1954–55 Montreal Canadiens season: Wikis

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1954–55 Montreal Canadiens
1954–55 record 41–18–11
Goals for 228
Goals against 157
Team information
General Manager Frank J. Selke
Coach Dick Irvin
Captain Emile Bouchard
Arena Montreal Forum
Team leaders
Goals Bernie Geoffrion and Maurice Richard (38)
Assists Doug Harvey (43)
Points Bernie Geoffrion (75)
Penalties in minutes Maurice Richard (125)
Wins Jacques Plante (33)
Goals against average Jacques Plante (2.14)
<1953–54 1955–56>

The 1954–55 Montreal Canadiens season was the Canadiens' 46th season of play. The Canadiens finished in second place in the National Hockey League (NHL) with a record of 41 wins, 18 losses, and 11 ties for 93 points. In the playoffs, they defeated the Boston Bruins in five games in the semi-finals before falling to the Detroit Red Wings in seven games in the Stanley Cup Finals.

This season was notable for the suspension of Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Montreal's star player, by NHL president Clarence Campbell after a vicious fight with Boston defenceman Hal Laycoe and Richard punching an on-ice official. The suspension sparked a riot by angry Canadiens fans on March 17, 1955, during a game against the Red Wings (see below).

Offseason

Regular season

The Richard Riot

On March 13, 1955, Canadiens star Maurice Richard was involved in an fighting incident in Boston. Boston's Hal Laycoe high-sticked Richard and cut him on the head, momentarily leaving Richard dazed and prone on the ice. Richard then got up off the ice and attacked Laycoe, breaking his stick on Laycoe. While linesman Cliff Thompson restrained Richard, Laycoe got up and punched Richard. Richard broke free and punched Thompson in the face. This was Richard's second incident with an official that season and a league disciplinary hearing was held. NHL president Clarence Campbell (who had previously been criticized publicly by Richard) then suspended Richard for the rest of the season and the playoffs; at the time, this was the longest suspension for an on-ice incident in NHL history. The Bruins' Laycoe received no fine or suspension for his actions. Public outrage from Montreal soon poured in, but Campbell stood firm, and moreover announced that he would be attending the Canadiens' next home game against the Red Wings on March 17.

Midway into the first period, Campbell arrived with his fiancée. Outraged Canadiens fans immediately began pelting them with eggs, vegetables, and various debris, with more being thrown at him each time the Red Wings scored, building up a 4-1 lead on Montreal. The continuous pelting of various objects stopped when a tear gas bomb was set off inside the Forum not far from where Campbell was sitting. The Forum was ordered evacuated and Campbell ruled the game forfeited to the Red Wings. That was the last straw, as a riot ensued outside the Forum, causing $500,000 in damage to the neighbourhood and the Forum itself. Hundreds of stores were looted and vandalized within a 15-block radius of the Forum. Twelve policemen and 25 civilians were injured. The riot continued well into the night, with police arresting people by the truckload. Local radio stations, which carried live coverage of the riot for over seven hours, had to be forced off the air. The riot was eventually over at 3 am, and left Montreal's Rue Ste-Catherine a mess.

Richard's suspension also cost him the Art Ross Trophy, the closest he ever came to winning it. When Richard's teammate Bernie Geoffrion passed him on the last day of the regular season, he was booed by Montreal faithful. Geoffrion, a right winger, was struggling to gain recognition of his considerable talents because the three leading right wingers of the 1950s were Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings, Andy Bathgate of the New York Rangers, and Richard, Geoffrion's own teammate.

The Canadiens lost the Cup Final to Detroit in seven games, but would win the Cup in the year after, fittingly over the Red Wings — and the next four years in a row after that. Richard retired in 1960 after the Canadiens' fifth straight Stanley Cup, a record that still stands.

