What’s new with the Montreal Canadiens? That’s what this page is all about.

The Team Spirit Line Change website begins where the Team Spirit books end.

That’s because hockey never stands still … And I can never squeeze everything I want into 48 pages!

Take a look at some of the Canadiens collectibles I have in my home.

Enjoy this site, check back whenever you like, and contact me with any questions or comments.

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2021-22 Season

Season Recap: After reaching the Stanley Cup Finals last season, the Canadiens sank to the bottom of the league with just 22 wins. The last time the Habs finished last was 1940, when several players left to fight in World War II. The good news for Montreal fans is that they get the #1 pick in the 2022 draft. Another encouraging sign is that the club’s top two players—Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield—are both in their early 20s.

October 13, 2022: Juraj Slafkovski, the first pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, suited up for the Canadiens for the first time. The 18-year-old forward was thrilled to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs and play against one of his boyhood heroes, Auston Matthews.

Season Preview: Montreal fans were thrilled with the team’s run to the finals in 2021, but it may take a miracle to make a return trip. Captain Shea Weber is recovering from a serious injury and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, a rising star, signed a deal with Carolina. All eyes will be on 5’7” rookie Cole Caufield, who showed flashes of stardom after joining the Habs in the final days of the 2020–21 season. He may be just the kind of player to help the team carry last spring’s energy into this winter.

2020-21 Season

Season Recap: The Canadiens finished 4th in the North Division but upset the Maple Leafs in the opening round of the playoffs. From there they made an exciting run to the finals, but lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4 games to 1. The “Habs” featured a balanced scoring attack led by centers Nick Suzuki and Tyler Toffoli, and defenseman Jeff Petry. Veteran Corey Perry and 20-year-old Cole Caulfield raised their games in the postseason, as did goalie Carey Price in his 14th season with the club.

June 24, 2021: Montreal defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3–2 in overtime to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. Artturi Lehkonen netted the game winner to close out the exciting series in six games.

Season Preview: What the Canadiens lack in star power, they make up for in depth. They have four lines that can score and a solid defense led by Shea Weber and Jeff Petry. To make a deep run in the playoffs, they will need to see big years from Brandan Gallagher and Tomas Tatar, continued improvement from Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi—and goalie Carey Price will have to play like he did during his MVP season.

2019-20 Season

Season Recap: The Canadiens snuck into the playoffs with the 12th and final seed and then upset the powerhouse Penguins. It was Montreal’s first trip to the postseason since 2016–17, but their run ended in the next round against the Flyers. Veteran left wing Tomas Tatar was the team’s top scorer, while Phillip Danault distinguished himself as one of the NHL’s best centers. Carey Price had a brilliant year in goal.

Season Preview: Goalie Carey Price and a solid defense set the stage for a talented group of young players who will be looking to improve on last year’s near-miss of the playoffs. The “Habs” were Hab-nots on the power play last season, which cost them a handful of victories. Max Domi, Brendan Gallagher, Phillip Danault, and Tomas Tatar will be among the players to watch in 2019–20.

2018-19 Season

Season Recap: The Canadiens did a lot of things right in 2018–19, but fell short of the playoffs despite a 44–30–8 record. No team has ever finished with more than Montreal’s 96 points and fail to reach the postseason. Brendan Gallagher led the club with 33 goals, while Max Domi and Philip Danault each topped 40 assists. Veteran defenseman Jeff Petry had his best season as a pro with 33 assists. Goalie Carey Price was sixth the NHL with 35 wins.

December 15, 2018: The Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators to give coach Claude Julien his 600th career victory.

Season Preview: A great goalie can turn a so-so team into a winner. In Carey Price, Montreal has a net-minder who could make a huge difference this season. The Canadiens are also expecting a lot from young center Jesperi Kotkaniemi, as well as right wing Brendan Gallagher, who topped 30 goals last year. The team will miss Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk, who were traded away, but they still have Jeff Petry to run a good power play unit.

2017-18 Season

Season Recap: After a 47-win season in 2016–17, the Canadiens fell short of the playoffs, with just 29 victories. Brendan Gallagher was the team’s top scorer, with 30 goals and 23 assists. In the second half the season, Montreal traded several players for draft picks, making the future look bright for the club.

