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Top Moments Poll

View Poll Results: What is the top Habs moment?
1909 - Habs are born 12 15.00%
1937 - Howie Morenz dies 1 1.25%
1944 - Richard named all 3 stars in game against TO 3 3.75%
1945 - Richard scores 50 goals in 50 games 4 5.00%
1953 - Beliveau signs first contract 0 0%
1955 - Richard Riot 9 11.25%
1959 - Plante gets hit by puck 1 1.25%
1971 - Young Habs team ousts Bruins 2 2.50%
1975 - Habs tie Red Army 3-3 2 2.50%
1979 - Habs win Cup, Cherry has too many men 5 6.25%
1984 - Good Friday Massacre vs Quebec 6 7.50%
1986 - Rookie Roy leads Habs to Cup 3 3.75%
1993 - Habs win Cup, set new OT record 4 5.00%
1996 - Forum Closes/Molson Centre Opens 1 1.25%
2002 - Koivu Returns from Cancer 27 33.75%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-04-2004, 03:24 PM
  #1
Bill McNeal
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Top Moments Poll

Ok, here's how it's going to work. I'm posting a poll of 15 Habs moments and you must choose the most important one to Habs history (duh).

You must also (well not must, but it'd help) add another moment which I will then add to the next poll. For people who don't know the details behind all the moments, here are some brief recaps. May be a bit off as I did it mostly off memory as well as brief google searches.

1909 - Habs are born

What need be said? Habs are created and originally play in the now defunct NHA.

1937 - Howie Morenz dies

Perhaps nobody has bled Bleu, Blanc et Rouge more than Howie Morenz. One of the first true super stars of the game, Morenz loved the team and the city. Unfortunately, he was eventually traded to the Chicago Blackhawks which sent him spiraling into a depression. His production decreased in stints in Chicago and New York until he returned to the Canadiens in 1936-37. But his life took another sad turn. In a game against Chicago, Morenz was checked into the boards and suffered a broken leg. He was taken to the hospital where things go worse. He did not recuperate well as he still suffered from depression and he eventually died of a heart attack.

Aurel Joliat, "Howie Morenz died of a broken heart."

1944 - Richard named all 3 stars in one game

In a playoff game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Maurice Richard lit it up. The final score was 5-1 with Richard scoring all 5 goals for the Canadiens. When it came time to announce the three stars, the announcement that Richard was the third star was met with a chorus of boos by the Montreal faithful. When he was also named 2nd star, it became clear that he had the clean sweep. Only other time in History this happened was during Wayne Gretzky's last game.

1945 - Richard scores 50 goals in 50 games

Not much to say. Richard set the precedent for all scorers to this date. Today, his accomplishment has been honored with the Rocket Richard Trophy, given to the league's top goal scorer every year.

1953 - Jean Beliveau signs contract

The ultimate Captain, and the prototypical hockey player, Beliveau's start with the Habs was quite the event. In order to obtain his rights, the Montreal Canadiens purchased the league he played in and turned it pro.

1955 - Richard Riot

Maurice Richard's talent was second only to his passion and temper on the ice. One night in Boston, his temper took center stage. Aggravated by what he felt as biased officiating, Richard took matters into his own hand and broke his stick over Hall Laycoe after being high sticked and not getting a call. A brawl soon started up and Richard punched out a linesman. NHL President Clarence Campbell would not tolerate this and suspended Richard for the remainder of the season and the playoffs. Campbell then showed up at a game in Montreal against Detroit. Objects were thrown at him, and a smoke bomb went off. The violence soon spread to the streets and the Canadiens had to forfeit the game.

1959 - Plante gets hit by puck

It's a common misconception that Jacques Plante was the first goalie to ever wear a mask. He wasn't, but his story is still enticing. While playing the New York Rangers, Plante received a puck to the face and had to leave the game for stitches. He returned soon after wearing a mask. Coach Toe Blake would not allow him to play, but seeing as he had no other goalies eventually conceded. The fact that a goalie such as Plante could see the lunacy in not wearing a mask and change his ways was the beginning of a revolution in the NHL.

