Eyes On A Dynasty - Day 15: The Canadiens 1950's Dynasty Team and Player Facts and Stats
Now that you have watched the video clips of the Canadiens five Stanley Cup wins from 1956 to 1960, here is a companion article detailing the games and players involved. Below you will find links to all 49 game summaries and each of the 26 players who took part in the five championships.
As you can imagine, the Canadiens were dominant in every possible statistical category during their five year Stanley Cup reign.
Here is a detailed breakdown in ten categories:
1 - Won / Loss Record
The Canadiens played in 49 playoff games between 1956 and 1960, winning 40 and losing nine.
The Canadiens home record at the Forum was 25-2 in 27 games, and 15-7 on the road.
The two losses at home came at the hands of the New York Rangers in Game Two of the first round in 1956 (a 3-1 loss), and to the Boston Bruins in Game Two of the 1958 finals (a 4-2 loss).
The seven losses on the road occurred on April 5, 1956 in Detroit (Game Three of the finals, a 3-1 loss); on March 28, 1957 in New York (Game Two, a 4-3 overtime loss); on April 14, 1957 in Boston (Game Two of the finals, a 2-0 loss); on April 15, 1958 in Boston (Game Four of the finals, a 3-1 loss); on March 28. 1959 in Chicago (Game Three, a 4-2 loss); on March 31, 1959 in Chicago (Game Four, a 3-1 loss); and on April 14, 1959 in Toronto (Game Three of the finals, a 3-2 overtime loss).
2 - Goals Scored / Goals Against
The Canadiens outscored their rivals by a count of 182-95 in ten playoff rounds from 1956 to 1960 in 49 games. The margin was 121-55 in 27 games at the Forum, and 61-40 in 22 road games. Three of the opponents goals were into an empty net.
3 - One Goal Games
Montreal went 11-2 in 13 games decided by one goal in these five playoff seasons. Both were decided in overtime. The first came on on March 28, 1957 in New York (Game Two, a 4-3 loss), and the second came on April 14, 1959 in Toronto (Game Three of the finals, a 3-2 loss).
4 - First Goal Scored
In 49 playoff games, the Canadiens scored the game's first goal on 34 occasions. Their record in those games is 33-1. The one loss occurred in Game Four on March 31, 1959 in Chicago, a 3-1 loss.
On the fifteen instances in which Montreal did not score first, their record is 7-8.
5 - Overtime
In five playoff seasons from 1956 to 1960, the Canadiens overtime record was 3-2.
6 - Shutouts
In shutout games, Montreal registered 7 shutouts, and were only shutout once in 49 games, on April 14, 1957 in Boston (Game Two of the finals, a 2-0 loss).
7 - Goals By Game
Record in games in which the Canadiens scored 1 goal: 1-3
Record when scoring 2 goals: 4-4, one OT loss
Record when scoring 3 goals: 8-1. one OT loss
Record when scoring 4 goals: 11-0
Record when scoring 5 goals: 11-0
Record when scoring 6 goals: 1-0
Record when scoring 7 goals: 2-0
Record when scoring 8 goals: 2-0
Record when scoring 2 or less goals: 5-8
Record when scoring 3 or more goals: 35-1
8 - Series Wins
In 10 playoff rounds during the dynasty, the Canadiens swept their opponent 3 times: Detroit in Round One in 1958, Chicago in Round One and Toronto in the Finals, 1960.
On five occassions, Montreal won a playoff series in five games: the Rangers in 1956 and 1957, first round; Detroit in the 1956 Finals; Boston in the 1957 Finals; and Toronto in the 1959 Finals.
Twice, the Canadiens dynasty clubs were extended to 6 games; in the 1958 Finals against Boston and in the 1959 Finals against Chicago.
In ten rounds, the Canadiens were never taken to a seventh game during this time.
9 - Record in Key Games
Following a loss, the Canadiens record was 8-1. They won the series opener on all 10 occasions. In series clinching games, only one instance out of ten did an opponent stave off eliminition - Boston, in the fourth game of the 1957 Finals.
10 - Versus Opponents
The Canadiens met each of their Original Six rivals twice as opponents during the five year Cup run. Here is their record against each, by round, goals for and against.
Toronto: Finals in 1959 and 1960, 8-1 in games against, outscored Maple Leafs 33-17.
New York: First round opponent in 1956 and 1957, 8-2 in games against, outscored Rangers 46-21.
Chicago: First round opponent in 1959 and 1960, 8-2 in games against, outscored Blackhawks 35-22.
Detroit: First round opponent 1958, Finals in 1956, 8-1 in games against, outscored Red Wings 37-15.
Boston: Finals in 1957, Finals in 1958, 8-3 in games against, outscored Bruins 31-20.
Round by Round, Game by Game
1956 Semi - Finals: Canadiens defeat the Rangers in 5 games.
Scores and summaries: March 20 (7-1), March 22 (2-4), March 24 (3-1), March 25 (5-3) and March 27 (7-0).
