|1968–69 Montreal Canadiens · NHL|
|Stanley Cup Champions|
|Prince of Wales Trophy Winners|
|General Manager||Sam Pollock|
|Goals||Yvan Cournoyer (43)|
|Assists||Jean Beliveau (49)|
|Points||Yvan Cournoyer (87)|
|Penalties in minutes||John Ferguson (185)|
|Wins||Gump Worsley (19)|
|Goals against average||Gump Worsley (2.26)|
|← Seasons →|
The 1968–69 Montreal Canadiens season was the club's 60th season of play. The Canadiens finished 1st in the East Division and defeated the St. Louis Blues in the 1969 Stanley Cup Finals 4 games to 0 to win their 16th Stanley Cup.
With Gump Worsley out of the line-up due to nervous exhaustion, Tony Esposito played his first NHL game in relief of Rogatien Vachon during the Canadiens 5-4 loss to the Oakland Seals on November 29, 1968. Vachon broke his hand during Montreal's 3-1 win over the Chicago Black Hawks on December 1, 1968 and Ernie Wakely played his only game of the season on December 4, 1968 during the Canadiens 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers. Tony Esposito started his first NHL game on December 5 against his brother Phil Esposito and the Boston Bruins. The game ended in a 2-2 tie with Phil scoring both goals. The Esposito brothers faced each other twice more during December, a 0-0 tie on December 21, and a 7-5 Bruins win on December 22 where Phil scored twice more. Tony played 11 more games during the season with a 5-4-4 record.
Worsley returned to the line-up on January 29, 1969 and earned a shutout in Montreal's 4-0 win over the Minnesota North Stars. Howie Glover played the last game of his NHL career during the Habs 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
|New York Rangers||76||41||26||9||231||196||91|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||76||35||26||15||234||217||85|
|Detroit Red Wings||76||33||31||12||239||221||78|
|Chicago Black Hawks||76||34||33||9||280||246||77|
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
|Regular Season Results|
|1||T||October 12, 1968||1–1||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1968–69)||0–0–1|
|2||W||October 16, 1968||4–2||@ St. Louis Blues (1968–69)||1–0–1|
|3||W||October 17, 1968||3–1||@ Minnesota North Stars (1968–69)||2–0–1|
|4||W||October 20, 1968||4–2||@ Detroit Red Wings (1968–69)||3–0–1|
|5||W||October 23, 1968||5–2||@ Los Angeles Kings (1968–69)||4–0–1|
|6||W||October 25, 1968||4–2||@ Oakland Seals (1968–69)||5–0–1|
|7||L||October 27, 1968||2–4||@ Boston Bruins (1968–69)||5–1–1|
|8||W||October 30, 1968||5–0||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1968–69)||6–1–1|
|9||W||November 2, 1968||2–1||Detroit Red Wings (1968–69)||7–1–1|
|10||L||November 3, 1968||2–3||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1968–69)||7–2–1|
|11||W||November 7, 1968||5–4||Pittsburgh Penguins (1968–69)||8–2–1|
|12||W||November 9, 1968||4–1||St. Louis Blues (1968–69)||9–2–1|
|13||T||November 10, 1968||4–4||@ Detroit Red Wings (1968–69)||9–2–2|
|14||L||November 14, 1968||3–5||Toronto Maple Leafs (1968–69)||9–3–2|
|15||T||November 16, 1968||3–3||Oakland Seals (1968–69)||9–3–3|
|16||L||November 17, 1968||2–3||@ New York Rangers (1968–69)||9–4–3|
|17||W||November 20, 1968||3–2||Detroit Red Wings (1968–69)||10–4–3|
|18||W||November 21, 1968||3–0||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1968–69)||11–4–3|
