Prior to the match number 3 of the 1993 series between the Montreal canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques, Mario Roberge has played in the head of one of the cornerstones of the Fleurdelysé.
During the warm-up period at the Forum, the left-winger from Quebec city, who had done his internship in junior with the Remparts, has served two blows of stick in the shin guards of the goalkeeper of visitors, Ron Hextall.
“In the playoffs, our stick was not nothing to play with the puck”, he launched to the joke on the show “Dave Morissette en direct, Wednesday, on TVA Sports.
“I can’t tell you the number of penalties I’ve seen in this series, but I have a lot of fun to revisit it. It has been the most wonderful years of my life.”
According to Roberge, a shaker who has scored four goals, as many aids and 142 penalty minutes in 50 regular season games, the act of intimidation was calculated, but completely unexpected.
In fact, Roberge should not even participate in the warm-up session of this first duel in Montreal. It is the captain who has everything orchestrated out of the blue. He says:
“”Carbo” [Guy Carbonneau] asked me, “do you play this evening”? I told him that no, he remembered. He has been to see Jacques Demers, and he came back to me, causing me a wink. James followed behind with her glasses and her gum. He told me, “Méo, do you do the “warm-up” this evening.”
“It was one of the turning points of the series, he insisted. When Hextall came to the point of the circle, I was waiting for him on a firm footing…”
A message destabilizing
Hextall had no idea what was happening, but Roberge has past a message with two butts.
“I hit straight. A good shot of Sher-Wood 5030, I don’t know if you know, on the sides of leggings, it resonates. I went to fort plumb, and I told him “this point is ours tonight”. It has created a crowd.
“It has punctured the bubble of Ron Hextall that evening. I spoke to him straight. I told him that I had the débalancer to an end.”
After the warm-up period in the locker room, I tell you – and I’ve seen changing rooms – I’ve never seen a room as dynamic. The guys had the fire in his eyes! I felt something that I had never felt before.”
The pride of the francophone
According to Roberge, this enthusiasm, this passion, this thirst to conquer has been present up to the coup de grace in the final, facing the Los Angeles Kings.
During this year’s glorious, not only the Habs formed a team tightly knit, the quebec players were many, and this created a sense of pride among francophones.
“In Montreal, we all agree that the pressure of the media is strong. But we, we didn’t feel as long. It was too many.
“We could go see Patrick Roy, Jean-Jacques Daigneault, Patrice Brisebois… we had the choice. I find it funny that the Canadian’s lack of French-speaking like that.”
Roberge mentions the dynasty of his own youth to illustrate the importance of door-colors from the Beautiful Province, to which the supporters can identify with
“My idol was Guy Lafleur, he told. In that time, there was Jacques Lemaire, Serge Savard, Yvon Lambert. We can’t list them all. And the fact that there has been as much of Quebec (in 1993), it certainly doesn’t hurt.”
Roberge has evolved in the organization of the Blue-White-Red from 1988 to 1995.