Season Preview: After a first-round loss to the Rangers in the playoffs, Montreal fans are expecting their team to bounce back with a 50-win season. Newcomer Jonathan Drouin should help pep up the scoring; he is one of the league’s top young talents. Carey Price gives the Canadiens an ace goalie to back up a so-so defense.

2015-16 Season

Season Recap: No team from Canada made the playoffs in 2015–16, and the biggest surprise may have been the absence of the Canadiens. They finished just 38–38–6, with almost all of their key players performing below expectations. Young center Alex Galchenyuk was the major exception, continuing his development into a star talent. Defensive leader P.K. Subban was traded after the season for Shea Weber in hope of shaking things up heading in 2016–17.

Season Preview: Montreal has had many great goalies, but none was more valuable that Carey Price will be to the club this season. Teamed with a very good defense, Price will give the Canadiens a chance to win every game they play. With established stars P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty still getting better, the team has a real chance to win the Stanley Cup.

2014-15 Season

Recap: The Canadiens finished atop the Atlantic Division with 50 wins and 110 points. They were especially tough on their home ice, losing just 9 games in Montreal. Max Pacioretty led the team with 37 goals and P.K. Subban was tops with 45 assists. Goalie Carey Price had the best season of his career, with 44 victories and a goals-against average under 2.00. Montreal’s quest for another Stanley Cup ended in the second round of the playoffs, with a 6-game loss to the Lightning.

Season Preview: Younger players will be given more responsibility with the Canadiens in 2014–15. The question is, will those players equal more victories? Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk and Nathan Beaulieu will be expected to raise their games after the team let several veteran stars leave during the off-season. If all else fails, Montreal has defenseman P.K. Subban and Olympic champion goalie Carey Price to save the day.

2013-14 Season

April 13, 2014: Max Pacioretty finished the season with 11 game-winning goals—the most in the NHL.

February 23, 2014: Montreal goalie Carey Price shut out Sweden in the Olympic finals to lead Canada to a gold medal.

Season Preview: The Canadiens won their division last season, but they did not rest on their success. Montreal welcomes veteran scorer Daniel Briere to the team for his added scoring, and George Parros for his two-fisted toughness. With an improving defense and better play from goalie Carey Price, the Canadiens could be tough come playoff time.

More Go-To Guys

This little Sylvio Mantha card is one of the oldest in my collection. It was made in 1923. (Author’s Collection)

Seriously? Elmer Lach actually approved this card? (O-Pee-Chee Ltd.)

This Bert Olmstead Card was from a set made in 1954–55. You can barely make out the players’ faces. (Parkhurst Products)

I believe this is Jacques Laperriere’s rookie card. I remember him as a much older guy. (Parkhurst Products)

Guy Lapointe gets ready to fire a wrist shot. (Topps, Inc.)

  • Georges Vezina — Goalie
    Born: 1/21/1887
    Died: 3/27/1926
    Played for Team: 1910–11 to 1925–26
    The Canadiens discovered Georges Vezina in a backwater town during a barnstorming tour. The unknown goalie stopped everything Montreal fired at him—wearing winter boots instead of skates! He was in goal for the team when the next season started and he played 367 games in a row, including the regular season and playoffs. No one was cooler than Vezina, who was nicknamed the Chicoutimi Cucumber (after his hometown).

  • Sylvio Mantha — Defenseman
    Born: 4/14/1902
    Died: 8/7/1974
    Played for Team: 1923–24 to 1935–36
    Sylvio Mantha and Herb Gardiner gave the Canadiens a great defensive pairing in the 1920s. Mantha captained Montreal championship teams in 1930 and 1931, and later served as player-coach for a season.

  • George Hainsworth — Goalie
    Born: 6/26/1895
    Died: 10/9/1950
    Played for Team: 1926–27 to 1932–33 & 1936–37
    George Hainsworth took over goaltending duties after Georges Vezina died, and won the first three Vezina Trophies! In 1928–29, Hainsworth shut out opponents 22 times in 44 games. Like Vezina, he rarely showed emotion or lost his cool under pressure.

  • Toe Blake — Left Wing
    Born: 8/21/1912
    Died: 5/17/1995
    Played for Team: 1935–36 to 1947–48
    Although known best for his coaching career in Montreal, Toe Blake was a top player during the 1930s and 1940s. He gave everything he had every time he took the ice, playing as if each game was his last. Blake led the NHL in scoring in 1938–39, but more importantly, he gave the Canadiens hope during the long stretch between Howie Morenz and Rocket Richard. Late in his career, Blake teamed with Richard and Elmer Lach on the Punch Line, which won a pair of Stanley Cup.

