Monday, December 28, 2009

The Rocket’s Eight Point Night, Vezina’s Assist and the Habs 20,000th Goal

image On this day in 1944, Maurice Rocket Richard scored eight points, then an NHL record, in the Canadiens thumped the Detroit Red Wings 9-1.

Richard scored five goals and three assists in the game.

There is a couple variations to the legend behind this historic moment.

Both are correct that Richard was given the morning off to help move. After spending a day of moving furniture, one would suspect that he would be rather tired from the busy day.

This is where the story splits into fact and fiction;

In a fictional variation, was made famous on the Histori Canada commercial below, which has it that Richard was going to be given the night off to move, but then called in to play.

The real story was that Richard was given permission to have the morning off, but would play that night, despite being tired.

Richard got onto the scoreboard with a goal early in the first period, and added an assist before the first 20 minutes had ended.

He added two more goals, in an eight second span, early in the second period and added another goal and assist before the end of the period.

Richard’s fifth goal came in the final period, and his third assist found the stick of Elmer Lach, who redirected the pass beyond the reach of Harry Lumley.

The moment was again captured in the 2007 feature film “The Rocket”. A humorous clip from the film is when his brother-in-law was betting against him and the Canadiens, then sits stunned in the back seat of the car on the ride home.

The record would be tied, by teammate Bert Olmstead in 1953, and is still a Canadiens scoring record.

It would not be broken until Darryl Sittler’s ten point night on February 10, 1976.

First assist by a goalie: Georges Vezina became the first goalie credited with an assist on this day in 1918 against Toronto.

Vezina had stopped a Toronto shot and Newsy Lalonde picked up the puck,rushed back to the other end and scored.

Goal 20,000: Scored by Mike Cammalleri just this evening against the Ottawa Senators. Assists went to Andrei Kostitsyn and Andrei Markov.

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