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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
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
Buffalo Sabres 82 53 22 7 113 308 242
Ottawa Senators 82 48 25 9 105 288 222
Toronto Maple Leafs 82 40 31 11 91 258 269
Montreal Canadiens 82 42 34 6 90 245 256
Boston Bruins 82 35 41 6 76 219 289
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
11 Saku Koivu 81 22 53 75
44 Sheldon Souray 81 26 38 64
73 Michael Ryder 82 30 28 58
79 Andrei Markov 77 6 43 49
14 Tomas Plekanec 81 20 27 47
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
39 Cristobal Huet 42 19-16-0-3 2 2.81
Season results


During the offseason, general manager Bob Gainey continues the rebuilding plan he began three years earlier.

He sends Richard Zednik to the Washington Capitals before acquiring Mike Johnson from the Phoenix Coyotes. Gainey also inks free agent winger Sergei Samsonov to a two-year deal.

In September, Gainey makes one more move just before the start of the season as he trades Mike Ribeiro to the Dallas Stars in exchange for veteran defenseman Janne Niinimaa. In addition, a rarity occurs when a junior age player makes the Canadiens’ lineup as 19-year-old Guillaume Latendresse begins the season in Montreal.

Guy Carbonneau, making his NHL head coaching debut, sees his team get off to an outstanding start. The Canadiens lose just twice in regulation in October.

The Habs maintain that pace throughout the fall and at the Christmas break they are in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 21-9-5 record.

That’s all about to change.

The goaltending tandem of Cristobal Huet and David Aebischer, which got excellent results through the first three months of the regular season, begins to struggle.

January and February prove tough on Carbonneau’s squad. They win only 11 of 28 games and slide down the standings, thanks in part to a nasty flu bug which ravages the club’s dressing room. From third place in December, the Habs drop to eighth place in the East on March 1, just one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes.

With Huet sidelined by a hamstring injury on February 14, the Canadiens have to find a way to win without their starting goaltender. Rookie Jaroslav Halak gives the team a shot in the arm after Guy Carbonneau calls on him to defend the team’s goal. From March 10 to April 3, he helps lead the team to nine wins in 11 games.

On April 5, with two games remaining in the regular season, the team is in eighth place, one point ahead of Toronto. The Habs then drop a 3-1 decision to the New York Rangers. Sheldon Souray manages to score his 19th power play goal of the season, breaking the league’s single-season record for a defenseman. Montreal will end the season with the top power play unit in the league, finishing the schedule with a 24 percent success rate.

Two days later in Toronto, the Canadiens have no choice but to win their final game of the season against the Maple Leafs in order to secure a playoff berth. Leading 5-3 late in the second period, the Habs give up a goal before heading to their dressing room. It’s a bad omen as Montreal yields the lead in the third period and goes on to lose, 6-5, failing to clinch a spot in the postseason.