1956 Finals: Canadiens defeat the Detroit in 5 games.
Scores and summaries: March 31 (6-4), April 3 (5-1), April 5 (1-3), April 8 (3-1) and April 10 (3-1).
1957 Semi - Finals: Canadiens defeat the Rangers in 5 games.
Scores and summaries: March 26 (4-1), March 28 (3-4), March 30 (8-3), April 2 (3-1) and April 4 (4-3).
1957 Finals: Canadiens defeat the Bruins in 5 games.
Scores and summaries: April 6 (5-1), April 9 (1-0), April 11 (4-2), April 14 (0-2) and April 16 (5-1).
1958 Semi - Finals: Canadiens defeat the Detroit in 4 games.
Scores and summaries: March 25 (8-1), March 27 (5-1), March 30 (2-1) and April 1 (4-3).
1958 Finals: Canadiens defeat the Bruins in 6 games.
Scores and summaries: April 8 (2-1), April 10 (2-5), April 13 (3-0), April 15 (1-3), April 17 (3-2), and April 20 (5-3).
1959 Semi - Finals: Canadiens defeat the Blackhawks in 6 games.
Scores and summaries: March 24 (4-2), March 26 (5-1), March 28 (2-4), March 31 (1-3), April 2 (4-2) and April 4 (5-4).
1959 Finals: Canadiens defeat the Maple Leafs in 5 games.
Scores and summaries: April 9 (5-3), April 11 (3-1), April 14 (2-3), April 16 (3-2) and April 18 (5-3).
1960 Semi - Finals: Canadiens defeat the Blackhawks in 4 games.
Scores and summaries: March 24 (4-3), March 26 (4-3), March 29 (4-0) and March 31 (2-0).
1960 Finals: Canadiens defeat the Maple Leafs in 4 games.
Scores and summaries: April 7 (4-2), April 9 (2-1), April 12 (5-2) and April 14 (4-0).
A total of 26 players took part in playoff games with Montreal during the five playoffs from 1956 to 1960. Twelve of those players were a part of all five teams.
They were Doug Harvey, Bernie Geoffrion, Dickie Moore, Henri Richard, Don Marshall, Claude Provost and Jacques Plante, all of whom played in all 49 games, and Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Tom Johnson, Jean Guy Talbot and Bob Turner.
Fourteen other players participated on at least one Cup winner.
Emile Bouchard, Ken Mosdell and Jackie Leclair were on the 1956 team. Mosdell left and returned for the 1958 championship. Dollard St. Laurent, Bert Oldstead and Floyd Curry took part in the first three Cups. Connie Broden was part of the '57 and '58 editions, and Ab McDonald was a member of the '58 and '59 squads. Phil Goyette and Andre Pronovost joined in 1957 and won four Stanley Cups. Marcel Bonin and Albert Langlois arrived in '58, winning three each. Bill Hicke and Ralph Backstrom came on board in 1959 for the final two Cup wins.
An equal number of players, twenty six, appeared in regular season games but not in playoff contests with the Canadiens from 1955-56 to 1959-60. They are Dick Gamble, Wally Clune, Jacques Deslauriers, Bob Perreault, Allan Johnson, Gene Achtymichuk, Murray Balfour, Glen Cressman, Bronco Horvath, Bud Mc Pherson, Gerry McNeil, Guy Rousseau, Stan Smrke, Jerry Wilson, Jack Bownass, Don Aiken, Len Broderick, Billy Carter, Charlie Hodge, Claude Laforge, Ian Cushenan, Claude Cyr, Claude Pronovost, Jean-Claude Tremblay, Reggie Fleming and Cecil Hoekstra.
Canadiens Leading Playoff Scorers from 1956 to 1960:
Bernie Geoffrion (1956 to 1960), 49-29-39-68
Dickie Moore (1956 to 1960), 49-21-36-57
Jean Beliveau (1956 to 1960), 41-28-27-55
Henri Richard (1956 to 1960), 49-13-34-47
Maurice Richard (1956 to 1960), 42-25-19-44
Doug Harvey (1956 to 1960), 49-8-32-40
Bert Olmstead (1956 to 1958), 29-4-22-26
Claude Provost (1956 to 1960), 49-11-10-21
Marcel Bonin (1958 to 1960), 28-11-10-21
Don Marshall (1956 to 1960), 49-5-10-15
Phil Goyette (1957 to 1960), 38-8-7-15
Floyd Curry (1956 to 1958), 27-4-7-11
Ralph Backstrom (1959 to 1960), 18-3-8-11
Tom Johnson (1956 to 1960), 41-2-8-10
Jean- Guy Talbot (1956 to 1960), 48-1-9-10
Andre Pronovost (1957 to 1960), 37-6-3-9
Bob Turner (1956 to 1960), 45-0-4-4
Albert Langlois (1958 to 1960), 22-0-4-4
Bill Hicke (1959 to 1960), 8-1-2-3
Ab McDonald (1958 to 1959), 13-1-1-2
Ken Mosdell (1956, 1958), 12-1-1-2
Jackie Leclair (1956), 8-1-1-2
Dollard St. Laurent (1956 to 1958), 16-0-1-1
Connie Broden (1957 to 1958), 13-0-1-1
Emile Bouchard (1956), 1-0-0-0
Jacques Plante (1956 to 1960) 49-40-9 92 GA
Dominant Regular Season Numbers
There are numerous statistical ways to measure the Canadiens regular season superiority during the five years of the late 1950's dynasty, and the dominance in each category tells that the Canadiens were in a class by themselves.
