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Who Remembers the Habs of the Late 60's and 70's?

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Old
10-21-2011, 11:12 AM
  #1
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Who Remembers the Habs of the Late 60's and 70's?

I have been following the Habs since the late mid to late 60's...and have been fortunate enough to see my team hoist the Cup numerous times. In fact, it was so often in the 70's that I would turn off the television and go to bed before the game ended because the Habs did not have adequate competition. I don't think that is a slant against the league as much as it is the fact that Sam Pollock was a true Master Mind. Of course, coupled with that, was that Montreal had their hands into so semi-pro teams that Pollock hid gems in places no one could find. Heck, the Nova Scotia Voyageurs could have easily been another NHL team with the talent they had.

From what I have observed, the Habs niche was an great offence. They could defence but it was a quick transition, speed and weaponry up front that made them so dangerous. The backend was manned by, first Dryden, then the big three - Savard, Robinson and Lapointe. They never played the trap...it was go-go-go...maybe similar to Boucher's idea. This unsettling trap system that produces boring, ineffective hockey was first introduced by someone named Lemaire. In fact, I blame him for killing the spirit of Lafleur. This happened right after Grundman and Co. missed the ball by neglecting their own backyard in the draft and taking Wickenheiser over someone called Denis Savard of the famed Trois Denis line. To greater and lesser degrees, the Habs have been playing this trap system now for years.

Gainey was the latest one to come in and clean house. The problem was that he cleaned the team of players but left the system in place. He further added to the problem by hiring a trap artist in Martin and pushed for Gauthier to be promoted after his own resignation...co-incidentally Gainey and Gauthier are of the same mould and mindset. In cleaning house, Gainey reconstructed the Habs into a speedy, quick transitional team with a good PP and PK.

I really don't know much about Martin other than the fact that he has never won anything of great consequence in the league. Recently, we have seen he is adept at juggling lines. I have been left to wonder if he truly has a system. If he does it is indeed the wrong system for this team. I will go on record as saying this: the Habs do not have a player problem...we have the right players but we are using the wrong system. This team has been built to fly. It has been built to attack, regroup and attack again. In my humble opinion, Martin and Co. need to let them loose and play THEIR game, not his!

I drive a Dodge Durango with a 5.7 Hemi. I love my truck. Every time I get on the road it speaks to me...it says "let me go!" The only thing holding me back is the RCMP and laws of the land which says I can only do 100 kms. Well, this team is begging to be let go. The only one holding them back is Jacques himself. I am not worried about the defence...I love the youth. I am not worried about Price...he is quite able to hold his own. I am not even worried about this group of forwards...they can score...but they have to be let loose and play the game the way they know how to play it. Who cares if the opposing team scores 6 goals. The Habs would only have to score 7 to win! Go Habs! Here's hoping I will see another Cup hoisted in my lifetime.

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10-21-2011, 09:27 PM
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Great read. And my sentiments exactly.

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10-22-2011, 01:47 PM
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My first real memory of the Habs was Dryden's first year, where he came in and played 5-6 games at the end of the season, and then stoned the Bruins, the powerhouse Bruins...we had some serious offensive horses in those days, and Dryden made a couple of coaches including Bowman look good....

JM has never been a favorite of mine, but was glad when we hired him, we got away from rookie coaches. I would like to see him turn them loose like he used to do with the Sens, just not sure we have the horses at Centre Ice?

We will see another Cup, keep the faith!

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10-22-2011, 01:56 PM
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Wow, nice read. Appreciate that, thanks!

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10-22-2011, 02:33 PM
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Another old guy here.

