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Happy 100th: TSN.ca's 100 reasons to love the Canadiens

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TSN.ca Staff
12/1/2009 1:00:20 PM
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The Canadiens are just a few days from their 100th anniversary and it's a chance for the franchise and hockey fans to look back at the great players, moments and memories of Les Glorieux.

While not everyone bleeds bleu, blanc et rouge, the Canadiens stand proudly as one of the game's great cornerstones and there's a lot to be said for a franchise that has won 24 Stanley Cups in 100 years.

In fact, Canada's oldest hockey team is also this country's most revered, according to a new poll released Monday. A third of respondents named the Canadiens when asked who they considered 'Canada's team,' compared with a quarter who said the same for the team's archrival Toronto Maple Leafs.

With that in mind, TSN.ca offers up its own tribute to hockey's most storied team - our 100 Reasons To Love The Canadiens.

1. The logo - Since 1917, the 'CH' has been one of the most recognized symbols in sports. A lot of people have thought the 'H' stands for Habs, but it's always stood for Hockey, as in Club de Hockey Canadien. That is the fact!

2. The jersey - the bleu, blanc et rouge hasn't changed very much (save for a couple of very early designs - including the barber shop look), as everyone knows of the classic red sweater with the blue stripe across the chest.

3. Howie Morenz - The very first superstar for the Canadiens, Morenz was a legendary skater who brought great skill and passion to his game. He won three Hart Trophies and two scoring titles and helped guide the Canadiens to three Stanley Cups.

4. Joe Malone - The 'Phantom' was the premier goal scorer of his day, twice leading the league in scoring and netting an eye-popping 44 goals in 20 games in his first NHL season.

5. Newsy Lalonde - Hockey was a sport enjoyed more by English-speaking Canadians at the turn of the century and Lalonde, originally from Ontario, arrived in Montreal as its first French star and the cornerstone of the Flying Frenchmen.

6. Aurel Joliat - The Canadiens traded Lalonde to Saskatoon for Joliat in 1923, and the 5-7 'Mighty Atom' launched a 16-year Hall of Fame career - all while wearing his trademark wool hat!

7. Georges Vezina - The Chicoutimi Cucumber never had the best goals-against average, but his clutch play in 15 seasons with the Canadiens inspired the league to later name a trophy after him.

8. The Montreal Forum - From 1924 to 1996, the arena at the corner of Atwater and Ste-Catherine was hockey's shrine.

9. Sweet 16 - On March 3, 1920, the Habs fired 16 goals past the Quebec Athletics - a league record that stands to this day.

10. George Hainsworth's single-season record - Martin Brodeur is ready to break Terry Sawchuk's all-time shutout record, but no one will likely break Hainsworth's league-record 22 shutouts in a season, set in 1929.

11. The Morenz Tribute - The Stratford Streak suffered a broken left leg in a game on Jan. 28, 1937 and passed away in a hospital less than two months later. His body lay in state at the Forum, drawing more than 200,000 visitors.

12. Bill Durnan - Wearing his unique ambidextrous goalie gloves, Durnan backstopped the Canadiens to two Stanley Cups and was the last goaltender to be officially recognized by the league as a team captain. Both of his gloves were hybrid blocker/trappers so he could switch the stick hand to always have his blocker on the short side. He also held the modern day shutout record (309 minutes, 21 seconds) for over 50 years.

13. Dick Irvin Sr. - The team's longest serving coach could sting the game's biggest stars with his acid tongue - and it produced results with three Stanley Cups in 15 seasons.

14. 'To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.' - Dick Irvin had the line from Flanders Fields written across the wall of their dressing room, a reminder to honour the past and keep the winning tradition alive. The line remains in the dressing room today at the Bell Centre and at the Canadiens practice facility in Brossard.

15. Maurice Richard - In the early 1940s, the Canadiens - strangely enough - were close to folding. Richard's skill, passion and competitive spirit not only revived the franchise, but inspired an entire province for generations.

16. The Punch Line - Perhaps hockey's greatest line, the trio of Richard, Toe Blake and Elmer Lach terrorized the league for three seasons. Together they led the Canadiens to two Stanley Cups and finished first, second and third in league scoring in 1945.

17. Eight Points! - On Dec. 28, 1944, Richard became the first player to score eight points in an NHL game - a league record that stood for more than 30 years. And he did it after spending the entire afternoon moving furniture for his family.

