54-55MonCan.jpg
1954–55 Montreal Canadiens · NHL
Division 2nd NHL
1954–55 record 41–18–11
Goals for 228
Goals against 157
General Manager Frank J. Selke
Coach Dick Irvin
Captain Emile Bouchard
Arena Montreal Forum
Team Leaders
Goals Bernie Geoffrion
Maurice Richard (38)
Assists Doug Harvey (43)
Points Bernie Geoffrion (75)
Penalties in minutes Maurice Richard (125)
Wins Jacques Plante (33)
Goals against average Jacques Plante (2.14)
← Seasons →
1953–54 1955–56

The 1954–55 Montreal Canadiens season was the Canadiens' 46th season of play. The Canadiens finished in second place in the National Hockey League (NHL) with a record of 41 wins, 18 losses, and 11 ties for 93 points. In the playoffs, they defeated the Boston Bruins in five games in the Semi-finals before falling to the Detroit Red Wings in seven games in the Stanley Cup Finals.

This season was notable for the suspension of Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Montreal's star player, by NHL president Clarence Campbell after a vicious fight with Boston defenceman Hal Laycoe and Richard punching an on-ice official. The suspension sparked a riot by angry Canadiens fans on March 17, 1955, during a game against the Red Wings (see below).

Off-season[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

The Richard Riot[edit | edit source]

Hal Laycoe on the far left with Bert Olmstead while Jean Béliveau restrains #8 Fleming Mackell. Richard is behind Beliveau with linseman Cliff Thompson.

On March 13, 1955, Canadiens star Maurice Richard was involved in an fighting incident in Boston. Boston's Hal Laycoe high-sticked Richard and cut him on the head, momentarily leaving Richard dazed and prone on the ice. Richard then got up off the ice and attacked Laycoe, breaking his stick on Laycoe. While linesman Cliff Thompson restrained Richard, Laycoe got up and punched Richard. Richard broke free and punched Thompson in the face. This was Richard's second incident with an official that season and a league disciplinary hearing was held. NHL president Clarence Campbell (who had previously been criticized publicly by Richard) then suspended Richard for the rest of the season and the playoffs; at the time, this was the longest suspension for an on-ice incident in NHL history. The Bruins' Laycoe received no fine or suspension for his actions. Public outrage from Montreal soon poured in, but Campbell stood firm, and moreover announced that he would be attending the Canadiens' next home game against the Red Wings on March 17.

Another view of the melee with Richard and Laycoe marked with arrows.

Midway into the first period, Campbell arrived with his fiancée. Outraged Canadiens fans immediately began pelting them with eggs, vegetables, and various debris, with more being thrown at him each time the Red Wings scored, building up a 4-1 lead on Montreal. The continuous pelting of various objects stopped when a tear gas bomb was set off inside the Forum not far from where Campbell was sitting. The Forum was ordered evacuated and Campbell ruled the game forfeited to the Red Wings. That was the last straw, as a riot ensued outside the Forum, causing $500,000 in damage to the neighbourhood and the Forum itself. Hundreds of stores were looted and vandalized within a 15-block radius of the Forum. Twelve policemen and 25 civilians were injured. The riot continued well into the night, with police arresting people by the truckload. Local radio stations, which carried live coverage of the riot for over seven hours, had to be forced off the air. The riot was eventually over at 3 am, and left Montreal's Rue Ste-Catherine a mess.

Richard's suspension also cost him the Art Ross Trophy, the closest he ever came to winning it. When Richard's teammate Bernie Geoffrion passed him on the last day of the regular season, he was booed by Montreal faithful. Geoffrion, a right winger, was struggling to gain recognition of his considerable talents because the three leading right wingers of the 1950s were Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings, Andy Bathgate of the New York Rangers, and Richard, Geoffrion's own teammate.

