Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The Montreal Canadiens kept the puck to themselves Thursday night. Limiting Boston to 16 shots on goal, eight in the first two periods, the Canadiens also kept the Stanley Cup for the third straight year, ninth time in 14 seasons and 21st occasion overall.
While Larry Robinson and his defensive mates were encasing goalie Ken Dryden in a protective ring, Mario Tremblay became an unlikely offensive hero with two goals, including the winner, as Montreal breezed to a 4-1 victory.
Boston, shelled in four straight a year ago, was more respectable this time, lasting six games. Coach Don Cherry, who swore a year ago that there would not be another wipeout, promised this time that "we'll be even better next year and we'll win more than two games in the final."
Robinson received the Conn Smythe Trophy as the outstanding player in the playoffs and immediately requested that the names of his fellow defensemen be inscribed upon it as well.
"I didn't accept if for me," Robinson said. "I accepted it the only way I would accept it, as a team effort. It's not just me back there."
It seemed as if Robinson had a dozen companions, the way a defenseman or winger repeatedly raced across to foil Boston's attempts to break out of the shell.
"We got on them, forechecking them, and didn't allow them to get out of their end," Robinson said. "This was the kind of game we wanted tonight."
The Bruins, pumped up by the roars of the 14,602 fans and some early hits on Guy Lafleur by Mike Milbury and Don Marcotte, jumped in front for the fifth time in six games on a power-play goal by Brad Park at 4:05.
It was Park's ninth goal of the playoffs, tying Bobby Orr's 1970 record by a defenseman, and his 26th career playoff score, matching another Orr mark.
The lead lasted less than three minutes, as rookie Pierre Mondou sailed down the right side and set up Steve Shutt, who fired at Gerry Cheevers and then beat Park to his rebound for the tying goal.
Slightly more than two minutes later, Mondou chose the left side, cut behind the net and passed out to Tremblay in the slot. With Yvon Lambert screening Cheevers, Tremblay put in his first goal of the playoffs.
Robinson assisted on both goals and wound up tying Lafleur for playoff scoring honors with 21 points. He also shared plus-minus honors with teammate Serge Savard, each at plus 21.
The goal that broke the game open came at 13:37 of the second period as Tremblay avoided Stan Jonathan's check, cut down the right wing and in toward the goal, then watched Park knock the puck into his own net.
"I tried to pass to Pierre Mondou," Tremblay said, "and it hit Park's stick and went into the corner."
Later, Rejean Houle cut in the same way, deked Cheevers and shoved the puck behind him. As it slid along the goal line, Park tried to retrieve it but merely pushed it completely across.
To complete Park's night of frustration, he suffered a pulled groin muscle in the second period, but refused to leave the game. Park was completing his 10th NHL season without a Stanley Cup, teammate Jean Ratelle his 18th.
In contrast, Tremblay, at age 21, was drinking from the Cup for the third time. He had been a bench-warmer from the third game of the quarterfinal series against Detroit until the fourth game of this series.
"I knew after we lose a game, they always change the lineup," Tremblay said. "But after that second Detroit game we didn't lose for a long time. When you're young and want to paly hockey, you feel bad."
Asked what he would tell someone like Ratelle about the feelings of a Cup winner, Tremblay said, "It's a great thing to win, but you have to win it, kiss the Cup, to know what it means. The first time I cried on it."
For the Canadiens, winning is perhaps not so special as it might be for others. But losing can be much, much worse, and that serves as much to spur the team as anything else.
"When you lose, it's awful," Robinson said. "It's the worst feeling there is. The first question everybody asks is 'What happened?' It's a sickening question and you hear it all summer long."
Cherry praised Robinson's selection as MVP, saying, "He deserved it. When the teams are four on four and he gets the puck, there's no stopping him. He's the best there is."
Lafleur sat out the last 10 minutes, holding an ice pack to his face, after he was cut by the stick of Rick Smith. Lafleur, like Ratelle, did not have a shot on goal.