|19||W||November 23, 1968||4–3||Minnesota North Stars (1968–69)||12–4–3|
|20||W||November 27, 1968||4–2||@ Los Angeles Kings (1968–69)||13–4–3|
|21||L||November 29, 1968||4–5||@ Oakland Seals (1968–69)||13–5–3|
|22||W||December 1, 1968||3–1||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1968–69)||14–5–3|
|23||L||December 4, 1968||2–4||New York Rangers (1968–69)||14–6–3|
|24||T||December 5, 1968||2–2||@ Boston Bruins (1968–69)||14–6–4|
|25||W||December 7, 1968||6–3||Chicago Black Hawks (1968–69)||15–6–4|
|26||T||December 11, 1968||4–4||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1968–69)||15–6–5|
|27||W||December 12, 1968||5–4||St. Louis Blues (1968–69)||16–6–5|
|28||W||December 14, 1968||1–0||Philadelphia Flyers (1968–69)||17–6–5|
|29||T||December 18, 1968||2–2||Los Angeles Kings (1968–69)||17–6–6|
|30||T||December 21, 1968||0–0||Boston Bruins (1968–69)||17–6–7|
|31||L||December 22, 1968||5–7||@ Boston Bruins (1968–69)||17–7–7|
|32||W||December 26, 1968||4–2||Toronto Maple Leafs (1968–69)||18–7–7|
|33||W||December 28, 1968||5–3||New York Rangers (1968–69)||19–7–7|
|34||L||December 29, 1968||1–3||@ New York Rangers (1968–69)||19–8–7|
|35||W||December 31, 1968||4–3||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1968–69)||20–8–7|
|36||L||January 2, 1969||2–5||Pittsburgh Penguins (1968–69)||20–9–7|
|37||L||January 4, 1969||3–6||Chicago Black Hawks (1968–69)||20–10–7|
|38||W||January 5, 1969||4–2||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1968–69)||21–10–7|
|39||W||January 7, 1969||6–3||@ Minnesota North Stars (1968–69)||22–10–7|
|40||W||January 9, 1969||8–4||Oakland Seals (1968–69)||23–10–7|
|41||L||January 11, 1969||3–6||Boston Bruins (1968–69)||23–11–7|
|42||L||January 15, 1969||0–4||Detroit Red Wings (1968–69)||23–12–7|
|43||W||January 16, 1969||4–0||@ Philadelphia Flyers (1968–69)||24–12–7|
|44||W||January 18, 1969||3–1||Chicago Black Hawks (1968–69)||25–12–7|
|45||L||January 23, 1969||3–5||Oakland Seals (1968–69)||25–13–7|
|46||W||January 25, 1969||6–3||Philadelphia Flyers (1968–69)||26–13–7|
|47||L||January 26, 1969||2–3||@ New York Rangers (1968–69)||26–14–7|
|48||W||January 29, 1969||4–0||Minnesota North Stars (1968–69)||27–14–7|
|49||W||February 1, 1969||6–2||New York Rangers (1968–69)||28–14–7|
|50||W||February 2, 1969||6–4||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1968–69)||29–14–7|
|51||L||February 5, 1969||1–5||@ Oakland Seals (1968–69)||29–15–7|
|52||W||February 6, 1969||4–2||@ Los Angeles Kings (1968–69)||30–15–7|
|53||W||February 8, 1969||6–3||@ Minnesota North Stars (1968–69)||31–15–7|
|54||T||February 9, 1969||4–4||@ St. Louis Blues (1968–69)||31–15–8|
|55||W||February 11, 1969||7–3||Los Angeles Kings (1968–69)||32–15–8|
|56||W||February 13, 1969||3–1||@ Detroit Red Wings (1968–69)||33–15–8|
|57||W||February 15, 1969||3–1||Boston Bruins (1968–69)||34–15–8|
|58||W||February 16, 1969||4–0||@ Pittsburgh Penguins (1968–69)||35–15–8|
|59||L||February 19, 1969||1–5||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1968–69)||35–16–8|
|60||W||February 20, 1969||2–1||Toronto Maple Leafs (1968–69)||36–16–8|
|61||W||February 22, 1969||4–1||Philadelphia Flyers (1968–69)||37–16–8|
|62||W||February 26, 1969||7–2||Detroit Red Wings (1968–69)||38–16–8|
