Montreal Canadiens Making History

Montreal Canadiens Making History&h=235&w=320&zc=1

There isn’t a more storied franchise in the NHL than the Montreal Canadiens. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’ve got the hardware to make their case. Most impressive among their accomplishments–a mind blowing 24 Stanley Cups. The Toronto Maple Leafs are second with 13 followed by the Detroit Red Wings with 11. In other words, no one is within 10 Cups of the Habs. Montreal has sent 50 players to the Hockey Hall of Fame and 12 more individuals in the ‘builders’ category.

The current Montreal team, however, is doing something that no other Habs team has done in the 100+ years they’ve been playing hockey. The 2015-2016 Canadiens have already set a franchise record for most wins to start the season. Montreal beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on opening night and they haven’t lost since. They’ve won every game in regulation for a 9-0-0 record to start the season. Only one of the games was decided by a single goal. Perhaps the most impressive statistic–the Canadiens have only trailed in a game for 2:57 this season. When a team goes less than 3 minutes without trailing over the course of 9 hockey games they’re doing something special.

In some ways it’s a surprise. The 2014-2015 Habs were poor on the offensive end but won games based on Carey Price’s phenomenal play in goal. So far this year that hasn’t been the case. Montreal leads the NHL in scoring with 35 goals–six more than second place Washington. And they’ve only surrendered 12 goals, the lowest total in the league. That’s a +23 differential and there’s not another team even close to that. In fact, there’s only one other team in the league with a double digit differential–the Washington Capitals at +11.

On Tuesday night the Canadiens will play the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Tuesday night with a chance to tie the record for the best start to the season in NHL history. The 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres both won their first ten games of the season. But they didn’t win them all in regulation which the Canadiens have done so far. It’s a long season and it’s worth noting that neither of the previous 10 game winners went on to take the Stanley Cup.

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