Guy Carbonneau--"The Shift"

"Sometimes, the difference is the will to keep going."
—Guy Carbonneau

Guy ScramblingThe last home game the Dallas Stars played in the 97-98 season was Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, on June 3. The Stars were down a goal to the Wings, and fighting for their playoff lives, with only a couple minutes left in regulation time.

My two daughters and I had emotionally thrown in the towel for the year as far as Dallas was concerned, and we waited with acceptance for the final horn.

There was, however, no acceptance in the heart of Guy Carbonneau.

Acquiescent as I was, I watched in amazement at the sight of Guy scrambling. His desperate hustle kept the Wings from a clearing attempt from their zone.

The Shot"Carbo’s going nuts!" I said to the girls.

He ended up on his back near the boards, diving for the loose puck and successfully propelling it out to the point. Then he was up again instantly, in time to receive the pass back from Sergei Zubov and shoot it at an impossible angle toward the net.

With 1:25 remaining, the score was tied.

As Guy and Mike Keane hugged and leapt into the air on the screen, we hugged and leapt into the air in our living room. It wasn’t over…not yet…a man born and bred with old-time, never-say-die hockey had proven us wrong.

CelebrationESPN’s Barry Melrose called it the most amazing shift of the playoffs. They showed the replay again and again…not just the goal, but the whole unbelievable shift.

During the intermission we composed an impromptu ditty in honor of the occasion to the tune of "O Canada." We were singing "Guy Carbonneau…you and Zubov scored the tying goal," when 46 seconds into OT, Jamie Langenbrunner scored.

After the game, Jamie—who was five when Guy played his first NHL game—put it this way: "Carbo led the way for us. If he’s giving that kind of effort and has that much energy, I have no excuse. It’s the winning way."

Dallas was not to win the Cup—at least not this year—but the hometown crowd got to see their team go out with a bang.

And this isn't all Guy did for us that night…Later, as he was leaving the arena in his car, he stopped for a friend of mine and signed a photo for her to someone named "Shinny." She didn't have time to explain to him that Shinny was the alterego of a crazy woman in Wisconsin who hosts a bizarre e-zine called "Hockey Snacks."

Thanks for the autograph, Guy, and for the shift and the goal, and for a wonderful night that will last us till the day—hopefully soon—the Stars win that Cup.

Addendum 2/13/11: Our thank to Lisa-Marie Schroeder for providing the amazing video of Guy's spectacular shift. Stay on till the end for a post-third-period interview with the man himself!


See also:

"Stars Veterans Ruin Another Special Night" by Nicholas J. Cotsonika for The Detroit Free Press.Next Chapter


Main Page

'98 #1: Faceoff

'98 #2: ObiWan of Hockey

'98 #3: Le Visage

'98 #4: The Shift

'98 Epilog