The Canadiens lost the Cup Final to Detroit in seven games, but would win the Cup in the year after, fittingly over the Red Wings and the next four years in a row after that. Richard retired in 1960 after the Canadiens' fifth straight Stanley Cup, a record that still stands.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA
Detroit Red Wings 70 42 17 11 95 204 134
Montreal Canadiens 70 41 18 11 93 228 157
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 24 24 22 70 147 135
Boston Bruins 70 23 26 21 67 169 188
New York Rangers 70 17 35 18 52 150 210
Chicago Black Hawks 70 13 40 17 43 161 235

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


Game Log[edit | edit source]

Regular Season Results
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W October 7, 1954 4–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 1–0–0
2 W October 9, 1954 4–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 2–0–0
3 T October 11, 1954 2–2 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 2–0–1
4 L October 13, 1954 2–3 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 2–1–1
5 W October 15, 1954 3–0 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 3–1–1
6 W October 16, 1954 3–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 4–1–1
7 L October 21, 1954 1–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 4–2–1
8 W October 23, 1954 7–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 5–2–1
9 L October 24, 1954 2–4 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 5–3–1
10 W October 27, 1954 3–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 6–3–1
11 W October 30, 1954 5–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 7–3–1
12 W November 6, 1954 4–1 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 8–3–1
13 W November 7, 1954 4–3 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 9–3–1
14 W November 11, 1954 7–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 10–3–1
15 W November 13, 1954 2–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 11–3–1
16 L November 14, 1954 1–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 11–4–1
17 L November 17, 1954 2–5 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 11–5–1
18 W November 18, 1954 5–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 12–5–1
19 W November 20, 1954 4–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 13–5–1
20 L November 21, 1954 0–2 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 13–6–1
21 T November 23, 1954 4–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 13–6–2
22 W November 25, 1954 3–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 14–6–2
23 W November 27, 1954 4–1 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 15–6–2
24 L November 28, 1954 1–4 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 15–7–2
25 T November 30, 1954 3–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 15–7–3
26 W December 2, 1954 4–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 16–7–3
27 T December 5, 1954 3–3 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 16–7–4
28 L December 8, 1954 1–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 16–8–4
29 W December 9, 1954 2–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 17–8–4
30 L December 11, 1954 0–3 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 17–9–4
31 T December 12, 1954 2–2 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 17–9–5
32 W December 16, 1954 5–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 18–9–5
33 W December 18, 1954 4–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 19–9–5
34 W December 19, 1954 5–0 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 20–9–5
35 W December 25, 1954 4–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 21–9–5
36 T December 29, 1954 1–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 21–9–6
37 W December 30, 1954 7–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 22–9–6
38 W January 1, 1955 4–1 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 23–9–6
39 L January 2, 1955 2–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 23–10–6
40 W January 6, 1955 6–0 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 24–10–6
41 T January 8, 1955 1–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 24–10–7
42 W January 9, 1955 7–1 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 25–10–7
43 L January 15, 1955 3–4 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 25–11–7
44 L January 16, 1955 0–6 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 25–12–7
45 W January 20, 1955 6–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 26–12–7
46 W January 22, 1955 5–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 27–12–7
47 W January 23, 1955 5–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 28–12–7
48 T January 26, 1955 1–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 28–12–8
49 W January 29, 1955 4–0 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 29–12–8
50 L January 30, 1955 1–7 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 29–13–8
51 W February 3, 1955 3–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 30–13–8
52 W February 5, 1955 3–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 31–13–8
53 W February 6, 1955 7–3 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 32–13–8
54 L February 9, 1955 1–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 32–14–8
55 L February 13, 1955 1–4 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 32–15–8
56 W February 17, 1955 4–2 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 33–15–8
57 W February 19, 1955 10–2 New York Rangers (1954–55) 34–15–8
58 T February 24, 1955 1–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 34–15–9
59 W February 26, 1955 4–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 35–15–9
60 W February 27, 1955 7–1 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 36–15–9
61 W March 2, 1955 3–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 37–15–9
62 W March 3, 1955 4–1 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 38–15–9
63 T March 5, 1955 4–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 38–15–10
64 W March 6, 1955 4–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 39–15–10
65 T March 10, 1955 0–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 39–15–11
66 W March 12, 1955 2–1 Boston Bruins (1954–55) 40–15–11
67 L March 13, 1955 2–4 @ Boston Bruins (1954–55) 40–16–11
68‡ L March 17, 1955 1–4 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 40–17–11
69 W March 19, 1955 4–2 New York Rangers (1954–55) 41–17–11
70 L March 20, 1955 0–6 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 41–18–11

[1]

‡ Forfeited to Detroit after one period. Goals and assists for the game still counted as official.

