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Montreal Canadiens

From Academic Kids

Montréal Canadiens
The Montréal Canadiens logo
Founded 1909
Home ice Bell Centre
Based in Montreal
Colours Red, white, blue
League National Hockey League
Head coach Claude Julien
General manager Bob Gainey
Owner George N. Gillett Jr.

The Montréal Canadiens (officially le Club de Hockey Canadien, and known as le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, The Habs, le Tricolore, les Glorieux, la Sainte-Flanelle, les Habitants, le Canadien, the Flying Frenchmen) are the oldest established National Hockey League and a member of the League's Original Six. They are based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Contents

Facts

Founded: 1909-1910
Arena: Bell Centre (capacity 21,273). Formerly known as Molson Centre until 2002.
Uniform colours: red, white and blue
Logo design: a C with an H in the centre (for Club de Hockey Canadien)
Motto: To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.

Played at the world famous "Montréal Forum" from 1924 to 1996

The Canadiens' junior team won the Memorial Cup in 1950, 1969, and 1970.
Montréal Canadiens Captains

Crowd Chants: "Go Habs Go", "Olé olé olé", "Halte-là, les Canadiens Sont Là

Rivals: Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins

Franchise history

With the exception of baseball's New York Yankees, no North American sports team has had as storied and as successful a history as the Montréal Canadiens. They have won 24 Stanley Cups, far more than any other team. In fact, the second most amount of Stanley Cups is held by their bitter rivals Toronto Maple Leafs, who have 13.

1909 to 1931

Before there was an NHL, there were Montréal Canadiens. They were a charter member of the league's forerunner, the National Hockey Association (NHA), in 1909. In 1916 they beat the Portland Rosebuds of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association to win their first Stanley Cup; and they returned to the finals the following season, only to lose to the Seattle Metropolitans.

The Canadiens and four other NHA team executives formed the NHL in 1917. Two years later, they once again faced Seattle for the Stanley Cup, but tragedy struck with the series tied at two games apiece: a flu epidemic hit Seattle, and star Joe Hall died. The remainder of the series was cancelled.

In addition to Hall's death, the next season they lost Joe Malone (the most frequent scorer in NHL history - had he been playing with today's schedule, he would have scored over 100 goals a season). Malone was on loan from the dormant Quebec Bulldogs, but that team returned to the ice in 1919.

With rookie Howie Morenz completing a line with veterans Aurel Joliat and Billy Boucher, the Canadiens once again reached the top in 1924, defeating both the Calgary Tigers (of the Western Canada Hockey League) and the Vancouver Maroons (of the PCHA) in a convoluted playoff format. In 1925, the Habs lost to the Victoria Cougars (now the Detroit Red Wings) in the last year of the old Western Hockey League challenging for the Stanley Cup.

The Canadiens lost goaltender Georges Vézina to tuberculosis in late 1925, and finished last in the league. The following season, the Canadiens signed a suitable replacement in George Hainsworth, who would win the newly created Vezina Trophy for best goaltender. Hainsworth would be the league's best goalie for the next few years.

But despite consistently having one of the best regular season records in the league, the Habs stumbled in the playoffs until they won their third Stanley Cup in 1930, defeating the seemingly-invincible Boston Bruins. The "Flying Frenchmen" once again beat the regular-season champion Bruins in the 1931 playoffs, then beat the Ottawa Senators to win their fourth Cup.

1932 to 1966

The Canadiens' stars (Morenz and Joliat) faded out in the early 1930s, and they had the worst record in the league by 1935-1936. Stunned by such a horrible performance, the NHL gave the Habs rights to all French Canadian players for two years. They had the second-best record in the NHL in 1936-1937, but were stunned again by Morenz's death following a devastating hit by the Chicago Blackhawks' Earl Seibert. The Canadiens were once again mired in mediocrity for several more seasons, until a team led by the Punch Line of Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Toe Blake and Elmer Lach lifted the Cup again in 1944 after losing only five games in the regular season.

