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Joueurs

GERRY MCNEIL (1947-1958)

Gerry
McNeil

1952-1963
Position G
Catch L
Weight 155lbs
Height 5'7"
Date of birth April 17th, 1926
Place of birth Quebec City, QC, CAN
Deceased on June 17th, 2004
Seasons - MTL 8
Other numbers 11,12,19
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 276 16535 119 105 52 0 649 28 2.36
1947-1948 2 95 0 1 1 0 7 0 4.42
1949-1950 6 360 3 1 2 0 9 1 1.50
1950-1951 70 4200 25 30 15 0 184 6 2.63
1951-1952 70 4200 34 26 10 0 164 5 2.34
1952-1953 66 3960 25 23 18 0 140 10 2.12
1953-1954 53 3180 28 19 6 0 114 6 2.15
1956-1957 9 540 4 5 0 0 31 0 3.44
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 35 2284 17 18 0 72 5 1.89
1949-1950 2 135 1 1 0 5 0 2.22
1950-1951 11 785 5 6 0 25 1 1.91
1951-1952 11 688 4 7 0 23 1 2.01
1952-1953 8 486 5 3 0 16 2 1.98
1953-1954 3 190 2 1 0 3 1 0.95

GERRY MCNEIL LED THE CANADIENS TO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS IN ALL FOUR SEASONS HE SPENT AS THE TEAM’S NUMBER ONE GOALTENDER.

Gerry McNeil was a 17-year-old schoolboy when he received his invitation to the Montreal Canadiens’ training camp in the fall of 1943. The goaltending job went to another newcomer, Bill Durnan, a 27-year-old seasoned veteran of Ontario’s senior hockey league.

The diminutive McNeil, who stood 5-foot-7 and tipped the scales at a mere 155 pounds, opted to stay in Montreal to further his hockey career. He spent six years with the Quebec Senior Hockey League’s Montreal Royals, practicing with Dick Irvin’s Habs and relieving Durnan from time to time.

Named the QSHL’s most valuable player three years running, McNeil spent the 1949-50 campaign backstopping the AHL’s Cincinnati Mohawks, a Montreal farm team coached by the legendary King Clancy. His long wait to join the big leagues was drawing to a close.

Called in to replace Durnan for the last two games of the 1950 playoffs, McNeil became the Habs’ starting goaltender when the perennial Vézina Trophy winner announced his retirement shortly afterwards.

Between the pipes for the next four seasons, McNeil proved that he deserved to play in the NHL. He knew Dick Irvin’s system, having played it in practice and training camp the previous seven years. He knew all his teammates and most importantly, he knew how to stop the puck.

Too small to cover much of the net if he remained in his crease, McNeil compensated with geometry and reflexes. He played the angles, advancing towards oncoming forwards and giving them less mesh to shoot at. It worked well for him and the Habs made the Finals every season he was with the team.

Reliable and tough enough to play through injuries that would sideline some of today’s goaltenders, McNeil performed fearlessly through the regular schedule and stepped it up in the postseason. His clutch performances helped him become one of the stingiest netminders of all time.

Despite his success early on with the Habs, McNeil didn’t sip from the Stanley Cup immediately after joining the team. In 1951, every game in the Finals went to overtime and the Leafs wound up taking the title and in 1952, Detroit kept the Canadiens from hoisting the Cup.

For McNeil, the third time was the charm. Elmer Lach’s overtime goal against Boston put the series away, and McNeil finally got his chance to raise the Stanley Cup.

McNeil returned to the minor ranks and was succeeded back in Montreal by Jacques Plante. He continued to play until 1960-61, before hanging up his skates to pursue a career in business.

He made a brief return to the NHL in 1956-57 when he appeared in nine games with the Canadiens, and his name was engraved on the trophy a second time.

A guy who lightened things up away from the ice, McNeil was a popular teammate and a feared practical joker. If there was fun to be had, odds are he was in on the action.

Among the top 10 Canadiens goaltenders in every category for both regular season and playoff performances, McNeil’s career 2.36 regular season goals-against average put him fourth on the all-time list. Only George Hainsworth has a career postseason GAA lower than McNeil’s 1.89.

Gerry McNeil passed away on June 17, 2004 at the age of 78.