1996–97 Montreal Canadiens season

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1996–97 Montreal Canadiens
Division 4th Northeast
Conference 8th Eastern
1996–97 record 31–36–15
Home record 17–17–7
Road record 14–19–8
Goals for 249
Goals against 276
Team information
General Manager Rejean Houle
Coach Mario Tremblay
Captain Pierre Turgeon (Oct)
Vincent Damphousse (Oct-Apr)
Arena Bell Centre
Team leaders
Goals Mark Recchi (34)
Assists Vincent Damphousse (54)
Points Vincent Damphousse (81)
Penalties in minutes Scott Thornton (128)
Plus/minus Peter Popovic (+9)
Wins Jocelyn Thibault (22)
Goals against average Jocelyn Thibault (2.90)

The 1996–97 Montreal Canadiens season was the club's 88th season. The Canadiens qualified for the playoffs despite a sub-.500 season. The Canadiens were eliminated in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals (the first round) by the New Jersey Devils 4 games to 1.

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

On Wednesday, October 16, 1996, the Canadiens scored three short-handed goals in a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames.[1]

The Canadiens finished the regular season 26th in both power-play goals allowed (71) and penalty-killing percentage (79.54%).[2]

Final standings[edit]

Northeast Division
No. CR GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 2 Buffalo Sabres 82 40 30 12 237 208 92
2 6 Pittsburgh Penguins 82 38 36 8 285 280 84
3 7 Ottawa Senators 82 31 36 15 226 234 77
4 8 Montreal Canadiens 82 31 36 15 249 276 77
5 10 Hartford Whalers 82 32 39 11 226 256 75
6 13 Boston Bruins 82 26 47 9 234 300 61
Eastern Conference[3]
R Div GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 New Jersey Devils ATL 82 45 23 14 231 182 104
2 Buffalo Sabres NE 82 40 30 12 237 208 92
3 Philadelphia Flyers ATL 82 45 24 13 274 217 103
4 Florida Panthers ATL 82 35 28 19 221 201 89
5 New York Rangers ATL 82 38 34 10 258 231 86
6 Pittsburgh Penguins NE 82 38 36 8 285 280 84
7 Ottawa Senators NE 82 31 36 15 226 234 77
8 Montreal Canadiens NE 82 31 36 15 249 276 77
9 Washington Capitals ATL 82 33 40 9 214 231 75
10 Hartford Whalers NE 82 32 39 11 226 256 75
11 Tampa Bay Lightning ATL 82 32 40 10 217 247 74
12 New York Islanders ATL 82 29 41 12 240 250 70
13 Boston Bruins NE 82 26 47 9 234 300 61

Divisions: ATL – Atlantic, NE – Northeast

bold – Qualified for playoffs


Schedule and results[edit]

