The Hero--Round One, Edmonton

"Just a little playoff blood..."
—Guy Carbonneau

The morning after the first game of the ’99 playoffs, the only game I wouldn’t get to see, I found my daughter had left a note on the refrigerator. It said, simply, "GUY!!!" A late-night check of Yahoo NHL had told her Carbonneau scored the game winner, a 25-footer with 6:53 remaining. Then he’d turned on his defensive skills and worked to preserve the victory, especially in the final minute when he prevented Edmonton from being able to pull their goalie. On top of all this, the oldest player in the playoffs had a team-leading seven hits.

Carbo’s reward for his outstanding performance was a bloodied face, courtesy of a crosscheck into the boards by Doug Weight with 4.6 seconds remaining. "Oh, it’s nothing, just a little playoff blood," he said of the gash he would wear for the rest of the playoffs. "It won’t be the last time I get cut this spring. It’s kind of like a sign that I’m not afraid to pay the price to win."

And he was right, it wasn’t the last time…but little did he know how high the price to win would run.


  Cut
Celebration Two nights later I saw Carbonneau score the first goal of the game, ten seconds into his first shift…after four goals in the regular season, on a hot streak. That hot streak would not be long-lived; in the closing seconds of that Game 2, Guy twisted his knee after an attempted hit and sprained his MCL. It would be three weeks before he could return. In the disappointment of that moment, we couldn’t have foreseen how this sprained knee would prove to be the most fortunate injury of the playoffs, one that would play a key role in helping the Stars to their first Stanley Cup.

 


We also learned later that Carbo’s quick pair of goals were equally fortunate, for these two games were the last that Charles-Aimé Carbonneau would see his son play. During Round 2 while the MCL healed, Guy’s father passed away suddenly, inflicting an injury far deeper to the soul than the one to the body. And though M. Carbonneau did not get to see his son rise above both injuries to win a Cup for his beloved father, after those two beautiful goals, he had more than enough reason to be proud. Because of that, they may be the two most precious goals Guy ever scored.

Thus began the long, arduous road Guy Carbonneau would travel on his quest for a third Stanley Cup. Already blood, sweat, and many tears…and that road would test every fiber of his character before he reached the prize.


Scrambling

 

"Stars borrow from past to build for future" by Larry Wigge for The Sporting News
"Carbonneau shows his age, thankfully" by Tim Cowlishaw for The Dallas Morning News

Guy's Journal #1: "'Coaching' takes place of playing" for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

 


Next Chapter

Main Page

Round 1:
The Hero

Round 2:
The Long Wait

Conf. Finals:
The Miracle

Cup Finals:
Les Glorieux

Playoffs
Epilog