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Detroit Red Wings New Division Rivals: Montreal Canadiens

August 24th, 2013 at 3:13 PM
By Frank Vajcner

'Detroit Red Wings bench' photo (c) 2010, Anna Enriquez - license:

As we continue on our journey through the Detroit Red Wings new division, the final two teams are anything but new rivals to the Wings.

Aujourd'hui, nous nous dirigeons vers Montréal pour visiter les Canadiens de Montréal (In English, that means we are going to look at the Montreal Canadiens…see what I did there.)

2012-13 Record: 29-14-5

Home Arena: Centre Bell (Bell Centre), Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Playoff Appearances: 83

Most Recent: 2013 (Lost to Ottawa Senators in five games in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals)

Division Titles: 22 (Most Recent was 2012-13 Northeast Division)

Conference Titles: Eight (Most Recent was 1992-93 Prince of Wales)

Stanley Cups: 24 (1915–16, 1923–24, 1929–30,1930–31, 1943–44, 1945–46, 1952–53, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1957–58,1958–59, 1959–60, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1970–71,1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1985–86, 1992–93)


General Manager: Marc Bergevin

Head Coach: Michel Therrien (fifth season)

Notable Players: RW Rene Borque, RW Brendan Gallagher, RW Brian Gionta ("C"), LW Max Pacioretty, C/RW Danny Briere, C David Desharnais, C Tomas Plekanec, C Alex Galchenyuk, D P.K. Subban, D Andrei Markov, D Josh Gorges, D Douglas Murray, G Carey Price

AHL Affiliate: Hamilton Bulldogs

Notable Prospects: D Jarred Tinordi, RW Michael McCarron, C Jacob De La Rose, D Darren Dietz, C/RW Gabriel Dumont, G Zachary Fucale, D Dalton Thrower


Overall Series: Canadiens lead 304-230-96

Last Meeting: Canadiens won 7-2 at the Bell Centre on January 25, 2012

Playoff Meetings: 13, including five for the Stanley Cup

Most Recent: 1977-78 Quarterfinals (Canadiens won 4-1)

Fun Facts:

  • Both teams have combined for 35 Stanley Cups.
  • Four of five meetings between both teams for the Cup came between 1952 and 1956.
  • Former Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman coached the Canadiens to five Stanley Cups between 1971 and 1979
  • The most famous game between the two teams was played on December 2, 1995 at the Montreal Forum. It was here where the Red Wings scored nine (yes, you read that right) goals on Canadiens netminder Patrick Roy. After Sergei Fedorov scored the ninth goal, Roy was immediately pulled and told then-Canadiens President Ronald Corey that he had played his last game for le bleu, blanc et rouge. Roy was then traded to the Colorado Avalanche, and the rest is history.


Are the Canadiens (better known as Les Habitants, or the Habs) on their way back to being a powerhouse? Some might think that they are, after winning the Northeast Division last season, and finishing the regular season second in the Eastern Conference.

The Habs have plenty of firepower in terms of offense, as they ranked fourth in the NHL in goals scored per game. Pacioretty, Gallagher, and Gionta are very strong on the wing, while Plekanec, Desharnais, and Galchenyuk form one of the most underrated trio of centers. Keep in mind that both Gallagher and Galchenyuk were both rookies last season, with the latter being a finalist for the Calder Trophy.

The blue line could be the best in the division with reigning Norris Trophy winner Subban and Markov forming the best shutdown pair not named Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Gorges has been strong defensively, and Tinordi could see more action after playing well at the end of the season. The team also recently signed Murray to bolster the blue line.

Price has been one of the top goaltenders in the NHL, and has drawn consideration for the Vezina Trophy. However, he has also drawn plenty of criticism for not being an elite goalie. This could be a big season for Price, who is also a candidate to play for Team Canada at the 2014 Olympics.

It's also worth noting that Brandon Prust, Ryan White, and George Parros will bring plenty of toughness to the Habs. Prust led the team in penalty minutes with 110, while White wound up in Brendan Shanahan's doghouse, and was suspended for five games.

In short, while these may not be your father's Habs, this is a team that can win the Atlantic Division, and possibly make a deep playoff run. While the rivalry with the Red Wings may not be as intense as the team's rivalry with the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs, it's still a tough ticket for fans to get.

For more coverage on the Canadiens, check out Habs Eyes On The Prize.


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Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Montreal Canadiens, NHL

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