Final standings

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA
Detroit Red Wings 70 42 17 11 95 204 134
Montreal Canadiens 70 41 18 11 93 228 157
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 24 24 22 70 147 135
Boston Bruins 70 23 26 21 67 169 188
New York Rangers 70 17 35 18 52 150 210
Chicago Black Hawks 70 13 40 17 43 161 235

[1]

Game log

Regular season results
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W October 7, 1954 4–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 1–0–0
2 W October 9, 1954 4–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 2–0–0
3 T October 11, 1954 2–2 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 2–0–1
4 L October 13, 1954 2–3 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 2–1–1
5 W October 15, 1954 3–0 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 3–1–1
6 W October 16, 1954 3–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 4–1–1
7 L October 21, 1954 1–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 4–2–1
8 W October 23, 1954 7–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 5–2–1
9 L October 24, 1954 2–4 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 5–3–1
10 W October 27, 1954 3–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 6–3–1
11 W October 30, 1954 5–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 7–3–1
12 W November 6, 1954 4–1 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 8–3–1
13 W November 7, 1954 4–3 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 9–3–1
14 W November 11, 1954 7–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 10–3–1
15 W November 13, 1954 2–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 11–3–1
16 L November 14, 1954 1–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 11–4–1
17 L November 17, 1954 2–5 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 11–5–1
18 W November 18, 1954 5–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 12–5–1
19 W November 20, 1954 4–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 13–5–1
20 L November 21, 1954 0–2 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 13–6–1
21 T November 23, 1954 4–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 13–6–2
22 W November 25, 1954 3–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 14–6–2
23 W November 27, 1954 4–1 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 15–6–2
24 L November 28, 1954 1–4 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 15–7–2
25 T November 30, 1954 3–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 15–7–3
26 W December 2, 1954 4–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 16–7–3
27 T December 5, 1954 3–3 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 16–7–4
28 L December 8, 1954 1–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 16–8–4
29 W December 9, 1954 2–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 17–8–4
30 L December 11, 1954 0–3 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 17–9–4
31 T December 12, 1954 2–2 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 17–9–5
32 W December 16, 1954 5–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 18–9–5
33 W December 18, 1954 4–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 19–9–5
34 W December 19, 1954 5–0 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 20–9–5
35 W December 25, 1954 4–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 21–9–5
36 T December 29, 1954 1–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 21–9–6
37 W December 30, 1954 7–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 22–9–6
38 W January 1, 1955 4–1 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 23–9–6
39 L January 2, 1955 2–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 23–10–6
40 W January 6, 1955 6–0 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 24–10–6
41 T January 8, 1955 1–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 24–10–7
42 W January 9, 1955 7–1 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 25–10–7
43 L January 15, 1955 3–4 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 25–11–7
44 L January 16, 1955 0–6 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 25–12–7
45 W January 20, 1955 6–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 26–12–7
46 W January 22, 1955 5–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 27–12–7
47 W January 23, 1955 5–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 28–12–7
48 T January 26, 1955 1–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 28–12–8
49 W January 29, 1955 4–0 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 29–12–8
50 L January 30, 1955 1–7 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 29–13–8
51 W February 3, 1955 3–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 30–13–8
52 W February 5, 1955 3–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 31–13–8
53 W February 6, 1955 7–3 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 32–13–8
54 L February 9, 1955 1–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 32–14–8
55 L February 13, 1955 1–4 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 32–15–8
56 W February 17, 1955 4–2 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 33–15–8
57 W February 19, 1955 10–2 New York Rangers (1954–55) 34–15–8
58 T February 24, 1955 1–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 34–15–9
59 W February 26, 1955 4–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 35–15–9
60 W February 27, 1955 7–1 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 36–15–9
61 W March 2, 1955 3–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 37–15–9
62 W March 3, 1955 4–1 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 38–15–9
63 T March 5, 1955 4–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 38–15–10
64 W March 6, 1955 4–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 39–15–10
65 T March 10, 1955 0–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 39–15–11
66 W March 12, 1955 2–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 40–15–11
67 L March 13, 1955 2–4 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 40–16–11
68‡ L March 17, 1955 1–4 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 40–17–11
69 W March 19, 1955 4–2 New York Rangers (1954–55) 41–17–11
70 L March 20, 1955 0–6 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 41–18–11

[2]

‡ Forfeited to Detroit after one period. Goals and assists for the game still counted as official.

Playoffs

Montreal defeated the Boston Bruins 4–1 to reach the finals.

Stanley Cup Final

Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 3 Montreal 2 Detroit 4
April 5 Montreal 1 Detroit 7
April 7 Detroit 2 Montreal 6
April 9 Detroit 3 Montreal 5
April 10 Montreal 1 Detroit 5
April 12 Detroit 3 Montreal 6
April 14 Montreal 1 Detroit 3

Detroit wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 3.

