|Canadiens 1950s dynasty reunited for Stanley Cup tribute|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 01 June 2007 13:30|
OTTAWA (AP) -The NHL's greatest dynasty has reunited, though the surviving members of the select group of Montreal Canadiens that won five straight Stanley Cups from 1956-60 will let their record speak for itself.
Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Dickie Moore, Tom Johnson, Jean-Guy Talbot and Don Marshall will be on hand Saturday night at Scotiabank Place for a tribute to the team prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.
The former teammates were guests of the league at a dinner in their honor Friday night.
``It's something special,'' said Richard, who won the first of his record 11 Stanley Cups as a rookie in 1955-56. ``When we saw each other, we started teasing each other and joking around. That's the way we were between games. We used to joke and have fun.''
The six men are part of a select group of 12 Canadiens who played for each of the record-setting five straight championship teams.
``There are six gone and it's so nice to have this event,'' Beliveau said. ``It's so great. The family atmosphere that we always had, I still feel it when I see those guys.''
Maurice Richard, Doug Harvey, Jacques Plante, Bernie Geoffrion, Claude Provost and Bob Turner have all passed away, along with coach Toe Blake, a rookie behind the bench when the Canadiens began the streak with a five-game win over Detroit in 1956.
``It's an honor because that's never going to be beaten again,'' Talbot said. ``That won't be possible the way things are now with guys changing teams so often. I don't think it's possible any more to win five in a row.''
With 30 teams competing for the Stanley Cup now over four rounds, the team's record of five straight Stanley Cups - set when the league was composed of six teams and playoffs lasted only two rounds - is relatively safe.
Two teams, however, came close to tying the mark, including the Canadiens of the late 1970s who won four in a row from 1976-79.
The New York Islanders followed that streak with four Cups in a row from 1980-83, and nearly tied the mark before the Edmonton Oilers ended that run with a five-game win over the Islanders in the 1984 final.
``I went to Edmonton to jinx them,'' said Moore, who has mostly recovered from a car accident last August that left him hospitalized with serious injuries.
Richard, Beliveau, Moore, Johnson, Talbot and Marshall won a combined total of 45 championships over the course of their careers, all with Montreal.
``I think the league did a very nice thing honoring this group,'' said Johnson, a Hall of Fame defenseman who played in 10 straight Cup finals with Montreal from 1951-60. ``That was 50 years ago. Not many remember.''