|63||W||March 1, 1969||3–0||St. Louis Blues (1968–69)||39–16–8|
|64||L||March 2, 1969||2–4||@ Detroit Red Wings (1968–69)||39–17–8|
|65||W||March 6, 1969||5–3||Toronto Maple Leafs (1968–69)||40–17–8|
|66||T||March 8, 1969||3–3||Los Angeles Kings (1968–69)||40–17–9|
|67||T||March 9, 1969||2–2||@ New York Rangers (1968–69)||40–17–10|
|68||W||March 11, 1969||3–0||@ St. Louis Blues (1968–69)||41–17–10|
|69||T||March 13, 1969||4–4||Minnesota North Stars (1968–69)||41–17–11|
|70||W||March 15, 1969||3–1||Chicago Black Hawks (1968–69)||42–17–11|
|71||W||March 19, 1969||5–2||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1968–69)||43–17–11|
|72||W||March 20, 1969||5–3||Pittsburgh Penguins (1968–69)||44–17–11|
|73||W||March 22, 1969||3–1||New York Rangers (1968–69)||45–17–11|
|74||L||March 26, 1969||4–6||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1968–69)||45–18–11|
|75||W||March 29, 1969||5–3||Boston Bruins (1968–69)||46–18–11|
|76||L||March 30, 1969||3–6||@ Boston Bruins (1968–69)||46–19–11|
Montreal Canadiens 4, New York Rangers 0
|1||W||April 2, 1969||3–1||New York Rangers||1–0|
|2||W||April 3, 1969||5–2||New York Rangers||2–0|
|3||W||April 5, 1969||4–1||@ New York Rangers||3–0|
|4||W||April 6, 1969||4–3||@ New York Rangers||4–0|
Montreal Canadiens 4, Boston Bruins 2
The teams met the year before in the 1968 Quarter-finals where Montreal swept Boston 4 games to 0. The 1969 Semi-finals was much closer with the Canadiens winning three games in overtime to take the series 4 games to 2.
Game 1 at the Montreal Forum had 10 penalties called in the first period as both teams tried to establish a physical edge. Derek Sanderson opened the scoring as he pulled the puck through Canadiens defenseman Ted Harris and then fired a slapshot past Gump Worsley's stick side at 13:28 of the first period. Montreal pressed hard for an equalizer in the second period and out chanced Boston. Mickey Redmond hit the post, Bobby Rousseau and Henri Richard had great chances which Bruins goalie Gerry Cheevers turned aside. With Boston down two men, Derek Sanderson for slashing and Bobby Orr off for tripping, the Bruins killed off Sanderson's penalty. He returned to the ice, picked up the puck in his own zone, broke into the Habs zone, beat J.C. Tremblay to the outside left, cut to the net and caromed a shot off Worsley for a shorthanded goal. The Bruins continued to frustrate the Habs in the third period, killing off two early penalties in which Montreal had few chances and the crowd began to boo. Fred Stanfield hit the post and nearly made it 3-0 before Eddie Shack took an elbowing penalty that would change the game. John Ferguson took a long shot while racing down the left wing that beat Cheevers and made it 2-1. Boston had no chances on a power play with less than five minutes to play. With 1:02 to play, Montreal pulled Worsley for an extra attacker and Jean Béliveau won a face-off over Phil Esposito in Boston's zone. Cheevers saved a point shot but Beliveau whacked in the rebound to send the game into overtime. 40 seconds in, Dallas Smith turned over the puck at the Bruins blueline to Serge Savard who passed it to Ralph Backstrom, who was in full flight. Backstrom's slapper from the slot beat Cheevers to the stick side for a 3-2 Montreal win.