In 1944-1945, Richard made NHL history by becoming the first player to score 50 goals in one season, reaching the mark on the final night of the season. Despite their power, the Habs lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the semi-finals. The team was to be invigorated in the 1946 playoffs, winning their sixth Stanley Cup.

In 1957, brothers Tom and Hartland Molson purchased the team. The 1950s were by far the most successful decade for the Canadiens, and it is believed by many that the Habs of this era were the best team in NHL history. Between 1951 and 1960, the Canadiens made the finals every year, winning six times (including a record five straight between 1956 and 1960). Toe Blake would become coach, and they added more of the league's great players such as Jean Béliveau, Dickie Moore, Doug Harvey, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, goalie Jacques Plante (who, in 1959, became the first goalie to regularly wear a mask) and Maurice Richard's brother Henri.

Montréal fell into a state of unbridled love, if not obsession, with the Canadiens. At no time was this more evident than when Rocket Richard was suspended for the rest of the season in 1955 for striking an official in a game against the Detroit Red Wings. Montréalers rioted in the streets, causing millions of dollars in damage. The Canadiens had to forfeit the game, and went on to lose in the finals to the Red Wings.

In 1956 the Canadiens established a farm team in Peterborough (now known as the Peterborough Petes), which is in the OHL (Ontario Hockey League).

Despite Rocket Richard's retirement in 1960, the Canadiens looked ready to win a sixth straight Cup in 1961; but they were stunned in the playoffs by the Chicago Blackhawks in the semi-finals. The Canadiens continued to suffer (relative) playoff frustration until they won the Cup again in 1965, in Yvan Cournoyer's rookie season, and repeated in 1966. The following season, the Canadiens lost to the Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup finals, the last time the two hated rivals met each other in the final round.

1967 to 1986

With expansion in 1967-1968, the Canadiens handily defeated the fledgling St. Louis Blues in the finals during each of the next two seasons. It might have been a third straight, if the Canadiens hadn't missed out on a playoff spot in 1970 on the final day of the regular season, thanks to a tiebreaker (and since Toronto missed out as well, it meant the only time in NHL history no Canadian teams made the playoffs.)

The Habs were back to their winning ways in 1971, defeating the Blackhawks to capture yet another Stanley Cup in goalie Ken Dryden's rookie season (starting a career where he would average an astonishing 2 goals allowed per game), in addition to long-time Leafs' star Frank Mahovlich's first in a Canadiens' uniform. After losing in the quarter-finals to the Bruins in 1972 (Guy Lafleur's rookie season), they would once again win the Cup over Chicago in 1973.

The Canadiens were upset by the New York Rangers in the first round in 1974, and lost out to the Buffalo Sabres in the 1975 semi-finals. But in 1976, under the leadership of head coach Scotty Bowman, they set a record in the NHL by losing only eight games in an eighty game schedule and went on to win the Cup again, thwarting the Philadelphia Flyers' hopes for a third consecutive championship. The team was led by Lafleur (who was in the midst of six straight 50-goal seasons), Cournoyer, Steve Shutt, Pete Mahovlich and Larry Robinson. The Canadiens would then go on to win three more consecutive Cups to close out the 1970s.

Most of the Canadiens' best players were retired or traded by the early 1980s (the major exceptions being Bob Gainey, Robinson and Lafleur). They would, however, pick up star Swedish left winger Mats Naslund, as well as Guy Carbonneau in the early 1980s. By 1985-1986, they once again had a top goalie in rookie Patrick Roy. Roy would lead the Canadiens to their only Stanley Cup of the decade that season, defeating the Calgary Flames.

1986 to Today

The Canadiens would continue to consistently perform through the early 1990s, winning another Cup in 1993 over the Los Angeles Kings. That season, they picked up scoring threat Vincent Damphousse from the Edmonton Oilers, in addition to having forwards Kirk Muller, Brian Bellows and Stephan Lebeau - all four of whom scored more than 30 goals each during that season.

