This Day In Canadiens History: April 9, 1946

By Amos Legault

April 9, 1946 – The Montreal Canadiens defeat the Boston Bruins in five games to win the Stanley Cup.

In those days the playoff format was just a little different. It was still best of seven, but there were only four teams competing for the cup. There was the semi-finals and the finals, and that was it.

That year the Habs faced the Chicago Blackhawks in the semi-finals, and swept them in four games. The Bruins drew the Detroit Red Wings, and defeated them in five.

The final series of  ’46 must have been a fairly exhausting one, as three of the five games that were played between the Habs (lead by head coach Dick Irvin) and the B’s (lead by Dit Clapper) went into overtime. Fortunately, for Canadiens fans, the final game was played at the Montreal Forum, where the Habs won more convincingly by a score of 6-3 to lift Lord Stanley in front of them all.

Habs centre, Elmer Lach, who finished as the league-leader in playoff goals, and league-leader in assists (both regular season and playoffs), had a goal and two assists in that final game. Habs left winger, Toe Blake, scored the game winning goal, and also finished as the second-leading goal scorer in the regular season.

The Habs won the Prince of Whales Trophy (regular season champions), Toe Blake won the Lady Byng (excellence and sportsmanship), and Bill Durnan lead the league in shut-outs, with four, and won his third Vezina Trophy in a row (a record shared with former-Hab, George Hainsworth).

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