Game 2 at Montreal mirrored Game 1 in many ways. Despite taking too many penalties (Montreal had 7 power plays), the Bruins penalty killing was excellent but eventually it proved fatal. After a scoreless first period, Yvan Cournoyer and John McKenzie traded goals with the man advantage in the second period. Jean Beliveau put the Habs up 2-1 but Ron Murphy tied it up less than a minute later. With less than six minutes left in the third period, John Bucyk gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead. As in Game 1, the Canadiens pulled Gump Worsley for an extra attacker. Serge Savard tied the game in the last minute, shovelling a bouncing puck past Gerry Cheevers. In overtime, Ted Green took a hooking penalty 3:31 in and Ralph Backstrom won a draw in the Bruins zone back to Savard. Mickey Redmond deflected Savard's point shot past Cheevers for a 4-3 Canadiens win.
Game 3 at the Boston Garden saw the Bruins play with more discipline and Phil Esposito's line dominated Montreal's top line of Jean Beliveau, Dick Duff and Bobby Rousseau. Esposito opened the scoring as he one-timed a Bobby Orr dump-in that bounced off the boards in front of the Habs net 3:37 into the game. After killing off three penalties, the Bruins made it 2-0 at 16:35 of the second period as Ed Westfall picked off a Montreal clearing attempt, passed it to Esposito in the corner who found Orr in front of the Canadiens net. Orr passed it to Westfall, after drawing the Habs defenders to him, and Westfall slid it into the open net. Early in the third period on the power play, Ron Murphy won a puck battle at centre ice, skated into Montreal's zone and backhanded a pass to Esposito in the slot. Orr drove for net, leaving Esposito to fire the puck past Worsley. At 10:07, Ken Hodge stripped Rousseau of the puck in the Canadiens zone, passed it back to Murphy who beat Worsley to the stick side for a 4-0 Boston lead. Right off the face-off, Dallas Smith carried the puck into the Canadien's zone and fed it to Esposito. His shot on Worsley rebounded out to Ken Hodge who made it 5-0. Jean Beliveau finished -4, Esposito had a hand in all five Bruin goals as Boston narrowed Montreal's series lead to 2-1.
Game 4 at Boston was penalty-filled with the Bruins taking the majority of the 18 called. However, Boston turned this to their advantage with Ed Westfall and Derek Sanderson both scoring shorthanded goals in the first period, countered by a power play goal by Jacques Lemaire. The game remained scoreless through the second period with a melee involving spearing between Ted Harris and Glen Sather. With less than two minutes left in the third period, Bobby Orr put the Bruins up 3-1. Serge Savard again scored with Worsley pulled but the game ended in a 3-2 Bruins win and the series tied 2-2.
Game 5 at Montreal saw the Bruins fail to take advantage of their chances. Jacques Laperriere opened the scoring on the power play late in the first period. Claude Provost and J.C. Tremblay scored two quick goals early in the second period before Ken Hodge notched a pair, including one on the power play. Provost's second of the game at 7:06 of the third period made it 4-2 Montreal. Despite out shooting Montreal 42-25 and having seven power plays, the game ended 4-2 and the Canadiens took a 3-2 series lead.
Game 6 at Boston was a wide open, goaltender's duel in which the Bruins outshot the Canadiens 51-47. Ron Murphy opened the scoring 2:29 into the game and then Boston killed off three penalties. The second period was scoreless, despite the Bruins having a 5 on 3 power play for 1:24. Early in the third period, Serge Savard tied the game on the power play. The teams kept trading chances for the remainder of regulation and the first overtime period, in which the Bruins had a power play, but with no scoring. Past the midway point of the second overtime period, Phil Esposito won a face-off in the Bruins zone and Hodge cleared it back to Ted Green. Green rounded the net and passed it out front to Don Awrey. Claude Provost picked off Awrey's clearing attempt, passed it in the slot to Jean Beliveau who beat Cheevers with a high shot to the glove side for his only career OT goal. The Canadiens took the close series 4 games to 2. Despite not playing in the Cup Finals, Esposito still led all playoff scorers with 18 points.