By 1995, the Canadiens disintegrated and missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years. The final straw came in December of that year, when Patrick Roy allowed nine goals against the Detroit Red Wings in one game and, after head coach Mario Tremblay pulled him from the goal well after the game was out of reach, Roy approached then team president Ronald Corey and told him, "I just played my last game." Then he walked past Tremblay with a defiant look as he took his seat behind the bench. He was dealt to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche along with Mike Keane for Jocelyn Thibault, Andrei Kovalenko and Martin Rucinsky. On March 11 1996, the Canadiens defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1 in the final game at the historic Montreal Forum. The team moved into the new Molson Centre (renamed the Bell Centre in 2003) the following Saturday. Despite solid players like Pierre Turgeon, Mark Recchi, Vladimir Malakhov and Patrice Brisebois at various points in the late 1990s, the Canadiens would stumble and eventually miss the playoffs three straight seasons between 1999 and 2001. There was even small talk of the team moving, especially after American investor George N. Gillett Jr. was the team's only interested buyer when the Molson family sold it in 2001.

In the fall of 2001, it was revealed that centre Saku Koivu, who had been with the team since 1995, had cancer and would miss the season. However, he came back and, along with the surprising strong play of goalie Jose Theodore, inspired the team for a run to the 2002 playoffs as the final seed in the Eastern Conference. They then upset the Bruins in the first round, but lose to the cinderella Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.

On November 22, 2003, the Canadiens participated in the Heritage Classic, the first outdoor hockey game in the history of the NHL. They defeated the Oilers 4-3 in front of more than 55,000 fans – an NHL attendance record – at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. The team seemed to turn a corner at that point, and finished the season in the 7th playoff seed with 93 points. The team would again play the Bruins in the playoffs. Coming back from a 3-1 defecit, the Canadiens would win the rest of the games, including a thrilling Game 7 in Boston, to again upset the Bruins. Sadly, however, the team would run into the future Cup winners, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and fall in a sweep.

The 2004 lockout prevented the Canadiens from gaining on the momentum of the 2004 season, but the team's future still looks bright. In a lighter note, the team may adopt the popular former Montreal Expos mascot, "Youppi!".