18. 50 in 50 - In 1944-45, Richard set a new benchmark for greatness by beating Malone's single season record 44 goals and becoming the first player to pot 50 goals in 50 games.

19. Richard's Three Stars - On March 23, 1944, Richard stacked his resume with a brilliant playoff performance, scoring all five goals in a 5-1 win over the Maple Leafs and picked as the evening's first, second and third star - the first time any player swept the honours.

20. The Handshake - During the seventh game of the 1952 Stanley Cup semi-finals at the Forum, Richard suffered a concussion and was knocked out of the game. But in storybook fashion, he returned in the third period and scored the winning goal. Battered and bruised, his handshake with Bruins goalie 'Sugar Jim' Henry at the end of the game perfectly captured the atmosphere.

21. Rocket's red glare - The look on his face said it all...just get out of his way.

22. The Richard Riot - Richard was suspended for the remainder of the season and playoffs for hitting linesman Cliff Thompson in 1955 and the fans let NHL president Clarence Campbell know it during a fateful March game at the Forum. The fans pelted him with debris and closed in on him until a tear gas bomb exploded, sending the fans pouring out into the street and starting a massive riot. While the property damage was costly and there were no casualties, the event symbolized how much Richard meant to Montrealers.

23. Jean Beliveau - The Canadiens wanted him so badly, they purchased the entire Quebec Senior League to secure his services. The investment was well worth it, as Le Gros Bill was a bonafide winner on the ice and a figure of class and dignity off it.

24. Frank Selke - Toronto's loss was Montreal's gain after a falling out with Conn Smythe saw Selke become the Habs' general manager in 1946. His vision and foresight saw the Canadiens build a dynasty with a farm system that drew some of the game's top players from Quebec and Western Canada.

25. Dickie Moore - A two-time scoring champion and six-time Stanley Cup champion, Moore broke Gordie Howe's record for points in a single season with 96 in 1959. And he did it playing the last three months of the season with a broken wrist.

26. The Power Play Rule - Also known as the 'Montreal Canadiens' rule. Prior to 1956-57, a two-minute minor had to be served in its entirety. But the Habs' devastating power play, with weapons like Bert Olmstead, Dickie Moore, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey and Bernie Geoffrion, were scoring multiple goals on a single power play. So they changed the rule to end the penalty when a goal is scored.

27. Doug Harvey - Before the days of Bobby Orr, Harvey was the trend-setter on the blueline with his remarkable skating and puckhandling abilities. He was on 11 consecutive all-star teams (10 of them first team) and won seven Norris trophies in eight years.

28. Toe Blake - The Hall of Fame left winger made an even bigger name for himself as head coach from 1955 to 1968, leading the Canadiens to eight Stanley Cups. His demanding style and no-nonsense approach was legendary - he could bench you after just one shift if he didn't think you were playing up to your potential.

29. Toe Blake's bar on Ste-Catherine St. - Long before there were coaching clinics, there was Toe's watering hole. Bring a $20 bill and buy a few pints - you'll learn more about coaching in a few short hours from the owner than in an entire summer at some coaching camp.

30. Boom Boom - Bernie Geoffrion made the slap shot a mainstream move upon his arrival in and became one of Montreal's most prolific scorers, potting 50 goals in the 1960-61 season.

31. Jacques Plante - He was one of the winningest goalies of his generation and a great innovator of the game. He was not only the first to break in a goalie mask in regular season play, but was also the first goalie to come out of his net to play the puck and the first to signal icing for his blueliners.

32. Pocket Rocket - Over a 20-year career, Henri Richard won the Cup an NHL record 11 times as a player. The closest non-Hab is Red Kelly who won four with the Red Wings and four with the Leafs.

33. Five Straight - One of the greatest sports dynasties was built from 1955 to 1960 as the Canadiens captured five Stanley Cups in succession - a feat that will likely never be broken. Twelve players were on all five teams (Harvey, Plante, Beliveau, Rocket, Pocket Rocket, Bob Turner, Geoffrion, Talbot, Johnson, Marshall, Moore, Provost), a testament to Frank Selke's championship vision.

34. Rene Lecavalier - The legendary broadcaster was the silky smooth voice for the Canadiens on radio and the first commentator for La Soiree du Hockey.

