Game 653 – Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1

Game 653
Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1
Saturday, January 12, 2002
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Head coach Michel Therrien could have done without the latest bit of adversity thrown in the face of his Montréal Canadiens, an apparent winning goal by Brian Savage disallowed after a video review.

“It was a local call,” Therrien steamed after his team fought hard in a 1-1 tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. “I saw the replay. It should have been a goal and it should have been a win for us.”

The Habs thought they had the go-ahead goal with 7:09 left in the third period when a Doug Gilmour pass hit Savage and barely slid past the goal-line. But it was waved off after a video review determined the left-winger deliberately kicked the puck with his skate.

“In my book that’s a goal but (officiating supervisor) John D’Amico decided otherwise,” Therrien said.

“I didn’t even know the puck hit me,” Savage insisted. “It should have been a goal.”.

Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph was convinced it was the right call after chatting with defenceman Anders Eriksson.

“Anders said he had Savage’s stick tied up,” Joseph said. “So he was 100 per cent sure that it was kicked in.”

The Habs should be happy they got a point. José Théodore made 38 saves and the Canadiens moved within one point of the New Jersey Devils for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Rookie Marcel Hossa scored again for the Habs (18-19-5-2), who played well in spurts but once again needed Théodore’s heroics to avoid losing.

“We really needed at least a point tonight,” said Théodore, who blanked the New York Islanders on Thursday night. “Right now every game is like a playoff game for us. We’re in a fight.”

Mats Sundin replied for the Leafs (25-13-5-3), the 26th of the season for the red-hot captain.

The 653rd contest between the two Original Six Canadian rivals will not go down as one of the classics. There was absolutely no intensity or any kind of animosity displayed, as demonstrated by the fact the Maple Leafs were not called for one single penalty while the Habs took only a pair of minors.

Théodore and Joseph were equally solid in net, both thwarting a pair of clear scoring opportunities in the third period. Théodore, named the game’s first star, was once again brilliant in overtime, stopping Shayne Corson on a dangerous wrap-around and sliding out to stymie Dmitri Yushkevich who had a clear shot from the high slot.

“He made saves like ‘Cujo’ has for us in the past few years,” Yushkevich said of Théodore. “It was a great performance from the kid.”

Théodore, 25, was simply trying to live up to the standards set by the guy accross the ice from him.

“When you face a guy like ‘Cujo’ you know you’re not going to get any easy ones so you hope to do the same thing, make some big saves and give your team a chance to win,” Théodore said.

Toronto outshot Montréal 39-29 for the game and 5-3 in overtime before 19,389 at the Air Canada Centre.

Sundin tied it 1-1 with just over six minutes to go in the second period, banking a shot from behind the goal off Yanic Perreault in front of the net and behind a helpless Théodore.

Hossa ripped a slapshot from the top of the left faceoff circle just under the crossbar in the top right corner to open the scoring 12 seconds into the second period. For Hossa, the younger brother of Ottawa star Marian Hossa, it was his second goal in his first two NHL games since being called up from Québec of the AHL.

NOTES: Leafs winger Gary Roberts, who suffered a cut above his left eye in Friday night’s 3-3 tie at Washington, missed his first game since joining the Leafs in 2000…Montréal forward Patrick Poulin cleared waivers and was sent to Québec of the AHL on Saturday…Not surprisingly, the Habs are banged up: forwards Donald Audette (forearm laceration), Benoît Gratton (sprained ankle) and Chad Kilger (strained neck) as well as defencemen Patrick Traverse (concussion) and Sheldon Souray (fractured wrist) are all injured. Captain Saku Koivu, of course, continues his battle with cancer. Forward Jan Bulis is close to returning from a sprained knee…Defenceman Cory Cross (groin) and forwards Garry Valk (shoulder) are out for Toronto…The Habs face another stiff test Monday night, hosting cruising Philadelphia while Toronto entertains league doormat Atlanta.

Story property of TSN

1st Period
MTL PEN – 06:12 – Bouillon, hooking
MTL PEN – 08:30 – Quintal, boarding

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 00:12 – Hossa (Juneau, Brisebois)
TOR GOAL – 13:19 – Sundin (Hoglund, Renberg)

3rd Period


MTL – Théodore (T, 38-39)
TOR – Joseph (T, 28-29)

MTL – 8+9+9+3 = 29
TOR – 9+14+11+5 = 39

MTLGoaltenders: Jeff Hackett, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Patrice Brisebois, Karl Dykhuis, Andrei Markov, Stéphane Quintal, Craig Rivet. Forwards: Arron Asham, Andreas Dackell, Doug Gilmour, Marcel Hossa, Joé Juneau, Gino Odjick, Yanic Perreault, Oleg Petrov, Mike Ribeiro, Brian Savage, Shaun Van Allen, Richard Zednik.
TORGoaltenders: Curtis Joseph, Corey Schwab. Defence: Wade Belak, Aki Berg, Anders Eriksson, Tomas Kaberle, Jyrki Lumme, Bryan McCabe, Dmitri Yushkevich. Forwards: Shayne Corson, Tie Domi, Travis Green, Jonas Hoglund, Alyn McCauley, Alexander Mogilny, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker.

MTL – 18-19-6-2 (.489)
TOR – 25-13-5-3 (.630)


 José Théodore (MTL)
⭐⭐ Curtis Joseph (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Mats Sundin (TOR)