund’s skills were on full display last night. He used a combination of blazing speed, a heavy shot and, most importantly, a willingness to drive the net to pick the Canadiens’ defence apart.
Two of his goals came when he followed up rebounds and whacked the puck in with one hand on his stick. The other came when he stepped over the blueline and blasted a deflected puck past Canadiens goalie Éric Fichaud. Yanic Perreault, Darcy Tucker and Bryan McCabe, with his first for Toronto, also scored for the Leafs, who chased Fichaud after three goals.
Martin Rucinsky scored for the Canadiens, who are 1-9-1 in their past 11 games. The Canadiens have also lost their last five home games, and the sell-out crowd of 21,273, which included many Leaf fans, booed lustily through most of the match.
“I know it’s difficult for the fans, but it’s more difficult for us,” defenceman Patrice Brisebois said bitterly. “We have the pressure to win. It’s not by booing us that the team will get better.”
Hoglund, who scored 29 goals last season, scored just 14 in 102 games with Montréal in 1997-98 and 1998-99.
“It’s early in the year, but (Hoglund) has been a very good player for us all the way,” said Leafs GM-coach Pat Quinn. “I hope that continues, even if it dries up and he doesn’t get points. He has been doing some real good things on the penalty kill and defensively and that’s what leads to goals.”
Quinn was impressed that Hoglund didn’t let his play falter even after he was pulled off Sundin’s line in favour of Gary Roberts.
“If you’re dependent on the other guy for success then you have a lesser self esteem and when you get into some other circumstance, you are what you start to believe,” Quinn said. “He showed that (who he plays with) doesn’t matter and I think he’s finding out he’s a pretty good player.”
The Leafs lost rookie defenceman Petr Svoboda in the second period when he injured his right ankle after being taken into the boards by Canadiens forward Éric Landry.
Quinn was livid about the hit and complained vociferously to referees Mark Faucette and Bill McCreary after the game. Svoboda will be examined today.
“(The officials) said it was a fair hit. It wasn’t a fair hit,” Quinn said.
“They waved the icing off but he still didn’t have the puck and he got drilled into the boards, not just with a bodycheck, but with a knee lifted up, a stick up on his head.
“Someone has to protect these guys. I’ve seen careers end on icings, (like) Bob Dailey (in 1981-82). There’s no excuse for it.”
The Leafs’ league-leading penalty-killing units were perfect in five short-handed situations, meaning they’ve allowed one power-play goal in the past nine games..
Story originally published in The Toronto Star, November 19, 2000
TOR GOAL – 04:00 – Hoglund (Thomas, Sundin)
MTL GOAL – 04:35 – Rucinsky (Landry, Bashkirov)
TOR PEN – 05:04 – Corson, hooking
TOR PEN – 05:04 – Domi, roughing
MTL PEN – 05:04 – Stock, roughing
TOR PEN – 06:15 – McCabe, roughing
TOR GOAL – 14:40 – Hoglund (Thomas, Manson)
MTL PEN – 16:11 – Landry, slashing
TOR GOAL – 03:44 – McCabe (Korolev)
TOR PEN – 06:35 – Tucker, holding
TOR GOAL – 09:31 – Perreault (Berezin, Roberts)
TOR GOAL – 10:15 – Hoglund (Thomas, Sundin)
TOR PEN – 17:01 – Manson, slashing
MTL PEN – 02:26 – Laflamme, boarding major
TOR PP GOAL – 06:36 – Tucker (Manson, Kaberle)
TOR PEN – 13:31 – Domi, slashing
TOR – Joseph (W, 31-32)
MTL – Fichaud (L, 10-13), Théodore (8-11)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 9+9+6 = 24
MTL – 13+14+5 = 32
TOR – Goaltenders: Glenn Healy, Curtis Joseph. Defence: Tomas Kaberle, Dave Manson, Danny Markov, Bryan McCabe (A), Petr Svoboda, Dmitri Yushkevich. Forwards: Sergei Berezin, Shayne Corson, Tie Domi, Jonas Hoglund, Dmitri Khristich, Igor Korolev, Yanic Perreault, Gary Roberts (A), Mats Sundin (C), Steve Thomas, Darcy Tucker, Garry Valk.
MTL – Goaltenders: Éric Fichaud, José Théodore. Defence: Patrice Brisebois, Karl Dykhuis, Christian Laflamme, Andrei Markov, Craig Rivet (A), Stéphane Robidas, Eric Weinrich. Forwards: Andrei Bashkirov, Éric Bertrand, Craig Darby, Éric Landry, Trevor Linden, Oleg Petrov, Martin Rucinsky, Brian Savage (A), P.J. Stock, Sergei Zholtok, Dainius Zubrus.
TOR – 10-6-3-1 (.600)
MTL – 5-13-2-0 (.300)
⭐ Jonas Hoglund (TOR)
⭐⭐ Steve Thomas (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Yanic Perreault (TOR)