Montreal Canadiens 5th Overall History Part 1: Pierre Bouchard

The Montreal Canadiens recieved the 5th overall pick this year, for the 8th time in their long and storied franchise. So for the summer months we are going to go over all the past 5th overall picks, from Bouchard to Reinbacher.
Bouchard Vs. Irvine
Bouchard Vs. Irvine / Melchior DiGiacomo/GettyImages
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The Life and Times of Pierre Bouchard

Pierre Bouchard is a second generation hockey player, and second generation Montreal Canadien. His father was Emile "Butch" Bouchard, who played 15 seasons, all with the Canadiens, and captained the team for 8 years.

Andrei Markov, Elmer Lach, Emile Bouchard, Ryan O'Byrne
Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens / Richard Wolowicz/GettyImages

In fact, the father and son shared a teammate in Henri Richard. The Pocket Rocket's first NHL season was Emile's last, and he and Pierre played 5 seasons together. That's pretty rare outside of anyone that played with Gordie, Mark and Marty Howe.

Pierre and Emile were both defenders with a penchant for the defensive side of the game, and both backstopped the Canadiens for many years. In fact, the younger Bouchard was brought up specifically to make the team better after a disappointing season.

As Guy Lapointe, the player that started his career the same year as Bouchard, said:

""On the last day of the season, the Canadiens had to score so many goals (in order to break a tie in the standings) so they pulled their goalie out in the second period. They lost 10-2 to Chicago.""

Guy Lapointe

And the move worked, as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the 57-14-7 Boston Bruins in the first round on route to beating the Chicago Blackhawks and winning the Stanley Cup. It was the first of five in Bouchard's career.

As a defensive defender, Bouchard never put up fantastic numbers. He never scored more than 5 goals and 15 points in a season, but if you look at the teams he played in front of, he didn't really need to put up offensive numbers, with teammates like Jean Beliveau, Yvan Cournoyer and the Mahovolichs.

Along with goalie Ken Dryden, Bouchard locked down the defensive zone, and never finished with a negative plus/minus as a Canadien, and played a relatively clean game, never eclipsing 70 minutes of penalties in a season.

Not to say that he shied away from the rough stuff. He did have a good amount of fights that can still be found on youtube, but are a little graphic to post here. But as a bruising, defensive forward, he was the envy of many teams, which is why he ended up where he did in 1978.