# R Date Score Opponent Record
1 T Oct 5, 1996 3–3 OT Ottawa Senators 0–0–1
2 T Oct 7, 1996 6–6 OT Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 0–0–2
3 W Oct 9, 1996 6–3 Los Angeles Kings 1–0–2
4 W Oct 12, 1996 5–2 New York Rangers 2–0–2
5 L Oct 15, 1996 2–3 @ New Jersey Devils 2–1–2
6 W Oct 16, 1996 4–2 Calgary Flames 3–1–2
7 L Oct 19, 1996 3–6 @ Ottawa Senators 3–2–2
8 L Oct 24, 1996 3–6 @ Buffalo Sabres 3–3–2
9 W Oct 26, 1996 6–5 Philadelphia Flyers 4–3–2
10 L Oct 28, 1996 4–5 OT Phoenix Coyotes 4–4–2
11 L Oct 30, 1996 3–5 @ Detroit Red Wings 4–5–2
12 L Nov 2, 1996 3–4 OT @ San Jose Sharks 4–6–2
13 T Nov 3, 1996 4–4 OT @ Phoenix Coyotes 4–6–3
14 W Nov 6, 1996 6–5 @ Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 5–6–3
15 L Nov 7, 1996 1–4 @ Los Angeles Kings 5–7–3
16 L Nov 9, 1996 2–5 @ Colorado Avalanche 5–8–3
17 W Nov 11, 1996 3–2 OT Edmonton Oilers 6–8–3
18 L Nov 13, 1996 3–5 Florida Panthers 6–9–3
19 L Nov 15, 1996 1–3 @ Washington Capitals 6–10–3
20 W Nov 16, 1996 6–1 Vancouver Canucks 7–10–3
21 L Nov 20, 1996 1–3 @ Hartford Whalers 7–11–3
22 W Nov 21, 1996 6–2 @ Boston Bruins 8–11–3
23 W Nov 23, 1996 4–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs 9–11–3
24 W Nov 25, 1996 4–2 Tampa Bay Lightning 10–11–3
25 T Nov 27, 1996 2–2 OT @ Pittsburgh Penguins 10–11–4
26 L Nov 30, 1996 0–2 Washington Capitals 10–12–4
27 L Dec 1, 1996 2–6 @ New York Rangers 10–13–4
28 L Dec 4, 1996 3–4 Boston Bruins 10–14–4
29 W Dec 6, 1996 3–1 @ Chicago Blackhawks 11–14–4
30 W Dec 7, 1996 3–2 Chicago Blackhawks 12–14–4
31 L Dec 11, 1996 2–3 OT Buffalo Sabres 12–15–4
32 T Dec 14, 1996 3–3 OT @ New Jersey Devils 12–15–5
33 L Dec 16, 1996 2–4 Tampa Bay Lightning 12–16–5
34 L Dec 21, 1996 2–3 OT New York Rangers 12–17–5
35 L Dec 23, 1996 0–6 Ottawa Senators 12–18–5
36 T Dec 26, 1996 3–3 OT @ Pittsburgh Penguins 12–18–6
37 T Dec 28, 1996 4–4 OT @ Tampa Bay Lightning 12–18–7
38 W Dec 29, 1996 2–1 @ Florida Panthers 13–18–7
39 W Jan 1, 1997 6–4 @ Dallas Stars 14–18–7
40 T Jan 2, 1997 2–2 OT @ St. Louis Blues 14–18–8
