Think you know all there is to know about the Montreal Canadiens? Time to find out. We’ve dug into the past of the storied team to pull out some factoids you may be totally unaware of. Time for a Habs history lesson.
How Well Do You Know the Habs’ History?
Which Montreal Canadiens superstar was the first-ever head coach for the Quebec Nordiques in 1972?
Maurice Richard coached the first two games, winning once and losing once, before resigning. He was too stressed out to handle the position and was replaced by their head scout Maurice Filion.
Who are the four teams the Canadiens beat to win their last Stanley Cup in 1992-93?
The Habs dispatched the Quebec Nordiques in six games, swept the Buffalo Sabres, defeated the New York Islanders in five games, then offed the Los Angeles Kings in five.
Which Canadiens’ left winger wore number 22 from 1972 to 1984-85.
Steve Shutt, an explosive-scoring winger for the Montreal Canadiens, wore number 22 on his sweater. He played on five Stanley Cup champion teams and scored 60 goals during the 1976-77 season. In his career, Shutt scored 408 goals while wearing the number 22 sweater. He also notched 50 playoff goals for Montreal.
Who was the first player to have his number retired?
Howie Morenz was the first player on the Canadiens and in the NHL to have his number retired. He was called ‘the Babe Ruth of hockey.’ He was a dominant, speedy player with a huge heart. In fact, Ruth himself said Morenz had the biggest heart of any athlete he’d known.
The highly skilled Morenz won three Stanley Cups, was a top-10 leading scorer ten times, and won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player three times. He scored 271 goals to go with 201 assists for 472 points in 550 games.
On January 28, 1937, after losing his balance and crashing into the boards by Chicago Black Hawks defender, albeit cleanly, he suffered four broken bones in his left leg and ankle. Six weeks later, at the age of 34, Morenz suffered a nervous breakdown while at the Montreal hospital and died on of a pulmonary embolism. Legend always had it he died of a broken heart when he was told he’d never play hockey again.
After his death, the team retired his jersey (number 7). It was the first one ever retired for any player. He was one of the original nine inductees to the Hockey Hall of Fame when it opened in 1945. He’s also included on the NHL’s list of 100 Greatest Players in League History.
On March 11, tens of thousands of fans visited Morenz’s body which laid in state at center ice of the Montreal Forum. Estimates of a quarter million people lined the streets on Montreal to watch the funeral procession.
What number did Ken Dryden wear?
Dryden wore number 29. He played in 397 career games, with a 2.24 goals against average, pitching 46 shutouts. He was voted to the All-Star team six-times.
How many times have the Habs missed the playoffs three years in a row?
The Canadiens have been a perennial playoff team. They’ve only missed the postseason three consecutive years twice. From 1919-20 through 1921-22 and from 1998-99 through 2000-01.
What number did Guy Lafleur wear?
The Flower wore number 10. Lafleur was one of the most dynamic players to ever lace up skates. He scored six straight 50+ goal seasons and had nine straight seasons above a point per game. His number was retired in 1985. When Guy Lafleur first joined the team he was offered Jean Beliveau’s number but refused, saying the pressure would be too much to live up to. Some of the other great players in the NHL to wear number 10 include George Armstrong, Pavel Bure, Alex Delvecchio, Ron Francis and Dale Hawerchuk.
What percentage of Stanley Cups has Montreal won?
The Habs were founded on December 4, 1909 by J. Ambrose O’Brien. Since then, the they’ve become longest running pro hockey team, and have won almost 25% of all Stanley Cups, more than any other franchise.
What were the previous names of the Bell Centre?
The Bell Centre was called the ‘New Montreal Forum’ while it was being built. When it opened in 1996, it was known as the Molson Centre. In 2002, when the team was sold by the Molson brewing company to George Gillette, it became the Bell Centre.
Which two goalies are tied with the best career save percentage?
Carey Price and Christobal Huet both currently have .920 career save percentage. Price has played in 509 career games with a 2.40 career GAA (6th best in Canadiens’ history), while the retired Huet played in 117 games with a 2.53 career GAA (tied for ninth best in Canadiens’ history).
What is the fastest goal from the start of a playoff game?
Bob Gainey wasted no time, scoring just seven seconds into Game 6 of the Montreal Canadiens’ semifinal match against the New York Islanders in 1977. The Habs won the game 2-1, clinching the series and setting up a Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins.
Which player holds the record for most shorthanded goals?
In his 13-year career with the Habs, Guy Carbonneau scored 27 shorthanded goals. His biggest season was 1983-84 when he tallied seven. He added another five shorties during his five years with the Dallas Stars.
What caused ‘The Richards Riot’?
In 1955, during a game against the Bruins, Maurice Richard hit a linesman. NHL President Clarence Campbell suspended Richard for the remainder of the season and the playoffs. The team’s largely Francophone fan base took exception to the length of the suspension and claimed it was motivated by Richard’s French Canadian ethnicity. Outside of Montreal, the suspension was seen as justified.
