Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21, 1978 -- David vs. Goliath

Pierre Bouchard (Montreal) vs. Stan Jonathan (Boston), May 21, 1978.
Don Cherry loves this fights, of course, here's the story of this great fight, by Don Cheery.

This was the best fight I ever saw. We were playing against the Canadiens in the playoffs, and as usual it was hot and heavy. For some reason Habs coach Scotty Bowman puts on all his "heavies" for a faceoff.
Rick Chartraw (6-foot-2, 200-pounds), Gilles Lupien (6-foot-5, 220-pounds), Larry Robinson (6-foot-3, 220-pounds) and Bouchard (6- foot-2, 230-pounds). I forget who the fifth guy was, but with the other four, it didn't matter.
I had on two of my heavies, John Wensink (6-foot-2, 200-pounds) and Terry O'Reilly (6-foot-2, 205-pounds). I also had Peter McNab out there, and he was a giant (6-foot-4, 200-pounds), but he was a scorer and playmaker, not a fighter. So when I saw who Scotty had sent out to dance, I sent out my pitbull, Stanley Jonathan (5-toot- 9, 175-pounds), because I knew a war was about to start.

We won the draw, but the puck went out of their end and came back in quickly for an offside. So Stan skates up alongside of Pierre and sort of tugs at him. It looked like David and Goliath. Pierre accepted the challenge and away they go.
Boy, does Pierre start off great. He is lifting Stan off the ice and throwing him around. I'm on the bench and I say, "Uh-oh, Stan looks like he's bitten off more than he can chew. Get ready, boys."
I can't let Stan take this rap.
All of a sudden, Stan switches hands, from a righty to a lefty. This is tough for Pierre and it catches him off balance. It was doubly tough with Stan. He could KO you with either hand.
Stan landed a heavy left and Pierre started to go down, but as he's falling Stan pours about three more on him, then the "coup de grace," as they say, was just as Pierre hit the ice.
The blood was everywhere, even on linesman John D'Amico.
I felt kind of sorry for Pierre. He was a good guy, but if you play with the bull, you're going to get the horns.
I remember after the fight McNab said, "When I saw Scotty put on all those tough guys looking for trouble, I said to myself, 'Why am I out here?' And when Grapes put on Stan to take my place, it was the happiest moment of my life."

When they talked to Pierre after, he said, "Serge Savard is my hero, but I really didn't want a nose like him."
When Pierre was asked if he thought he'd ever play again in the NHL, he replied, "Yeah, if I take up the organ."


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