Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Today In Habs History: April 16th Edition

Bruins captain Milt Schmidt watches as Elmer Lach and Maruice Ricard celebrate Lach’s Game Five overtime Cup winner on April 16, 1953. (Photo: Roger St-Jean, La Presse Archives)

 

Certainly another memorable image from Canadiens history comes from this day in 1953 as Maurice Richard and Elmer Lach celebrated the latter’s overtime winner, against the Boston Bruins in Game Five of the Finals, to win the Stanley Cup.

After a poor Bruins clearing attempt, Lach recovered the puck and shot it past “Sugar” Jim Henry, just 1:22 into overtime.

 

“The puck appeared on my stick and I just shot it”, Lach recalled. “I couldn’t shoot it very hard. In fact, Toe Blake always said ‘Your shot wouldn’t break a paper bag’, but I shot it and it went in the net and that was it.”

 

Richard raced towards his center and the two celebrated in mid-air. “I guess I was too aggressive and my nose was in the way,” Lach chuckled. “I hit my nose on his head. It didn’t feel too bad because we’d just won the Stanley Cup, and that was more important.”

 

A broken nose was nothing new for Lach, who had cracked his beak six times prior in his career.

Richard and Lach celebrate with the Cup (Photo: CHC)

Gerry McNeil picked up his fourth career playoff shutout, making 21 saves. McNeil played the final three games of the series, winning all three with a bad ankle, and had two shutouts. It would be the last Cup for McNeil as well as the last for Canadiens coach Dick Irvin.

 

A video compilation of the ‘53 Finals put togetehr by Francis Bouchard follows.

 

Highlights of the 1953 Stanley Cup Finals

 

 

Also on this day…

 

It could have been two in a row on this day in 1954 for the Canadiens. But at 4:29 of overtime in Game Seven of the 1954 Final, Detroit’s Tony Leswick’s lobbed shot is tipped off the glove of Canadiens’ defenseman Doug Harvey, as he tried to knock it down, and goes past McNeil to give the Red Wings the Cup.

 

1957: Montreal beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 in Game Five of the Finals, to become the Stanley Cup Champions for the second straight year. Dickie Moore led the scoring with a goal and two assists.

 

1979: Guy Lafleur scored a goal and added three assists to lead the Canadiens to a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, in Game 1 of the Quarter-Finals.

 

1985: Steve Penney recorded his 4th (and final) career playoff shutout, and Mats Naslund scored the winning goal at 19:09 of the third period to lead the Canadiens to a 1-0 win over the Bruins in Game 5 of the Adams Division Semi-Finals.

 

1996: Jocelyn Thibault made 43 saves and Vincent Damphousse scored twice, including the winner at 5:04 of OT as Montreal won 3-2 over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the East Conf. Quarter-Finals. It was the Habs' 12th straight playoff OT win.

 

Habs Born on This Day: Jofre Desilets (1915), Eric Bertrand (1975),

 

Sources:

Canadiens.com

www.hhof.com

www.sihrhockey.org

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