Year-by-Year Results

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA PTS % Playoff Result
2003-04 82 41 30 7 4 208 192 93 .567 Lost CSF vs. Tampa Bay
2002-03 82 30 35 8 9 206 234 77 .470 Missed Playoffs
2001-02 82 36 31 12 3 207 209 87 .530 Lost CSF vs. Carolina
2000-01 82 28 40 8 6 206 232 70 .427 Missed Playoffs
1999-2000 82 35 34 9 4 196 194 83 .506 Missed Playoffs
1998-99 82 32 39 11 - 184 209 75 .457 Missed Playoffs
1997-98 82 37 32 13 - 235 208 87 .530 Lost CSF vs. Buffalo
1996-97 82 31 36 15 - 249 276 77 .470 Lost CQF vs. New Jersey
1995-96 82 40 32 10 - 265 248 90 .549 Lost CQF vs. NYR
1994-95 48 18 23 7 - 125 148 43 .448 Missed Playoffs
1993-94 84 41 29 14 - 283 248 96 .571 Lost CQF vs. Boston
1992-93 84 48 30 6 - 326 280 102 .607 Stanley Cup Champion
1991-92 80 41 28 11 - 267 207 93 .581 Lost DF vs. Boston
1990-91 80 39 30 11 - 273 249 89 .556 Lost DF vs. Boston
1989-90 80 41 28 11 - 288 234 93 .581 Lost DF vs. Boston
1988-89 80 53 18 9 - 315 218 115 .719 Lost Final vs. Calgary
1987-88 80 45 22 13 - 298 238 103 .644 Lost DF vs. Boston
1986-87 80 41 29 10 - 277 241 92 .575 Lost CF vs. Philadelphia
1985-86 80 40 33 7 - 330 280 87 .544 Stanley Cup Champion
1984-85 80 41 27 12 - 309 262 94 .588 Lost DF vs. Quebec
1983-84 80 35 40 5 - 286 295 75 .469 Lost CF vs. NYI
1982-83 80 42 24 14 - 350 286 98 .613 Lost DSF vs. Buffalo
1981-82 80 46 17 17 - 360 223 109 .681 Lost DSF vs. Quebec
1980-81 80 45 22 13 - 332 232 103 .644 Lost PR vs. Edmonton
1979-80 80 47 20 13 - 328 240 107 .669 Lost QF vs. Minnesota
1978-79 80 52 17 11 - 337 204 115 .719 Stanley Cup Champion
1977-78 80 59 10 11 - 359 183 129 .806 Stanley Cup Champion
1976-77 80 60 8 12 - 387 171 132 .825 Stanley Cup Champion
1975-76 80 58 11 11 - 337 174 127 .794 Stanley Cup Champion
1974-75 80 47 14 19 - 374 225 113 .706 Lost SF vs. Buffalo
1973-74 78 45 24 9 - 293 240 99 .635 Lost QF vs. NYR
1972-73 78 52 10 16 - 329 184 120 .769 Stanley Cup Champion
1971-72 78 46 16 16 - 307 205 108 .692 Lost QF vs. NYR
1970-71 78 42 23 13 - 291 216 97 .622 Stanley Cup Champion
1969-70 76 38 22 16 - 244 201 92 .605 Missed Playoffs
1968-69 76 46 19 11 - 271 202 103 .678 Stanley Cup Champion
1967-68 74 42 22 10 - 236 167 94 .635 Stanley Cup Champion
1966-67 70 32 25 13 - 202 188 77 .550 Lost Final vs. Toronto
1965-66 70 41 21 8 - 239 173 90 .643 Stanley Cup Champion
1964-65 70 36 23 11 - 211 185 83 .593 Stanley Cup Champion
1963-64 70 36 21 13 - 209 167 85 .607 Lost SF vs. Toronto
1962-63 70 28 19 23 - 225 183 79 .564 Lost SF vs. Toronto
1961-62 70 42 14 14 - 259 166 98 .700 Lost SF vs. Chicago
1960-61 70 41 19 10 - 254 188 92 .657 Lost SF vs. Chicago
1959-60 70 40 18 12 - 255 178 92 .657 Stanley Cup Champion
1958-59 70 39 18 13 - 258 158 91 .650 Stanley Cup Champion
1957-58 70 43 17 10 - 250 158 96 .686 Stanley Cup Champion
1956-57 70 35 23 12 - 210 155 82 .586 Stanley Cup Champion
1955-56 70 45 15 10 - 222 131 100 .714 Stanley Cup Champion
1954-55 70 41 18 11 - 228 157 93 .664 Lost Final vs. Detroit
1953-54 70 35 24 11 - 195 141 81 .579 Lost Final vs. Detroit
1952-53 70 28 23 19 - 155 148 75 .536 Stanley Cup Champion
1951-52 70 34 26 10 - 195 164 78 .557 Lost Final vs. Detroit
1950-51 70 25 30 15 - 173 184 65 .464 Lost Final vs. Toronto
1949-50 70 29 22 19 - 172 150 77 .550 Lost SF vs. NYR
1948-49 60 28 23 9 - 152 126 65 .542 Lost SF vs. Detroit
1947-48 60 20 29 11 - 147 169 51 .425 Missed Playoffs
1946-47 60 34 16 10 - 189 138 78 .650 Lost Final vs. Toronto
1945-46 50 28 17 5 - 172 134 61 .610 Stanley Cup Champion
1944-45 50 38 8 4 - 228 121 80 .800 Lost SF vs. Toronto
1943-44 50 38 5 7 - 234 109 83 .830 Stanley Cup Champion
1942-43 50 19 19 12 - 181 191 50 .500 Lost SF vs. Boston
1941-42 48 18 27 3 - 134 173 39 .406 Lost QF vs. Detroit
1940-41 48 16 26 6 - 121 147 38 .396 Lost QF vs. Chicago
1939-40 48 10 33 5 - 90 167 25 .260 Missed Playoffs
1938-39 48 15 24 9 - 115 146 39 .406 Lost QF vs. Detroit
1937-38 48 18 17 13 - 123 128 49 .510 Lost QF vs. Chicago
1936-37 48 24 18 6 - 115 111 54 .563 Lost SF vs. Detroit
1935-36 48 11 26 11 - 82 123 33 .344 Missed Playoffs
1934-35 48 19 23 6 - 110 145 44 .458 Lost QF vs. NYR
1933-34 48 22 20 6 - 99 101 50 .625 Lost QF vs. Chicago
1932-33 48 18 25 5 - 92 115 41 .427 Lost QF vs. NYR
1931-32 48 25 16 7 - 128 111 57 .594 Lost SF vs. NYR
1930-31 44 26 10 8 - 129 89 60 .682 Stanley Cup Champion
1929-30 44 21 14 9 - 142 114 51 .580 Stanley Cup Champion
1928-29 44 22 7 15 - 71 43 59 .670 Lost SF vs. Boston
1927-28 44 26 11 7 - 116 48 59 .670 Lost SF vs. Mtl. Maroons
1926-27 44 28 14 2 - 99 67 58 .659 Lost SF vs. Ottawa
1925-26 36 11 24 1 - 79 108 23 .319 Missed Playoffs
1924-25 30 17 11 2 - 93 56 36 .600 Lost Final vs. Victoria
1923-24 24 13 11 0 - 59 48 26 .542 Stanley Cup Champion
1922-23 24 13 9 2 - 73 61 28 .583 Lost NHL Final vs. Ottawa
1921-22 24 12 11 1 - 88 94 25 .521 Missed Playoffs
1920-21 24 13 11 0 - 112 99 26 .542 Missed Playoffs
1919-20 24 13 11 0 - 129 113 26 .542 Missed Playoffs
1918-19 18 10 8 0 - 88 78 20 .556 Reached Final, No Decision1
1917-18 22 13 9 0 - 115 84 26 .591 Lost NHL Final vs. Toronto

