1943–44 Montreal Canadiens season

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1943–44 Montreal Canadiens
Stanley Cup Champions
Prince of Wales Trophy Winners
Division 1st NHL
1943–44 record 38–5–7
Goals for 234
Goals against 109
Team information
General Manager Tommy Gorman
Coach Dick Irvin
Captain Toe Blake
Arena Montreal Forum
Team leaders
Goals Maurice Richard (32)
Assists Elmer Lach (48)
Points Elmer Lach (72)
Penalties in minutes Mike McMahon, Sr. (98)
Wins Bill Durnan (38)
Goals against average Bill Durnan (2.18)
<1942–43 1944–45>

The 1943–44 Montreal Canadiens season was the club's 35th season, 27th in the National Hockey League (NHL). The team would win the Stanley Cup for the fifth time. Bill Durnan would join the club as its new goaltender and he won the Vezina Trophy in his rookie season.[1]

Offseason[edit]

At the Habs' training camp in 1943, Canadiens manager Tommy Gorman settled on Durnan as his goalie. Durnan stated that he was happy as an amateur and happy with less money if it meant avoiding the stress of the professional game. On opening night, Durnan was not yet signed. Ten minutes before the first faceoff, he spoke with Gorman and reached a deal. Durnan signed the contract and played in the game. The result was a 2-2 draw with the Boston Bruins. The rookie netminder was a few months shy of his 27th birthday.[2]

Regular season[edit]

Some of Durnan’s teammates included the Punch Line of Elmer Lach, Rocket Richard and Toe Blake. Durnan was a key element that took Montreal back to the Stanley Cup after 13 years of frustration. Durnan led the league in games played, wins and goals-against average in the regular season.[2]

Final standings[edit]

National Hockey League[3]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1 Montreal Canadiens 50 38 5 7 234 109 +125 83
2 Detroit Red Wings 50 26 18 6 214 177 +37 58
3 Toronto Maple Leafs 50 23 23 4 214 174 +40 50
4 Chicago Black Hawks 50 22 23 5 178 187 -9 −9 49
5 Boston Bruins 50 19 26 5 223 268 -45 −45 43
6 New York Rangers 50 6 39 5 162 310 -148 −148 17


Schedule and results[edit]

Regular season results
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 T October 30, 1943 2–2 Boston Bruins (1943–44) 0–0–1
2 W November 2, 1943 2–1 New York Rangers (1943–44) 1–0–1
3 W November 4, 1943 5–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 2–0–1
4 W November 7, 1943 5–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 3–0–1
5 W November 13, 1943 4–1 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 4–0–1
6 W November 14, 1943 2–0 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 5–0–1
7 T November 16, 1943 2–2 @ Boston Bruins (1943–44) 5–0–2
8 W November 18, 1943 5–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 6–0–2
9 W November 20, 1943 7–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 7–0–2
10 W November 21, 1943 13–4 Boston Bruins (1943–44) 8–0–2
11 W November 27, 1943 6–3 New York Rangers (1943–44) 9–0–2
12 T November 28, 1943 2–2 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 9–0–3
13 W December 2, 1943 6–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 10–0–3
14 W December 4, 1943 8–2 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 11–0–3
15 L December 5, 1943 4–5 @ Boston Bruins (1943–44) 11–1–3
16 L December 11, 1943 2–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 11–2–3
17 W December 12, 1943 5–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 12–2–3
18 W December 19, 1943 3–1 Boston Bruins (1943–44) 13–2–3
19 W December 25, 1943 5–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 14–2–3
20 W December 30, 1943 8–3 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 15–2–3
21 W January 1, 1944 4–0 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 16–2–3
22 W January 2, 1944 5–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 17–2–3
23 W January 4, 1944 6–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 18–2–3
24 W January 8, 1944 8–2 New York Rangers (1943–44) 19–2–3
25 W January 9, 1944 6–5 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 20–2–3
26 L January 11, 1944 0–5 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 20–3–3
27 T January 13, 1944 2–2 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 20–3–4
28 T January 16, 1944 1–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 20–3–5
29 W January 22, 1944 6–2 Boston Bruins (1943–44) 21–3–5
30 W January 23, 1944 4–1 @ Boston Bruins (1943–44) 22–3–5
31 T January 27, 1944 2–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 22–3–6
32 W January 30, 1944 5–3 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 23–3–6
33 W February 5, 1944 6–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 24–3–6
34 L February 8, 1944 0–3 @ Boston Bruins (1943–44) 24–4–6
35 W February 12, 1944 3–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 25–4–6
36 T February 13, 1944 2–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 25–4–7
37 W February 17, 1944 3–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 26–4–7
38 W February 19, 1944 5–2 New York Rangers (1943–44) 27–4–7
39 W February 20, 1944 7–2 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 28–4–7
40 W February 24, 1944 3–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 29–4–7
41 W February 26, 1944 10–2 Boston Bruins (1943–44) 30–4–7
42 W February 27, 1944 5–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 31–4–7
43 W March 4, 1944 5–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 32–4–7
44 W March 5, 1944 8–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 33–4–7
45 W March 9, 1944 3–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 34–4–7
46 W March 11, 1944 4–3 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 35–4–7
47 L March 12, 1944 5–6 @ Boston Bruins (1943–44) 35–5–7
48 W March 16, 1944 3–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 36–5–7
49 W March 18, 1944 11–2 New York Rangers (1943–44) 37–5–7
50 W March 19, 1944 6–1 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 38–5–7

[4]

Playoffs[edit]

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Durnan allowed only 1.53 goals per game as the Canadiens skated to the title. At season’s end, Durnan was awarded the Vezina Trophy, the first rookie to win the award, and was selected to the league's First All-Star Team.[2]

Semi-final: Montreal vs. Toronto[edit]

Rocket Richard scored seven goals in the series, including all five for Montreal in game two. After giving up the first game at home to Toronto, Montreal took over, winning the next four, finishing the series with an 11–0 shellacking in game five.