Campbell attended the Habs’ next home game, which was a smack in the face to fans. His presence provoked a riot at the Forum that spilled into the streets, caused $100,000 in property damages and led to more than 100 arrests. Things settled down after Richard made a plea to the public to simmer down. In hindsight, the incident likely cost Richard the 1954–55 scoring title (an honour Richard never achieved in his NHL career) and contributed to the off-season departure of longtime Canadiens head coach Dick Irvin.
What is the Canadiens’ team motto?
The Canadiens’ motto, taken from the poem “In Flanders Fields” can still be seen on the wall of the Habs’ dressing room.
In French, it’s: Nos bras meurtris vous tendent le flambeau, à vous toujours de le porter bien haut.
In English, it’s: To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.
Who did the Canadiens play in their last game at the historic Montreal Forum and what was the score?
The Canadiens defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1 in the final game at the historic Montreal Forum on March 11, 1996. Andrei Kovalenko, the most disposable element of the Roy trade, scored the Habs’ final goal.
When was the first time the Canadiens played in an outdoor game?
The Habs faced the Edmonton Oilers in the Heritage Classic on November 22, 2003. It was the first regular season outdoor hockey game in the history of the NHL. The Habs beat the Oilers 4-3.
When did the Canadiens begin using a mascot?
Before the start of the 2005-06 season, the Canadiens announced that they had adopted Youppi!, the amicable Montreal Expos mascot. The Expos relocated to Washington and left him behind. The Habs joked that they signed him as a free agent.
Who owns the team record for best +/- in a season and what was it?
Larry Robinson owns the team record with a plus-120 in 1976-77.
What is the team’s longest undefeated streak?
The Canadiens longest undefeated streak: 28 games. They went on a tear, with a record of 23-0-5, from December 18, 1977 to February 23, 1978.
What is the team’s longest losing streak?
The Canadiens longest losing streak is 12 games. Back in 1926, the Habs had a rough month, losing 12 games from February 13 to March 13.
In what year did the team score the most goals?
In the 1976-77 season, the team scored a 387 goals.
What is the most goals the Canadiens have allowed in a single game?
The Canadiens have allowed 11 goals a total of six times. The most recent was on December 12, 1995. It was Patrick Roy’s last game in net for the team.
Which Montreal Canadien has his name on the Stanley Cup the most?
Jean Beliveau’s name appears on the Stanley Cup 17 times–ten as a player and seven as senior Vice President from 1973-93.
What is the longest Cup drought in team history?
The team is currently in their longest Stanley Cup drought in team history. It’s been 23 seasons since they raised the Cup.
How many scoring titles did Rocket Richard win?
Surprisingly, Rocket Richard never won a scoring title. The closest he came was finishing one point behind teammate Bernie Geoffrion, 75 points to 74. It was the same year Richard’s season was cut short due to a suspension for striking a referee.
Which team is the only team to win the Stanley Cup on Forum ice?
In 1989, Lanny McDonald and his Calgary Flames were the only visiting team to win the Cup on Forum ice.
Which player won the most ever Stanley Cups as a player?
Henri Richard won an astounding 11 Stanley Cups with the Canadiens from 1956-1973.
Which team drafted Ken Dryden?
The Boston Bruins drafted Ken Dryden fourteenth overall in the 1964 Amateur Draft. The Canadiens acquired him for the rights to three players. None of whom ever played a single game in the NHL.
Which Canadiens player has the club record for more consecutive game played? How many did he play?
Doug Jarvis has the club record for most consecutive games played at 560. Remarkably, Jarvis won Stanley Cups in his first four season (from 1976-79), surpassed only by Henri Richard, who was on the five Cups from 1956 to 1960.
What is the Canadiens record for consecutive winning seasons?
Likely a record that will be around forever, the Montreal Canadiens went an NHL record 32 consecutive seasons with a winning record. It came to an end in 1983-84 when they finished 35-40-5.
What was particularly special about Patrick Roy’s 1988-89 season?
During the 1988-89 season, Roy went 33-5-6 with four shutouts. But more interesting, he went undefeated at the Forum, with a record of 25-0-4.
Besides Jacques Plante, who are the only other Canadiens goalies to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP?
In 2002, Jose Theodore became the first Canadiens goalie to win the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. He appeared in 67 games, posting a 34-24-10 record and a .931 save percentage with seven shutouts. More recently Carey Price won the prestigious award in 2014-15.
How many time does the name Jacques Plante appear on the Stanley Cup?
Jacques Plante won the Stanley Cup five consecutive years, from 1956-60, and his name was spelled differently every time on the Cup. It only appears as “Jacques Plante” once.
So, How’d You Do?
Did you get a few right? Did you know more than you thought? Regardless, we hope you had some fun and learned a few things along the way.
Jeff has been covering the NHL for over a decade for various sites. He’s been with The Hockey Writers as a lead Sabres writer three years, while also writing a satire column called “Off the Crossbar.”