  • Elmer Lach — Center
    Born: 1/22/1918
    Died 4/4/2015
    Played for Team: 1940–41 to 1953–54
    Elmer Lach was often injured, but he never gave anything less than his all. He conbined skill, toughness and a cool head in pressure situations. Lach led the Canadiens to three Stanley Cups and won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1944–45.

  • Bill Durnan — Goalie
    Born: 1/22/1916
    Died: 10/31/1972
    Played for Team: 1943–44 to 1949–50
    Bill Durnan played only seven NHL seasons, but most experts still consider him to be one of the Top 20 goalies of all time. He was ambidextrous, which was lucky, because he did not move from side-to-side as well as other players at his position. In 1948–49, Durnan set a record by playing 309 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.

  • Bernie Geoffrion — Right Wing
    Born: 2/14/1931
    Died: 3/11/2006
    Played for Team: 1950–51 to 1963–64
    Bernie Geoffrion was a scoring machine from the moment he joined the Canadiens at age 20. He had a hot temper and a wicked slapshot. When Geoffrion learned to tame both, he became a superstar. He scored 50 goals and won the Hart Trophy in 1960–61, and helped Montreal capture six Stanley Cups.

  • Bert Olmstead — Left Wing
    Born: 9/4/1926
    Died 11/16/2015
    Played for Team: 1950–51 to 1957–58
    Bert Olmstead was two completely different players at the same time. He thought nothing of crashing full-speed into an opponents along the boards, and generally creating havoc. Between periods, he picked apart the game like a coach, analyzing the smallest mistakes and opportunities. He teamed with Jean Beliveau and Bernie Geoffrion on Montreal’s top line in 1955–56 as the Canadiens turned in the NHL’s first 100-point season.

  • Dickie Moore — Left Wing
    Born: 1/6/1931
    Died 12/19/2015
    Played for Team: 1951–52 to 1962–63
    Dickie Moore battled injuries and sore knees throughout his career. Even when playing in pain, he was a terrific playmaker, especially when skating at full tilt. Moore set a record in 1958–59 when he finished the year with 96 points. He also won the scoring title in 1957–58.

  • Jacques Laperriere — Defenseman
    Born: 11/22/1941
    Played for Team: 1962–63 to 1973–74
    Few defensemen controlled the flow of a game like Jacques Laperriere. Even as a raw rookie, he kept his cool in tight contests. Laperriere’s career was cut short by a knee injury suffered in training camp in 1964.

  • Yvan Cournoyer — Right Wing
    Born: 11/22/1943
    Played for Team: 1964–65 to 1978–79
    Yvan Cournoyer was one of the fastest skaters in NHL history. He used that speed to score 40 goals three straight years in the early 1970s and more than 400 during his career. Cournoyer was also a master at digging pucks out of the corners and setting up teammates with great scoring chances.

  • Guy Lapointe — Defenseman
    Born: 3/18/1948
    Played for Team: 1968–69 to 1981–82
    Guy Lapointe was one of the NHL’s best two-way players. He was a fast-skating, physical defender who also had one of the league’s hardest slapshots. When Montreal was on the power play, Lapointe was the player opponents feared the most.

  • Jacques Lemaire — Center
    Born: 9/7/1945
    Played for Team: 1968–69 to 1978–79
    The Canadiens lost 20 players when the NHL expanded from six to 12 teams in 1967. One of the players they were able to keep was Jacques Lemaire, a rookie with a low, heavy shot that produced a lot of rebounds for his teammates. Lemaire went on to become one of the team’s most valuable players.

  • Steve Shutt — Left Wing
    Born: 7/1/1952
    Played for Team: 1972–73 to 1984–85
    NHL fans often remarked that Steve Shutt didn’t look like a hockey player—until he shot the puck. Whether winding up for a big slapshot or flicking a quick wrist-shot, no one was more accurate. In 1976–77, Shutt netted 60 goals to set a record for left wings. It stood until the 1990s.

