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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
OTL Overtime losses - Games lost in overtime
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
Toronto Maple Leafs 82 45 27 7 3 100 246 222
Ottawa Senators 82 41 28 11 2 95 244 210
Buffalo Sabres 82 35 32 11 4 85 213 204
Montreal Canadiens 82 35 34 9 4 83 196 194
Boston Bruins 82 24 33 19 6 73 210 248
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 Martin Rucinsky 80 25 24 49
15 Dainius Zubrus 73 14 28 42
34 Sergei Zholtok 68 26 12 38
71 Patrice Brisebois 54 10 25 35
14 Trevor Linden 50 13 17 30
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
31 Jeff Hackett 56 23-25-7 3 2.40
Season results


Saku Koivu takes over as team captain from Vincent Damphousse, who was traded late in the previous season, becoming the first European captain in team history.

Koivu enters the season as the fourth European captain in the league along with Alexei Yashin and Daniel Alfredsson in Ottawa, Mats Sundin with Toronto, and Jaromir Jagr with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Alain Vigneault’s squad struggles right from the start of the season. The reason is obvious – the Canadiens’ offense is anemic. Montreal is last in the league in goals scored.

Like the previous season, the team is hit hard by injuries. In fact, the Canadiens are well on their way to setting a league record for man-games lost to injury.

One after another, Saku Koivu, Brian Savage, Vladimir Malakhov and Trevor Linden suffer major injuries and are all sidelined for lengthy periods.

At mid-season, the Habs are 12th overall in the Eastern Conference and a second straight spring without playoff hockey looms on Montreal’s horizon. Typical of the season, the team is snowbound and stuck in Raleigh in late January because of a storm following a game against the Hurricanes. The team is stranded in North Carolina and its November 27 game against the Boston Bruins has to be rescheduled.

On January 29, a terrifying incident occurs on home ice in a game against Philadelphia. Trent McCleary is struck directly on the throat by a slap shot by Flyers defenseman Chris Therrien. Without the immediate intervention of Dr. David Mulder, the Canadiens’ physician, and emergency staff on hand, McCleary would have lost his life.

The second half of the season is the reverse image of the first half. Despite its numerous injuries, the team delivers its strongest efforts in February and March. In mid-March, the Habs are eighth in the East.

Unfortunately, the team is unable to maintain its pace through the end of the schedule and finishes two points behind the Buffalo Sabres for the eighth and final playoff spot. For the second year in a row, the Habs fail to make the playoffs and their leading scorer fails to reach 50 points.

On May 27, the team’s fans, along with the entire population of Quebec, are in mourning. Maurice Richard passes away at the age of 78, a victim of cancer. A few days later, more than 100,000 people flock to the Molson Centre to pay their last respects to the hockey icon.