Revisit The Good Friday Massacre 1984

Updated: January 20, 2024 by Bill Burniece

The Good Friday Massacre happened during the 1984 Stanley Cup playoffs in Montreal on Good Friday April 20, 1984.

It was a donnybrook of epic proportions.

Who Was Involved?

The Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadiens were playing game 6 of their playoff series.

At the time, the teams were going in opposite directions.

The Canadiens were experiencing a rare decline since their dynasty days of the 1970s, while the Nordiques were on their way up the NHL ladder, having finished with their best record in club history to that point.

The incident that happened on this night would go down in history as one of the ugliest in NHL history.

And one that would soon usher in the end of the old-school line-brawls of the past.

Montreal Canadiens logo
Quebec Nordiques logo

What Happened?

Things Got Ugly. Then They Got Worse.

The game started like most other playoff games in that era, with a lot of chirping, a few dirty hits, and some individual fights.

However, that all changed as the buzzer ended the second period.

A fight just happened to be taking place at the siren when both teams hopped the boards to go to their respective locker rooms. Both teams came together in the Quebec zone and all hell broke loose.

It didn’t help matters that each team had several tough guys that liked to mix things up. Including Quebec’s Dale Hunter and his brother Mark Hunter playing for Montreal. And yes, they did fight one another on this night too.

Here’s The Entire Incident On Video

The Carnage In Stats

good friday massacre 1984 penalty stats
good friday massacre 1984 penalty stats 2

The Human Carnage

  • Montreal’s Mario Tremblay broke Peter Stastny’s nose
  • Quebec’s Louis Sleighter completely knocked out Jean Hamel by the boards
  • 11 players ejected and 252 penalty minutes were accessed
  • Referee Bruce Hood blamed for the situation getting out of control

Hilarious Postscript

The Good Friday Massacre, Van Halen And 6 Beers In 15 Minutes:

”Everybody in Quebec was watching the game. Van Halen was in Quebec City, playing a concert in our arena the following day. So these guys were at the bars, and the game was on every TV, so they’re watching it going, “Holy Christ, what’s going on here?” They weren’t really into hockey and just couldn’t believe it.

So as we’re clearing out our lockers, having an end-of-the-year beer and pizza, hanging around, they’re setting up for a soundcheck. It was the 1984 “Jump” tour. So we’re down in the same area as them, they’re using three or four locker rooms for the band and the crew. Except for David Lee Roth. He had his own room away from everybody.”

”Alex [Van Halen is] in the locker room with us, and he drinks six beers in 15 minutes. Eddie comes in and says, “Look guys, would you mind? Get my brother out of here. We have a soundcheck to do and a concert to play tonight.” But Alex drank six beers on the spot; I’ve never seen anything like that. Remember the old-style stubbies? Well, he was tipping them back with no hands. He drains three of those—glug, glug, glug, glug, glug—with no hands!

In Michael Anthony’s rider he specified that he was to be provided a case of Jack Daniels at each gig—he actually had a guitar in the shape of a Jack Daniels bottle. So he’s in the room with us, too, and he takes a couple of shots and says, “Eh, I’m tired of this,” and he gave us all the Jack Daniels. So 25 of us went through that in no time at all.

Nice guys.

They were just mesmerized from what they saw the night before with the brawl. They’d never seen anything like it. They’re sitting around with the road crew as this game heightened and it drew everybody to it. I remember them asking us, “How do you guys do this? Is this what you do every game?” We’re sitting there with black eyes. They thought we were crazy.”

  • Tony McKegney, Quebec

Attribution: Sportsnet

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