35. Danny Gallivan - 'Savardian Spinarama.' 'Cannonading drive.' 'Caught up in his paraphernalia.'

36. Dick Irvin Jr. - With almost 60 years under his belt as the coach's son and a broadcaster, Irvin has seen it and lived it as the club's unofficial historian.

37. Claude Mouton - The late great P.A. announcer was the voice of the Montreal Forum.

38. Michel Lacroix - "Mesdames & Messieurs, accueillons nos Canadiens!"

39. The Quiet Dynasty - Everyone remembers the dynasties of the 1950s and 1970s, but Beliveau and the Pocket Rocket led their own championship-calibre club that captured four Stanley Cups from 1965 to 1969. Only those pesky Maple Leafs stood in the way of another five straight - winning in 1967. No wonder Henri Richard said it was their most bitter defeat.

40. The No. 12 - The number worn by legendary wingers Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer. It was retired twice in 2006, in honour of each of them.

41. The Rivalry - From 1959 to 1969, the Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs were locked in a Cold War on the ice. It was contenders vs. contenders with Toe Blake at one end and Punch Imlach at the other. French Canada vs. English Canada. Catholics vs. Protestants. Their games - especially in the playoffs - were vicious, spirited and most of all, enjoyable to watch.

42. John Ferguson - The gritty winger essentially invented the role of the on-ice policeman. And he was a policeman who could play - scoring a career-high 29 goals in 1969 while protecting stars like Beliveau and Cournoyer.

43. Sam Pollock - Like Frank Selke before him, Pollock was a master developer and had a hand in building nine Stanley Cup winners (10 if you include the 1979 club inherited by GM Irving Grundman). He made shrewd deals that landed superstars like Guy Lafleur and Ken Dryden and essentially ran the NHL by establishing the protocol for league expansion and ensuring the Canadiens were ready for it.

44. 1971 playoffs - The Bruins had won the Cup in 1970 and would win again in 1972. In between, they finished the 1971 season with 121 points, while the Habs were fourth in the league with 97. The Bruins had also broken the single season scoring record with 399 goals. The teams met in the first round and the Bruins won Game 1. Up 5-1 in Game 2, the Bruins were literally laughing on the bench - that is, until the Habs stormed back and won the game 7-5. Backed by rookie goaltender Ken Dryden and led up front by Beliveau, they went on to win the Cup (against Chicago) after beating Boston in a stunning seven-game upset.

45. Dryden's save - The Habs were leading Chicago 3-2 in Game 7 of the 1972 Cup Final, with five minutes left and the Blackhawks putting the pressure on. Chicago's Keith Magnuson got a shot on the rookie goalie, leaving a big rebound and an open net for Jim Pappin. But Dryden was spot on, getting his right pad out almost effortlessly to stop Pappin's point blank shot.

46. Brother Act - Ken Dryden and his brother Dave played against each other for the first time on March 20, 1971. Then-Buffalo coach Punch Imlach announced Dave would be starting in goal for the Sabres, hoping that the Habs would do the same with Ken. Instead, the Canadiens started Rogie Vachon - so Imlach started Joe Daley. When Vachon was injured and Ken came in, Imlach sent Dave out. The Canadiens won the game and in a rare moment, both brothers met at centre ice after the siren, shook hands and hugged each other. It was the first and only time in NHL history that two brothers faced off against one another in opposite goals.

47. The Ghosts/The Unseen Hand - A penalty call didn't go your way at The Forum? Did a goal get called off when it shouldn't have? Blame the spirits of the Canadiens' past.

48. The Hockey Sweater - Roch Carrier's childhood story about his Maurice Richard sweater and the Maple Leaf mix-up captured the hearts of readers across the country and around the world. It was later made into a memorable animated short by the National Film Board of Canada.

49. The back of the $5 bill - "The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places - the school, the church and the skating rink - but our real life was on the skating rink."

50. The Nicknames - The Rocket. The Pocket Rocket. The Senator. Pointu. Boom Boom. Butch. The Road Runner. Big Bird. Le Demon Blond. Le Gros Bill. St. Patrick. Les Glorieux. Le Tricolore. The Flying Frenchmen. The list keeps going...

51. The Dryden Pose - Was it cockiness? Was it because the play was always at the other end of the ice? Was it confidence? Was it quiet contemplation? Whatever it was, no one can forget Ken Dryden's legendary pose, with his chin resting on his crossed arms at the top of his stick.