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Montreal Canadiens 4, Boston Bruins 1[edit | edit source]

Plante subs in for Hodge, Semi-finals Game 2, March 24, 1955.

For the fourth year in a row Montreal met Boston in the post season. The Canadiens would defeat the Bruins 4 games to 1. In the first three games of the series, Montreal goalies Jacques Plante and Charlie Hodge were continually swapped in and out of goal.

Game 1 at the Montreal Forum had NHL president Clarence Campbell in attendance and security was provided by nearly 300 policemen. Though John Henderson played most of the Bruins regular season games, Jim Henry started in net while Jacques Plante manned the pipes for the Habs. After a scoreless first period, Montreal scored two goals on the Power play in the second period, Bernie Geoffrion and then Jean Béliveau. In a surprising move, Canadiens coach Dick Irvin kept swapping Charlie Hodge and Plante in goal. Neither surrendered a goal and Montreal won 2-0.

Game 2 at the Montreal had John Henderson start in goal for the Bruins while Plante started again for the Canadiens. All goals were scored in the second period. Montreal's Floyd Curry marked first then Irvin again swapped out Plante for Hodge. Montreal made it 3-0 on goals by Calum MacKay and Beliveau before Real Chevrefils scored for Boston. The game ended 3-1 with Montreal taking a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3 at the Boston Garden saw the Bruins bounce back and roar ahead 3-0 on first period goals by Leo Labine, Fern Flaman and Chevrefils. Hal Laycoe added one late in the second period to make it 4-0 Boston. Irvin kept swapping Jacques Plante out for Charlie Hodge and each gave up two goals. Ken Mosdell scored early in the third and Jack LeClair added a Shorthanded goal with a little over a minute left to make it 4-2 Boston.

Bruins Don McKenney and Canadiens Jacques Plante, Tom Johnson and Bert Olmstead during Game 4 of the 1955 Semi-finals, March 29, 1955.

Game 4 at Boston saw Plante in net for the entire game and Jim Henry for the Bruins. After a scoreless first period, Tom Johnson and Don McKenney swapped goals in the second period, followed by Leo Labine and Floyd Curry. Ed Sandford put the Bruins up 3-2 at 8:52 of the third period until Bernie Geoffrion tied it and sent the game into overtime. A minute into OT, Butch Bouchard took a high-sticking penalty. However, Dickie Moore intercepted a Bruins pass and sent Don Marshall in on a breakaway. Marshall fired the puck into the bottom left corner past Henry for his first career playoff goal and a 4-3 Montreal win.

Game 5 at the Montreal saw Henderson replace Henry in the net for Boston as Henry suffered a broken jaw in Game 4. Fern Flaman (foot injury) and Warren Godfrey (hand injury) also missed the game resulting in the call-up of defenseman Don Cherry for his only NHL game. Cherry acquitted himself well but the Bruins were outmatched and Montreal never trailed in the game. Two goals by Jack LeClair and markers by Dickie Moore and Floyd Curry had the Habs up 4-0 before Lorne Ferguson scored on the power play late in the second period to make it 4-1. Beliveau added his third of the playoffs in the third period and Montreal won 5-1 and took the series 4 games to 1.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 22 Boston Bruins 0-2 Montreal Canadiens 0-1
2 March 24 Boston Bruins 1-3 Montreal Canadiens 0-2
3 March 27 Montreal Canadiens 2-4 Boston Bruins 2-1
4 March 29 Montreal Canadiens 4-3 (OT) Boston Bruins 3-1
5 March 31 Boston Bruins 1-5 Montreal Canadiens 1-4

Detroit Red Wings 4, Montreal Canadiens 3[edit | edit source]

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 3 Montreal 2 Detroit 4
April 5 Montreal 1 Detroit 7
April 7 Detroit 2 Montreal 6
April 9 Detroit 3 Montreal 5
April 10 Montreal 1 Detroit 5
April 12 Detroit 3 Montreal 6
April 14 Montreal 1 Detroit 3
For more details on this topic, see 1955 Stanley Cup Final.

