All Habs' fans are well aware that Yvan "Roadrunner" Cournoyer and Guy "The Flower" Lafleur were lightning quick on skates. Fans aquainted with these and other Canadiens' greats have seen these legends fly across the ice numerous times and we all have our own favorite highlight reel goals from years gone by.
Unfortunately, video clips of the Canadiens first half century aren't aplenty. Indeed, video imagery of Rocket Richard is rare enough to behold.
So imagine my delight when a reader sent in a link to a You Tube clip featuring the great Howie Morenz dashing across the frozen surface of Madison Square Garden in 1934.
The clip is from the movie "Manhattan Melodrama" featuring Clark Cable, and in different scenes the characters in the movie are spotted in sporting settings such as a racetrack and at this game involving the Rangers and the Habs at MSG.
The two quick clips come within a 20 second span and are brief, but they capture the essense of the player Morenz was 10 years or so into his Canadiens' career.
The embedding of the clip has been disabled by request, so it cannot be posted in full here.
Then again, you're not here to check out Clark Cable's scenes, right?
The You Tube link is here, and you should scroll to about the 3:40 mark on the progress bar to see Morenz in action.
The first part of the clip shows Howie carrying the puck up the ice, dashing and muscling his way past the Rangers' players, when defenseman Ching Johnson almost flattens him and he goes for a good slide.
This, evidentally, is what had to be done to stop the Stratford Streak!
In the second part of the video, you see Morenz blazing back into the Canadien's zone on the forecheck. He surpasses pretty much every player in his path to catch the puck carrier, who he then neatly pokes the puck from.
Textbook backchecking and passion, from the best of the best from the era.
Historically speaking, the 1934 season was not the Canadiens nor Morenz' best, but as you can plainly see, the man had wheels.
I'm pretty thankful to have been sent the clip. It's precious stuff! I've seen Guy and Yvan, and now I can say that I've also briefly caught a glimpse of Howie.
Man was Morenz fast! A blur, really. I must have watched the clip a couple of dozen times already.
In order to facilitate the viewing, I filmed the clip off the comp screen with my camera and posted it. The quality is just a tad darker, but it helps to have this minus the movie scenes as it makes viewing more often a whole lot simpler.