Thursday, 6 October 2011

Countering the very best

In the beginning, in junior hockey, Carbo was an offensive force; in 1979-80, his final season with the QMJHL's Chicoutimi Sagueneens, he racked up an impressive 182 points.  When he joined the Canadiens in 1982, the Habs needed someone who could kill penalties and play against the opposing teams' top lines, so he became a defensive forward.  Carbo became so effective at shutting down the competition's best players that he won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times as the league's top defensive forward.

During the 1993 Stanley Cup Final, Guy went to coach Jacques Demers and suggested that he shadow the Kings' Wayne Gretzky.  He didn't completely shut Gretzky down, but the superstar's offensive output was certainly limited by Carbonneau's checking abilities.

Again, during the 1999 Western Conference Final against Colorado, Guy went to coach Ken Hitchcock and suggested that he counter another superstar, Peter Forsberg.  Said Carbo in 2008:

"That's who I am, that's the kind of style I was playing.  I love to play against the best players, I love the challenge of playing against these guys."  (Hockey Night in Canada)  

Again, he limited the opposing team's offence.  Again, he was rewarded with Lord Stanley's Cup.

Here is a short video to enjoy, from Game 7 of the 1999 Western Conference Final.  Carbo and Forsberg tangle; an angry Carbo gets sent to the box.

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