1971 - Young Habs team ousts stocked Bruins

The Bruins were the best team in hockey. They had names such as Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Gerry Cheevers, a who's who of hockey at the time. They were expected to easily capture their second Stanley Cup in as many years, until they ran into a young goalie named Ken Dryden. Dryden went on to win the Conn Smythe for playoff MVP and this team started one of the most dominating dynasties in hockey history.

1975 - Habs tie Red Army 3-3

In 1972 North American hockey was exposed as a team of the best the Soviets had to offer took the best NHLers in Canada to the limit. Soon after, a series of exhibition games between CSKA Moscow and NHL teams were set up. CSKA won their first match easily against the New York Rangers, with a final score of 7-3. They then had to play the famous Montreal Canadiens. Backed by superb goaltending from Russian superstar Vladislav Tretiak (who has his own Montreal ties), Moscow hung on for the 3-3 tie in what is widely referred to as the best hockey game of all time.

1979 - Habs win Cup, Cherry's too many men

It was the end of a dynasty for the Canadiens, but they were going to go out with a bang. With the Boston Bruins leading the Canadiens by 1 goal late in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, coach Don Cherry's team was penalized for having too many men on the ice. What followed was one of the most memorable goals in hockey as Guy Lafleur sped down the ice and wired one into the Bruins net to force overtime. Yvon Lambert then scored the winner in overtime. The Canadiens went on to win the Cup and Cherry was subsequently fired.

1984 - Good Friday massacre vs Quebec

One of the most intense rivalries of all time can be summed up with this game. Game 6 of the playoffs, a brawl broke out between the two teams at the end of the second period. Soon the benches cleared and it was pandemonium. When it was all said and done, 11 players were ejected. The following season, the NHL add the two-minute instigator penalty and hefty fines for teams involved in bench-clearing brawls.

1986 - Rookie Patrick Roy leads Habs to Cup

History has a tendency of repeating itself, and so the Canadiens found themselves in a position similar to one 15 years earlier. A team of average players, not expecting much, their hopes and dreams on the shoulders of a rookie netminder named Patrick Roy. Riding a lot of heart and a little bit of luck, the Habs went on to win their 23rd Stanley Cup.

1993 - Habs win Cup and set overtime record

If 1986 was shocking, 1993 was unbelievable. Once again, the Canadiens were in a position to do some damage in the playoffs but were not expected to go far. In fact, their first round matchup against the Quebec Nordiques started off as a disaster. Down two games to none after losing game 1 in a heart-breaking overtime and game 2 in a romp, the Canadiens picked themselves up and carried on. They then won four straight against Quebec, and never lost again in overtime in those playoffs. With heroes such as John Leclair, Eric Desjardins and Patrick Roy, the Canadiens defined the term "cinderella story."

1996 - Forum closes/ Molson Centre opens

Not much to be said. The home of so many Stanley Cups and the infamous ghosts finally closed. The Habs have had trouble finding the success they once had in the old forum. The most memorable moment of the closing ceremonies occured when Maurice Richard received a seemingly never ending standing ovation.

2002 - Koivu returns from cancer treatment

In 2001, Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu was set to come back to hockey with a bang. Following 2 injury riddled seasons, Koivu wanted to prove he still had what it takes to be a force in the league. Unfortunately, he did not have the chance. On a plane from Finland to Montreal, he experienced severe stomach aches and was then diagnosed with cancer. His season was gone. Or was it? Koivu battled hard through his treatments and made several appearances at the Molson Centre to the cheers of the crowd, but what seemed impossible months earlier became a reality in April 2002 as Koivu returned to the ice against the Ottawa Senators. The Canadiens won that game, which rocketed them into the playoffs. Koivu's story continued when he was integral in the first round upset of the #1 seeded Boston Bruins.


Last edited by Bill McNeal: 08-04-2004 at 10:37 PM.
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Old
08-04-2004, 03:32 PM
  #2
Bill McNeal
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Forgot, my extra moment is in 1924. Habs have a problem with their ice at Mount Royal arena and they, instead of the Maroons, inaugurate the Montreal Forum. 2 years later they set up shop there.

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08-04-2004, 03:44 PM
  #3
Darz
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My vote goes to the '86 team. The O.T. aginst Hartford was my fav habs moment of all time.

I still don't understand why the 3-3 game versus the Red Army is remember as such a hilite.

