One hungry offense

Thursday, 28.02.2008 / 6:03 PM / News
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One hungry offense
Mark Napier was busy scoring 40 goals the last time the Canadiens ranked among the NHL's top offenses back in 1982-83.
MONTREAL – With a local restaurant awarding fans free chicken wings each time the Canadiens score five or more goals, the Habs’ torrid scoring pace is hardly promoting a healthy balanced diet for their supporters.

Montreal’s 5-1 win over the Thrashers on Tuesday marked the 11th time the Canadiens had earned buffalo wings for their fans. The five-goal mark has also been a recipe for success this year with the Habs rocking a perfect 11-0 record on those high-scoring nights.

The Canadiens’ huge victory over Atlanta also lifted them over the 200-goal mark, joining the high-powered Senators and Red Wings among the NHL’s most dangerous offenses.

With the Habs playing a tighter, more defensive style in recent years, the last time the Canadiens ranked in the league’s top three at this point of the season was back when Pac-Man broke onto the scene back in the early 1980s.

Attack mode
Here's a look at the Canadiens' highest ranking team-offenses since 1979-80.
Season Rank Goals
1979-80 1 328
1982-83 2 350
1981-82 3 360
1980-81 4 332
1988-89 5 315
1997-98 5 235
Leading the way for the Canadiens in 1982-83 was Mark Napier, who scored 40 goals that year to power the Habs to 350 goals on the season, second only to Wayne Gretzky and the mighty Oilers. The next-highest league ranking for Montreal came in 1988-89 and 1997-98 when they finished fifth overall in goals scored.

Should Guy Carbonneau’s crew surpass the Sens and Wings this season to claim the league’s scoring crown, it would mark the first time the Habs turned the trick since 1979-80. That year, the Canadiens pumped in 328 goals, including 33 games with five or more goals. Cholesterol anyone?

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com