41 W Jan 4, 1997 3–1 New York Islanders 15–18–8
42 W Jan 6, 1997 5–4 Hartford Whalers 16–18–8
43 L Jan 9, 1997 4–5 @ Boston Bruins 16–19–8
44 W Jan 11, 1997 6–3 Boston Bruins 17–19–8
45 L Jan 13, 1997 1–2 Dallas Stars 17–20–8
46 L Jan 14, 1997 2–3 @ Philadelphia Flyers 17–21–8
47 W Jan 20, 1997 4–1 Detroit Red Wings 18–21–8
48 L Jan 22, 1997 1–6 @ Buffalo Sabres 18–22–8
49 L Jan 25, 1997 1–8 St. Louis Blues 18–23–8
50 L Jan 26, 1997 2–5 Pittsburgh Penguins 18–24–8
51 L Jan 28, 1997 1–5 @ Florida Panthers 18–25–8
52 W Jan 30, 1997 4–1 @ Tampa Bay Lightning 19–25–8
53 T Feb 1, 1997 4–4 OT New Jersey Devils 19–25–9
54 T Feb 3, 1997 2–2 OT Florida Panthers 19–25–10
55 L Feb 5, 1997 3–6 Pittsburgh Penguins 19–26–10
56 L Feb 6, 1997 5–9 @ Philadelphia Flyers 19–27–10
57 W Feb 8, 1997 3–2 OT Hartford Whalers 20–27–10
58 W Feb 10, 1997 4–2 San Jose Sharks 21–27–10
59 T Feb 12, 1997 2–2 OT @ Buffalo Sabres 21–27–11
60 L Feb 15, 1997 1–4 New Jersey Devils 21–28–11
61 W Feb 17, 1997 4–1 @ New York Islanders 22–28–11
62 L Feb 22, 1997 1–5 Toronto Maple Leafs 22–29–11
63 W Feb 25, 1997 4–2 @ Vancouver Canucks 23–29–11
64 L Feb 28, 1997 2–3 @ Calgary Flames 23–30–11
65 W Mar 1, 1997 5–4 @ Edmonton Oilers 24–30–11
66 L Mar 5, 1997 3–7 Colorado Avalanche 24–31–11
67 L Mar 7, 1997 0–2 @ Hartford Whalers 24–32–11
68 T Mar 8, 1997 3–3 OT Buffalo Sabres 24–32–12
69 T Mar 10, 1997 2–2 OT @ Pittsburgh Penguins 24–32–13
70 W Mar 13, 1997 3–0 @ Boston Bruins 25–32–13
71 T Mar 15, 1997 2–2 OT Ottawa Senators 25–32–14
72 W Mar 19, 1997 5–4 @ New York Rangers 26–32–14
73 L Mar 22, 1997 1–3 Washington Capitals 26–33–14
74 W Mar 24, 1997 3–1 Boston Bruins 27–33–14
75 W Mar 26, 1997 8–5 Pittsburgh Penguins 28–33–14
76 L Mar 29, 1997 2–5 @ Ottawa Senators 28–34–14
77 W Apr 2, 1997 4–1 @ Hartford Whalers 29–34–14
78 L Apr 5, 1997 1–4 Hartford Whalers 29–35–14
79 W Apr 7, 1997 2–1 New York Islanders 30–35–14
80 W Apr 9, 1997 3–1 @ New York Islanders 31–35–14
81 L Apr 10, 1997 2–3 @ Washington Capitals 31–36–14
82 T Apr 12, 1997 3–3 OT Philadelphia Flyers 31–36–15

