Montreal Canadiens: This Day In Habs History: Maurice Richard Scores 20 For 11th Straight Year

MONTREAL - UNDATED: Maurice "Rocket" Richard #9 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)
MONTREAL - UNDATED: Maurice "Rocket" Richard #9 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens legends are scattered through the history books of the National Hockey League, dating way back to the league’s earliest days when Joe Malone was scoring two goals per game, and continuing today with Carey Price climbing the all-time wins list.

In between there were dynasty’s built and rebuilt and Hall of Fame players playing all positions while winning awards and Stanley Cups.

The Canadiens have had many offensive players that forced opponents to pay close attention to them. But no one put fear into the opposition like Maurice Richard.

The Rocket, as he was affectionately known in Montreal, came down the right wing with blazing speed and eyes as wide as hockey pucks. He would not let anything stand in his way when he got the puck on his stick and decided he was going to head straight into the goaltender’s crease with it. Defensemen would try to stop him but his combination of skill, speed and sheer will was difficult to deal with.

Richard would go on to play his entire 18 year NHL career with the Canadiens. He scored 544 goals which is still a team record and had 966 points in 978 games. He also scored 82 goals and 126 points in 133 career playoff games.

While his career accomplishments are impressive, it was on this day in 1953 that Richard set a record that showed his tremendous consistency as a goal scorer. It was January 29, 68 years ago when Richard scored his first of two goals in a win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden to give 20 on the season for the 10th consecutive year to begin his career.

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No one had been able to score 20 in their first 10 seasons before Richard was able to pull it off. He would do it for four more years after breaking the record, and was on pace to do it in each of his final three seasons but missed time due to injury.