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Joueurs

MICHEL LAROCQUE (1973-1981)

Michel
Larocque

1952-1963
Position G
Catch L
Weight 200lbs
Height 5'10"
Date of birth April 6th, 1952
Place of birth Hull, QC, CAN
Deceased on July 29th, 1992
Seasons - MTL 8
Other numbers 31
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 231 13253 144 48 31 0 624 17 2.83
1973-1974 27 1431 15 8 2 0 69 0 2.89
1974-1975 25 1480 17 5 3 0 74 3 3.00
1975-1976 22 1220 16 1 3 0 50 2 2.46
1976-1977 26 1525 19 2 4 0 53 4 2.09
1977-1978 30 1729 22 3 4 0 77 1 2.67
1978-1979 34 1986 22 7 4 0 94 3 2.84
1979-1980 39 2259 17 13 8 0 125 3 3.32
1980-1981 28 1623 16 9 3 0 82 1 3.03
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 12 684 6 5 0 29 1 2.54
1973-1974 6 364 2 4 0 18 0 2.97
1978-1979 1 20 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
1979-1980 5 300 4 1 0 11 1 2.20

MICHEL LAROCQUE WAS A TOP-FLIGHT BACK-UP GOALTENDER IN THE 1970S.

A native of Hull, Quebec, Michel “Bunny” Larocque spent his junior years across the river in Ottawa. A workhorse for the ‘67s, he appeared in at least 50 games between the pipes in each of his three OHA seasons. Despite his success, it would be a decade before he would see as much playing time again in a season.

Selected sixth overall by the Canadiens in the 1972 Amateur Draft, the 20-year-old spent his first professional campaign with the AHL’s Nova Scotia Voyageurs, posting a 2.50 goals-against average while appearing in 47 regular season games. Larocque split the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, given to the AHL’s stingiest goaltending duo, with stablemate Michel Deguise, setting the tone for the rest of his career.

The 1973-74 campaign was one of opportunity for netminders in the Montreal organization. Incumbent starting goaltender Ken Dryden had decided to sit out the year so there was room at the top. Larocque spent his rookie NHL season as one of three men charged with backstopping the Habs, battling to prove himself in Montreal.

Despite dividing the work with more experienced men, Larocque played in 27 games and showed enough promise that he got the nod in all six playoff outings that year.

Dryden’s return the next season relegated Larocque to back-up status, a role to which he willingly dedicated himself. Though he could have seen much more ice time elsewhere, he never complained about his situation and practiced for every game as if he was going to get the call. When the team did need him, usually 25 to 30 times per season, Larocque was more than up to the task.

In the five years he relieved Dryden, Larocque started 137 games, winning 89 while losing only 18. In 1976-77, his 2.09 goals-against average led the NHL. He was unbeatable between November 1977 and April of the next year, going 22 games without a loss and setting a team record that has yet to be broken.

Popular in the dressing room and with the Forum crowd, the good-natured Larocque happily played a support role on one of hockey’s greatest dynasties, filling a shelf with silverware along the way. Part of four straight Stanley Cup winners, Larocque shone when given a chance, splitting the Vézina Trophy with Dryden from 1977 through 1979.

The end of the Dryden era brought new contenders for the top slot. Larocque was one of three men to backstop the team in 1979-80 and a member of the quartet who did so the following year.

Montreal’s netminders allowed the fewest goals in 1980-81, winning the Vézina again that season. Appearing in 28 games with the team before he was traded to the Maple Leafs, Larocque was one of three Canadiens goalies to share the accolades, officially ending his tenure with the Habs with four Vézina trophies.

After a season and a half in Toronto, Larocque played briefly in Philadelphia and St. Louis before retiring 1984.

Larocque’s eight years with the Canadiens cemented his place among the most dependable goalies to ever suit up in Montreal. He ranks ninth among Habs goaltenders for games played with 231 appearances and only five men have garnered more than his 144 victories.

Michel Larocque passed away in 1992, losing his battle with cancer at the age of 40.