I caught the bug at the end of the 60s, at around 7 or 8 years old. My first concept of what a celebrity was -- the coolness of connecting a real person to something important -- was based on the Montreal Canadiens, on their faces, numbers and stats speaking to me from their hockey cards. I collected as many hockey cards as I could afford, each pack costing about 10 cents, I think, praying that among the dumb Philadelphia Flyers or Oakland Seal players there would be at least one Canadien in the pack. But the best thing of all was watching the faces on the cards come to life, watching the games Saturday night on a tiny black & white TV in my basement, hoping my parents would be so distracted they'd let me stay up till the end, all the way to the closing music theme. The games usually ended around 10:30 p.m. (they used to start at 8:00) so when that slower, jazzier version of the HNIC theme played and the closing credits rolled, I knew it was wayyy past my bedtime.

I remember Gump Worsley in nets ("Gump? is that a real name?"), a big kid named Savard the upcoming star on defense and Jean Beliveau our tall, elegant leader up front. Everybody loved Jean, so I did, too. I also liked Dick Duff because I thought of myself as being a pretty good stickhandler, like him. In fact, when I painstakingly coloured blue and white stripes onto my red sweater, the final touch was scrawling Duff's big number 8 on the back. I then proudly walked out of my house towards my friend's place, wearing my makeshift, modern art version of a Canadiens jersey, feeling this glow of pride and expecting neighbours to congratulate me on being part of the team. I remember my friend's mom thinking it was cute; my mom, whose job it was to eventually wash the sweater… not so much.

The first game I ever saw in the old forum was against the Chicago Blackhawks, probably in '69. Funny, I have absolutely no memory of who took me; all I remember were the sights, sounds and smells of the hallowed place. There was something magical, almost painterly, about the scene as I walked from the old corridors into the yawning arena. This wasn't my black & white TV -- this was in huge stark colour! This was real! It was a huge cavernous warehouse with the angular old scoreboard hanging like a blue-grey obelisk and the ice surface a scratchy film of white. There were no ads on the boards, no LED flashing lights, the only colours were the rich reds and blues of my Canadiens skating around in one end, while the clean whites with green and red trim of the Hawks circling in the other, like watching a movie with the screen beneath me. Faces and hair swooshed by, some of them looking just like my hockey cards, none of them in helmets -- still almost a decade in the future. There was Beliveau, handsome and focused, J.C. Tremblay, whose initials sounded cool, Gump's mug in nets, looking a bit younger than his middle-aged face on his card. On the other side, there was Bobby Hull with blond hair flowing, Stan Mikita and, I think, Kenny Wharram, who someone told me was good. I have no memories of who won the game that night, but the images of those human icons skating and banging and shooting from end to end stayed with me. And the smell -- walking out in between periods and being hit with clouds of tobacco smoke and the thick aroma of beer.

Ahhh… the old Montreal Forum. Hard to believe now, in the era of boutique seats and electronic security, but during the 70's you could buy a Standing-Room ticket for about $8 and… well… stand. By the mid-70s I was taking a bus downtown with my friends, buying those cheap Standing-Room tickets and finding a space in the upper corridors of the Forum to watch the Habs. The blue seats. We used to wander the corridors like pre-teen cockroaches, searching for the best vantage points to plant ourselves on a staircase, until an usher told us to go back to the corridor. Then we'd do it again until the game was far enough along so that we were left alone, kids on stairs. Lapointe, Laperriere and Savard were the big guys on D, and a young guy named Lafleur was just coming into his own.

The Forum was always there and the Habs were always winning, as normal and regularly as the coming of the seasons.

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10-22-2011, 02:40 PM
  #6
TheRedKnight
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Originally Posted by BigHab View Post
I have been following the Habs since the late mid to late 60's...and have been fortunate enough to see my team hoist the Cup numerous times. In fact, it was so often in the 70's that I would turn off the television and go to bed before the game ended because the Habs did not have adequate competition. I don't think that is a slant against the league as much as it is the fact that Sam Pollock was a true Master Mind. Of course, coupled with that, was that Montreal had their hands into so semi-pro teams that Pollock hid gems in places no one could find. Heck, the Nova Scotia Voyageurs could have easily been another NHL team with the talent they had.

