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100 years of Canadiens history by the numbers

Friday, 12.04.2009 / 9:26 AM / Inside the Numbers

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

It was exactly 100 years ago -- Dec. 4, 1909 -- that the Montreal Canadiens were founded. The NHL's winningest franchise celebrates its 100th birthday tonight with a game against its biggest rival, the Boston Bruins.

Here are some of the numbers that have figured in the history of hockey's oldest franchise:

1 -- Goals scored by Jose Theodore, the only goaltender in Montreal history to score a goal. Theodore capped a 3-0 victory over the Islanders by shooting the puck into an empty net on Jan. 2, 2001. He's one of nine goaltenders to score in a regular-season game, and one of only two to score a goal and win via shutout.

2 -- Canadiens who've scored 60 or more goals in a season. Steve Shutt became the first Montreal player to reach the 60-goal mark in 1976-77. Linemate Guy Lafleur, who assisted on a lot of Shutt's goals, had a 60-goal season of his own in 1977-78.

3 -- Players who have scored 500 or more goals in a Canadiens uniform. Maurice "The Rocket" Richard owns the franchise record with 544, followed by Lafleur with 518 and Jean Beliveau with 507. Only two other players -- Yvan Cournoyer (428) and Shutt (408) have broken the 400-goal mark with the Canadiens.

4 -- Surprisingly, the Canadiens have never started a season with more than four-consecutive victories. They've done it three times, the last at the start of the 1977-78 season.

5 -- Biggest deficit overcome by the Canadiens to win a game. On Feb. 19, 2008, the Canadiens trailed the New York Rangers 5-0 in the second period, but rallied to tie the game in regulation and win 6-5 in a shootout.

6 -- Goals scored in one of the greatest games ever played -- the Dec. 31, 1975, meeting between the Canadiens and Central Red Army. Montreal led 2-0 and 3-1, but the Soviets battled back for a 3-3 tie at the Forum. The Canadiens outshot the Red Army 36-13 but were unable to get more than three pucks past Vladislav Tretiak.

8 -- Losses by the Canadiens in 1976-77, the fewest by any team since the schedule was increased from 50 to 60 games in 1945-46. Montreal lost only one game that season at the Forum, the fewest by any team in a schedule of 60 or more games.

9 -- Numbers that have yet to be worn by a Montreal player. David Desharnais took No. 58 off the list of unused numbers last Wednesday when he wore it in his NHL debut.

11 -- Stanley Cup-winning teams that included Henri Richard. The "Pocket Rocket" played on more Cup-winners than anyone in NHL history.

14 -- Most 20-plus goal seasons by a Canadien, a mark held by Maurice Richard. The Rocket and Shutt also share the record for 30+-goal seasons with nine, with one more than Beliveau.

16 -- Years since the Canadiens' last Stanley Cup in 1993. It's the longest drought in franchise history. Every other Original Six franchise has had a drought of at least 37 years.

17 -- Canadiens who have had their numbers retired, including Butch Bouchard and Elmer Lach during Friday's celebration. Before that, the most recent was Patrick Roy, whose No. 33 was raised to the Bell Centre rafters last season. The Habs have retired 15 numbers -- Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer both wore No. 12, and Lach and Henri Richard wore No. 16.

20 -- Most seasons as a Canadien. Henri Richard was a member of the Habs for two full decades -- two seasons more than Beliveau and older brother Maurice.

23 -- Stanley Cups won by the Canadiens as a member of the NHL, by far the most in League history (Toronto is next with 13). The Canadiens also won the Cup in 1915-16, before the NHL was formed.

27 -- Shorthanded goals by Guy Carbonneau, the most by any player in Montreal history. Bob Gainey, now the team's general manager, is second with 20, followed by Peter Mahovlich with 17.

28 -- Longest point streak by a Canadien. Guy Lafleur scored in 28 consecutive games from Feb. 1 to April 3, 1977. He had 19 goals and 42 assists for 61 points during the streak.

32 -- Playoff series between the Canadiens and Bruins, by far the most between any two teams. The Canadiens have won 24, though Boston took the last one with a first-round sweep in 2009.

34 -- Canadiens' unbeaten streak against Washington before the Capitals won a game. The Canadiens won the first 23 meetings with the Caps after they entered the NHL in 1974 and were 31-0-3 before losing 3-1 at the Capital Centre on Feb. 19, 1980.

55 -- Goaltenders who have earned at least one victory for the Canadiens. Jacques Plante is first with 314, 25 more than Patrick Roy. Nine goaltenders have exactly one win for Montreal.

70 -- Games played by Plante in 1961-62 and Gerry McNeil in 1950-51 and '51-52 -- the most by a Montreal goaltender in a season. In all three instances, the Canadiens had one goaltender play every minute -- all 4,200 of them -- of every game.

71 -- Most points scored by a Montreal rookie. Mats Naslund set the mark in 1982-83, and Kjell Dahlin matched that total in 1985-86. Despite all the legendary scorers who've worn the bleu, blanc et rouge, Dahlin also holds the team record for goals by a rookie with 32, two more than Bernie Geoffrion and three more than Lafleur.

92 -- Regular-season games between the Canadiens and Montreal Maroons, their local rival before the Maroons folded after the 1937-38 season. The Canadiens were 40-35-17 in those games, including a 6-3 victory at the Forum in their last meeting on March 17, 1938.

700 -- Regular-season games between the Canadiens and Boston Bruins, the Habs' most against any opponent (Toronto is second at 699). The Canadiens have won 335 of those games, their largest victory total against any opponent, and their 779 points earned are also the most against any rival.

776 -- Players who've dressed for at least one game as a Canadien. That includes 15 players who've made their Montreal debut this season.


Quote of the Day

We're understanding what's bringing us success. We have a talented hockey club when everyone's committed to doing the right things and doing their job.

— Islanders captain John Tavares after a 4-1 win against the Penguins tied the teams atop the Metropolitan Division standings
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