Saturday, 11 January 2014

Today in Habs History: January 11th Edition

January 11, 1948 marked the end of a playing career for one of Canadiens All-Time greats and the end of the famous “Punch Line.”

It was on this night that Hector “Toe” Blake suffered a double fracture of his right ankle, during a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers. The  35-year-old left wing took a check form the Rangers Bill Juzda and crashed into the boards and catching his skate as he went down.

The official diagnosis was a full fracture of the fibula and a partial tear of the tibia. Many expected Blake to be back and available in two months, just in time for the playoffs, but it was not meant to be. The Canadiens were already struggling with a 11-14-7 record prior to Blake’s injury. They went 9-15-4 the rest of the season, failing to make the playoffs.

At the time of his injury, Blake had 527 points and was within reach of Bill Cowley’s then career NHL record of 548 points. His playing career concluded with a resume that included a Hart Trophy (1939), Lady Byng Trophy (1946), three First Team All-Star selections and three Stanley Cups, two with the Canadiens.

Blake of course returned to the Canadiens, becoming the winningest coach in franchise history.

Now how about retiring the No. 6 to the rafters?

Also on This Day:

1938: The Canadiens and the Montreal Maroons set a Canadiens team record with 45 points recorded in the game (Canadiens: 7 goals, 10assists, Maroons: 11 goals, 17 assists). The Canadiens lost the game 11-7. In this game Canadiens’ goalie Wilf Cude allowed 11 goals to tie a team record. The record of 45 points would be tied five years later when the Canadiens had 35 point and the Bruins 10 in a 13-4 win for the Canadiens.

1958: Marcel Bonin recorded a hat trick and added an assist in the Canadiens 9-3 win over the Rangers. Dickie Moore added a goal and four assists.

1975: Michel Larocque recorded his 3rd career shutout and Jacques Lemaire scored two goals and an assist, as the Canadiens won 6-0 over the Flyers at the Forum.

1976: Ken Dryden records his 25th career shutout, leading the Canadiens to 2-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.


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