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April 5, 1970 - A close race in the NHL East

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04-05-2010, 09:12 PM
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April 5, 1970 - A close race in the NHL East

Back when goals for were the second tie-breaker in the NHL standings, there were five teams in the East Division with over 90 points and they finished seven points apart.

Here's a look at that turn of events on that final weekend that saw the Canadiens eliminated from contention for the first time in 22 years.

A lot of finger pointing went to the Red Wings for "laying down" in that final game against New York, but the Canadiens season was a mess right out the start.

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04-05-2010, 10:43 PM
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I heard that last Hawks-Canadiens game on the radio in Chicago.

The writer didn't mention that the Rangers had to pull their goalie while ahead 9-3 to try to run up the score. All they did was give up two empty-net goals. The tiebreaker was goals scored, not net goals, so defense didn't matter. The criterion was changed for the next season. (I'd seen that game on television earlier.)

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04-08-2010, 02:13 PM
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That is a very interesting read. It really illustrates some differences that have been developed not in just the game but the players themselves. I highly doubt anyone would admit to late night partying in a between period interview anymore!

This is the very reason that the final group stage matches in soccer tournaments are held simultaneously. It's a huge advantage to know what you have to do to progress, even if it didn't turn out for the Habs on this night.

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04-09-2010, 06:55 AM
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I remember listening to that game on the radio, as a seven year old in Chicago. My recollection was that the announcers made it clear why the Montreal goalie was pulled so early in the game. Frankly, I loved it. The Hawks players were padding their stats, and the Canadiens were my most disliked team back then. To have them not make the playoffs was icing on the cake.

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