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season card
GP Games played - Number of games the team has played
W Wins - Games the team has won, either in regulation or in overtime
L Losses - Games the team has lost in regulation
T Ties - Games that have ended in a tie
PTS Points - Team points, calculated from W, L, T, OTL and SOL; used to determine standings
GF Goals for - Number of goals the team has scored
GA Goals against - Number of goals scored against the team
Montreal Canadiens 50 38 5 7 83 234 109
Detroit Red Wings 50 26 18 6 58 214 177
Toronto Maple Leafs 50 23 23 4 50 214 174
Chicago Blackhawks 50 22 23 5 49 178 187
Boston Bruins 50 19 26 5 43 223 268
New York Rangers 50 6 39 5 17 162 310
Season's leaders see the complete stats
GP Games played - Number of games the player has set foot on the ice
G Goals - Number of goals the player has scored
A Assists - Number of goals the player has assisted in
PTS Points - Scoring points, calculated as the sum of G and A
16 Elmer Lach 48 24 48 72
6 Toe Blake 41 26 33 59
9 Maurice Richard 46 32 22 54
10 Bud O'Connor 44 12 42 54
11 Ray Getliffe 44 28 25 53
GP Games played - Number of games the player has set foot on the ice
RECORD Record - Goalie record (W-L-T)
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
1 Bill Durnan 50 38-5-7 2 2.18
Season results


At the beginning of the 1943-44 season, Tommy Gorman and Dick Irvin know that the Canadiens’ struggles are a thing of the past and they have turned the page on the previous 10 years, much to the delight of the team’s fans.

With goalie Paul Bibeault lost to army duty, Gorman goes after Bill Durnan to take over in goal. It proves no easy task for Gorman, who has a hard time getting his man to sign with the team. Well aware of his value, Durnan knows he has a bargaining advantage over Gorman.

Just prior to the first game of the season, Gorman agrees to Durnan’s salary demands and signs him to a contract. It proves to be an excellent move as the Canadiens’ new goalie records 38 wins and just five losses in 50 games to capture the Vezina Trophy.

When Bibeault returns from his military obligations, he quickly learns that he has lost his job to the best goalie in the NHL. As a result, he is loaned to Toronto for the rest of the season.

Durnan’s success, combined with that of the second edition of the Punch Line made up of Toe Blake, Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard replacing Joe Benoit (military service), allow the Canadiens to easily finish in first place with an extraordinary record of 38 wins and 83 points, 25 more than the second place Detroit Red Wings.

In his first full season in the NHL, Richard scores 32 goals. His 54 points tie him for third on the Canadiens with Buddy O’Connor. Only Elmer Lach, with 72 points, and Toe Blake, with 59, have more than the young player who has already come to be known as “The Rocket.”

Durnan (goalie) and Irvin (coach) are named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team, while Emile “Butch” Bouchard (defense), Lach (center) and Richard (right wing) are named to the Second All-Star Team.


The Canadiens face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. Toronto managed to beat Montreal twice during the regular season and cause a bit of a stir with a 3-1 win at the Forum in the series opener. It will prove to be the Canadiens’ only loss of the 1944 playoffs.

In Game 2, Richard singlehandedly restores the proper order of things as he scores all five of Montreal’s goals in a 5-1 victory. At game’s end, the Rocket is named the first, second and third star of the game, the first player to ever be accorded that honor.

With three more wins by scores of 2-1, 4-1, and 11-0, the Canadiens advance to the final. In the five games against the Maple Leafs, Durnan allows just six goals.

The Canadiens opponent in the final is the Chicago Blackhawks, who disposed of the Detroit Red Wings in the first round. The team from the Windy City is no match for the well-oiled machine that the Canadiens have become.

Richard makes his presence felt throughout the series with five goals against the Blackhawks, including a hat trick in the second game, a 3-1 win for the Canadiens. The Punch Line scores 10 of the team’s 16 goals in the final.

On April 13, 1944, Toe Blake scores the winning goal in overtime to give the Canadiens a 5-4 win in Game 4 and a series sweep to claim the Stanley Cup.

The Punch Line combines for an impressive 48 points in nine playoff games. The Rocket improves on his impressive regular season output with 12 playoff goals to his credit alone.

The playoffs roadmap
Semi-finals - Toronto Maple Leafs
Date AWAY   HOME  
March 21st, 1944 TOR 3 MTL 1  
March 23rd, 1944 TOR 1 MTL 5  
March 25th, 1944 MTL 2 TOR 1  
March 28th, 1944 MTL 4 TOR 1  
March 30th, 1944 TOR 0 MTL 11  
Canadiens won best-of-seven series 4-1
Stanley Cup Finals - Chicago Blackhawks
Date AWAY   HOME  
April 4th, 1944 CHI 1 MTL 5  
April 6th, 1944 MTL 3 CHI 1  
April 9th, 1944 MTL 3 CHI 2  
April 13th, 1944 CHI 4 MTL 5  
Canadiens won best-of-seven series 4-0