Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Top 100 Habs By Decade:

3. 1959-1969


In recognition of the Canadiens Centennial this Friday, we at Lions in Winter have been doing what we like best – making lists. As a precursor to publishing the definitive LIW top 100, we will be counting down the decades from least successful to most successful and naming our LIW top 10 players for the ten-year span.

Though this celebration has inevitably lost some steam due to relentless marketing and pre-game ceremonies for all of living memory, it would be a shame to let it pass unnoticed just because Mr. Gillett wanted to cash in before he cashed out.

1959-1969


The 1960s are consistently sold as the forgotten dynasty or the decade of the overlooked. But just like articles that pump up the same players time after time for being underrated, so too the 1960s – all the talk of being underrated sometimes risks making pundits overrate what happened in the 1960s.

While it is true that the Canadiens won 4 Stanley Cups in the 1960s proper and 5 Cups in the decade I have set from 1959-69, generally it is fair that this span of years should be relegated behind the incredible 1950s and unbelievable 1970s. Any other team would cite the Canadiens 1960s as their Golden Age. However, the 1960s were a bit of a changing of the guard and it showed for the early years.

The players selected for the 1960s were chosen either because they represented the 1960s well. In some cases, the 1960s was the core of their career, in others the beginning and some the twilight. Here they are.

[Note: Each player only appears in one decade's top 10 – so you may have to wait for the next update for your favourites]


10. John Ferguson (Top 100 all-time, Profile)










































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1963-71500

145

158

303

(+61)(30)

AS
Decade best (Season)1968-6971292352+307
















Habs career (Playoffs)1964-7185

20

18

38












(4)

5 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1968-69

1443

7












2

SC


The most feared man in the NHL during his time. His ability to play hockey as well made him supremely valuable to the dynasty of the 1960s.


9. Bobby Rousseau (Top 100 all-time, Profile)










































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1960-70643

200

322

522

(+42)(32)

C, AS
Decade best (Season)1965-6670

30

48

78












4

AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1962-6978

16

29

45












(3)

4 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1964-6513

5

8

13























SC


Talented scorer. Second in league scoring in 1965-66, while leading in assists.


8. Charlie Hodge (Top 100 all-time, Profile)





































































Years(s)GPWLTGAASOAwards*
Habs career (Season)1954-6723711572

40

2.4621V, AS
Decade best (Season)1963-64623318

11

2.268

V, AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1955-6516

7

8

0

2.392

SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1964-655

3

2

0

2.001SC


Lucky enough to have a good back-up, the Habs finally got to see what Hodge was worth (and it was Vezinas) after Plante was gone.


7. Dick Duff (Top 100 all-time, Profile)










































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1964-7030587

85172

(-12)

17AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1967-6866

252146

+68
















Habs career (Playoffs)1965-6960

16

26

42












(2)

4 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1968-69146

8

14












1SC


Brought in to replace Dickie Moore's scoring, Duff produced well. 1967-68 was his highlight for the Habs, where he shot 22.5% with 8 GWGs.


6. Rogatien Vachon (Top 100 all-time, Profile)













































































Years(s)GPWLTGAASOAwards*
Habs career (Season)1966-72206

110



56

30



2.6513



V
Decade best (Season)1967-6839

23





13



2





2.484





V


Habs career (Playoffs)1967-6919



14



5

0

1.941



2 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1968-698



7



1

0

1.42

1SC


His brief stint with the Canadiens was notable for its consistency and excellence in the playoffs. Only the arrival of Dryden kept him from more.


5. Ralph Backstrom (Top 100 all-time, Profile)










































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1956-71844215

287

502

(+28)(17)C, AS
Decade best (Season)1961-6266

27

38

65

















AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1959-69100

22

26

48









(3)

6 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1965-6610

3

47

















SC


The pan-dynastic talent is perhaps best remembered as the Candiens 3rd fiddle behind Beliveau and Richard. However, he had plenty of offensive talent himself and contributed much. One of the most interesting contributions he made to the Canadiens were his 27 points in 33 games to close out the season for the LA Kings in 1971, lifting them out of the cellar and granting the Candiens a first overall pick in the process.


4. Jean-Claude Tremblay (Top 100 all-time, Profile)










































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1959-7279457

306

363(+130)(11)AS
Decade best (Season)1968-6975

7

32

39

+291

AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1961-72108

14

51

65









(5)

5 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1965-6610

2

9

11

















SC


Slick skating, smart defenceman who QBed a successful PP for more than a decade.


3. Lorne "Gump" Worsley (Top 100 all-time, Profile)













































































Years(s)GPWLTGAASOAwards*
Habs career (Season)1963-70172

92



44

25



2.4216



2 V, AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1967-6840

19





9



8





1.98

6





V, AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1965-6939



29

7

0

1.914



4 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1967-6812



11



0



0

1.88

1SC


The vet brought in to man the fort after Plante's departure. He kept the young goalies honest and the fans of goalies satisfied with 2 Vezina trophies himself.


2. Jacques Laperriere (Top 100 all-time, Profile)










































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)2001-06691

40

242

282

(+241)(5)

C, N, AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1965-6657

62531









2

N, AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1963-7388

922

31









(1)5 SC


Decade best (Playoffs)1967-6813

1

3

4









0

SC


The intelligent, stay-at-home, big defender we all hope all of our current players could be.


1. Henri "Pocket Rocket" Richard (Top 100 all-time, Profile)










































































Years(s)GPGAPts+/-GWGAwards*
Habs career (Season)1955-751256

358688

1046

(+126)(28)BM, AS, HOF
Decade best (Season)1962-6367

2350

73

















AS
Habs career (Playoffs)1956-75180

4980

129









(3)

11 SC
Decade best (Playoffs)1959-608



3

9

12

















SC


Always a bit lost in Canadiens lore. No player had more to overcome than he, with a small stature and a big shadow from his older brother. That he went on to become the winningest athlete in hockey and North American sports history is a feat. That he did it with modesty and grace is an all-too seldom mentioned accomplishment.



* Awards: N = Norris trophy; V = Vezina trophy; C = Calder trophy; BM= Bill Masterton; AS= All-star; SC = Stanley Cup.

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