Cammalleri Chasing Down 91 Year Old Canadiens Record

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Perhaps Mike Cammalleri knew exactly what he was doing, donning a jersey replica of one worn by Habs' legend Newsy Lalonde, going all the way back to 1918.

The Canadiens sniper, with 12 goals in 14 games in this 2010 playoff season, wore the woolie for a Hockey News cover shoot back in September.

Little could he have known that come playoff time, he would be taking dead aim at the mark set by the man who once wore the stylized CA prior to it becoming a CH in 1918.

To set the record straight, Cammalleri will have a minimum of four games next round to tackle both Lalonde's all time Habs' record of 17 goals, the modern day Montreal record of 15, and the NHL all time record of 19.

It had been mentioned from a pair of sources that Cammalleri's next goal this spring would either match or break the Habs' all-time mark, but that is not the case. 

It was likely assumed that the standard was the 12 goals in 9 games scored by Maurice "Rocket" Richard in his first Canadiens' playoff in 1943-44, which was first matched by Jean Beliveau in 12 games in 1956 and by Guy Lafleur in 11 games in 1975.

But that true modern day Montreal record first set by Richard has since been bested twice by two other Canadiens' Hall Of Famers.

Lost in the exploits of Ken Dryden's heroic 1971 Conn Smythe performance, was an outstanding playoff output by left winger Frank Mahovlich, who notched 14 goals and 13 assists that spring, after being acquired in a trade from Detroit in January. 

Big Frank's 14 were an NHL record, eclipsing Phil Esposito's 13 set the previous spring.

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Mahovlich's modern day mark was not on the books for long, as just two seasons later, Habs right winger Yvan Cournoyer bettered the total by one, scoring 15 goals in 17 games in the 1973 playoffs.

For Cournoyer, who was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, it was his sixth Stanley Cup triumph, far behind Henri Richard's record of 11 set that May 10th, 1973.

Three years after the Cournoyer performance, the Philadelphia Flyers Reggie Leach set the NHL record of 19 goals in 16 games that still stands today. 

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Here is what Cammalleri has accomplished thus far:

Capitals Game 1: 3-2 Montreal in OT - 1 goal

Capitals Game 2: 6-5 Washington in OT 3 assists

Capitals Game 3: 5-1 Washington 1 assist

Capitals Game 4: 6-3 Washington 1 goal

Capitals Game 5: 2-1 Montreal 1 goal

Capitals Game 6: 4-1 Montreal 2 goals 1 assist

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Cammalleri as a teen, ripping it up with the Toronto Red Wings

Penguins Game 1: 6-3 Pittsburgh 1 goal

Penguins Game 2: 3-1 Montreal 2 goals

Penguins Game 5: 2-1 Pittsburgh 1 goal

Penguins Game 6: 4-3 Montreal 2 goals

Penguins Game 7: 5-2 Montreal 1 goal

Cammalleri's seven goals against Pittsburgh in round two equals a Canadiens modern day mark for goals in one post season series that matched by Richard (1944), Jean Beliveau (1956), Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion (1957), Mahovlich (1971) and Guy Lafleur (1975).

What follows are the 10 best scoring post seasons on record. Cammalleri needs five more goals to find himself in very elusive company.

1. 1976 Reggie Leach, Philadelphia Flyers - 19 in 16 games

2. 1985 Jari Kurri, Edmonton Oliers - 19 in 18 games

3. 1996 Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche - 18 in 22 games

4. 1919 Newsy Lalonde, Montreal Canadiens - 17 in 10 games

5. 1981 Mike Bossy, New York Islanders - 17 in 18 games

6. 1982 Mike Bossy, New York Islanders - 17 in 19 games

6. 1983 Mike Bossy, New York Islanders - 17 in 19 games

8. 1985 Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers - 17 in 18 games

9. 1981 Steve Payne, Minnesota North Stars - 17 in 19 games

10. 1991 Kevin Stevens, Pittsburgh Penguins - 17 in 24 games

As you can see, Lalonde's record is likely impossible to beat in this day and age. Here's the story behind how such a feat was accomplished back in the day.

On February 22, 1919, the Canadiens opened their playoff against the Ottawa Senators, winning by an 8-4 score. Lalonde started things on the right foot with a hat trick.

Lalonde did not score in the second game of the series, a 5-3 Canadiens win, but made up for it with five goals in 6-3 thrashing of Ottawa on March 1.

Two nights later, Ottawa staved off elimination with a 6-3 win, but could not hold Lalonde scoreless as he netter another pair.

The series closed out on March 6, with 4-2 Canadiens victory, Lalonde notching a goal and an assist.

Not a bad little round of hockey for Newsy - 11 goals in five games.

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The Canadiens headed west to face the Seattle Metropolitans on March 19 in what was then billed as the World Series of Hockey.

It would turn out to be the only incomplete Stanley Cup final in NHL history. The Spanish Flu epidemic, ravaging worldwide, caught up with the Habs players, Lalonde included, forcing the shutdown of the series, tied at wins and a tie a piece.

The series alternated between six and seven man rosters, and the Canadiens lost the opening game 7-0 under the Western League seven man rule.

Montreal rebounded in Game Two, and Lalonde, more used to the six man per side game, scored all his team's goals.

After losing the third game 7-2, the fourth was a scoreless affair, called after two full periods of overtime.

The series resumed on March 29, and the Canadiens looked to be done when Lalonde's two third period tallies brought the game to a draw. At 15:53 of overtime, the Habs Jack McDonald sent everyone home with the game winner.

The following day, several Canadiens players and their manager George Kennedy fell ill, causing the cancellation of the final. Of the bedridding Canadiens who came down with the illness, defenseman Joe Hall would not survive, passing away in the weeks following the final game.

For Lalonde, it was a legendary but incomplete performance, his 17 goals in 10 games not having been bested by a Canadiens in 91 years.

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