Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years, 100 Moments: Part 1

Lisa BoychukSenior Analyst IOctober 29, 2008

In celebration with the Montreal Canadiens' 100th anniversary in the National Hockey League, here is a list of 1-20 of 100 of the most memorable Habs moments (in no particular order of significance or date):

1. Ken Dryden's debut. Dryden came into the NHL, making his debut in 1971, in the playoffs, as a complete mystery.  Who would have ever guessed the tall, young rookie would lead his team to the Stanley Cup?

2. Patrick Roy's debut. Roy's first season was in 1986, where he led the Habs to a Stanley Cup.

3. The Rocket Riot. After Maurice "Rocket" Richard was suspended for a game on March 13, 1955, the fans took to the streets in a heated riot.  And an expensive riot at that, costing $500,000 in damage and causing numerous injuries.

4. The Modern-Day Riot. After the Canadiens made the post-season, the fans went on a tear, burning and destroying vehicles, breaking into stores, and attacking enforcements.

5. Stanley Cup Dynasty #1. Five Stanley Cups between 1956-1960.

6. Stanley Cup Dynasty #2. Four Stanley Cups between 1976-1979.

7. Trading Patrick Roy. December 2, 1995 was Roy's final game as a Hab.  After letting in 9 goals, Roy was pulled from the game against the Detroit Red Wings.  He was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on December 5, 1995.

8. Saku Koivu's ailment. The hockey world was shocked with Koivu's diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on September 6, 2001. 

9. The best NHL season record. In the 1976-1977 season, the Canadiens set the record for the best NHL season ever, having 132 points and recording only 8 losses throughout the entire season.

10. The most Stanley Cups. Their 24 Stanley Cups record will probably be one that never gets shattered. 

11. "The Comeback" game. On February 19, 2008, in a tilt against the New York Rangers, the Canadiens were down 5-0 in the second period.  They went on to set a record the biggest comeback victory in their team history, by taking the game 6-5 in a shoot out. 

12. Saku Koivu's return. Koivu made a very emotional, bald-headed return to the Canadiens' lineup on April 9, 2002.  He received an 8-minute standing ovation for his inspirational recovery.  It is a moment that I am sure will play in everyone's head forever. 

13. The year of the injuries. During the late 1990s, the Canadiens roster had one season where every member of the regular roster had lost at least 1 game to injury. 

14. Shattered penalty box. In 2002, during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between Montreal and the Carolina Hurricanes, Doug Gilmour was not a happy man.  In fact, he was so angry with a tripping call against him that when he slammed the penalty box door shut, the glass completely shattered. 

15. Rocket Richard's passing. The legendary Maurice "Rocket" Richard passed away on May 27, 2000, who had maybe the biggest memorial service held (and with good reason).

16. The first mask. Contrary to what coach Toe Blake was telling him, on November 1, 1959 Plante returned to the game after a broken nose -- wearing a mask.  This would set the mark for the future of goalie masks (and hockey masks in general). 

17. The best playoff record. The Habs are also famous in that 1976-1977 season for winning all but 2 games in the playoffs, sweeping the rest of the series (including the Stanley Cup final)

18. Koivu vs. the media. Koivu has always been a hot topic when it comes to the Montreal media.  However, the encounter that stands out the most was during the 2007-2008 season.  The media made it a point that it was a major issue for Koivu not the speak English during an interview.  They have been back at it again this season by complaining about him not showing up to training camp as the rest of the team did.

19. Leaving the Montreal Forum. The Canadiens bid farewell to the Montreal Forum in 1996, moving into their current location of the Bell Centre (nee Molson Centre) on March 16, 1996.

20. Stanley Cup #24. The latest Stanley Cup victory for the Habs came during the 1992-1993 season.  This is more than just the most recent Cup for the Canadiens and their longest winless streak.  It is also the last time any Canadian-based NHL team won the Stanley Cup.