Whalers Vanquish Nordiques, Advance

It might not be akin to slaying the dragon, but the Hartford Whalers slayed their dragon last night, dismantling the Quebec Nordiques in Game 5 by a 7-1 final, officially ending the narrative on their disappointing finish to last year’s season. Before fans were fully seated, Mario Lemieux had scored twice, giving the Whalers a 2-0 lead just 30 seconds into the game. The Whalers never looked back, dominating Quebec in what could very easily be Dominik Hasek’s last game as a Nordique – by far his worst as a professional. The Whalers pounced on Hasek, who was never able to recover from the immediate barrage, scoring five times on just six shots, before he was mercifully pulled for Grant Fuhr amid deafening chants of “we want the cup!” late in the first period.

In Game 4, the Nordiques were able to fend off the sweep, winning in overtime and sending the series back to Hartford. “When we lost Game 4, there was a collective determination in the locker room to end it the next game. We didn’t play our best the other night and knew we needed to elevate things to finish this off,” said Captain Gary Suter. They did just that, decisively and definitively. Now, they’ll wait for the conclusion of the Flyers – Bruins series, which has suddenly taken a turn in favor of Boston. With both the Devils and Panthers advancing, the #2 and #3 seeds in the Wales Conference respectively, Hartford will play whoever prevails in the remaining matchup. Currently, Boston holds a 3-2 series lead, with Game 6 being played in Boston tonight.

“We don’t care who we play to be totally honest,” said Mario Lemieux, who started and ended the Quebec series with hat tricks. “To be the best, you have to beat the best, and we’re going to have to go through all the best teams one way or another. Whether it’s the Bruins or the Flyers, it’ll be a tough matchup either way. We’ll play whoever advances.”

 

That’s all for now Whaler fans, check back in later for more updates, and go Whalers!