A) it was an exibition game. It was good hockey, but with nothing riding on the line it never had a do or die feel to it.

B) Tretiak played great and imo, was the only reason for the tie. Truthfully I don't remember the game all that well, but I remember being at a freinds house and his father stated that time and time again (he was a pretty knowledgable hockey coach, was an assistant on the Port Arthur Bearcats, and a Leafs fan, so he was rooting for the Red Army, but had to give the habs credit for outplaying the Russians)

C) I don't think the habs were playing at their highest level for the majority of the game.

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08-04-2004, 03:58 PM
  #4
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Darz, that game is viewed as a coming out party for that 70's team. When you consider that that team is argued as possibly the best ever and that game is seen as it's launching point, you have the legend. I was lucky to be present in a bar with most of the team watching a replay of the game and they were pretty intense about it. Purely as a game, it's probably a bit overrated, but remeber back to how we considered every game against the hated Russians as life or death.[ Sorry BruinsGirl, different times] I voted for 1971, because of the underdog status, the fact that I was 16 and that there was a pile of Boston fans on my bus. Add in Beliveau's last year,Dryden's first, the subplots with Richard/MacNeil and the death threats, it was one to remember.

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08-04-2004, 04:00 PM
  #5
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2002 - Koivu Returns from Cancer

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08-04-2004, 04:08 PM
  #6
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1944 - Richard named all 3 stars in game against TO

Best moment has to be vs Leafs.

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08-04-2004, 04:10 PM
  #7
Bill McNeal
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Anybody have any good moments from the 60s? I seem to have missed that decade in my poll...

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08-04-2004, 04:15 PM
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Karl Pilkington
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Have to go with the return from cancer in '02.. I wasn't as into hockey for the other ones (well 1993 I was.. but Koivu... ) as I am now, so 2002 takes the cake..

Best moment of this season: Koivu winning a faceoff in the Boston end. Kovalev taking the puck behind the net and getting of a weak shot that Raycroft doesn't handle cleanly. Zednik, not checked tightly enough, pots the series winning goal.

Was anyone else stunned to tears that night? One of the greatest comebacks I've ever witnessed in my habwatching career.

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08-04-2004, 04:15 PM
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Although my most memorable moment is when Koivu came back I voted for the birth of the team.

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08-04-2004, 04:19 PM
  #10
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I picked the Richard Riot as the Top Moment in Habs History......maybe it is not the most postive moment in the history of the team but has to be the most famous moment in the history of the team.



Personally speaking the Habs/Russians on Dec 31, 1975 was unfrickinbelievable.

If it wasn't for Tretiak we would of blown them out the doors of the Forum.

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08-04-2004, 05:24 PM
  #11
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Koivu return from cancer...Always bringing a tear to my eye.

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08-04-2004, 05:58 PM
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probably when koivu returns the ice after his fight against cancer and the habs crush the dirty bruins

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08-04-2004, 06:42 PM
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I had to vote for Koivus return because it was it was the only one where I really knew what was going on, every other moment I was way too young, I was 8 in 93, so even though I saw it and was happy they won, I would be 100x more happy if they win today.

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08-04-2004, 06:43 PM
  #14
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I'd say my own most memorable moment with the Habs is Saku's return from cancer, and it was even better after leading his team to beat the evil Bruins. But my vote goes to the Habs birth, that's the biggest moment in sports history!

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08-04-2004, 11:03 PM
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Koivu seems to be running away with it, but I think I'll leave each poll up for 24 hours. Keep voting!

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08-04-2004, 11:15 PM
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i had to go with koivu's comeback.. i mean its not that the other incidents arent important or cool or what have you but they arent a player coming back from a potentially fatal illness like cancer and leading the team to a very stirring playoff victory over a heated rival in the same season.. thats just amazing on the human level, not the hockey level

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08-05-2004, 12:45 AM
  #17
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OK I have a problem with the most popular answer (40% so far) being Koivu's comeback from Cancer. I think it is popular just because it is the most recent option. It was a great Hollywood story and all and you are all entitled to your opinions. But Koivu's battle with cancer is comparably as big a story as the Morenz funeral was. Yet one is way more popular here than the other. Why? one hapenned 70 years ago, the other 2 years ago.

