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11-06-2009, 07:33 AM
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G Gerry McNeil

-Stanley Cup in 1953 as a starter
-Stanley Cup finals in 1951 and 1952 as a starter
-Stanley Cup in 1957 as a backup
-2.36 career GAA in the regular season
-1.89 career GAA in the postseason

-NHL Second All-Star Team (1953)
-Played in NHL All-Star Game (1951, 1952, 1953)

-QSHL First All-Star Team (1947, 1948, 1949)
-Byng of Vimy Trophy (QSHL - MVP) (1947, 1948, 1949)
-QHL First All-Star Team (1956)
-Vezina Memorial Trophy (QHL - Top Goaltender) (1956)
-AHL Second All-Star Team (1958)

Originally Posted by Canadiens official website
A guy who lightened things up away from the ice, McNeil was a popular teammate and a feared practical joker. If there was fun to be had, odds are he was in on the action.

Among the top 10 Canadiens goaltenders in every category for both regular season and playoff performances, McNeil’s career 2.36 regular season goals-against average put him fourth on the all-time list. Only George Hainsworth has a career postseason GAA lower than McNeil’s 1.89.

Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Gerry McNeil played an important role in Montreal Canadiens history. He filled in in the nets between the Bill Durnan and Jacques Plante eras, winning the Stanley Cup in 1953.
McNeil arrived at about the same time was Bill Durnan. Obviously the Canadiens were proven correct in their choice of Durnan over McNeil. But the Canadiens were impressed enough to keep McNeil in their system. He would join the Royals and dominate the Quebec senior leagues. He would also get to know many of the Habs players, as he would often fill in in practices where an extra goaltender was needed.

Originally Posted by legendsofhockey
McNeil starred with the Montreal Royals of the Quebec Senior Hockey League, earning the best goals against average in the league in both 1945-46 and '46-47, being named the first team all-star in 1947, '48 and '49 and was chosen the league's most valuable player three years consecutively?1947, 1948 and 1949 as well.

He was summoned to the Montreal Canadiens full-time in 1950-51 when Bill Durnan retired, playing every minute of every game in his rookie season. McNeil backstopped the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup finals against Toronto in 1951 and Detroit in 1952, but it wasn't until the 1952-53 season that he was able to lead the Canadiens to his own Stanley Cup. That same season, he was selected to the NHL's Second All-Star Team.

Towards the end of the 1953-54 season though, McNeil lost his starting position to a young superstar named Jacques Plante. But when the Canadiens were faced with elimination by Detroit in the 1953-54 Stanley Cup finals, Plante was pulled by coach Dick Irvin in favour of the veteran McNeil, who promptly won the next two games to force a seventh game. Unfortunately, in overtime in game seven, an easy shot by the Red Wings was tipped by Canadiens' defenceman Doug Harvey, and found the net behind McNeil to earn Detroit the Stanley Cup.

I'm happy with Gerry McNeil as a backup. He won a Cup as a starter, spent most of his career stuck behind Durnan or Plante, and was always good when he got a chance to play.

Ed Belfour is my starter, and if he has a weakness, it's that he is a volatile guy who can create problems if challenged too much by his backup. So I wanted to get a solid backup, but a guy with the mentality to realize his place in the pecking order.

Belfour/Barrasso, for instance, would cause major issues in the locker room.

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