From what I have observed, the Habs niche was an great offence. They could defence but it was a quick transition, speed and weaponry up front that made them so dangerous. The backend was manned by, first Dryden, then the big three - Savard, Robinson and Lapointe. They never played the trap...it was go-go-go...maybe similar to Boucher's idea. This unsettling trap system that produces boring, ineffective hockey was first introduced by someone named Lemaire. In fact, I blame him for killing the spirit of Lafleur. This happened right after Grundman and Co. missed the ball by neglecting their own backyard in the draft and taking Wickenheiser over someone called Denis Savard of the famed Trois Denis line. To greater and lesser degrees, the Habs have been playing this trap system now for years.

Gainey was the latest one to come in and clean house. The problem was that he cleaned the team of players but left the system in place. He further added to the problem by hiring a trap artist in Martin and pushed for Gauthier to be promoted after his own resignation...co-incidentally Gainey and Gauthier are of the same mould and mindset. In cleaning house, Gainey reconstructed the Habs into a speedy, quick transitional team with a good PP and PK.

I really don't know much about Martin other than the fact that he has never won anything of great consequence in the league. Recently, we have seen he is adept at juggling lines. I have been left to wonder if he truly has a system. If he does it is indeed the wrong system for this team. I will go on record as saying this: the Habs do not have a player problem...we have the right players but we are using the wrong system. This team has been built to fly. It has been built to attack, regroup and attack again. In my humble opinion, Martin and Co. need to let them loose and play THEIR game, not his!

I drive a Dodge Durango with a 5.7 Hemi. I love my truck. Every time I get on the road it speaks to me...it says "let me go!" The only thing holding me back is the RCMP and laws of the land which says I can only do 100 kms. Well, this team is begging to be let go. The only one holding them back is Jacques himself. I am not worried about the defence...I love the youth. I am not worried about Price...he is quite able to hold his own. I am not even worried about this group of forwards...they can score...but they have to be let loose and play the game the way they know how to play it. Who cares if the opposing team scores 6 goals. The Habs would only have to score 7 to win! Go Habs! Here's hoping I will see another Cup hoisted in my lifetime.
Amen Brother !!!

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10-22-2011, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigHab View Post
I have been following the Habs since the late mid to late 60's...and have been fortunate enough to see my team hoist the Cup numerous times. In fact, it was so often in the 70's that I would turn off the television and go to bed before the game ended because the Habs did not have adequate competition. I don't think that is a slant against the league as much as it is the fact that Sam Pollock was a true Master Mind. Of course, coupled with that, was that Montreal had their hands into so semi-pro teams that Pollock hid gems in places no one could find. Heck, the Nova Scotia Voyageurs could have easily been another NHL team with the talent they had.

From what I have observed, the Habs niche was an great offence. They could defence but it was a quick transition, speed and weaponry up front that made them so dangerous. The backend was manned by, first Dryden, then the big three - Savard, Robinson and Lapointe. They never played the trap...it was go-go-go...maybe similar to Boucher's idea. This unsettling trap system that produces boring, ineffective hockey was first introduced by someone named Lemaire. In fact, I blame him for killing the spirit of Lafleur. This happened right after Grundman and Co. missed the ball by neglecting their own backyard in the draft and taking Wickenheiser over someone called Denis Savard of the famed Trois Denis line. To greater and lesser degrees, the Habs have been playing this trap system now for years.

Gainey was the latest one to come in and clean house. The problem was that he cleaned the team of players but left the system in place. He further added to the problem by hiring a trap artist in Martin and pushed for Gauthier to be promoted after his own resignation...co-incidentally Gainey and Gauthier are of the same mould and mindset. In cleaning house, Gainey reconstructed the Habs into a speedy, quick transitional team with a good PP and PK.

I really don't know much about Martin other than the fact that he has never won anything of great consequence in the league. Recently, we have seen he is adept at juggling lines. I have been left to wonder if he truly has a system. If he does it is indeed the wrong system for this team. I will go on record as saying this: the Habs do not have a player problem...we have the right players but we are using the wrong system. This team has been built to fly. It has been built to attack, regroup and attack again. In my humble opinion, Martin and Co. need to let them loose and play THEIR game, not his!