|1||April 10||Boston Bruins||2-3 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||0-1|
|2||April 13||Boston Bruins||3-4 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||0-2|
|3||April 17||Montreal Canadiens||0-5||Boston Bruins||2-1|
|4||April 20||Montreal Canadiens||2-3||Boston Bruins||2-2|
|5||April 22||Boston Bruins||2-4||Montreal Canadiens||2-3|
|6||April 24||Montreal Canadiens||2-1 (OT)||Boston Bruins||4-2|
Montreal Canadiens 4, St. Louis Blues 0
|1||April 27||St. Louis Blues||1-3||Montreal Canadiens||0-1|
|2||April 29||St. Louis Blues||1-3||Montreal Canadiens||0-2|
|3||May 1||Montreal Canadiens||4-0||St. Louis Blues||3-0|
|4||May 4||Montreal Canadiens||2-1||St. Louis Blues||4-0|
|20, 23||Bob Berry||LW||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|1, 29, 30||Tony Esposito||G||13||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
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
- Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
- Conn Smythe Trophy: Serge Savard
- Hart Memorial Trophy: Jean Beliveau, Runner-Up 
- Jean Beliveau, Center, NHL Second Team All-Star
- Yvan Cournoyer, Right Wing, NHL Second Team All-Star
- Ted Harris, Defense, NHL Second Team All-Star
|May 21, 1968||To Oakland Seals
|To Montreal Canadiens|
rights to Lyle Bradley
|June 6, 1968||To Oakland Seals
|To Montreal Canadiens|
1st round pick in 1972 (Michel Larocque)
|August, 1968||To Oakland Seals
|To Montreal Canadiens|
Montreal Canadiens 1969 Stanley Cup Champions
Gump Worsley, Rogatien Vachon, Jacques Laperriere, J. C. Tremblay, Ted Harris, Serge Savard, Terry Harper, Larry Hillman, Jean Beliveau (captain), Ralph Backstrom, Dick Duff, Yvan Cournoyer, Claude Provost, Bobby Rousseau, Henri Richard, John Ferguson, Christian Bordeleau, Jacques Lemaire, Mickey Redmond, Lucien Grenier, Tony Esposito, Toe Blake (coach), Sam Pollock (general manager), Larry Aubut, Eddy Palchak (trainers).
- For more details on this topic, see 1968 NHL Amateur Draft.
- Canadiens who recorded a hat trick this season include:
- Bobby Rousseau during the 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 7, 1968.
- Yvan Cournoyer during the 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on January 25, 1969.
- Jean Béliveau during the 6-4 win over the Chicago Black Hawks on February 2, 1969.
- Jean Beliveau had a four goal game during the 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on February 11, 1969.
- Yvan Cournoyer during the 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 6, 1969.
First period of the Bruins-Canadiens Game 1 of the 1969 Semi-finals on April 10, 1969.
The game tying and overtime goal from the Bruins-Canadiens Semi-finals Game 2, all five goals from Game 3, the overtime winner in Game 6, then highlights from the 1969 Stanley Cup Finals.
- National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.162, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
- 1968-69 Montreal Canadiens Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
- National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p. 220, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5.
|Franchise||Franchise • Original Six • Players • Coaches • General Managers • Seasons • Records • Draft Picks • Award Winners|
|Arenas||Jubilee Arena • Montreal Arena • Mount Royal Arena • Montreal Forum • Bell Centre|
|Affiliates||Laval Rocket (AHL)|
|1968–69 NHL season by team|
|East||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|West||Los Angeles • Minnesota • Oakland • Philadelphia • Pittsburgh • St. Louis|
|See also||1968 NHL Amateur Draft • All-Star Game • 1969 Stanley Cup Finals|
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