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
Geoffrion, BernieBernie Geoffrion RW 70 38 37 75 57
Richard, MauriceMaurice Richard RW 67 38 36 74 125
Beliveau, JeanJean Beliveau C 70 37 36 73 58
Olmstead, BertBert Olmstead LW 70 10 48 58 103
Mosdell, KenKen Mosdell C 70 22 32 54 82
Harvey, DougDoug Harvey D 70 6 43 49 58
Moore, DickieDickie Moore LW 67 16 20 36 32
MacKay, CalumCalum MacKay LW 50 14 21 35 39
Leclair, JackieJackie Leclair C 59 11 22 33 12
Johnson, TomTom Johnson D 70 6 19 25 74
Curry, FloydFloyd Curry RW 68 11 10 21 36
St. Laurent, DollardDollard St. Laurent D 58 3 14 17 24
Bouchard, EmileEmile Bouchard D 70 2 15 17 81
Litzenberger, EdEd Litzenberger C/RW 29 7 4 11 12
MacPherson, BudBud MacPherson D 30 1 8 9 55
Marshall, DonDon Marshall LW 39 5 3 8 9
Mazur, EddieEddie Mazur D/LW 25 1 5 6 21
Meger, PaulPaul Meger LW 13 0 4 4 6
Masnick, PaulPaul Masnick C 19 0 1 1 0
Rousseau, GuyGuy Rousseau LW 2 0 1 1 0
Talbot, Jean-GuyJean-Guy Talbot D 3 0 1 1 0
Binette, AndreAndre Binette G 1 0 0 0 0
Blaine, GarryGarry Blaine RW 1 0 0 0 0
Lamirande, Jean-PaulJean-Paul Lamirande LW/D 1 0 0 0 0
Bartlett, JimJim Bartlett LW 2 0 0 0 4
Ronty, PaulPaul Ronty C 4 0 0 0 2
Tessier, OrvalOrval Tessier C 4 0 0 0 0
Evans, ClaudeClaude Evans G 4 0 0 0 0
Hodge, CharlieCharlie Hodge G 14 0 0 0 0
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante G 52 0 0 0 2
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante 3080 52 33 12 7 110 2.14 5
Hodge, CharlieCharlie Hodge 820 14 6 4 4 31 2.27 1
Binette, AndreAndre Binette 60 1 1 0 0 4 4.00 0
Evans, ClaudeClaude Evans 200 4 1 2 0 12 3.60 0
Team: 4160 70 41 18 11 157 2.26 6

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
Geoffrion, BernieBernie Geoffrion RW 12 8 5 13 8
Beliveau, JeanJean Beliveau C 12 6 7 13 18
Curry, FloydFloyd Curry RW 12 8 4 12 4
MacKay, CalumCalum MacKay LW 12 3 8 11 8
Mosdell, KenKen Mosdell C 12 2 7 9 8
Harvey, DougDoug Harvey D 12 0 8 8 6
Moore, DickieDickie Moore LW 12 1 5 6 22
Leclair, JackieJackie Leclair C 12 5 0 5 2
St. Laurent, DollardDollard St. Laurent D 12 0 5 5 12
Olmstead, BertBert Olmstead LW 12 0 4 4 21
Johnson, TomTom Johnson D 12 2 0 2 22
Marshall, DonDon Marshall LW 12 1 1 2 2
Bouchard, EmileEmile Bouchard D 12 0 1 1 37
Bartlett, JimJim Bartlett LW 2 0 0 0 0
Gamble, DickDick Gamble LW 2 0 0 0 2
McAvoy, GeorgeGeorge McAvoy D 4 0 0 0 0
Ronty, PaulPaul Ronty C 5 0 0 0 2
Hodge, CharlieCharlie Hodge G 4 0 0 0 0
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante G 12 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante 639 12 6 3 30 2.82 0
Hodge, CharlieCharlie Hodge 84 4 1 2 6 4.29 0
Team: 723 12 7 5 36 2.99 0

[2]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = Plus/Minus; PIM = Penalty Minutes; PPG=Power-play goals; SHG=Short-handed goals; GWG=Game-winning goals

MIN=Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; SO = Shutouts

Awards and Records[edit | edit source]

Transactions[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Over 10 minutes of highlights of the 1955 Stanley Cup Finals featuring all goals.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1954–55 Montreal Canadiens Games. Hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-04.
  2. 1954-55 Montreal Canadiens Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
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