Monday, May 14, 2007

On This Day, 30 Years Ago

In a season where they set NHL records for wins with 60 and points with 132, the Montreal Canadiens won the 20th Stanley Cup on May14, 1977. It was the 20th Cup in team history and their second of 4 consecutive championships.

Canadiens right winger Guy Lafleur was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MPV. In a seldom seen quadruple win, Lafleur also gained that season's Art Ross, Hart, and Lester Pearson trophies.

Many hockey experts deem the 1977 edition of the Canadiens as the best hockey team ever assembled. Its regular season record of 60 wins, 8 losses, and 12 ties explified the dominance of the team. They scored 387 goals while allowing only 171 for an astounding +216 plus/minus.

While the league did not publish individual +/- stats at the time, it is known that Larry Robinson led the NHL with a final count well above +100.

Lafleur and goalie Ken Dryden, defenseman Robinson, and left winger Steve Shutt were all first team All-Stars. Shutt and Lafleur led the league in goals wirh 60 and 56 respectively.

Other than the hardware accumulated by Lafleur, Robinson won the James Norris trophy, Dryden shared the Vezina Trophy with Michel Larocque, and coach Scotty Bowman won the Jack Adams trophy as coach of the year. Had the Presidents Cup, the Selke trophy, and the Rocket Richard trophy been instituted at the time, the dominant Canadiens would have likely swept them up as well.

Members of the 1977 Canadiens inducted in the Hockey Hall Of Fame include Lafleur, Shutt, Robinson, Dryden, Bowman, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Bob Gainey and Yvan Cournoyer.

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