April 14

This Day in History

Sports

Apr 14, 1960:

Montreal Canadiens win fifth consecutive Stanley Cup

On April 14, 1960, the Montreal Canadiens defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup for a record fifth year in a row.

The Canadiens reached the Stanley Cup Finals after sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks in four games, while the Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings, four games to two. The championship series began on April 7, 1960, with a 4-2 victory for the Canadiens, also known as the Habs. (Habs is short for Les Habitants, a term dating back to the 17th century that refers to the French settlers in what is now Quebec.) Game 2 of the series also went to the Canadiens, 2-1, as did Game 3, with a final score of 5-2. On April 14, the Canadiens shut out the Maple Leafs, 4-0, to sweep the series and take home their fifth Stanley Cup championship in a row. No other team in hockey had ever won five straight Stanley Cups and the record still stands today. After the Canadiens’ victory, one of their star players, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, the first man to score 50 goals in 50 games (in the 1944-1945 season) and the first to score 500 career goals, retired.

The Montreal Canadiens were founded in December 1909, as part of the National Hockey Association (NHA). In 1916, the team claimed its first Stanley Cup by defeating the Portland Rosebuds of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The Canadiens left the NHA to join the National Hockey League when it was established in 1917. They went on to capture the Stanley Cup again in 1924, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946 and 1953. In 1956, the team won the first Stanley Cup in its five-year streak, which culminated with the 1960 victory.

Six more championships followed throughout the 1960s and early 1970s (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973). In 1976, the Canadiens won the first of four consecutive Stanley Cup victories. After 1979, they would take home the Cup two more times, in 1986 and 1993. The team, which is officially known as Le Club de Hockey Canadien, has a total of 24 Stanley Cup championships, more than any other NHL team. As for consecutive Stanley Cups wins, the only teams to come close to the Canadiens’ record five-in-a-row are the New York Islanders, who had four straight wins between 1980 and 1983, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, who captured the Cup three times straight between 1962 and 1964.

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