Being the New York Yankees of the NHL (or are the Yankees the Canadiens of MLB?) with 24 Stanley Cups and a team who are celebrating their 100 anniversary, the Montreal Canadiens have been a part of many excellent hockey games. Recently they offered the opportunity to their fans to select the 10 most memorable games in Canadiens' history. A difficult task. Obviously, they could only choose from the more modern games or the ones that had been televised, so that narrowed it down somewhat. Even though leaves them with around 50 seasons of games to choose from.
While there will constantly be debates about the games chosen there can be no argument that those that were chosen are fantastic games. Games like Stanley Cup deciding games between the Habs and Toronto and Boston are riveting, the New Year's Eve game versus the Soviet team is a battle between two of the world's finest teams and the last game at the Montreal Forum is an emotional one. Enjoy!
1) 1960 Stanley Cup Finals – Montreal vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – Series deciding game: Maurice "The Rocket" Richard's last game. The fifth (and last) Cup in a row won by Toe Blake's teams. Watch Beliveau, Harvey, Geoffrion, Moore, and Plante play battle and win.
2) 1977 Stanley Cup Finals – Montreal vs. Boston Bruins – Series deciding game: This Montreal team might arguably have been the best ever. Scotty Bowman's team beats Don Cherry's. Watch Dryden, Lafleur, Lapointe, Savard, and Robinson.
3) 1975 New Year's Eve Game – Montreal vs. Soviet Red Army: Very similar Montreal team to the 1977 game. A brilliantly played game between two very talented teams that ended up fittingly in a 3-3 tie. Watch Tretiak, Gainey, Shutt, Lemaire, and Cournoyer do battle.
4) 1996 – Last Game at the Montreal Forum – Montreal vs. Dallas Stars: Not the most talented two teams on the ice nor was it the most exciting game, but the history and emotion surrounding it made up for that. Pre-game ceremony that left not a dry eye in the house. Watch Koivu, Damphousse, Brisebois, Keane, and Brunet in action.
5) 1979 Stanley Cups Semi-Finals – Montreal vs. Boston Bruins: The 'too many men on the ice' series. Don Cherry's Bruins mess up a line change, a power play ensues and Guy Lafleur ties up the game. Watch Lambert, Houle, Mondou, Jarvis, and Tremblay defeat the Bruins again.
6) 1993 Stanley Cup Finals – Montreal vs. Los Angeles Kings: The fifth and deciding game of the series. This was Montreal's last Stanley Cup win. Watch Gretzky, Roy, Leclair, Carbonneau, and Bellows wage an exciting series.
7) 1986 Stanley Cup Finals – Montreal vs. Calgary Flames: This was the series when rookie goaltender Patrick Roy introduced himself to NHL fans. Game six was the clinching one for the Habs. Watch Richer, Nilan, Walter, Chelios, and Naslund win the Cup.
8) 1984 Adams Division Finals – Montreal vs. Quebec Nordiques: The rivalry between the two teams was amazing to watch and it finally erupts into a huge bench clearing brawl in this game six. Each game was intense and rough. Watch Penney, Smith, Hamel, Statsny, and Lemieux wage war.
9) 2008 Regular Season Game – Montreal vs. New York Rangers: This was the night of the greatest comeback ever by the Canadiens. They come back from 5 goals down to win. Watch Kovalev, Markov, Komisarek, Higgins, and Kostityn play old fashioned firewagon hockey.
10) 2003 Heritage Classic – Montreal vs. Edmonton Oilers: The first outdoor regular season game in many years. Was played in front of tens of thousands in Edmonton's Commonwealth stadium on a brutally cold day. Watch Theodore (in his toque), Begin, Quintal, Ribeiro, and Ryder skate around and try to keep warm.