Playoffs[edit]

In the first game of the series against New Jersey, on April 17, 1997, with the Devils up by two goals late in the game, Martin Brodeur fired the puck the length of the ice and into the Canadiens' empty net to ensure a 5-2 victory. It was only the second time in NHL history that a goaltender had scored in the playoffs, and the fifth time overall.[4]

Eastern Conference Quarter-finals vs. New Jersey Devils[edit]

Montreal vs. New Jersey
Date Away Home Scores OT
April 17 Montreal New Jersey 5 – 2
April 19 Montreal New Jersey 4 – 1
April 22 New Jersey Montreal 6 – 4
April 24 New Jersey Montreal 4 – 3 3OT
April 26 Montreal New Jersey 4 – 0
New Jersey wins series 4–1

Player statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Vincent Damphousse C 82 27 54 81 82 -6 7 2 3
Mark Recchi RW 82 34 46 80 58 -1 7 2 3
Brian Savage LW 81 23 37 60 39 -14 5 0 2
Saku Koivu C 50 17 39 56 38 7 5 0 3
Martin Rucinsky LW 70 28 27 55 62 1 6 3 3
Stephane Richer RW 63 22 24 46 32 0 2 0 2
Valeri Bure RW 64 14 21 35 6 4 4 0 2
Vladimir Malakhov D 65 10 20 30 43 3 5 0 1
Benoit Brunet LW 39 10 13 23 14 6 2 0 2
Stephane Quintal D 71 7 15 22 100 1 1 0 0
Turner Stevenson RW 65 8 13 21 97 -14 1 0 0
Shayne Corson LW 47 6 15 21 80 -5 2 0 2
Scott Thornton LW 73 10 10 20 128 -19 1 1 1
Darcy Tucker RW 73 7 13 20 110 -5 1 0 3
Marc Bureau C 43 6 9 15 16 4 1 1 2
David Wilkie D 61 6 9 15 63 -9 3 0 0
Patrice Brisebois D 49 2 13 15 24 -7 0 0 1
Peter Popovic D 78 1 13 14 32 9 0 0 0
Sebastien Bordeleau C 28 2 9 11 2 -3 0 0 0
Pierre Turgeon C 9 1 10 11 2 4 0 0 0
Jassen Cullimore D 49 2 6 8 42 4 0 1 1
Chris Murray RW 56 4 2 6 114 -8 0 0 0
Murray Baron D 60 1 5 6 107 -16 0 0 0
Craig Rivet D 35 0 4 4 54 7 0 0 0
Dave Manson D 9 1 1 2 23 -1 0 0 0
Eric Houde C 13 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 0
Rory Fitzpatrick D 6 0 1 1 6 -2 0 0 0
Donald Brashear LW 10 0 0 0 38 -2 0 0 0
Brad Brown D 8 0 0 0 22 -1 0 0 0
Francois Groleau D 5 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0
Pat Jablonski G 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
David Ling RW 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Terry Ryan LW 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pierre Sevigny LW 13 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0
Jose Theodore G 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jocelyn Thibault G 61 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tomas Vokoun G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO SA SV SV%
Jocelyn Thibault 3397 61 22 24 11 164 2.90 1 1815 1651 .910
Jose Theodore 821 16 5 6 2 53 3.87 0 508 455 .896
Pat Jablonski 754 17 4 6 2 50 3.98 0 438 388 .886
Tomas Vokoun 20 1 0 0 0 4 12.00 0 14 10 .714
Team: 4992 82 31 36 15 271 3.26 1 2775 2504 .902

Playoffs[edit]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
Mark Recchi RW 5 4 2 6 2 0 0 0
Benoit Brunet LW 4 1 3 4 4 0 1 0
Saku Koivu C 5 1 3 4 10 0 0 0
Patrice Brisebois D 3 1 1 2 24 0 0 1
Brian Savage LW 5 1 1 2 0 0 0 0
Turner Stevenson RW 5 1 1 2 2 0 0 0
Shayne Corson LW 5 1 0 1 4 0 1 0
Scott Thornton LW 5 1 0 1 2 0 0 0
Valeri Bure RW 5 0 1 1 2 0 0 0
Stephane Quintal D 5 0 1 1 6 0 0 0
Craig Rivet D 5 0 1 1 14 0 0 0
Jassen Cullimore D 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Vincent Damphousse C 5 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Vladimir Malakhov D 5 0 0 0 6 0 0 0
Dave Manson D 5 0 0 0 17 0 0 0
Peter Popovic D 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Stephane Richer RW 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Martin Rucinsky LW 5 0 0 0 4 0 0 0
Jose Theodore G 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jocelyn Thibault G 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Darcy Tucker RW 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
David Wilkie D 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO SA SV SV%
Jose Theodore 168 2 1 1 7 2.50 0 108 101 .935
Jocelyn Thibault 179 3 0 3 13 4.36 0 101 88 .871
Team: 347 5 1 4 20 3.46 0 209 189 .904

[5]

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]

Roster[edit]

Draft picks[edit]

Round # Player Position Nationality College/Junior/Club Team
1 18 Matt Higgins Center  Canada Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
2 44 Mathieu Garon Goalie  Canada Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
3 71 Arron Asham Right Wing  Canada Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
4 92 Kim Staal Left Wing  Denmark Malmö IF (Sweden)
4 99 Etienne Drapeau Center  Canada Beauport Harfangs (QMJHL)
5 127 Daniel Archambault Defence  Canada Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
6 154 Brett Clark Defenceman  Canada University of Maine (NCAA)
7 181 Timo Vertala Left Wing  Finland JYP (Finland)
8 207 Mattia Baldi Left Wing   Switzerland Ambri-Piotta (Swiss)
9 233 Michel Tremblay Left Wing  Canada Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

Farm teams[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]