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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 80 47 20 13 107 328 240
Los Angeles Kings 80 30 36 14 74 290 313
Pittsburgh Penguins 80 30 37 13 73 251 303
Hartford Whalers 80 27 34 19 73 303 312
Detroit Red Wings 80 26 43 11 63 268 306
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
10 Guy Lafleur 74 50 75 125
28 Pierre Larouche 73 50 41 91
22 Steve Shutt 77 47 42 89
19 Larry Robinson 72 14 61 75
6 Pierre Mondou 75 30 36 66
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
32 Denis Herron 34 25-3-3 0 2.51
Season results


Losing Yvan Cournoyer, Ken Dryden and Jacques Lemaire to retirement and Scotty Bowman to the Sabres left some major holes in the Canadiens’ lineup. Bernard Geoffrion began the 1979-80 season behind the bench but 30 games in, he resigned and was replaced by Claude Ruel for the remainder of the season, while Serge Savard, one of only two players in their thirties, assumed the captaincy.

There were changes in the league as well, with four remaining WHA teams joining the NHL, making it a 21-team circuit and creating an instant rivalry between the Habs and the Quebec Nordiques.

On the ice, Montreal remained one of the most potent offensive threats in the NHL, with a pair of 50-goal men in Guy Lafleur and Pierre Larouche and Steve Shutt falling only three goals short of making it a trio. Their production, combined with Pierre Mondou’s 30-goal campaign, kept Montreal near the top in league scoring.

Larry Robinson appeared in all but eight games on the schedule while the other members of The Big Three, Savard and Guy Lapointe were limited to 45 and 46 games respectively.

Rod Langway quickly climbed the depth chart, becoming a reliable defenseman in his own zone. Gaston Gingras made his blue line debut, playing 34 games with the big club while a scrappy Boston native named Chris Nilan earned two points and 50 penalty minutes in 15 games as a spot forward.

Michel Larocque, Denis Herron and Richard Sevigny all tried to fill Dryden’s place between the pipes with Larocque seeing the most playing time and Herron having the most success.

A 47-20-17 record gave Montreal 107 points, third overall in the NHL, and tops in the Norris Division with a 33-point lead over the second-place Kings. Lafleur, Robinson and Shutt all earned All-Star Game invites.


The impact of losing three veteran performers with 24 Stanley Cups between them became evident in the postseason. For the first time since the NHL changed to divisional play, first place teams no longer got a bye, but instead took part in a best-of-three preliminary round.

Montreal, third in the league, faced the 14th-ranked Hartford Whalers in the opening round, which the Canadiens swept as expected. After winning the first two games handily, the Whalers forced the third game into overtime, though Montreal iced the contest just 29 seconds into the extra frame to close out the series.

The Minnesota North Stars ended the regular season with 88 points, 19 fewer than Montreal, and had swept the Toronto Maple Leafs to enter the quarterfinals.

They took the two first games at the Forum, shutting out Montreal 3-0 in the opener and following it up with a 4-1 victory the next evening. The Habs rebounded, blanking the Stars 5-0 in the third game and almost repeating in the fourth, with a 5-1 victory.

A decisive 6-2 win in front of the home crowd gave Montreal the lead and put Minnesota’s backs against the wall. In past years, it was a situation that guaranteed a Montreal series win but the North Stars refused to admit defeat, taking the sixth game at home 5-2.

A 3-2 Minnesota win in the seventh game ended the Habs’ season, but it also ended the quest for a fifth consecutive Stanley Cup, leaving the 1956 to 1960 Canadiens as the only NHL team to ever accomplish that feat.
The playoffs roadmap
Preliminary round - Hartford Whalers
Date AWAY   HOME  
April 8th, 1980 HFD 1 MTL 6  
April 9th, 1980 HFD 4 MTL 8  
April 11th, 1980 MTL 4 HFD 3  
Canadiens won best-of-five series 3-0
Quarter-finals - Minnesota North Stars
Date AWAY   HOME  
April 16th, 1980 MIN 3 MTL 0  
April 17th, 1980 MIN 4 MTL 1  
April 19th, 1980 MTL 5 MIN 0  
April 20th, 1980 MTL 5 MIN 1  
April 22nd, 1980 MIN 2 MTL 6  
April 24th, 1980 MTL 2 MIN 5  
April 27th, 1980 MIN 3 MTL 2  
Minnesota won best-of-seven series 4-3