CBC Digital Archives

Too many men send Habs to Cup final

Three colours, 24 Stanley Cups, over 3,000 victories, millions of fans – and 100 years. In 2009 the Montreal Canadiens celebrate their centennial as one of hockey's most legendary teams. The Habs have made Montrealers proud, but they are beloved far beyond their hometown for their star players and impressive records. CBC Digital Archives pays tribute to the bleu, blanc et rouge with 14 remarkable moments in Habs history.

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There are three minutes left in Game 7 in the Stanley Cup semifinals of 1979. Having suffered more than their share of defeat and humiliation at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins under Don Cherry establish a new low when they are penalized for having too many men on the ice, as seen in this game clip. On the ensuing power play, the Habs' Guy Lafleur scores, sending the game into overtime. Midway through the first overtime period, the humiliation is complete as Habs forward Yvon Lambert taps one in, securing his team a spot in the Stanley Cup final.
• This was the third year in a row that Montreal had defeated Boston in the playoffs, although in 1977 and 1978 the two teams met in the Stanley Cup final. • After the game, Bruins coach Don Cherry blamed himself for the too-many-men penalty, declining to name the player who was last to step on the ice. "It was my fault," he said, according to the Globe and Mail. "The guy couldn't have heard me yell. I grabbed two other guys trying to go over the boards. That would have made eight on the ice. Might as well have let them go."

• Cherry was fired as coach of the Bruins later that month. Listen to a CBC Digital Archives clip in which Cherry discusses the reasons for his dismissal.

• The Canadiens went on to win the Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers that year, the team's fourth in a row.

Medium: Television
Program: Hockey Night in Canada
Broadcast Date: May 10, 1979
Duration: 4:01

Last updated: May 15, 2014

Page consulted on May 15, 2014

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