Player stats

Regular season

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
Geoffrion, BernieBernie Geoffrion RW 70 38 37 75 57
Richard, MauriceMaurice Richard RW 67 38 36 74 125
Beliveau, JeanJean Beliveau C 70 37 36 73 58
Olmstead, BertBert Olmstead LW 70 10 48 58 103
Mosdell, KenKen Mosdell C 70 22 32 54 82
Harvey, DougDoug Harvey D 70 6 43 49 58
Moore, DickieDickie Moore LW 67 16 20 36 32
MacKay, CalumCalum MacKay LW 50 14 21 35 39
Leclair, JackieJackie Leclair C 59 11 22 33 12
Johnson, TomTom Johnson D 70 6 19 25 74
Curry, FloydFloyd Curry RW 68 11 10 21 36
St. Laurent, DollardDollard St. Laurent D 58 3 14 17 24
Bouchard, EmileEmile Bouchard D 70 2 15 17 81
Litzenberger, EdEd Litzenberger C/RW 29 7 4 11 12
MacPherson, BudBud MacPherson D 30 1 8 9 55
Marshall, DonDon Marshall LW 39 5 3 8 9
Mazur, EddieEddie Mazur D/LW 25 1 5 6 21
Meger, PaulPaul Meger LW 13 0 4 4 6
Masnick, PaulPaul Masnick C 19 0 1 1 0
Rousseau, GuyGuy Rousseau LW 2 0 1 1 0
Talbot, Jean-GuyJean-Guy Talbot D 3 0 1 1 0
Bartlett, JimJim Bartlett LW 2 0 0 0 4
Binette, AndreAndre Binette G 1 0 0 0 0
Blaine, GarryGarry Blaine RW 1 0 0 0 0
Evans, ClaudeClaude Evans G 4 0 0 0 0
Hodge, CharlieCharlie Hodge G 14 0 0 0 0
Lamirande, Jean-PaulJean-Paul Lamirande LW/D 1 0 0 0 0
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante G 52 0 0 0 2
Ronty, PaulPaul Ronty C 4 0 0 0 2
Tessier, OrvalOrval Tessier C 4 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante 3080 52 33 12 7 110 2.14 5
Hodge, CharlieCharlie Hodge 820 14 6 4 4 31 2.27 1
Binette, AndreAndre Binette 60 1 1 0 0 4 4.00 0
Evans, ClaudeClaude Evans 200 4 1 2 0 12 3.60 0
Team: 4160 70 41 18 11 157 2.26 6

Playoffs

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
Geoffrion, BernieBernie Geoffrion RW 12 8 5 13 8
Beliveau, JeanJean Beliveau C 12 6 7 13 18
Curry, FloydFloyd Curry RW 12 8 4 12 4
MacKay, CalumCalum MacKay LW 12 3 8 11 8
Mosdell, KenKen Mosdell C 12 2 7 9 8
Harvey, DougDoug Harvey D 12 0 8 8 6
Moore, DickieDickie Moore LW 12 1 5 6 22
Leclair, JackieJackie Leclair C 12 5 0 5 2
St. Laurent, DollardDollard St. Laurent D 12 0 5 5 12
Olmstead, BertBert Olmstead LW 12 0 4 4 21
Johnson, TomTom Johnson D 12 2 0 2 22
Marshall, DonDon Marshall LW 12 1 1 2 2
Bouchard, EmileEmile Bouchard D 12 0 1 1 37
Bartlett, JimJim Bartlett LW 2 0 0 0 0
Gamble, DickDick Gamble LW 2 0 0 0 2
Hodge, CharlieCharlie Hodge G 4 0 0 0 0
McAvoy, GeorgeGeorge McAvoy D 4 0 0 0 0
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante G 12 0 0 0 0
Ronty, PaulPaul Ronty C 5 0 0 0 2
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante 639 12 6 3 30 2.82 0
Hodge, CharlieCharlie Hodge 84 4 1 2 6 4.29 0
Team: 723 12 7 5 36 2.99 0

[3]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = Plus/Minus; PIM = Penalty Minutes; PPG=Power-play goals; SHG=Short-handed goals; GWG=Game-winning goals
      MIN=Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; SO = Shutouts;

Awards and records

Transactions

Roster

See also

References

  1. ^ Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy et al. ed. THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 149. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.  
  2. ^ "1954–55 Montreal Canadiens Games". Hockey-reference.com. http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/MTL/1955_games.html. Retrieved 2009-06-04.  
  3. ^ "1954-55 Montreal Canadiens Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com". hockey-reference.com. http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/MTL/1955.html. Retrieved 2009-05-28.  

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