I drive a Dodge Durango with a 5.7 Hemi. I love my truck. Every time I get on the road it speaks to me...it says "let me go!" The only thing holding me back is the RCMP and laws of the land which says I can only do 100 kms. Well, this team is begging to be let go. The only one holding them back is Jacques himself. I am not worried about the defence...I love the youth. I am not worried about Price...he is quite able to hold his own. I am not even worried about this group of forwards...they can score...but they have to be let loose and play the game the way they know how to play it. Who cares if the opposing team scores 6 goals. The Habs would only have to score 7 to win! Go Habs! Here's hoping I will see another Cup hoisted in my lifetime.


I was born in the late 60's and watched all through the glory of the 70's we could give up 3 or 4 goals a game and still not worry as we had a dynamite team rolling 4 lines that all could put the puck in the net. I miss the run and gun days we had back then and honestly think this team can play and succeed with that style of game.

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10-22-2011, 02:49 PM
  #8
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
Another old guy here.

I caught the bug at the end of the 60s, at around 7 or 8 years old. My first concept of what a celebrity was -- the coolness of connecting a real person to something important -- was based on the Montreal Canadiens, on their faces, numbers and stats speaking to me from their hockey cards. I collected as many hockey cards as I could afford, each pack costing about 10 cents, I think, praying that among the dumb Philadelphia Flyers or Oakland Seal players there would be at least one Canadien in the pack. But the best thing of all was watching the faces on the cards come to life, watching the games Saturday night on a tiny black & white TV in my basement, hoping my parents would be so distracted they'd let me stay up till the end, all the way to the closing music theme. The games usually ended around 10:30 p.m. (they used to start at 8:00) so when that slower, jazzier version of the HNIC theme played and the closing credits rolled, I knew it was wayyy past my bedtime.

I remember Gump Worsley in nets ("Gump? is that a real name?"), a big kid named Savard the upcoming star on defense and Jean Beliveau our tall, elegant leader up front. Everybody loved Jean, so I did, too. I also liked Dick Duff because I thought of myself as being a pretty good stickhandler, like him. In fact, when I painstakingly coloured blue and white stripes onto my red sweater, the final touch was scrawling Duff's big number 8 on the back. I then proudly walked out of my house towards my friend's place, wearing my makeshift, modern art version of a Canadiens jersey, feeling this glow of pride and expecting neighbours to congratulate me on being part of the team. I remember my friend's mom thinking it was cute; my mom, whose job it was to eventually wash the sweater… not so much.

The first game I ever saw in the old forum was against the Chicago Blackhawks, probably in '69. Funny, I have absolutely no memory of who took me; all I remember were the sights, sounds and smells of the hallowed place. There was something magical, almost painterly, about the scene as I walked from the old corridors into the yawning arena. This wasn't my black & white TV -- this was in huge stark colour! This was real! It was a huge cavernous warehouse with the angular old scoreboard hanging like a blue-grey obelisk and the ice surface a scratchy film of white. There were no ads on the boards, no LED flashing lights, the only colours were the rich reds and blues of my Canadiens skating around in one end, while the clean whites with green and red trim of the Hawks circling in the other, like watching a movie with the screen beneath me. Faces and hair swooshed by, some of them looking just like my hockey cards, none of them in helmets -- still almost a decade in the future. There was Beliveau, handsome and focused, J.C. Tremblay, whose initials sounded cool, Gump's mug in nets, looking a bit younger than his middle-aged face on his card. On the other side, there was Bobby Hull with blond hair flowing, Stan Mikita and, I think, Kenny Wharram, who someone told me was good. I have no memories of who won the game that night, but the images of those human icons skating and banging and shooting from end to end stayed with me. And the smell -- walking out in between periods and being hit with clouds of tobacco smoke and the thick aroma of beer.

