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Interesting Canadiens Trivia, Facts And Numbers While You Wait For Game 5

Here's some past and present Habs tidbits to amuse and titilate you until the game five puck drops.

Not bad, for a whole four games into a playoff career!

Of all the goaltenders who have started at least one game in the 2007-98 playoffs, Carey Price leads or is tied for the lead in several categories. Most wins (before last night), our boy Carey with 3. Shutouts? Carey tied with one. Best save percentage? Price again at .956. Price also has the best goals against average, at 1.19. What other stats categories are left? Assists? He'll get one, but no one has any yet. Price was second in time on ice at 251:21, second most for goalies playing the first 3 games and about a dozen minutes behind leader Jose Theodore at 263. Price has stopped 110 shots in four games, 4 less than Martin Gerber has stopped in 3 games.

Oddly, Price has the best career save percentage of all goalies in Canadiens history with a .920 stat for 2007-08. How'd he manage that you ask? Well, they have only been doing the math since 1984, so Dryden, Durnan, Vezina, Plante, and Hainsworth don't figure in. Cristobal Huet is tied with Carey at .920 as well. Patrick Roy, the father of a fighting goalie in the Q sits 12th since 1984 with a .904 rate. Two Habs stoppers that made brief third period appearences in the Canadiens goal stopped everything. Olivier Michaud made 14 3rd period saves against the Oilers in 2002, and Randy Exelby stopped the one shot he faced in 1989. More on Exelby in a bit.

There are 13 former Montreal Canadiens playing in the present playoffs. They are: Chris Chelios, Theodore, Stephane Robidas, Cristobal Huet, Mike Ribeiro, Dainus Zubrus, Aaron Asham, Donald Brashear, Mathieu Schneider, François Beauchemin, Radek Bonk, Craig Rivet and Sean Hill. The Habs also have 3 former coaches in the playoffs ( one who's summer they are about to fast track ), one brother, and a son in law.

In the 1915-16 season, when the Canadiens first won the Stanley Cup, their coach was Newsy Lalonde, who also happened to be the team's captain and the NHL's leading scorer that season. Years later, another former Canadien won a major NHL award ( no, not the Jack Adams Trophy, smart guy!) while coaching his team. I'll put the answer to that bit of trivia at the bottom of the page while you old timers wrack your brains. A clue would be: this player won the award while coaching a team other than the Habs.

Some round numbers: Matt D`Agostini became the 700th player to wear a Habs jersey in the NHL on April 3, 2008 against Buffalo. After 71 goaltenders, D' Agnostini was the 629th skater. Gregory Stewart became number 701 one game later. Michael Ryder's next regular season goal in a Canadiens uniform will be his 100th. It will tie him with Serge Savard at number 54 on the Habs all time list. Alex Kovalev's next regular season point will be his 200th in a Habs jersey. He currently sits 70th all time, tied with Mathieu Schneider. Larry Robinson's career plus minus with Montreal is a fat plus 700. Wow!

Former Canadiens defenseman Guy Lapointe was a major prankster and general all purpose comedian. The Gazette's Red Fisher once said that Guy was his own biggest fan. Lapointe, in addition to being a power play specialist from the blueline, was vital to his team as well by being a clown and keeping things loose and stress free. Players would return from practice and find their shoes nailed to the dressing room floor or filled with shaving cream.

One time during the 1973 playoffs, the Canadiens were preparing to face the Philadelphia Flyers in the midst of their terrorizing Broad Street Bully era, and on the morning of one game, a group of Habs players were gathered together and staring off silently from a hotel balcony, an obvious sign of tension for what lay ahead. As visions of brawling fights and high sticks swinging filled the players minds, Lapointe sensed the impending feeling of doom while quietly looking around for a few seconds. Seeing the fear in his team mates eyes, lapionte dropped to his knees, cupped his hands together and raised them skyward. "Let us now pray", said the defenseman, as his brothers in arms buckled beside him in laughter. Players had tears streaming from their eyes and the laughs lasted a good while. Lapointe's goof had done the trick and the tension was erased. After losing Game 1 of the series, the Canadiens came back to win the next four, on their way to Stanley Cup number 18.

Patrice Brisebois ranks 9th on the Habs all time list of most seasons played. He is 17th in most career games with 834. Saku Koivu is 23rd in games played with 727, and 34th in season with 12.

I'm a big fan of watching the annual NHL Entry Draft. I like all the trade drama, the talk of future stars and the wheeling and dealing of draft picks in the later non televised rounds. Each draft has over 200 chosen players, most of which you will never hear from again.

In 2000, Canadiens GM at the time, Andre Savard was involved in a couple of deals wherein teams swung multiple picks one team's way in order to move up in the draft order and select a player they coveted. The Mighty Ducks had it bad for Ilya Bryzgalov that year, and gave the Canadiens 3 draft choices in order to take the Habs 44th overall pick and select the goalie. In return, Montreal received Anaheim's picks for rounds 3, 4, and 5, or 78th, 124th, and 145th overall, who respectively became Josef Balej, Michel Ouellet, and Ryan Glenn. Balej was the player Bob Gainey dealt to the Rangers for Alex Kovalev. Ouellet, who is now with Tampa, was not chosen by the Canadiens in the 124th slot. Montreal traded picks number 124 and 145 to Pittsburgh in order to move up 10 positions and select Christian Larrivee, a big center with Chicoutimi in the QMJHL. Larrivee didn't exactly pan out. After a whole 11 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs over 2 seasons, he is now a member of the Rodovre Mighty Bulls in Denmark. The Habs in the end, might have been best off staying put, but it's strange sometimes how these things work themselves out. Just another proof that drafts are often crapshoots.

Mikko Koivu, Saku's younger brother, was drafted one position ahead of Mike Komisarek in 2001. Had the Wild not taken Mikko, one wonders who the Habs would have taken if presented with the choice?

Jacques Plante played 33,226 regular season minutes for the Montreal Canadiens from 1953 to 1963. If you break that total down it becomes 7 months, 20 days, 10 hours, and 46 minutes. That would be like going between the pipes on October 1st at midnight and staying there until May 20th of the following year, at a quarter to 11 in the morning! Former Habs goalie Randy Exelby spend a whole 3 minutes in the Montreal net in 1989. It was long enough for Exelby to be credited with having an NHL career stat as a Canadien player and slightly longer than it took Habs starter Patrick Roy to run to the Habs dressing room and relieve himself. They are not called relief goalies for no reason!

Answer: Doug Harvey coached the 1962 New York Rangers while winning the Norris trophy for best defenseman.