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The New York Rangers made their NHL debut in 1926, as part of a group of teams now referred to [...]More
Managed by Frank Selke and coached by Toe Blake, the Montreal Canadiens are a well-oiled [...]More
On October 7, 1995, the Canadiens honor the late Jacques Plante by raising his No. 1 to the [...]More
The player with the most wins in franchise history, Jacques Plante revolutionized the position [...]More
Bleeding profusely, Plante retreated to the dressing room where it took seven stitches to close the gash on the left side of his nose. Meanwhile, Canadiens coach Toe Blake went looking for a substitute to replace his star Goaltender for the rest of the evening. Plante, who had already worn a fibreglass mask in practice, managed to convince Blake to let him use it to finish the game.
Twenty minutes after leaving the ice, Plante returned to an ovation from New York fans, taking his place between the pipes wearing his self-fashioned facial protector. With his teammates giving him a three-goal cushion, Plante turned aside 27 of the 28 shots the Rangers sent his way, with Camille Henry spoiling the shutout bid.
The 3-1 win was only the beginning for hockey’s newly masked man. Over his next 10 outings, Plante, who would never play barefaced again, backstopped the Habs to a 9-0-1 record, posting two shutouts and allowing only a dozen goals before suffering his first setback wearing the mask, a 1-0 loss to Toronto on December 2.
One by one, goaltenders throughout the hockey world began covering up and conserving their faces.