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Etched in History

Etched in History

Canadiens began new dynasty with 1964-65 Cup win

First title team in five seasons featured in series about champions being removed from trophy

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

Every 13 years when the bottom band of the Stanley Cup is filled with names of champions, the top band is removed and retired to be displayed in the vault of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The current top band, featuring NHL championship teams from 1953-54 to 1964-65, is coming off, and four bands below it are sliding up one place to make room for a fresh fifth band at the bottom that will begin with the 2017-18 Washington Capitals. This is the final installment of a 12-day NHL.com series that looks at each of the 12 Cup-winning teams leaving hockey's most coveted trophy.

 

1964-65 MONTREAL CANADIENS

Regular-Season record: 36-23-11 (83 points), second in NHL
Coach: Toe Blake
Captain: Jean Beliveau
Names on the Cup: 32
Players on the Cup: 25
Future Hall of Fame players on the Cup: Jean Beliveau, Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, Jacques Laperriere, Henri Richard, Gump Worsley

 

Stanley Cup engraving anomalies: The width of this team's engraving. For some unexplained reason, it takes the space traditionally used by two teams, so 12 instead of the usual 13 champions appear on this band. Every individual's full name is used except for that of the team chairman, Sen. Hartland de Montarville Molson, though there is room for it; he appears as HON H DE M MOLSON. The letter "I" in DAVID BALON is misspelled but corrected with an overstamp.

A name on the Cup: This was the third time Sam Pollock's name appeared on the Stanley Cup, having been engraved in 1959 and 1960 when he was Montreal's personnel director. But 1964-65 was his first season as general manager after he replaced Frank J. Selke, a six-time Stanley Cup winner with the Canadiens. One of the brightest minds in hockey, Pollock helped engineer eight more Canadiens championships (1966, '68, '69, '71, '73, '76, '77, '78) during his 14 years as GM. "What Sam always had going for him is that he knew what was needed to win," former NHL President Clarence Campbell said.

 

How they made history

Jean Beliveau, in his fourth season as Canadiens captain in 1964-65, was hearing the murmurs of discontent from fans who hadn't seen their heroes parade the Stanley Cup along Ste. Catherine St. in four long years.

Entering Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Black Hawks, the center knew his team not only had to win at the Montreal Forum, but couldn't give its opponent a glimmer of hope.

"When we took to the ice for the final game, the Forum fans were Cup-starved and showed their desire to end our four-year 'drought' with a huge ovation that pumped us from the first drop of the puck," Beliveau wrote in "My Life in Hockey," his 1994 autobiography. "Fourteen seconds into the game, Dick Duff fed me a beautiful pass and we led 1-0."

Video: 1965 Stanley Cup Final, Gm7: Blackhawks vs Canadiens

The Canadiens were up 4-0 by the end of the first period, and that was the final score. Montreal's third straight home-ice shutout in the Final sealed the 13th Stanley Cup title in its history.

Addressing the crowd following the trophy presentation at center ice, Beliveau said, "On behalf of all my teammates, I want to express our happiness at winning the Stanley Cup, not only for ourselves but for all our fine supporters."

This was the sixth of 10 Stanley Cup titles Beliveau won as a player, tied with Montreal teammate Yvan Cournoyer for the second most; Henri Richard, who followed Beliveau as Canadiens captain in 1971, won 11. Beliveau had his name put on the Cup seven more times as Montreal's senior vice president, and his 17 appearances are a record.

Cournoyer, who in 1975 succeeded Richard as captain, was playing in his first full NHL season in 1964-65.

"Never in hockey have I been on a championship team," the 21-year-old said with amazement in the dressing room.

A young Yvan Cournoyer tries to dig a puck out from beneath Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Johnny Bower with defenseman Tim Horton looking on.

 

Beliveau skated off the Forum ice with more than the Stanley Cup. He was the leading scorer in the Final with 10 points (five goals, five assists) and won the inaugural Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

"[Beliveau] certainly deserved it," wrote Montreal Gazette columnist Dink Carroll. "He scored, set up plays, checked persistently and set the pace for his teammates. It was no accident that his line, Dick Duff and Bobby Rousseau, also enjoyed a good series."

Video: 1965 Cup Final, Gm7: Beliveau wins Conn Smythe

Gump Worsley was perfect in the Canadiens net in Game 7 (20 saves), as he had been in Game 2 (18 saves). In addition to the two shutouts, the 35-year-old Montreal native had a 1.00 goals-against average in the Final.

