The Montreal Canadiens announced that Andrew Shaw’s goal on Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets was the 12,000th home goal in franchise history since joining the National Hockey Association on December 4, 1909.
That statistic covers a lot of ground for the Montreal Canadiens, starting with their inaugural season in 1909-10 in the NHA: the precursor of the National Hockey League that would start seven years later, and whose centennial is being celebrated this year. It was Jack Laviolette who organized the first edition of the Montreal Canadiens, which in essence made him the team’s first captain, head coach, and general manager.
Interestingly enough, the Canadiens have in fact actually scored 12,007 goals at home since joining the NHA. The team played their first ever game on January 5, 1910 against the Cobalt Silver Kings, with star players Didier Pitre and Newsy Lalonde drawing 5,000 people to the Montreal Jubilee Arena. The Canadiens won the game 7-6 in overtime on a goal by Pitre.
However, 10 days later the league met to admit two more teams to the NHA — the Montreal Shamrocks and the Ottawa Hockey Club — expanding the NHA to seven teams. The league decided to reboot the season, and the very first game played by the Canadiens was stricken from official results.
The team would go on to play the first game of the renewed season four days later on January 19, 1910, losing to the Renfrew Creamery Kings 9-4, with Lalonde scoring what is officially the first goal for the Montreal Canadiens.
The first home game was on January 26, 1910 against the Ottawa Hockey Club, where the Canadiens lost 8-4 at the Jubilee Arena in Montreal. It’s from this date that the Canadiens began counting up to 12,000 home goals capped off by Andrew Shaw’s empty-netter to seal the win for the Canadiens 39,388 days later.
The Canadiens have played 3,336 home games, allowing only 8,299 goals. With such a large goal differential, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Canadiens have won 60.4% of all home games in their history, for an overall record of 2,016 wins, 938 losses, and 382 ties.
The largest margin of victory at home came in a 12-0 beating of the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 22, 1979. The game wasn’t quite a shooting gallery as the Canadiens only managed 37 shots on net, but they converted on a third of them.
The most goals scored by the Canadiens at home was 14, in a goaltending nightmare against the Toronto St. Patrick’s on January 10th, 1920, with the Habs winning 14-7. The total of 21 goals remains the most ever scored in an NHL game.
An away game comparison
Meanwhile, the Canadiens have played 3,335 road games in their history, scoring 9,633 goals for, and 9,764 goals against. showing only a 42.3% win record with an overall record of 1411 wins, 1468 losses, and 456 ties.
Their biggest away win coincides with their biggest franchise win, a 13-goal margin against the Quebec Bulldogs on March 3, 1920, a 16-3 massacre.
If you missed it, here is the historic 12,000th home goal for the Montreal Canadiens.