Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Fun Facts as Habs and Leafs Open the Season

 

Tonight marks the 720th all-time regular season meeting between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs. The Habs hold a 339-284 edge with 88 ties. Montreal has outscored Toronto 2195 to 1995.

 

This is the 15th time that the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will meet to open their respective NHL seasons. The Leafs have won nine of the previous 14 season opener meetings.

 

86 players have played for both the Habs and Leafs. This includes eight Hall of Famers.

Defenseman Bert Corbeau, who began his career with the Canadiens, was the first captain of the Maple Leafs.

 

During the 1949-50 season, Canadiens coach Dick Irvin was once rumoured to offer a $100 reward to any player who scored the winning goal against the Leafs. Irvin was photographed dolling out the bills to Norm Dussault, following a 2-1 win over Toronto on March 22, 1950. Leafs owner Conn Smythe was irate and insisted the NHL fine Irvin $2000, citing a bylaw that prevented coaches from offering bonuses for such an act. League President Clarence Campbell ignored the request, stating the payout was an award, not a bonus.

 

The Habs-Leafs rivalry even carried off the ice during the Original Six era. At the opening of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, player representatives from all six NHL teams were on hand to raise the flag of their respective club. Canadiens GM Frank Selke was overheard telling Jean Beliveau, “I know those Leafs. You get your flag ready and don’t wait. We want our flag to be up there first.” The Canadiens flag was the first one to be raised to the top of the pole.

 

Sources:

 

www.canadiens.com

www.hhof.com

www.sihrhockey.org

Duplacey, James and Wilkins, Charles; Forever Rivals

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