  • Tomas Tatar — Left Wing
    Born: 12/1/1990
    First Season with Team: 2018–19
    Montreal fans worried when the team traded captain Max Pacioretty for Tomas Tatar. In 2019–20, Tatar showed why he demanded such a high price. He averaged almost a point a game and led the team in power-play goals and assists.

More Fun Facts

Jean Beliveau is on about a quarter of the hockey magazines I have from the 1950s and 1960s. People LOVED him! (Les Sports)

    During the 1970s, Guy Lapointe, Larry Robinson and Serge Savard gave Montreal the best back line of any team in the NHL. The trio was nicknamed The Ministry of Defense.

    In 2005, Maurice Richard and the Canadiens were the subject of a movie called The Rocket. Several parts were played by real NHL players, including Elmer Lach (played by Mike Ricci), Jean Beliveau (played by Vincent Lecavalier), and Boom-Boom Geoffrion (played by Ian Laperriere).

    During the 1950s and 1960s, the job of a center was to create goals, not score them. Jean Beliveau was good at both. In 1955–56, he set a record for goals by a center with 45. Three of those goals came in 44 seconds during a game against the Rangers. Beliveau was an easy pick for the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

    When Jacques Lemaire was a teenager, his father made him practice shooting with pucks made of steel. When he played in games, the rubber puck felt as light as a feather.

League Leaders

This is about as calm as you’d ever hope to see Rocket Richard! (Cargill, Inc.)

This Dickie Moore card is from 1958, the year he led the NHL in points. (Parkhurst Products)

This is a really rare 1936 card of Howie Morenz. You were supposed to punch out around him and then fold it back so he could stand up. This one was never punched out. (O-Pee-Chee Ltd.)

This might be my all-time favorite hockey card. It was the first one that showed Jacques Plante, and it’s a great action shot. (Parkhurst Products)

I think Elmer Lach would rather have had a photo like this one of Henri Richard! (NHL/Blueline)

    1917–18 — Joe Malone — 44
    1918–19 — Newsy Lalonde — 23
    1927–28 — Howie Morenz — 33
    1944–45 — Maurice Richard — 50
    1946–47 — Maurice Richard — 45
    1949–50 — Maurice Richard — 43
    1953–54 — Maurice Richard — 37
    1954–55 — Maurice Richard — 38, Bernie Geoffrion — 38
    1955–56 — Jean Beliveau — 47
    1957–58 — Dickie Moore — 36
    1958–59 — Jean Beliveau — 45
    1960–61 — Bernie Geoffrion — 50
    1976–77 — Steve Shutt — 60
    1978–79 — Guy Lafleur — 60

    1918–19 — Newsy Lalonde — 10
    1927–28 — Howie Morenz — 18
    1944–45 — Elmer Lach — 54
    1945–46 — Elmer Lach — 34
    1951–52 — Elmer Lach — 50
    1954–55 — Bert Olmstead — 48
    1955–56 — Bert Olmstead — 56
    1957–58 — Henri Richard — 52
    1958–59 — Dickie Moore — 55
    1962–63 — Henri Richard — 50
    1960–61 — Jean Beliveau — 58
    1965–66 — Bobby Rousseau — 48*, Jean Beliveau — 48*
    1975–76 — Guy Lafleur — 80

    * Tied with a third player

    1917–18 — Joe Malone — 48
    1918–19 — Newsy Lalonde — 33
    1920–21 — Newsy Lalonde — 43
    1927–28 — Howie Morenz — 51
    1930–31 — Howie Morenz — 51
    1938–39 — Toe Blake — 47
    1944–45 — Elmer Lach — 80
    1947–48 — Elmer Lach — 61
    1954–55 — Bernie Geoffrion — 75
    1955–56 — Jean Beliveau — 88
    1957–58 — Dicke Moore — 84
    1958–59 — Dickie Moore — 96
    1960–61 — Bernie Geoffrion — 95
    1975–76 — Guy Lafleur — 125
    1976–77 — Guy Lafleur — 136
    1977–78 — Guy Lafleur — 132

