NHL

The Ultimate Canadiens Team

If you were picking an all-time Montreal Canadiens' team but could pick only one of Jacques Plante or Patrick Roy or one of Rocket Richard or Guy Lafleur, who would you choose? TSN made those hard calls and many more in assembling the ultimate Habs’ club organized along the lines of a real team. The result: a squad that spans seven decades of team and individual greatness.

Photo Credits: Denis Brodeur/Getty Images; Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images; Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images; Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images; The Canadian Press

First Scoring Line

LW - DICKIE MOORE
"Digging Dickie"
Years with Habs: 1951-1963
Stats: 654 GP, 254 G, 594 PTS
The Lowdown: Moore was among the NHL's best shooters and puckhandlers. His aggressive style of play and resilience was best exemplified in 1958, when he won the scoring title with 84 points despite playing the final three months of the season with a broken wrist.

C - JEAN BELIVEAU
"Le Gros Bill"
Years with Habs: 1951-1971
Stats: 1,125 GP, 507 G, 1,219 PTS
The Lowdown: He was as graceful on the ice as he was off it. Not only was Beliveau a strong skater and a skilled playmaker, the towering centre was also hard to knock off the puck as he was striding towards the net.

RW - MAURICE RICHARD
"The Rocket"
Years with Habs: 1942-1960
Stats: 978 GP, 544 G, 965 PTS
The Lowdown: Considered by many to be the most explosive player in the offensive zone, Richard had the drive, passion and competitive spirit to do what he always did best - score lots of goals. When he barreled towards the net with a full head of steam, great things happened.


Second Scoring Line

LW - JOHN FERGUSON
The Policeman
Years with Habs: 1963-1971
Stats: 500 GP, 303 PTS, 1,214 PIM
The Lowdown: He was the tough 'big brother' in the yard for Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard, but was also an underrated scorer. He scored less than 15 goals just once in his eight years with the Habs.

C - SAKU KOIVU
Heart And Soul
Years with Habs: 1995-Present
Stats: 755 GP, 182 G, 613 PTS
The Lowdown: Koivu has spent much of his career battling injuries, but the Canadiens' current captain makes the most of the playing time he's given with his two-way game and playmaking skills.

RW - BOBBY ROUSSEAU
Skill and Passion
Years with Habs: 1961-1970
Stats: 643 GP, 200 G, 522 PTS
The Lowdown: Rousseau was a key member of Montreal's 'Quiet Dynasty' in the 1960s, leading the Canadiens in scoring in 1967 and 1968 and playing on the power play and penalty kill.


Checking Line

LW - BOB GAINEY
"Bo"
Years with Habs: 1973-1989
Stats: 1,160 GP, 501 PTS
The Lowdown: With a tight checking game and stellar two-way play taught by Roger Neilson, Gainey was the best defensive forward of his era - and perhaps the best ever. He was the defensive backbone to Montreal's high-flying dynasty of the seventies.

C - GUY CARBONNEAU
"Carbo"
Years with Habs: 1980-1994
Stats: 912 GP, 547 PTS
The Lowdown: A three-time Selke Trophy winner, Carbonneau was the perfect shadow against skilled centres like Gretzky, Stastny and Lemieux. He also perfected the art of shot-blocking and helped Patrick Roy see a lot less rubber.

RW - CLAUDE PROVOST
The Underrated Role Player
Years with Habs: 1955-1970
Stats: 1,005 GP, 589 PTS
The Lowdown: Before there was Bob Gainey, there was Claude Provost. His aggressive approach and hard-checking game was often overlooked, especially for a player who was just 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds.


Energy Line

LW - ANDRE PRONOVOST
Defence First
Years with Habs: 1956-1961
Stats: 226 GP, 88 PTS
The Lowdown: In four seasons with the Canadiens, Pronovost established himself as a superb defensive presence and a key role player of the dynasty from the 1950s.

C - BRIAN SKRUDLAND
Dependable Down The Middle
Years with Habs: 1985-1993
Stats: 475 GP, 78G, 217 PTS
The Lowdown: The Alberta native was a great character player who, along with Guy Carbonneau, developed his defensive play and checking role under captain Bob Gainey.

RW - JIMMY ROBERTS
Career In Versatility
Years with Habs: 1964-1967, 1971-1977
Stats: 596 GP, 162 PTS
The Lowdown: Roberts was a favourite of Scotty Bowman's in St. Louis and Montreal - and rightfully so. Whether he was on right wing or defence, he brought intensity and leadership to every shift.


First Defence Pair

D - DOUG HARVEY
Simply The Best
Years with Habs: 1947-1961
Stats: 890 GP, 447 PTS
Lowdown: Harvey's fluid skating and brilliant passing abilities always set the Canadiens' offensive attack in motion, and his stellar puck control kept the other team from getting scoring chances.

D - MIKE KOMISAREK
A Stabilizing Force
Years with Habs: 2002-Present
Stats: 324 GP, 52 PTS
Lowdown: At just 26, Komisarek is the complete defensive package with great size and physicality. He's firmly entrenched as one of the NHL's best hitters and shot-blockers.


Second Defence Pair

D - LARRY ROBINSON
"Big Bird"
Years with Habs: 1972-1989
Stats: 1,202 GP, 883 PTS
Lowdown: Robinson was the most complete defenceman to ever suit up for the Canadiens. The 6-4, 225-pound tower could dominate you in an offensive game or crush you in a physical game.

D - SERGE SAVARD
"The Senator"
Years with Habs: 1966-1981
Stats: 917 GP, 412 PTS
Lowdown: Once tabbed as a skilled puckhandler and playmaker, early injuries in his career forced him to focus more on the play in his own zone. It worked, as Savard became the Canadiens' best defensive defenceman of all-time.


Third Defence Pair

D - TED HARRIS
Tough As They Come
Years with Habs: 1964-1970
Stats: 407 GP, 113 PTS
Lowdown: Not only was he a good defensive player, but the 6-foot-2 blueliner was tough as nails and a great hitter, teaming up with John Ferguson to protect Montreal's smaller skilled players.

D- CRAIG LUDWIG
The Unsung Hero
Years with Habs: 1982-1990
Stats: 437 GP, 137 PTS
Lowdown: A hulking defensive blueliner, Ludwig was always there to clear traffic in front of Patrick Roy and sweep away rebounds. And his trademark-wide shin pads helped him block a ton of shots.


Goaltenders - Starter and Backup

G - JACQUES PLANTE
"Jake The Snake"
Years with Habs: 1953-1963
Stats: 312-134-108, 2.23 GAA, 58 SO
Lowdown: A tough choice over Dryden and Roy, but Plante was the master innovator of his day. Not only did he break in the mask, he was also the first goalie to leave the crease to play the puck and raise his arm to indicate icing.

G - MICHEL LAROCQUE
"Bunny"
Years with Habs: 1973-1981
Stats: 144-48-31, 2.83 GAA, 17 SO
Lowdown: Backing up Ken Dryden, Larocque averaged about 30 starts a season and helped lead the Canadiens to four straight Stanley Cups.

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