Sunday, 5 May 2013

Today in Habs History: May 5th Edition

Overtime Hero Henri Richard (left) rides with Claude Provost during Canadiens 1966 Stanley Cup Parade (Photo – La Ville De Montreal archives)

1966: Henri Richard scored the game winner at 2:20 of overtime (the only overtime goal of his playoff career) as Montreal beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in Game Six, to win the Stanley Cup Championship for the 14th time. The Red Wings protested to no avail, feeling Richard had interfered with goaltender Roger Crozier.

The series did not get off to a good start for the Canadiens, as Crozier led his team to wins in Game One and Game Two of the series. Montreal bounced back and took Game Three by a score of 4-2.

The acrobatic Crozier twisted his knee and suffered a sprained ankle in the fourth game, while stopping Montreal’s Bobby Rosseau, before the game was six minutes old. "At first, I thought my leg was broken. I was stretching for the corner of the goal when Rousseau fell going through the crease, jamming my leg against the post. There was a searing pain and my leg went limp. It started to quiver, I couldn't control it and couldn't regain my feet." Hank Bassen played well in relief, but the Canadiens went on to 2-1.

Red Wings coach Sid Abel took a gamble that Crozier’s bandaged leg would fair well in Game Five, when his goalie told him he felt OK after the warm-up. It didn’t pan out, as the Canadiens pummelled Detroit 5-1. “It felt as though one leg was shorter than the other,” Crozier said of his bandaged leg. “It affected my balance at first, but after a while it seemed all right.” Abel didn’t fault his goalie, citing Crozier had little help from the Red Wings’ defence clearing rebounds,

Crozier bandaged up his battered leg again and returned for sixth and deciding game. For his play, Crozier would be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP. He became the first goaltender to win the award and the first on a losing Stanley Cup team. The Detroit netminder had already removed the tape from his leg and was getting into his in street clothes, when made aware he had won. He and ran from the dressing room to receive the award from Clarence Campbell.

For the Canadiens, defenseman Jean-Claude Tremblay led the team is scoring with 11 points, including seven in the Finals. His defensive play shut down the Red Wings offense and was reportedly frustrated that he was not awarded the Smythe Trophy. At the same time, Canadiens goalie Gump Worsley felt the Smythe deserved a repeat winner."I think Big Jean Beliveau should have won it,” Worsely said. “We wouldn't have retained the Cup without him."

Jean-Guy Talbot earned his seventh Stanley Cup, setting and NHL record for defensemen.

Henri Richard scores the OT winner as the Canadiens celebrate another Stanley Cup

Also on this day…

1938: Montreal beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 before a crowd of 8,500 at Earlscourt, England, in the fifth of a nine game tour between the two teams.

1977: Bob Gainey scored twice to lead the Canadiens to a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders at New York, in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals. With the win Montreal advanced to the Finals against Boston.

1979: Larry Robinson scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Canadiens to a 5-1 win over Bruins, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals.

1986: Patrick Roy makes 44 saves, including 13 in a row in overtime, as the Canadiens defeat the New York Rangers 4-3, in Game Three of the Wales Conference Finals. Claude Lemieux scored the game-winning goal at 9:41.

Habs Born on This Day: Jack Adams (1920)

The Vancouver Sun, May 4, 1966: “Canadiens had Wings – Habs FLy Into Command In Stanley Cup Finals”

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