1. The 1919 Stanley Cup Final was suspended after five games due to the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Abbreviations: GP - Games Played; W - Wins; L - Losses; T - Ties; OTL - Overtime Losses; GF - Goals For; GA - Goals Against; PTS - Points; CQF - Conference Quarter Final; CSF - Conference Semi-Final; CF - Conference Final; DSF - Division Semi-Final; DF - Division Final; QF - Quarter Final; SF - Semi-Final; PR - Preliminary Round.

Players of Note

Hall of Famers

Future Hall of Famers:

Not to be forgotten:

Infamous Players:

  • Billy Coutu: First player banned from the NHL for life

Current stars

Retired Numbers

See Also

Bruins-Canadiens Rivalry

External Links

National Hockey League
Current Teams : Anaheim | Atlanta | Boston | Buffalo | Calgary | Carolina | Chicago | Colorado | Columbus | Dallas | Detroit | Edmonton | Florida | Los Angeles | Minnesota | Montreal | Nashville | New Jersey | NY Islanders | NY Rangers | Ottawa | Philadelphia | Phoenix | Pittsburgh | San Jose | St. Louis | Tampa Bay | Toronto | Vancouver | Washington
Trophies and Awards: Stanley Cup | Prince of Wales | Clarence S. Campbell | Presidents' Trophy | Art Ross | Bill Masterton | Calder | Conn Smythe | Hart | Norris | King Clancy | Lady Byng | Lester B. Pearson Award | Rocket Richard | Plus/Minus | Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award | Jennings | Vezina
Related Articles: AHL | ECHL | WHA | World Cup

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