Montreal Canadiens: This Day In Habs History: Jean Beliveau Scores Hat-Trick In 44 Seconds

MONTREAL, QC - 1971: Jean Beliveau #4 Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - 1971: Jean Beliveau #4 Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau did a lot of great things on and off the ice. On this day, he scored three times in 44 seconds.

Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau had a terrific career on and off the ice for the Habs. He was a tremendous centre who dominated with his size and skill for a long NHL career.

That career only began when the Habs bought the Quebec Senior League and turned it into a pro circuit. Beliveau was so loyal to his hometown team that he wouldn’t leave to go play for the Canadiens, even though he would have received a significant pay raise.

This delayed him becoming a full-time NHL player until he was 22 years old, but he still enjoyed a fantastic 18 year career with the Montreal Canadiens on the ice, and another lengthy tenure as an ambassador for the team after his retirement.

Beliveau’s greatest career accomplishment was getting his name on the Stanley Cup 17 times. He won ten as a player and another seven as an executive, all of them while a member of the Canadiens organization in one capacity or another. While it took him nearly 40 years to complete that impressive feat, he completed another difficult team record much quicker.

On this day, in 1955, Jean Beliveau would score three goals in just 44 seconds. It was the fastest hat trick scored in team history and it ultimately led to a league rule change.

Back in 1955, when a player took a penalty, they stayed in the box for the entire two minutes. It didn’t matter if the other team scored three times, that player stayed in the box to serve his whole tripping penalty. And that is exactly what happened on November 5, 1955.

The Canadiens were playing the Boston Bruins and a Bruins minor penalty led to a two minute power play for the Habs. In the 1955-56 season, that meant Beliveau was coming over the boards to take the face-off and he would be joined by Dickie Moore and Rocket Richard up front while Boom Boom Geoffrion shuffled back to the point with Doug Harvey.

That is a difficult group to stop and the Bruins simply couldn’t. Not only did the Habs find the back of the Bruins net, they did it three times in just 44 seconds, and all three goals were scored by Beliveau.

That season was one of the best of Beliveau”s career. He led the league with 47 goals and was first in points with 88. He also led the playoffs in goals with 12 and points with 19 as the Canadiens won their first of five consecutive Stanley Cups.

Beliveau won his only Art Ross Trophy in that season and also won the first of his two Hart Trophy’s as league MVP. Not so coincidentally, the NHL came up with a new rule for the next season that allowed players to leave the penalty box after their team allows a goal.

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That wasn’t entirely because of Beliveau’s amazing outburst that took place on this day, 65 years ago, but that impressive Canadiens unit of five future Hall of Famers was the main reason for the rule change.