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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 78 52 10 16 120 329 184
Boston Bruins 78 51 22 5 107 330 235
New York Rangers 78 47 23 8 102 297 208
Buffalo Sabres 78 37 27 14 88 257 219
Detroit Red Wings 78 37 29 12 86 265 243
Toronto Maple Leafs 78 27 41 10 64 247 279
Vancouver Canucks 78 22 47 9 53 233 339
New York Islanders 78 12 60 6 30 170 347
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
25 Jacques Lemaire 77 44 51 95
27 Frank Mahovlich 78 38 55 93
12 Yvan Cournoyer 67 40 39 79
20 Peter Mahovlich 61 21 38 59
10 Guy Lafleur 69 28 27 55
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
29 Ken Dryden 54 33-7-13 6 2.26
Season results


Job opportunities exploded for professional hockey players in 1972-73, as the NHL added expansion teams in Atlanta and Long Island while another 12-team league, the World Hockey Association, sprung up.

The Canadiens, relatively unaffected by defections to the WHA, lost only Jean Claude Tremblay. As a result, Larry Robinson enjoyed his first extended stay with the big club. With Jacques Laperriere anchoring a defense that also included all the elements of “The Big Three”, as Robinson, Guy Lapointe and Serge Savard would become known, Montreal was the only NHL team to allow fewer than 200 goals.

Jacques Lemaire, Frank Mahovlich and Yvan Cournoyer led the charge as the Canadiens potted 329 goals, one less than Boston, who finished second in the Eastern Division, 13 points behind the Habs.

Chuck Lefley scored his first NHL goal and 20 others while rookie speedster Murray Wilson, whose arrival bolstered the team’s cadre of defensive forwards, added 18 more. Guy Lapointe, with 19 goals and 54 points to go along with a team-leading 117 minutes in penalty time, led all blue-liners in scoring.

Also breaking into the NHL with eight markers in 50 games with the Canadiens was Steve Shutt, who would enjoy significantly more productive seasons in the years to come.

Ken Dryden was the NHL’s most reliable rearguard in 1972-73. Spelled by Wayne Thomas and Michel Plasse, who made 27 appearances collectively, his 2.26 goals-against average and six shutouts were unbeaten by any other NHL goalie that season as the lanky netminder was awarded the first of five eventual Vezina Trophies.

Dryden was named to the first All-Star team at season’s end alongside left-winger Mahovlich, while Cournoyer getting a second team mention.


Grabbing a stranglehold on the quarterfinal series against Buffalo, Montreal won the first three games before the Sabres managed to retaliate, winning game four 5-1 in front of hometown fans. After an overtime win at the Forum, the Habs closed things out with a 4-2 win in Buffalo.

Coached by Fred Shero and aptly nicknamed the “Broad Street Bullies”, the Philadelphia Flyers led the NHL in penalty minutes but they could also put the puck in net with great efficiency. Rick MacLeish potted 50 while Bobby Clarke, their scrappy leader, ended the season with 104 points.

Splitting the first two games in Montreal, the series was tied at one apiece when they travelled to Philadelphia. Limiting the home side to a goal in each of the next pair, 2-1 and 4-1 victories at the Spectrum, the Habs put an end to Philly’s hopes with a 5-3 win in the Game 5.

Defense and goaltending carried Montreal to the Finals but it took scoring to get past the Chicago Blackhawks. Only two of the six games in the Stanley Cup Finals were relatively low-scoring affairs as the teams combined for 56 total goals.

Setting the tone in the opening match, Montreal was victorious in an 8-3 drubbing of the visiting Blackhawks. Dryden then limited Chicago to a single goal in a 4-1 Habs victory before having a difficult third game in Chicago, allowing seven pucks to find the mesh while Montreal could only muster four goals.

Game 4 went in Montreal’s favor as Dryden posted his only shutout of the spring in a 4-0 win before a game five scoring frenzy led to a total of fifteen goals. Eight of them were posted by Chicago, forcing a sixth game back at the Spectrum.

A third period marker from Yvan Cournoyer helped the Canadiens capture the 18th Stanley Cup title in team history. The Roadrunner, who led all postseason scorers with 15 goals and 25 points, was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.
The playoffs roadmap
Quarter-finals - Buffalo Sabres
Date AWAY   HOME  
April 4th, 1973 BUF 1 MTL 2  
April 5th, 1973 BUF 3 MTL 7  
April 7th, 1973 MTL 5 BUF 2  
April 8th, 1973 MTL 1 BUF 5  
April 10th, 1973 BUF 3 MTL 2  
April 12th, 1973 MTL 4 BUF 2  
Canadiens won best-of-seven series 4-2
Semi-finals - Philadelphia Flyers
Date AWAY   HOME  
April 14th, 1973 PHI 5 MTL 4  
April 17th, 1973 PHI 3 MTL 4  
April 19th, 1973 MTL 2 PHI 1  
April 22nd, 1973 MTL 4 PHI 1  
April 24th, 1973 PHI 3 MTL 5  
Canadiens won best-of-seven series 4-1
Stanley Cup Finals - Chicago Blackhawks
Date AWAY   HOME  
April 29th, 1973 CHI 3 MTL 8  
May 1st, 1973 CHI 1 MTL 4  
May 3rd, 1973 MTL 4 CHI 7  
May 6th, 1973 MTL 4 CHI 0  
May 8th, 1973 CHI 8 MTL 7  
May 10th, 1973 MTL 6 CHI 4  
Canadiens won best-of-seven series 4-2