With pre-season a few weeks away, let's take a look back at Montreal's 1959-60 Stanley Cup win. This final involved a plethora of stars, including Maurice Richard playing in his last NHL game.
The year was 1960. The Montreal Canadiens are one win away from completing a perfect postseason, having shut out the Blackhawks 4-0 in their one and only previous playoff series that year. The Leafs couldn't stop Montreal's momentum, as the Habs were quick to take a three game lead in the 1960 Stanley Cup Finals.
The Canadiens are led by legends like Jean Béliveau, Boom-Boom Geoffrion, Dickie Moore, Doug Harvey, Henri Richard and Jacques Plante. The Leafs counter with their own set of their own fabled heroes, including Bob Pulford, George Armstrong, Red Kelly, Dick Duff, Frank Mahovlich, Tim Horton and Johnny Bower.
It's worth noting that this would end up being Maurice Richard's final game with the Canadiens.
Thanks to reddit user lostcanuck, we get to take a look at the the old footage via a collection of gifs from the game.
Moments after the puck is dropped, Boom Boom Geoffrion gets plowed into Johnny Bower's net. The first thing that I comes to mind when watching this is that Bower's first instinct is not to shove a blocker down Béliveau's throat or embellish the contact, but instead he helps him with his skate that appears to be stuck in the netting.
Later in the first period, Bob Pulford charges down the ice during a penalty kill and absolutely flattens Jacques Plante to the immediate applause of Leafs fans.
The elation quickly turned to frustration, as Leafs fans littered the ice when Pulford was inevitably called for charging Plante.
Bobby Braun and Henri Richard engage in some stickwork, while Maurice Richard doesn't move an inch.
Up 1-0 thanks to a Jean Béliveau goal, Doug Harvey makes it 2-0 Montreal with a blast from the point.
Heads up! Harvey demolishes George Armstrong on the blue line.
Boom-Boom might have been known for his heavy shot, but he had a nifty pair of mittens at his disposal:
Jacques Plante was in fine form that year. Here he is stopping Frank Mahovlich on the breakaway.
One of the most interesting part of the footage is how both teams had to share the same penalty box. I can only imagine how awkward that would be. Although, for entertainment's sake I hope we bring back the shared penalty box.
The Richard's create one last amazing brother-to-brother play, fooling Johnny Bower late in the game:
Bower had no answer to Montreal's ridiculous lineup. Here's Jean Béliveau making it 4-0.
The Habs win the game, series and Stanley Cup. Their 5th consecutive championship.
Jacques Plante joins Maurice Richard as he accepts his eight Stanley Cup, fifth in a row (56-60), and fourth as captain of the Canadiens.
Fittingly, the Rocket retired as a Stanley Cup champion, and was immediately inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame had a customary five year waiting period in place, but waved it in honour of Richard's spectacular career.
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