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What Was The Good Friday Massacre?

Ah yes – The Good Friday Massacre. The type of thing we will never get anymore due to the Quebec Nordiques not existing.

The date was April 20th, 1984. The arena was the Montreal Forum. The Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques had been drawn in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Quebec had beaten Buffalo 3-0 in the previous round, and Montreal had also defeated Boston 3-0 in the previous round.

This was Game 6. In the previous 5 games, the Montreal Canadiens had won 3 of the games, and the Nordiques 2. The game took place on Good Friday, in 1984.

And ironically, all hell would break loose.

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In the first period and the second period, there had already been a fair amount of fights. The Nordiques were up 1-0 near the end of the 2nd period, pushing for a Game 7. when a massive brawl broke out. It was your typical bench clearning brawl with everyone getting involved – but it would not end there.

The referee took his time to announce exactly who was getting penalised, and as the 3rd period began some of the penalised players were on the ice. This ultimately resulted in another massive brawl featuring knockouts and broken noses and – well, pretty much the best example of referees ever losing control.

Thankfully in this day and age you don’t just have to read about it, you can relive it via Youtube:

The ultimate result of the game was a whopping 252 penalty minutes handed out for the two teams to share. Referee Bruce Hood ended up retiring after this – most likely with the NHL offices telling him yeah – you gotta go.

Jean Hamel was knocked out by Louis Sleigh, and Peter Stastny had his nose smashed by Mario Tremblay. Hamel ended up retiring, most likely due to this as he suffered another eye injury in the pre-season.

It all worked out for Montreal however, who came back to win the game 5-3 and win the series.

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    What Was The Reason for the Brawl?

    It was actually political – political issues added to the heat of this game. At the time, Quebec was looking to declare sovereightny. However Quebec was split with the Montreal Canadians the team who people would cheer if they did not want independence. The Nordiques meanwhile, were the team people backed if they DID. Similar to the UK where religion causes the Glasgow Rangers vs Glasgow Celtic rivalry – politics were fueling it here, and it all built up to the above video.

    What Happened to the Quebec Nordiques?

    They were around for about 10 more years. They then relocated to Colorado, where they are now known as the Colorado Avalanche.

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