Imagine The Gumper's enjoyment of hockey's penthouse in his second season with Montreal after he played his first 10 NHL seasons with the defensively challenged New York Rangers, who often finished out of contention.

Worsley was one of 14 players to win their first Stanley Cup championship in 1965. "It's hard to put in words just how I feel about all of this," he said. 

Worsley's career was reborn when he was traded to the Canadiens on June 4, 1963, in the deal that sent goaltending icon Jacques Plante to the Rangers. In 1965-66, Worsley and Charlie Hodge, who shut out Chicago in Game 5, won the Vezina Trophy, awarded at the time to the goalie(s) for the team that allowed the fewest regular-season goals.

 Montreal Canadiens goalie Gump Worsley (right), here at practice with goalie Charlie Hodge and defenseman Terry Harper skating from behind, finally got to taste a championship after 10 seasons with the New York Rangers.

 

Black Hawks forward Bobby Hull, unable to beat Worsley, scored his two goals in the Final on Hodge.

"Don't ever forget the work (forward) Claude Provost put in to guard Hull," Worsley said of The Golden Jet's constant shadow.

The Black Hawks scored twice in Game 1 at the Forum, a 3-2 Canadiens win, but didn't score again on Montreal ice.

"And this is the team that scored the most goals during the regular season (224, tied with the Detroit Red Wings)," Chicago coach Billy Reay said.

"This was another great team effort that I have to be proud of," Toe Blake said after winning his sixth of eight Stanley Cup titles as Canadiens coach. It was his first since he steered Montreal to five straight from 1956-60.

"This was the greatest championship of them all for me. We had no superstars like the other five years. And tonight, after we took the lead, the fellows never stopped skating or checking."

Bobby Hull of the Chicago Black Hawks greets Montreal captain Jean Beliveau after Game 7 of the Final.

 

Montreal's 1964-65 champions filled the band of the Stanley Cup, the second one down the five-band barrel at the time, with assistant trainer Larry Aubut the 340th and final name included. The Canadiens were the first team engraved on the fresh third band in 1965-66, and of the 13 teams to fill it from that season until 1977-78, would appear eight times. The Boston Bruins and expansion Philadelphia Flyers would appear on that band twice each, and the Toronto Maple Leafs once. 

The title in 1965 launched Montreal's "Quiet Dynasty," which won four championships in five seasons through '69, with Toronto winning in '67.

"This is the best of the six championship teams I've been on," Beliveau said. "There's more satisfaction because no one (among the media) in this room thought we would win. But the players were more optimistic."

From left, Claude Provost, Claude Larose, Henri Richard and Jean Beliveau celebrate in the dressing room at the Montreal Forum.

 

[Read all Etched in History stories: 1953-54 Red Wings | 1954-55 Red Wings | 1955-56 Canadiens |

1956-57 Canadiens | 1957-58 Canadiens | 1958-59 Canadiens | 1959-60 Canadiens |

1960-61 Black Hawks | 1961-62 Maple Leafs | 1962-63 Maple Leafs | 1963-64 Maple Leafs]

 

Stanley Cup Playoffs

Won Semifinal 4-2 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Won Stanley Cup Final 4-3 vs. Chicago Black Hawks

Game 1: April 17 at Montreal: Canadiens 3, Black Hawks 2

Game 2: April 20 at Montreal: Canadiens 2, Black Hawks 0

Game 3: April 22 at Chicago: Black Hawks 3, Canadiens 1

Game 4: April 25 at Chicago: Black Hawks 5, Canadiens 1

Game 5: April 27 at Montreal: Canadiens 6, Black Hawks 0

Game 6: April 29 at Chicago: Black Hawks 2, Canadiens 1

Game 7: May 1 at Montreal: Canadiens 4, Black Hawks 0

Stanley Cup-winning goal: Jean Beliveau, Game 7, 0:14 of the first period

Canadiens' leading scorer in Final: Jean Beliveau (10 points; five goals, five assists)

Winning goalies: Gump Worsley (3-1, 240 minutes played, two shutouts, four goals against, 1.00 goals-against average); Charlie Hodge (1-2, 180 minutes played, one shutout, seven goals against, 2.33 GAA).

 

Regular-season trophy winners

None

 

Stanley Cup Playoffs trophy winners

Conn Smythe Trophy (inaugural awarding of playoff MVP): Jean Beliveau

As the Canadiens assistant trainer or trainer, Larry Aubut had his name on the Stanley Cup eight times; the NHL's official scoresheet from Game 7 of the Final.

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