MONTREAL – Playing for the Canadiens has always been Patrice Brisebois’ dream. Eighteen years and 1,000 games later, nothing has changed.
It all began for “Breezer" on January 27, 1991, the first night he laced them up for the Canadiens. Now 6,621 days later, Brisebois has become only the fourth defenseman in franchise history to play his 1,000th game as a Montreal Canadien.
Early in the first period, Brisebois’ milestone was announced to a capacity Bell Centre crowd, as he took a few twirls around the ice and waved to his longtime fans before skating past the bench where he was face-washed and tussled by his teammates.
“Getting that type of love from the fans just warms the heart,” admitted the 38-year-old defenseman. “I waved to the fans to thank them for always being there for me and supportive in good times and bad. I wanted to show everyone what they mean to me from the bottom of my heart. To have it happen here at home, means even more. That’s the way I wanted it to be, except for us not getting the two points tonight.”
Despite being disappointmed about not emerging victorious on his big night, Brisebois had the class to skate across the ice after being named the No. 2 star to shake Martin Brodeur’s hand before he was announced as the first star.
“Marty is a good friend of mine and I just feel the need to congratulate him on his great accomplishment,” said Brisebois of Brodeur matching Roy’s NHL record of 551 career wins. “What can you say, Marty really deserves it. He’s a great athlete and an even better guy.”