All Koivu's comeback did for the team's history was make for one great and unlikely season that didn't even result in a cup. I don't quite understand how it can be bigger than the creation of the team.

Anyways, those are my 2 cents. Blast away.


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08-05-2004, 01:07 AM
  #18
Bill McNeal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espion
OK I have a problem with the most popular answer (40% so far) being Koivu's comeback from Cancer. I think it is popular just because it is the most recent option. It was a great Hollywood story and all and you are all entitled to your opinions. But Koivu's battle with cancer is comparably as big a story as the Morenz funeral was. Yet one is way more popular here than the other. Why? one hapenned 70 years ago, the other 2 years ago.

All Koivu's comeback did for the team's history was make for one great and unlikely season that didn't even result in a cup. I don't quite understand how it can be bigger than the creation of the team.

Anyways, those are my 2 cents. Blast away.

I agree to a certain extent. This whole poll will be skewed towards more recent moments, because I doubt anybody on this board was around for the first 7 or so choices. That's why I tried to choose moments from several decades.

As for my opinion: I voted the Richard Riot, because of the political aspects of it. Koivu's return would be in my top 5 though. That's probably my youth speaking though, as I'm sure people who have witnessed more of these events could give a better assessment.

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08-05-2004, 01:30 AM
  #19
sandman08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espion
OK I have a problem with the most popular answer (40% so far) being Koivu's comeback from Cancer. I think it is popular just because it is the most recent option. It was a great Hollywood story and all and you are all entitled to your opinions. But Koivu's battle with cancer is comparably as big a story as the Morenz funeral was. Yet one is way more popular here than the other. Why? one hapenned 70 years ago, the other 2 years ago.

All Koivu's comeback did for the team's history was make for one great and unlikely season that didn't even result in a cup. I don't quite understand how it can be bigger than the creation of the team.

Anyways, those are my 2 cents. Blast away.

i dont look at the koivu incident as a hockey incident
i look at what happened to him as something far more important than some stupid game or sport or "entertainment"
yeah it was a "great hockey story" or as you put it.. a "hollywood story" but i see it as an incident that affected a human being in a way that no one deserves to go thru.. what he did after it happened in terms of percerverance and stuff is amazing. i feel the same way about any person who fights back and does the things he's done.. ie. lance armstrong or any cancer survivor in your local hospital.. its all the same

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08-05-2004, 02:33 AM
  #20
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Have to go with Koivu. It's still so fresh in our minds! What a moment that was.

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08-05-2004, 11:37 AM
  #21
Blind Gardien
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I'm going with the 1986 run. I was pretty much just a bandwagoner for the 70's dynasty, so even if I seemed to worship the team at the time, it wasn't the same emotional attachment as with the '86 underdogs. Lemieux's OT goal against Hartford, and the tension of Game 7, and then Roy's heroics (especially in the 4-3 game against the Rangers), that all made '86 my all-time Habs moment. I don't feel like it rates as the all-time top moment overall, but for me it was.

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08-05-2004, 11:44 AM
  #22
Blind Gardien
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darz
I still don't understand why the 3-3 game versus the Red Army is remember as such a hilite.

A) it was an exibition game. It was good hockey, but with nothing riding on the line it never had a do or die feel to it.

B) Tretiak played great and imo, was the only reason for the tie. Truthfully I don't remember the game all that well, but I remember being at a freinds house and his father stated that time and time again (he was a pretty knowledgable hockey coach, was an assistant on the Port Arthur Bearcats, and a Leafs fan, so he was rooting for the Red Army, but had to give the habs credit for outplaying the Russians)

C) I don't think the habs were playing at their highest level for the majority of the game.
I have to agree with all that. I've watched the game a couple of times again in recent years, and it really didn't do much for me. It was like seeing a famous artifact in a museum or painting in a gallery or something, you had an idea that it was supposed to be great, and got a bit of a sense of awe on that basis, and you could sort of see some great moments of artistry, but it really didn't have much emotional impact. It was a bit sloppy, and pretty one-sided in favour of the Habs despite the score. I guess there was a lot of off-ice value and hype around the game, but it seems to me that the legend has grown a bit beyond what it maybe deserves on its own merit.

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