Ahhh… the old Montreal Forum. Hard to believe now, in the era of boutique seats and electronic security, but during the 70's you could buy a Standing-Room ticket for about $8 and… well… stand. By the mid-70s I was taking a bus downtown with my friends, buying those cheap Standing-Room tickets and finding a space in the upper corridors of the Forum to watch the Habs. The blue seats. We used to wander the corridors like pre-teen cockroaches, searching for the best vantage points to plant ourselves on a staircase, until an usher told us to go back to the corridor. Then we'd do it again until the game was far enough along so that we were left alone, kids on stairs. Lapointe, Laperriere and Savard were the big guys on D, and a young guy named Lafleur was just coming into his own.

The Forum was always there and the Habs were always winning, as normal and regularly as the coming of the seasons.
I remember my first HABS game against the HAWKS also. 5-1 HABS it was and I will never forget my first trip to the forum when I was a kid we have relatives that live in MTL and still do and we would go visit them once every summer and once every winter. We always took in a game each visit. There has never been and never again will there be a barn like the Montreal Forum.

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Old
10-22-2011, 02:57 PM
  #9
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Originally Posted by BLONG7 View Post
My first real memory of the Habs was Dryden's first year, where he came in and played 5-6 games at the end of the season, and then stoned the Bruins, the powerhouse Bruins...we had some serious offensive horses in those days, and Dryden made a couple of coaches including Bowman look good....

JM has never been a favorite of mine, but was glad when we hired him, we got away from rookie coaches. I would like to see him turn them loose like he used to do with the Sens, just not sure we have the horses at Centre Ice?

We will see another Cup, keep the faith!

The Sens were never known as a loose team under Martin. If you go back to that era, you will find that the sens were one of the stingiest teams, and if you were down after two periods to this team, then you might as well turn off the TV because you weren't coming back.

Sure, Martin had one of the highest scoring teams in the league, but it was a team built with a tight defense first system. When you have players like Alfredsson, Yashin, Havlat, Hossa, Spezza etc... then you were going to create chances regardless.

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10-22-2011, 03:05 PM
  #10
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I'm with you guys..I go back to the late 60's. The last 18 yrs or so has not been so good.
So much so that i find myself watching movies when the team falls behind early. I hate the trap , defensive system. We always had the run and gun hockey with guys that never got pushed around. I still need to see revenge for what the bee's did last year, and i don't mean some numbers on the scoreboard.

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10-22-2011, 03:44 PM
  #11
number72
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I agree. I think we need to get back to tradition.
By that I mean let's get a mostly french speaking team.

Goalie:
Fleury + Garon (backup)

Defence:
Beauchemin + Letang
Bergeron + Demers
Gragnani + Robidas
Vlasic

Forwards:
Gagne Ribeiro St Louis
Burrows Vermette Briere
Tanguay Lecavalier Parenteau
Latendresse Bergeron Dupuis

Darche, Talbot, Mitchell

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10-22-2011, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by number72 View Post
I agree. I think we need to get back to tradition.
By that I mean let's get a mostly french speaking team.

Goalie:
Fleury + Garon (backup)

Defence:
Beauchemin + Letang
Bergeron + Demers
Gragnani + Robidas
Vlasic

Forwards:
Gagne Ribeiro St Louis
Burrows Vermette Briere
Tanguay Lecavalier Parenteau
Latendresse Bergeron Dupuis

Darche, Talbot, Mitchell


Well you have an all french speaking team and if you look back at all the Habs teams
that have won a Stanley Cup (as far as the '40s) , the average is only about 50%french speaking.Maybe we should start there.

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10-22-2011, 07:03 PM
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I vote for big hab to coach our little habs. Excellent read by the way. It made me feel good to know that there are more 40+ crowd here that remembers when this franchise was great.

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10-22-2011, 07:07 PM
  #14
Ozymandias
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I feel younger after reading this thread.

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