1943–44 Montreal Canadiens season
|1943–44 Montreal Canadiens|
Stanley Cup champions
Prince of Wales Trophy winners
|General Manager||Tommy Gorman|
|Goals||Maurice Richard (32)|
|Assists||Elmer Lach (48)|
|Points||Elmer Lach (72)|
|Penalty minutes||Mike McMahon, Sr. (98)|
|Wins||Bill Durnan (38)|
|Goals against average||Bill Durnan (2.18)|
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
- 2 Regular season
- 3 Schedule and results
- 4 Playoffs
- 5 Player statistics
- 6 Awards and records
- 7 Transactions
- 8 Montreal Canadiens 1944 Stanley Cup champions
- 9 See also
- 10 References
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.
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||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||49|
|6||New York Rangers||50||6||39||5||162||310||−148||17|
Record vs. opponents
|1943-44 NHL Records|
Schedule and results
|Regular season results|
|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|
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.
Semi-final: Montreal vs. Toronto
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.
Stanley Cup Final: Montreal vs. Chicago
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.
 Montreal wins best-of-seven series 4–0.
- 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
- Bill Durnan, Vezina Trophy
- Bill Durnan, NHL First Team All-Star
- Emile "Butch" Bouchard, Defense, NHL Second Team All-Star
- Elmer Lach, Centre, NHL Second Team All-Star
- Maurice Richard, Right Wing, NHL Second Team All-Star
- Dick Irvin, Coach, NHL First Team All-Star
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Montreal Canadiens 1944 Stanley Cup champions
Coaching and administrative staff
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
- Canadiens on Hockey Database
- Diamond, Dan, ed. (2008). 2008 Playoff Media Guide:Total Stanley Cup. NHL.
- "Standings: 1943–1944". National Hockey League. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- "1943–44 Montreal Canadiens Games". Hockey-reference.com. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- Diamond(2008), p. 54
- Diamond(2008), pp. 54–55
- "1943-44 Montreal Canadiens Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com". hockey-reference.com. Retrieved 2009-05-28.