52. Guy Lafleur - The Flower Power era began less than 24 hours after Jean Beliveau retired, as Lafleur went on to record six straight 50-goal seasons and 100-point campaigns and helped lead the Canadiens to five Stanley Cups.

53. The Lafleur Move - Leading up to the 1971 draft, Sam Pollock knew that Guy Lafleur and Marcel Dionne were going to be bigger tickets than anything he could land in 1970. So he orchestrated a trade with the Oakland Seals that sent Ernie Hicke and a first rounder in 1970 for Francois Lacombe and a first rounder in 1971. But as the season reached its halfway point, the L.A. Kings were playing worse than the Seals. So Pollock traded Ralph Backstrom to L.A. Backstrom helped the Kings pass the Seals and Montreal was able to draft Lafleur.

54. Frank Mahovlich - Pollock landed The Big M in a blockbuster deal from Detroit in 1971 and the former Maple Leaf - joined by brother Peter - helped lead the Canadiens to two Stanley Cups.

55. New Year's Eve, 1975 - With a dynasty in the making in Montreal and memories of the Summit Series still fresh in everyone's minds, there was plenty of tension and excitement as the Canadiens were set to face off against Central Red Army in an exhibition game. And many fans and players alike point to that game - a nailbiting 3-3 tie - as the greatest ever played.

56. Larry Robinson - Big Bird is one of the most celebrated blueliners in club history - winning the Norris Trophy twice as the league's best defenceman and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1977-78. A great defensive player and puckhandler.

57. The Hit - It was Game 2 of 1976 Stanley Cup semi-finals and the Canadiens were in tough against the defending champion Philadelphia Flyers. In the third period of play, Robinson set the tone for the rest of the series with a thunderous hit on Gary Dornhoefer. The hip check was so hard, the Philadelphia Flyer made a dent in the boards and play had to be stopped for the Forum crew to make repairs.

58. The 1976-77 season - The most dominating campaign in NHL history saw the Canadiens won their 20th Stanley Cup and set an NHL record for most points in a season by a team with 132. With a 60-8-12 record, they outscored opponents by 216 goals in 80 games for an average of 2.7 goals a game.

59. Lemaire's heroics - Game 4 of the 1977 Cup Final against the Bruins was a classic, with Jacques Lemaire scoring the overtime winner in a 2-1 win that clinched it all.

60. Scotty Bowman - The greatest coach in the game. From 1972 to 1979, Bowman won five Stanley Cups with a talented Canadiens squad that included Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Larry Robinson and Ken Dryden. Bowman's team and won at least 45 games in each of his eight seasons. His demanding style didn't endear him to many of his players, but he produced results - and championships. "You hated Scotty 364 days of the year," Canadiens winger Steve Shutt later explained. "The 365th day was when you picked up your Stanley Cup bonus check."

61. Too Many Men - May 10, 1979. Up 4-3 with three minutes left in Game 7 in the Stanley Cup semi-final, Don Cherry's Boston Bruins commit a costly error when they are penalized for having too many men on the ice. On the ensuing power play, Guy Lafleur scored and sent the game into overtime. Yvon Lambert then scored the overtime winner to send Montreal to the final. The Canadiens went on to win the Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers, their fourth in a row.

62. Roger Doucet's national anthem - His rendition of O Canada (even with a couple of lyrics changed) sent chills down your spine - and his Soviet national anthem even made hard-nosed Soviet players misty-eyed.

63. The Big Three - You will be hard pressed to find a better trio of defenceman than Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe. Their combination of size, toughness, finesse and offence powered the Canadiens for nearly a decade.

64. Guy Lafleur's Disco Album - In 1979, Lafleur released an album called 'Lafleur' - a recording of the future Hall of Famer reciting hockey instructions and singing, accompanied by disco music. Only in Montreal.

65. The Game - Ken Dryden's best-selling book was a snap shot of the final days of Montreal's dynasty in 1979 and not only gave us a close and intimate look at the club, but a revealing glimpse into the world of pro sports.

66. The Hot Dogs - Grilled to perfection and served on a warm, toasted bun. Fans love them, visiting teams order them from the dressing room and even the local media can't critique them. Quite simply, they're the best in the league. Ask anyone.

67. The Bar B Barn - It's not just any chicken and rib joint. Located just a block from the Bell Centre, its mouth-watering menu and ever-so-loyal decor (wallpapered with bleu, blanc et rouge memorabilia) make it a must-stop before a game.

