Thursday, December 03, 2009

Top 100 Habs By Decade:

1. 1969-1979

In recognition of the Canadiens Centennial tomorrow, we at Lions in Winter have been doing what we like best – making lists. As a precursor to publishing the definitive LIW top 100, we will be counting down the decades from least successful to most successful and naming our LIW top 10 players for the ten-year span.

This is the last in the series. if you want to find the other decades, you can use the archives or the link at the top of the home page.

1969-1979


The lates 1960s to late 1970s. Was there a headier time to be a sports fan in Montreal? Baseball moves in, the Olympics come to town (nearly twice if you consider Lake Placid is a 2-hour drive) and the Montreal Canadiens laid most of their competition to waste. The decade I define here has 6 Cups. It was nice to come into the decade on a run of 4 Cups in 5 years as well. 10 Cups in 15 years – it boggles the mind (are we sure they don't mean first-round appearances?).

The players to represent this elite time are all the toast of the Canadiens, with Hall-of-Fame in all of their email sign-offs. No other decade had so many Hall of Famers, no other decade would bump a two-time 100-point man to the bench. These are the final 10 names in this series.

[Note: Each player only appears in one decade's top 10 – cross-decade stars like Laperriere have been given their dues, as you know]



10. Frank "The Big M" Mahovlich (Top 100 all-time, Profile)































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1970-74263

129

181

310

+10414AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1971-7276

43

53

96

+424

AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1971-7449

27

31

58





0

2 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1970-7120

1413

27





0

SC


A ready-made all star with a Hall of Fame nod already in the bag, Frank was brought in late in his career to bolster the Habs who were about to lose their top 2 centres.


9. Steve Shutt (Top 100 all-time, Profile)































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1972-85871

408368

776

+40950

AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1976-778060

45

105

+889AS

Habs career (Playoffs)1973-8496

50

48

98

(+5)5

5 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1976-7714

8

10

18



3

SC


On any other team, he might be the all-time goalscoring hero. 60 goals in 80 games led the league. For Latendresse fans, Shutt put the 14-goal man to shame with 52 ES goals that year.


8. Guy "Pointu" Lapointe (Top 100 all-time, Profile)































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1968-82777

166

406

572

+34720

AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1976-7777

2551



76

+696

AS
Habs career (Playoffs)2002-06112

25

43

68





4

6 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1972-7317

6

7

13





1SC


The third corner of the Big Three, he had a definite knack for scoring goals, and important ones too.


7. Jacques "Coco" Lemaire (Top 100 all-time, Profile)































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1967-79853

366

469

835

+34958AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1972-7377

44

51

95

+595

AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1968-79145

61

78139





118 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1978-7916

11

12

23





2

SC


Played the way he asks everyone of his players to play, with determination and intelligence.
With typical efficiency, he retired on scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal in 1979.


6. Yvan "Roadrunner" Cournoyer (Top 100 all-time, Profile)






























































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1963-79968428435863

(+272)(68)AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1971-7273

47

36

83

+235

AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1965-78147

64

63

127




(12)

10 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1972-7317

15

10

25




3

CS, SC


The archetypal Canadiens winger – speedy and quick-shooting goalscoring machine. His 1972-73 playoffs were magisterial.


5. Bob Gainey (Top 100 all-time, Profile)






























































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1973-891160

239

262

501

+19634

4 FS, AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1978-7979

2018

28

+111

FS
Habs career (Playoffs)1974-89182

25

48

73

(-4)

7

CS, 5 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1978-7916

6

10

16




1CS, SC


Famously described as "technically, the best player in the world" by Russian coach Tarasov, Gainey was certainly the best in the world at defending as a shadow. In a league of Bobby Orrs and Bobby Clarkes, his role was just as valuable to the team as those ahead of him on this list.


4. Serge Savard (Top 100 all-time, Profile)






























































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1966-81917100

312

412+49213BM, AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1974-75802040

60+712



Habs career (Playoffs)1968-81130

1949

68




6

CS, 8 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1975-7613

3

6

9




2

SC


If the Canadiens brass today could dream up a defender to anchor their team for the future, it would probably be Serge Savard. He could and did do everything, including adapt to the effects that 2 broken legs had on his once-great speed.


3. Ken Dryden (Top 100 all-time, Profile)





































































Years(s)GPWLTGAASOAwards*
Habs career (Season)1970-79397



25857

74



2.2446



C, 5 V, AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1976-7756



41

6



8



2.14



10

V, AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1971-79112



80



32



0

2.40106 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1970-712012



8



0

3.00

0

CS, SC


Less career losses than a Vesa Toskala season. He must also be the only starting goalie in modern history to virtually double his losses with shutouts. In his 7-and-a-bit-year turn in the NHL, he won 6 Stanley Cups, 5 Vezinas and earned a law degree.


2. Larry "Big Bird" Robinson (Top 100 all-time, Profile)






























































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1972-891202197

686

883

+70029

2 N, AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1976-7777

19

66

85

+1203

N, AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1973-8920325

109

134(+6)3

CS, 6 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1977-7815

417

21




0

CS, SC


If we had the stats and ran a Corsi on it, what do you think 1976-77 would look like for +120 Larry Robinson? Robinson was key to the Canadiens adapting to the new Philadelphia Flyers domination of the league. His gaudy offensive numbers can't show on paper what a good defender he was.


1. Guy "Flower" Lafleur (Top 100 all-time, Profile)






























































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1971-859615187281246

+47793

2 H, 3 AR, 3 LP, AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1977-7878

60

72

132

+7312

H, AR, LP, AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1972-84124

57

76133(-2)

14CS, 5 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1976-7714

9

17

26




2

CS, SC


A goal more than every other game, a game-winning goal once in ten, this guy had the knack for scoring and scoring when it was called for. No one has more silverware in their Habs trophy cases than Guy, and with good reason.



* Awards: H = Hart trophy; AR = Art Ross trophy, C = Calder trophy; FS = Frank Selke trophy; N = Norris trophy; V = Vezina trophy; LP = Lester Pearson tropby; BM= Bill Masterton trophy; AS= All-star; HOF = Hall of Fame; CS = Conn Smythe trophy; SC = Stanley Cup.

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