Regular Season Points
The Canadiens won the regular season points race in four of five season from 1956 to 1960, with the exception being the 1957 season in which Detroit took first place by virtue of their 88 point season being six points better than Montreal.
After the Canadiens had won the 1956 regular season title and that spring's Stanley Cup, many a hockey observer declared that the Canadiens team were poised to rule over the next decade of NHL play - they were for the most part a young team destined for greatness.
When the Red Wings claimed the 1957 regular season title by a three win margin over the Habs, Detroit GM Jack Adams exclaimed for all the hockey world to hear that Montreal's one year of superiority had been "the shortest decade of my life!"
Famous last words....
The Red Wings endured a 42 season Stanley Cup drought beginning in 1955, a span in which Montreal would engrave the city's name on Lord Stanley mug 17 times.
Good call, Jack!
From 1956 to 1960, the Canadiens played 350 regular season games with a possible 700 standing points in play. Their cumulative record during this time was 202 wins, 91 losses, and 57 ties for a total of 461 points - approximately a .659 winning percentage.
The Canadiens nearest rivals in this time were the Red Wings and Bruins.
Detroit compiled a 148-139-62 record, good for 359 standing points - or an approximate .510 winning percentage.
Boston compiled a 144-149-57 record, good for 343 standing points - or an approximate .485 winning percentage.
In bare point terms, the Canadiens in five seasons earned 102 points more than Detroit and 118 more than Boston.
That averages out to close to 20 points, or ten wins per season, across this time span.
The records of Toronto, Chicago and the Rangers - not really worth mentioning - are only further evidence of Canadiens dominance.
Regular Season Goals For / Goals Against / Plus Minus
During the five campaigns from '56 to '60, the following number totals represent the GF / GA / differential of the six league teams.
Montreal: 1195 / 780 / +415
Detroit: 910 / 927 / - 17
Boston: 966 / 1009 / -43
Toronto: 907 / 995 / -88
Rangers: 971 / 1082 / -111
Chicago: 875 / 1031 / -156
Breaking down the differentials:
The Canadiens outscored their closest point winning rivals (Detroit) in regular season games by 275 goals (1195 minus 910) over five seasons, for an average of 55 goals per season, or an average of .79 goals per game.
Montreal allowed 147 less goals (927 minus 780) compared to Detroit, over five seasons, for an average of close to 30 goals per season, or an average of .428 goals per game.
Awards and All-Star Teams:
During the Canadiens dynasty seasons, Montreal players earned 25 of a possible 60 All-Star team berhs.
1955-56 1st Team: Jean Beliveau - Centre; Maurice Richard - Right Wing; Doug Harvey - Defense; Jacques Plante - goal
1955-56 2nd Team: Bert Olmstead - Left Wing; Tom Johnson - Defense
1956-57 1st Team: Jean Beliveau - Centre; Doug Harvey - Defense
2nd Team: Maurice Richard - Right Wing; Jacques Plante - goal
1957-58 1st Team: Dickie Moore - Left Wing; Henri Richard - Center; Doug Harvey - Defense
2nd Team: Jean Beliveau - Centre; Jacques Plante - goal
1958-59 1st Team: Dickie Moore - Left Wing; Jean Beliveau - Centre; Tom Johnson - Defense; Jacques Plante - goal
2nd Team: Henri Richard - Center; Doug Harvey - Defense
1959-60 1st Team: Jean Beliveau - Centre; Doug Harvey - Defense
2nd Team: Bernie Geoffrion - Right Wing; Jacques Plante - goal
In total, over five seasons, nine different Canadiens players placed on the 1st or 2nd All-Star teams from 1956-60.
By 1960, five categories of excellence had been defined by the NHL for its most valuable player (Hart Trophy), the best goaltender (Vezina Trophy), the league`s leading scorer (Art Ross), its best all around defenseman (Norris Trophy) and the most promising rookie (Calder Trophy).
For these individual awards, six Canadiens`players won 15 of 25 nominations.
Art Ross Trophy: Jean Beliveau in 1956; Dickie Moore in 1958 and 1959
Hart Trophy: Jean Beliveau in 1956
Norris Trophy: Doug Harvey from 1956 to 1958; Tom Johnson in 1959; Harvey again in 1960
Vezina Trophy: Jacques Plante from 1956 to 1960
Calder Trophy; Ralph Backstrom in 1959