68. The smoked meat - Schwartz's, Reuben's or Dunn's - before or after the game.

69. Firewagon Hockey - The Canadiens played a fast and furious style with plenty of offence and the term applied well to Les Glorieux. It's still okay to call this style of game Firewagon Hockey, but only when referring to the great teams of yesteryear.

70. The standing room rush - The old Forum included about 1,600 general admission standing room spots and at 6:30pm on a game night, the fans with these tickets made a mad rush up the stairs and throughout the building to secure the best sightlines. It was a sight and sound to behold.

71. The Escalators - Shaped like crossed hockey sticks, you knew you were at the home of hockey when you entered through the front of the Forum.

72. Bob Gainey - You don't have to score a highlight-reel goal or make a memorable save to make your mark in Canadiens lore. Gainey's leadership skills, tenacious checking and sound play at both ends of the ice inspired Soviet national team coach Viktor Tikhonov to call him best all-around player in the world. His commitment to defensive hockey was well recognized by the NHL, as Gainey won the Selke Trophy the first four years it was presented.

73. The Battle of Quebec - It was beer company vs. beer company. League vs. League. French-speaking Quebec's team against English-speaking Quebec's team (at least the way it was promoted by the Nordiques). Any way you cut it, it was one of the nastiest and most bitter rivalries in hockey. Games between the Nordiques and the Canadiens spread animosity between the players, coaches, team executives and even the media.

74.  April 20, 1984 - Dubbed the Good Friday Brawl, Game 6 of the Adams Division semi-finals between the Canadiens and Nordiques was The Battle of Quebec at its best (or worst!). With Quebec leading the game, a bench clearing brawl between both clubs broke out at the end of the second period and prior to the start of the third. More than a dozen fights took place on the ice and with shortened benches on both sides, the Canadiens rallied to win the game and the series.

75. The 1984 Draft - While Mario Lemieux was the headliner, the Canadiens made news of their own with the fifth overall pick at The Forum. GM Serge Savard took then-Czechoslovakian defenceman Petr Svoboda, sending shockwaves across the draft floor. Because he was behind the Iron Curtain, Svoboda was expected to be a late-rounder who may never see the ice in North America. But Savard secretly knew that Svoboda had already defected and shocked the entire league again when Svoboda arrived that moment to put on the sweater.

76. Patrick Roy - After decades of cheering on skaters like Richard, Beliveau and Lafleur, Canadiens fans had a face of the franchise in goal for the first time. Without Roy, the Stanley Cup count would be at 22 instead of 24.

77. Roy against the Rangers - One of the best goaltending performances in a single playoff game, Roy stopped 13 shots in overtime of Game 5 before Claude Lemieux scored the game-winning goal for Montreal.

78. Skrudland's OT goal - Down 1-0 in the 1986 Stanley Cup final against Calgary, the Habs were tied at two with the Flames going into overtime of Game 2. Cue Brian Skrudland, who scored the winner just nine seconds in - a playoff record for fastest goal in a playoff overtime.

79. The 75th Anniversary lineup - In 1985, the fans voted for the Canadiens' all-time starting lineup - a list that could should stand the test of time. Jacques Plante in goal, Larry Robinson and Doug Harvey on defence, Dickie Moore at left wing, Rocket on the right and Jean Beliveau at centre.

80. The siren - Every other team uses a horn or buzzer to signify the end of a period or game. The siren in Montreal is unique - and most of the time it was the sound of another win at home.

81. "Na-na-na-na..." - What every visiting team hates to hear from the fans when the Canadiens appear to have the game in hand. But a hard lesson for Montreal fans, make sure the lead is solid and the momentum is in your favour before you start singing.

82. Les Canadiens sont la - "Halte la, halte la, halte la, les Canadiens, les Canadiens. Halte la, halte la, halte la, les Canadiens, sont la. Les Canadiens, les Canadiens sont la!"

83. "Go Habs Go!" - Simple and effective. Never to be confused with Go Leafs Go.

84. "Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!" - Pretty much says it all.

85. L'Oreille's tune - the goal song by the Quebec-based composer had everything you wanted - bells tolling, deep, low baritones and just a hint of arrogance. It was so popular among Montreal fans, online petitions popped up when the club replaced the goal song with U2's Vertigo.