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 21 Toronto 3 Montreal 1
March 23 Toronto 1 Montreal 5
March 25 Montreal 2 Toronto 2
March 28 Montreal 4 Toronto 1
March 30 Toronto 0 Montreal 11

[5]

Stanley Cup Final: Montreal vs. Chicago[edit]

Maurice 'Rocket' Richard made his Stanley Cup debut with a five goal performance in the series, including a hat-trick in game two. The Punch Line of Richard, Elmer Lach and Toe Blake scored 10 of the Canadiens 16 goals. Blake scored the Cup winner in overtime. In the same overtime, Bill Durnan stopped the first penalty shot awarded in the finals, awarded to Virgil Johnson.

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 4 Chicago 1 Montreal 5
April 6 Montreal 3 Chicago 1
April 9 Montreal 3 Chicago 2
April 13 Chicago 4 Montreal 5 OT

[6] Montreal wins best-of-seven series 4–0.

Player statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
Lach, ElmerElmer Lach C 48 24 48 72 23
Blake, ToeToe Blake LW 41 26 33 59 10
Richard, MauriceMaurice Richard RW 46 32 22 54 45
O'Connor, BuddyBuddy O'Connor C 44 12 42 54 6
Getliffe, RayRay Getliffe C/LW 44 28 25 53 44
Watson, PhilPhil Watson RW/C 44 17 32 49 61
Heffernan, GerryGerry Heffernan RW 43 28 20 48 12
Chamberlain, MurphMurph Chamberlain LW 47 15 32 47 85
Majeau, FernFern Majeau C/LW 44 20 18 38 39
Lamoureux, LeoLeo Lamoureux C/D 44 8 23 31 32
Fillion, BobBob Fillion LW 41 7 23 30 14
McMahon, MikeMike McMahon D 42 7 17 24 98
Harmon, GlenGlen Harmon D 43 5 16 21 36
Bouchard, ButchButch Bouchard D 39 5 14 19 52
Campeau, TodTod Campeau C 2 0 0 0 0
Durnan, BillBill Durnan G 50 0 0 0 0
Walton, BobbyBobby Walton C/RW 4 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Durnan, BillBill Durnan 3000 50 38 5 7 109 2.18 2
Team: 3000 50 38 5 7 109 2.18 2

Playoffs[edit]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
Blake, ToeToe Blake LW 9 7 11 18 2
Richard, MauriceMaurice Richard RW 9 12 5 17 10
Lach, ElmerElmer Lach C 9 2 11 13 4
Getliffe, RayRay Getliffe C/LW 9 5 4 9 16
Chamberlain, MurphMurph Chamberlain LW 9 5 3 8 12
Watson, PhilPhil Watson RW/C 9 3 5 8 16
Bouchard, ButchButch Bouchard D 9 1 3 4 4
Harmon, GlenGlen Harmon D 9 1 2 3 4
Heffernan, GerryGerry Heffernan RW 7 1 2 3 8
McMahon, MikeMike McMahon D 8 1 2 3 16
O'Connor, BuddyBuddy O'Connor C 8 1 2 3 2
Lamoureux, LeoLeo Lamoureux C/D 9 0 3 3 8
Durnan, BillBill Durnan G 9 0 0 0 0
Fillion, BobBob Fillion LW 3 0 0 0 0
Majeau, FernFern Majeau C/LW 1 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Durnan, BillBill Durnan 549 9 8 1 14 1.53 1
Team: 549 9 8 1 14 1.53 1

[7]

Note:

Pos = Position; GPI = Games played in; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes; +/- = Plus/minus; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals
Min, TOI = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T,T/OT = Ties; OTL = Overtime losses; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts; SA = Shots against; SV = Shots saved; SV% = Save percentage;

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

Montreal Canadiens 1944 Stanley Cup champions[edit]

Roster

  Centres
  Wingers
  Defencemen
  Goaltenders

1 Bill Durnan


  Coaching and administrative staff
  • Donat Raymond (President/Owner), Dalton Coleman (Vice President/Owner)
  • Leonard (Len) Peto (Director), Tommy Gorman (Manager)
  • Dick Irvin Sr, (Coach)
  • Ernie Cook (Trainer)&, Hector Dubois (Ass’t Trainer)&.

Stanley Cup engraving

  • Trainer Ernie Cook and Hector Dubois were included on the team picture in 1944, 1946. However, their names were not engraved on the Cup. When the Stanley Cup was redesigned during the 1957–58 season Cook was added to cup in 1944, but not to 1946 team. Dubois would later have his name on the Stanley Cup 6 times 1953–56–57–58–59–60.
  • In 1944 Tommy Gorman became the only Manager to win 4 Stanley Cup with 4 different teams. 1920–21–23 Ottawa Senators, 1934 Chicago Black Hawks, 1935 Montreal Maroons and 1944 Montreal Canadiens. He would retire as a champion, after winning one more cup with the Canadiens in 1946.
Spelling mistakes
  • Bill Durnan's name was misspelled as BILL DURMAN. The first "N" was engraved as a "M". The mistake was corrected in 1992–93 when the Replica Cup was created.
  • Gerald "Gerry" Heffernan won only 1 Stanley Cup in his career in 1944. However, his name is spelled differently on each of the rings that included the 1944 Montreal Canadiens.
  • On the original ring in 1944 as GERALD HEFFERNAN
  • On the Redesigned ring created during 1957–58 season as JERRY HEFFERNAN
  • On the Replica ring created in 1992–93 as GERRY HEFFERNAN

See also[edit]

References[edit]