Top 10 - Amazing streaks

Tuesday, 11.12.2012 / 10:23 AM canadiens.com

1. Mr. Cup Finals

The 50s, from start to finish, were beyond a shadow of a doubt the Canadiens’ golden era, with the team making a total of 10 consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals and winning four of them. Forward Bernard “Boom Boom” Geoffrion was easily one of the most vital cogs in the Canadiens’ success machine at that time, participating in an unbelievable 53 consecutive Stanley Cup Final games between 1951 and 1960. Needless to say, it’s a record no one’s come close to touching since, and in all likelihood probably never will.

2. Roy is king

The Montreal Forum was seldom recognized as a welcoming arena for visiting teams, a fact that was doubly true whenever Patrick Roy manned the crease for the Canadiens. Roy was always a wall for the Habs, but for the 37 home games between Feb. 24, 1988 to Oct. 11, 1989, St. Patrick was absolutely unbeatable. With 31 wins, no losses and five ties under his belt during that stretch, Roy posted a goals-against average of 2.13 and a sparkling 0.913 save percentage to mark one of the greatest home streaks for a goalie in NHL history.

3. Setting the tone

With the Canadiens only one game into their NHL tenure, the team already had its first legend in forward Joe Malone who scored a whopping five goals during the Habs’ inaugural game in the league to down Ottawa 7-4. Malone continued to terrorize goaltenders in the fledgling NHL following his debut match, scoring at least one goal in the next 13 consecutive games. When his streak finally ended after the Canadiens 14th game in the league, Malone had lit the lamp 35 times. His scoring streak still stands today as the second longest in NHL history.

4. Three’s a crowd

Not only was Jacques Plante one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the NHL – with seven Vezina trophies to prove it – but he also holds the distinction of having manned the Canadiens’ crease for over a decade. Plante holds bragging rights for setting a modern-era record of never allowing more than two goals in a match for 18 straight games between Oct. 22 and Dec. 3, 1959. That stretch of games was made doubly famous by the fact that while Plante was busy shutting down NHL snipers, he also took a moment to change the face of hockey forever, donning his famous mask for the first time during a Nov. 1 game at Madison Square Garden.

5. Origin story

Goaltender Bill Durnan got his start in the NHL with the Canadiens during their 1943-44 campaign. The 27-year-old spent the first 14 games of his rookie season as a rock between the pipes, not losing a single game and backstopping the Habs to 11 wins and three ties. His record of 14 consecutive starts without a loss to begin his career would only be topped 53 years later by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Patrick Lalime.

6. Getting the point

It’s no secret that the Canadiens spent their 1976-77 campaign rewriting the NHL record books in a big way. Guy Lafleur did his part by setting a record for the most consecutive games played with at least one point, at that time. The Flower went on a tear that spanned 28 straight games from Feb. 2 to Apr. 4, 1977, in which he logged 19 goals and 42 assists. The streak currently ranks as the sixth-longest in NHL history.

7.Everlast

The Canadiens coaching staff spent the seven years from October 1975 to April 1982 knowing that whatever happened, they’d be able to count on a certain No. 21 being in their lineup at the start of every night. The center was of course Doug Jarvis, who over the span of that period, suited up for an unbelievable 560 consecutive regular season games for the Habs. While that number stands as a team record, Jarvis didn’t stop there, stretching his NHL Iron Man run all the way into 1987, seeing it end after a staggering 964 games.

8.The Only Man for the Job

Georges Vezina clearly enjoyed his job as the Canadiens’ goaltender. He enjoyed it so much, in fact, that after playing his first game between the pipes for the Habs in December of 1910, he played every single one that came after it for the next 15 years. When his streak finally came to an end on Nov. 28, 1925 during the first game of the 1925-26 campaign – not from injury, but rather tuberculosis – Vezina had played every minute of the Canadiens’ past 366 games... except for the seven that he spent in the penalty box.

9.See you in the spring

A pillar on the Canadiens blue line during the ‘70s and ‘80s, Larry Robinson never once experienced the sting of not make the playoffs over the course of an incredible career that eventually landed him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Before retiring, “Big Bird” suited up for the postseason 20 consecutive times, including the first 17 with the Canadiens, setting a record that was only recently tied by the Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom in 2011-12.

10.Hainsworth strikes again

Famous for his series of show-stopping performances in the Habs’ 1929-30 season in which he logged 22 shutouts in only 44 games, goaltender George Hainsworth is also known for having set another NHL record. In his first campaign in the league in 1926-27, Hainsworth put together a win streak of 11 games to give him the record for the most consecutive games won by a goaltender in his first NHL season.

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