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This Date in NHL History

June 8: Toe Blake hired to coach Canadiens

Plus: Stars win longest 1-0 game in Cup Final history; Igor Larionov becomes oldest player to score in Final

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: June 8

1955: Hector "Toe" Blake is named as coach of the Montreal Canadiens. He replaces Dick Irvin, who's coached the Canadiens for the past 15 seasons but has won the Stanley Cup just once since 1946 and has lost the Final in back-to-back seasons. 

Led by Blake, the Canadiens win the Cup eight times before he steps down in 1968.

Blake, part of Montreal's famed "Punch Line" before being forced to retire in 1948 because of a broken leg, coaches the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in each of his first five seasons; they are the still only team in NHL history to win the Cup five consecutive years. The Canadiens also win in 1965, 1966 and 1968, when they sweep the expansion St. Louis Blues in the Final.

Blake remains with the Canadiens in different capacities after retiring, often traveling with the team. Montreal wins the Cup again in 1969 under Claude Ruel and six times in the 1970s. The last five of those championships come with Blake's protégé, Scotty Bowman, as coach.

Video: Toe Blake was one of toughest players, best coaches

 

MORE MOMENTS

1996: Florida Panthers fans shower the ice with thousands of plastic rats after Ray Sheppard scores the first home goal in the Stanley Cup Final. It comes at 9:14 of the first period in Game 3. Rob Niedermayer gives Florida a 2-1 lead 2:05 later, but second-period goals by Mike Keane and Joe Sakic lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 victory and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Video: 96 Cup Final, Gm3: Panthers fans rain plastic rats

 

2000: Ed Belfour makes 48 saves before Mike Modano scores at 6:21 of the third overtime to give the defending champion Dallas Stars a 1-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Cup Final at Continental Airlines Arena. It's the longest 1-0 game in Final history. Modano ends the game and keeps the Stars' hopes of a repeat alive when he pokes the puck through the legs of New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur on Dallas' 41st shot. The victory sends the series back to Dallas for Game 6.

 

2002: Igor Larionov scores his second goal of the game at 14:47 of the third overtime to give the visiting Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Final. At age 41, Larionov becomes the oldest player to score a goal in the Final. Brett Hull gives Larionov the chance to be the hero when he ties it 2-2 by beating goalie Arturs Irbe with 1:14 remaining in the third period.

 

2011: The Boston Bruins even the Final at 2-2 by defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in Game 4 at TD Garden. Rich Peverley scores the first and fourth goals for the Bruins, and goaltender Tim Thomas makes 38 saves. Coming on the heels of an 8-1 victory in Game 3, Boston's plus-11 goal differential is the largest ever by an NHL team in a two-game stretch of the Final.

 

2015: Cedric Paquette's goal with 3:11 remaining in the third period gives the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Final at United Center. Defenseman Victor Hedman gets his second assist of the game by setting up Paquette for a shot that beats Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford. Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, who's questionable after leaving Game 2 with a lower-body injury, makes 36 saves.

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