(photo: Hockey Hall of Fame)
April 3, 1977 brought the conclusion of, what is considered by many, the most dominant regular season by a team in NHL history. With a 2-1 road victory over the Washington Capitals, the Canadiens finished with a record of 60-8-12 for a league-record 132 points, finishing 20 points ahead of the 2nd ranked Philadelphia Flyers.
The Canadiens became the first NHL team to win 60 games in a season, and set another NHL record with their 27th road victory. Home-ice advantage was an understatement as Montreal lost just a single game at the Forum. The Habs scored 387 goals and allowed just 171, leading the league in both categories.
Their offensive might was staggering. With a goal in their final game, Steve Shutt set an NHL record for left wingers with his 60th of the season.
Guy Lafleur led the NHL scoring race for the second straight year, with a team-record 136 points. A large percentage of Lafleur’s scoring came from an NHL record 28-game point streak (19 goals, 42 assists), that he carried to season’s end.
Larry Robinson brought 85 points from the blue line, en route to his first Norris Trophy, while Guy Lapointe scored 25 goals. The Canadiens’ offense was spread out to say the least, as 14 different players were in double digits in goal scoring.
The icing on the cake came a month and a half later, winning the Stanley Cup while losing just two playoff games, and are considered to be the greatest NHL team to ever be assembled.
Also on This Day…
1930: The Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins 4-3, to win the 1930 Stanley Cup Championship in two straight games. For the defending Cup champ Bruins, who had the best regular season record (38-5-1), it marked their first back-to-back losses of the year.
1956: Bert Olmstead picked up three assists as the Canadiens won 5-1 over the Detroit Red Wings, in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
1971: Canadiens' rookie Bobby Sheehan scored his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead Montreal to a 7-2 win against the New York Rangers.
Habs Born on This Day: Peggy O`Neil (1913), Ray Getliffe (1914), Dom Campedelli (1964), Brent Gilchrist (1967),