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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
Quebec Nordiques 80 43 31 6 92 330 289
Montreal Canadiens 80 40 33 7 87 330 280
Boston Bruins 80 37 31 12 86 311 288
Hartford Whalers 80 40 36 4 84 332 302
Buffalo Sabres 80 37 37 6 80 296 291
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
26 Mats Naslund 80 43 67 110
15 Bobby Smith 79 31 55 86
19 Larry Robinson 78 19 63 82
20 Kjell Dahlin 77 32 39 71
21 Guy Carbonneau 80 20 36 56
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
33 Patrick Roy 47 23-18-3 1 3.35
Season results


Few hockey experts can could have ever predicted the extraordinary end of the season that awaits the Canadiens this year.

For one thing, Jean Perron replaces Jacques Lemaire behind the bench, despite the fact that his NHL experience consists of one year as one of the team’s assistant coaches. He puts his stamp on the team by confiding lineup spots to no less than eight rookies at the end of training camp.

As a result, Patrick Roy, Brian Skrudland, Mike Lalor and Stephane Richer, all Calder Cup champions with the Sherbrooke Canadiens the previous season, join the Habs’ lineup along with fellow newcomers Steve Rooney, Shayne Corson, Sergio Momesso and Kjell Dahlin.

After playing one period in his NHL debut the previous season, Roy claims the starting goalie’s job and is backed up by veteran Doug Soetaert.

The Habs get off to an erratic start with nine wins in their first 20 games. On October 11, Perron’s team allows 11 goals – the most allowed by the team in a single game since 1938 – in an 11-6 loss to the Hartford Whalers. The Canadiens take it to the other extreme a few weeks later as they toy with the Detroit Red Wings in a 10-1 win before embarrassing the Vancouver Canucks, 7-0.

Mats Naslund continues to improve his offensive production and finishes the regular season eighth overall in league scoring with 110 points. He remains the most recent Canadiens player to record a 100-point season.

The Habs enjoy an outstanding January with 11 wins in 16 games over the course of the month.

Playing in Winnipeg on March 19, Larry Robinson becomes the fourth player in Canadiens history – after Jean Beliveau, Claude Provost and Henri Richard – to appear in 1,000 regular season games with the team.

The historic moment is tarnished by the game’s outcome, a 6-4 loss to the Jets. It is the Canadiens’ seventh loss in their last 10 games. The untimely slump drops the team out of the Adams Division lead, which is assumed by the Nordiques, who finish the season in first place with 92 points, five ahead of Montreal.


In a bid to bind the team’s players together as they begin the playoffs, the Canadiens’ brass decides to sequester them on Montreal’s South Shore. In no time, the hotel where they are kept under “house arrest” is affectionately nicknamed Alcatraz by the players.

The move appears to bear fruit right from the start of the playoffs as the Habs face the Boston Bruins in the first round.

The Canadiens pick up where they left off during the regular season, which saw them win five of eight games against Boston. They send the Bruins packing in short order with a three-game sweep to reach the division final. Rookie Claude Lemieux, who joined the team late in the season, scores the winning goal in Game 2 while Captain Bob Gainey scored two goals in Game 3.

Montreal faces the Hartford Whalers and their trio of talented young forwards, Ron Francis, Kevin Dineen and Ray Ferraro.

The series shapes up as a defensive struggle. After allowing four goals in the series opener in Hartford, Patrick Roy holds the Whalers to eight goals over the next four games. Meanwhile, Guy Carbonneau leads the way on offense with five goals in the first five games of the series.

Neither team takes control of the series, which goes the limit. In one of the Canadiens’ most memorable games of the 1980s, Lemieux scores his third game-winning goal of the playoffs as he beats Mike Liut in overtime, and the team advances to the conference final.

In the wake of their tense division final, the Habs quickly take care of business against the New York Rangers with a five-game series win. Once again, rookies Roy (nine goals allowed) and Lemieux (three goals, two assists) are standouts during the series. Roy will later call his performance against the Rangers in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden – a 4-3 overtime win in which he makes 44 saves – the best outing of his career.

In the Final, Perron’s team faces the Calgary Flames, who had previously knocked off Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers, the prohibitive Stanley Cup favorites, in seven games. It is the first All-Canadian Final in 19 years.

The Habs lose the opener 5-2 in Calgary. It’s the only loss the Canadiens will incur during the series. Brian Skrudland draws Montreal even in the series as he scores nine seconds into the extra frame in Game 2, the fastest goal from the start of overtime in NHL history. With the series shifted to the Forum, the Canadiens gain the upper hand in the Final with a 5-3 win.

Prior to Game 4, the team’s star rookies challenge each other: Roy will hand over his ubiquitous Walkman to Lemieux if he scores the winning goal. The sparkplug forward is up to the wager and delivers the game’s only goal, and the young goalie keeps up his end of the bargain and posts his first career playoff shutout.

Back at the Saddledome, the Habs win the fifth game and claim the 23rd Stanley Cup in team history. This title allows the Canadiens to move past the New York Yankees for the most championships won by any North American professional sports team.
The playoffs roadmap
Adams Division semi-finals - Boston Bruins
Date AWAY   HOME  
April 9th, 1986 BOS 1 MTL 3  
April 10th, 1986 BOS 2 MTL 3  
April 12th, 1986 MTL 4 BOS 3  
Canadiens won best-of-five series 3-0
Adams Division finals - Hartford Whalers
Date AWAY   HOME  
April 17th, 1986 HFD 4 MTL 1  
April 19th, 1986 HFD 1 MTL 3  
April 21st, 1986 MTL 4 HFD 1  
April 23rd, 1986 MTL 1 HFD 2  
April 25th, 1986 HFD 3 MTL 5  
April 27th, 1986 MTL 0 HFD 1  
April 29th, 1986 HFD 1 MTL 2  
Canadiens won best-of-seven series 4-3
Conference finals - New York Rangers
Date AWAY   HOME  
May 1st, 1986 NYR 1 MTL 2  
May 3rd, 1986 NYR 2 MTL 6  
May 5th, 1986 MTL 4 NYR 3  
May 7th, 1986 MTL 0 NYR 2  
May 9th, 1986 NYR 1 MTL 3  
Canadiens won best-of-seven series 4-1
Stanley Cup Finals - Calgary Flames
Date AWAY   HOME  
May 16th, 1986 MTL 2 CGY 5  
May 18th, 1986 MTL 3 CGY 2  
May 20th, 1986 CGY 3 MTL 5  
May 22nd, 1986 CGY 0 MTL 1  
May 24th, 1986 MTL 4 CGY 3  
Canadiens won best-of-seven series 4-1