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Joueurs

BILL DURNAN (1943-1950)

Bill
Durnan

1952-1963
Position G
Catch L
Weight 190lbs
Height 6'0"
Date of birth January 22nd, 1916
Place of birth Toronto, ON, CAN
Deceased on October 31st, 1972
Seasons - MTL 7
Statistiques
SEASON
SEASON
GP Games played - Number of games the player has set foot on the ice
MIN Minutes on ice - Total number of minutes the goaltender has been on the ice
W Wins - Games the goaltender has won, either in regulation or in overtime
L Losses - Games the goaltender has lost in regulation
T Ties - Games that have ended in a tie
OTL Overtime losses - Games lost in overtime
GA Goals against - Number of goals scoared against the goaltender
SO Shutouts - Number of games where the goaltender has not allowed a goal
GAA Goals against average - Mean goals-per-game scored on the goaltender
TOTALS 383 22945 208 112 62 0 901 34 2.36
1943-1944 50 3000 38 5 7 0 109 2 2.18
1944-1945 50 3000 38 8 4 0 121 1 2.42
1945-1946 40 2400 24 11 5 0 104 4 2.60
1946-1947 60 3600 34 16 10 0 138 4 2.30
1947-1948 59 3505 20 28 10 0 162 5 2.77
1948-1949 60 3600 28 23 9 0 126 10 2.10
1949-1950 64 3840 26 21 17 0 141 8 2.20
SEASON
SEASON
GP Games played - Number of games the player has set foot on the ice
MIN Minutes on ice - Total number of minutes the goaltender has been on the ice
W Wins - Games the goaltender has won, either in regulation or in overtime
L Losses - Games the goaltender has lost in regulation
OTL Overtime losses - Games lost in overtime
GA Goals against - Number of goals scoared against the goaltender
SO Shutouts - Number of games where the goaltender has not allowed a goal
GAA Goals against average - Mean goals-per-game scored on the goaltender
TOTALS 45 2871 27 18 0 99 2 2.07
1943-1944 9 549 8 1 0 14 1 1.53
1944-1945 6 373 2 4 0 15 0 2.41
1945-1946 9 581 8 1 0 20 0 2.07
1946-1947 11 720 6 5 0 23 1 1.92
1948-1949 7 468 3 4 0 17 0 2.18
1949-1950 3 180 0 3 0 10 0 3.33

BILL DURNAN COULD PLAY WITH HIS STICK IN EITHER HAND, OFTEN MAKING THE CHANGE IN THE HEAT OF THE ACTION.

Bill Durnan took over the goaltending job with the Canadiens without a minute of previous professional experience but at 27, he was no kid. Durnan had backstopped the Kirkland Lake Blue Devils to the Allan Cup, Canada’s top senior hockey title in 1940, before moving to Montreal to suit up with the QSHL’s Royals.

A 6-foot, 190-pounder in a day when goaltenders were often the smallest men on their squads, Durnan broke in with the Habs to open the 1943-44 campaign. Signed to his first pro contract just minutes before the opening game, he soon stood out for reasons other than his size. While many NHL netminders played more than the seven seasons Durnan did, very few performed as well or as consistently.

Before the terms “blocker” and “trapper” became part of a goaltender’s lexicon, their gloves differed very little from those worn by skaters. Durnan was ambidextrous, equally adept holding his stick in either hand, often shifting his stick from one hand to the other as play went on.

With the rookie in the crease every minute of the 1943-44 campaign, the Canadiens lost only five of 50 regular season games. Winning eight of their nine playoff contests, they brought the Stanley Cup to Montreal for the first time in 13 years. That season, Durnan led all NHL goaltenders in wins and goals-against average and was awarded the Vezina Trophy.

Durnan soon proved he was no flash in the pan. In six of his seven years with the Habs, he won the league’s top goaltending honor. He twice led the NHL in shutouts, playing 309 minutes and nine seconds of shutout hockey in the 1948-49 season, establishing a modern day record that stood until 2004.

He led the league in wins four times and was the stingiest goaltender of his era, allowing fewer goals than any of his peers year after year. Durnan backstopped the Canadiens to their sixth Stanley Cup in the spring of 1946 and brought the team to the Finals the following year.

When team captain Toe Blake’s NHL career abruptly ended following a broken leg, Durnan was selected to replace him. He wore the “C” for the remainder of the year, becoming the last NHL netminder to have the letter sewn on his jersey. A rule change in the offseason prohibited goalies from sporting the "C" on their sweaters from that point on.

By the time the 1949-50 campaign had run its course, so had Durnan’s time between the pipes. He retired, putting an end to a career that saw him miss only 20 of Montreal’s 448 regular season and playoff games.

Bill Durnan cemented his place among the Canadiens’ goaltending greats. Over 55 years after hanging up his pads, Bill Durnan still ranks fourth all-time in games played, wins, shutouts and goals-against average.

He was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964.

William Ronald Durnan died on October 31, 1972.