MONTREAL - Three Canadiens teams are still in the running in the Greatest NHL Team competition, which has moved to a third and final round of fan voting with 20 teams vying for the honor.
Returning to the Stanley Cup Final after a two-year absence, the Montreal Canadiens swept Philadelphia to end the Flyers' two-year reign as champions. Montreal's Guy Lafleur scored his first two goals in the Final and each proved to be a game-winner. With the sweep, the Canadiens captured the 19th Stanley Cup championship in team history and heralded the start of a new dynasty - the first of four consecutive championships. Montreal had staked its claim as the NHL's best during the 1975-76 regular season, compiling the League's best record (58-11-11) for a then club-record 127 points.
The 1976-77 Canadiens were a record-setting club. They set League (and team) records for most points (132), fewest losses (8) and longest team points streak (34 games), and club records for most wins (60), most goals for (387), and they tied a team record for longest home winning streak (13). Guy Lafleur's 136 points are the most a Canadiens player has ever recorded in one campaign; Steve Shutt set the team record for most goals scored in a season with 60; and Larry Robinson collected more points (85) than any other defenseman in team history. The Canadiens swept the Bruins in the Final for their 20th Stanley Cup.
In 1977-78, the Canadiens lost just 10 regular-season games and needed only nine games to get to the Stanley Cup Final. Meeting the Boston Bruins for the championship in a rematch of their 1977 series, the Canadiens prevailed in six games. Conn Smythe Trophy winner Larry Robinson led all playoff performers with 17 assists and tied teammate Guy Lafleur (10 goals, 11 assists) for the overall playoff scoring lead with 21 points.
Voting for the third round began on Thursday at NHL.com/GreatestTeams, and officially closes on May 25. The Top 10 will be announced during the Stanley Cup Final, and the Greatest NHL Team will be revealed during Game 4 of the Final.