    1917–18 — Georges Vezina — 3.93
    1923–24 — Georges Vezina — 1.97
    1924–25 — Georges Vezina — 1.18
    1927–28 — George Hainsworth — 1.05
    1928–29 — George Hainsworth — 0.92
    1933–34 — Wilf Cude — 1.47*
    1943–44 — Bill Durnan — 2.18
    1944–45 — Bill Durnan — 2.42
    1945–46 — Bill Durnan — 2.60
    1946–47 — Bill Durnan — 2.30
    1948–49 — Bill Durnan — 2.10
    1949–50 — Bill Durnan — 2.20
    1955–56 — Jacques Plante — 1.86
    1956–57 — Jacques Plante — 2.00
    1957–58 — Jacques Plante — 2.11
    1958–59 — Jacques Plante — 2.16
    1959–60 — Jacques Plante — 2.54
    1960–61 — Charlie Hodge — 2.47
    1961–62 — Jacques Plante — 2.37
    1967–68 — Gump Worsley — 1.98
    1972–73 — Ken Dryden — 2.26
    1975–76 — Ken Dryden — 2.03
    1976–77 — Bunny Larocque — 2,09
    1977–78 — Ken Dryden — 2.05
    1978–79 — Ken Dryden — 2.30
    1980–81 — Richard Sevigny — 2.40
    1981–82 — Denis Herron — 2.64
    1986–87 — Brian Hayward — 2.81
    1988–89 — Patrick Roy — 2.47
    1991–92 — Patrick Roy — 2.36
    2014–15 — Carey Price — 1.96

    *Also played for the Detroit Red Wings

    1972–73 — Jacques Laperriere — +78
    1976–77 — Larry Robinson — +120
    1977–78 — Guy Lafleur — +73
    1980–81 — Brian Englbom — +63
    2014–15 — Max Pacioretty — +38*

    * Tied with another player

In the NHL Finals

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1917–18 Toronto Arenas Lost 1–1
(7–10 total goals*)
1918–19 Ottawa Senators Won 4–1
1922–23 Ottawa Senators Lost 1–1 (2–3 total goals*)
1923–24 Ottawa Senators Won 1–1 (5–2 total goals*)
1924–25 Hamilton Tigers Won 0–0**

* In the early days of hockey, championship series often lasted two games; in the event of a 1–1 tie, the team with the most goals in those games was declared the champion.
** A players strike by the Hamilton players cancelled the NHL Finals and the Canadiens were awarded the championship

In the Stanley Cup Finals

This 1979 card shows the celebration from the previous spring. (Topps, Inc.)

Jean Beliveau signed this photo of him with the Stanley Cup. I never met a nicer guy in hockey. (Author's Collection)

1915–16* Portland Rosebuds Won 3–2
1916–17* Seattle Metropolitans Lost 3–1
1918–19 Seattle Metropolitans Finals cancelled due to influenza epidemic
1923–24 Calgary Tigers Won 2–0
1924–25 Victoria Cougars Lost 3–1
1929–30 Boston Bruins Won 2–0
1930–31 Chicago Blackhawks Won 3–2
1943–44 Chicago Blackhawks Won 4–0
1945–46 Boston Bruins Won 4–1
1946–47 Toronto Maple Leafs Lost 2–4
1950–51 Toronto Maple Leafs Lost 1–4
1951–52 Detroit Red Wonings Lost 0–4
1952–53 Boston Bruins Won 4–1
1953–54 Detroit Red Wings Lost 3–4
1954–55 Detroit Red Wings Lost 3–4
1955–56 Detroit Red Wings Won 4–1
1956–57 Boston Bruins Won 4–1
1957–58 Boston Bruins Won 4–2
1958–59 Toronto Maple Leafs Won 4–1
1959–60 Toronto Maple Leafs Won 4–0
1964–65 Chicago Blackhawks Won 4–3
1965–66 Detroit Red Wings Won 4–2
1966–67 Toronto Maple Leafs Lost 2–4
1967–68 St. Louis Blues Won 4–0
1968–69 St. Louis Blues Won 4–0
1970–71 Chicago Blackhawks Won 4 –3
1972–73 Chicago Blackhawks Won 4–2
1975–76 Philadelphia Flyers Won 4–0
1976–77 Boston Bruins Won 4–0
1977–78 Boston Bruins Won 4–2
1978–79 New York Rangers Won 4–1
1985–86 Calgary Flames Won 4–1
1988–89 Calgary Flames Lost 2–4
1992–93 Los Angeles Kings Won 4–1

* The Canadiens played as National Hockey Association champions

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