86. Perfect 10 - In the 1993 playoffs, the Canadiens won 10 straight overtime games en route to their 24th Stanley Cup - a playoff mark that may never be broken.

87. Jacques' gutsy call - Down 1-0 in the 1993 Stanley Cup Final series to the L.A. Kings and 2-1 late in Game 2, coach Demers called for a measurement on the blade of Marty McSorley's stick. After a long five-minute wait, referee Kerry Fraser called it illegal and put the Habs on the power play. With Patrick Roy out for an extra skater, Eric Desjardins scored the equalizer and capped the first-ever hat trick by a defenceman in a Cup final game when he went on to score the game-winner in OT - a truly classic moment.

88. The Wink - During Game 4 of the 1993 final, the score was tied and Kings winger Tomas Sandstrom peppering Roy with shots. And with one particular save he made, Roy just looked up at Sandstrom and winked. The TV cameras caught the cocky gesture and it became one of the lasting pictures of the playoffs - and Roy's storied career.

89. No sick day - In the first round of the 1994 playoffs, Patrick Roy came down with appendicitis and missed Game 3. After taking medication, he convinced doctors to let him come in and play Game 4 - and he turned in one of his greatest playoff performances with 39 saves in a 5-2 victory.

90. The closing of The Forum - With a parade of champions and not a dry eye in the building, the shrine at the corner of Atwater and Ste-Catherine finally closed its doors on March 11, 1996. And with its end came one of the greatest moments in team history - a 15-minute standing ovation for Maurice Richard.

91. The ceremonies - Writer Michael Farber once wrote that there are only two institutions in Western civilization that truly grasp ceremony - the House of Windsor and the Montreal Canadiens. From the closing of The Forum to Bernie Geoffrion's sweater retirement, the storied franchise honours it past better than anyone else.

92. Saku Koivu - He never won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens, but the club's second-longest serving captain was the heart and soul of Montreal on an off the ice for 15 seasons.

93. Welcome back, Saku - On April 9, 2002, Koivu - who spent most of the season undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkins' lymphoma - returned to the Canadiens lineup with 21,273 fans giving him an eight-minute standing ovation. With few memorable moments at the new Molson Centre to date, it was a night that gave the building a soul.

94. Farewell to The Rocket - In May of 2000, thousands of people from all corners of the world came to Montreal to pay their respects to Maurice Richard, whose body lay in state at the Molson Centre. The Montreal Expos wore Richard's No. 9 on their sleeves during the season and Richard was given a provincial state funeral that was broadcast live across the country. A fitting tribute for a provincial and national icon.

95. The Rocket - Want to know how much Maurice Richard means to Montreal and the province of Quebec? Rent this 2005 film starring Roy Dupuis (who also starred in a vintage Canadian Heritage commercial as The Rocket).

96. Jose Theodore - He didn't play as long as many Montreal fans wanted, but for a short period of time his goaltending performance - highlighted by winning both the Hart and Vezina trophies in 2002 - made him a superstar.

97. 2004 Playoffs vs. Boston - Down 3-1 in their series against the Bruins, the Habs appeared to be down and out - especially after a demoralizing Game 4 loss in overtime that resulted from Alex Kovalev colliding with teammate Sheldon Souray after being slashed on the hand. But the Canadiens stormed right back, winning Games 5 and 6 by considerable margins and edging the Bruins 2-0 in Game 7 (in Boston) to complete their first-ever comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.

98. 6-5 OT victory against the Rangers - On Feb. 20, 2008, the Habs completed yet another improbable comeback in their storied history, spotting the New York Rangers a 5-0 lead before coming back to win 6-5 in a shootout. It was the first time in franchise history that Montreal came back from a five-goal deficit to win the game - considered one of the greatest the team has ever played.

99. Kovy! Kovy! Kovy! - In a memorable moment for Montreal fans, winger Alex Kovalev completed a rare feat at the 2009 NHL All-Star Game at the Bell Centre. L'Artiste - the first-ever Russian to captain an All-Star team - led the Eastern Conference to a 12-11 victory and took most valuable player honours with two goals, an assist and the game-winning shootout goal.

100. 24 Stanley Cups - With one championship captured before the formation of the NHL and 23 more after 1917, they've won more than any other team in the history of the game. Nuff said.

Bell Centre in Montreal (Photo: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
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