At a time much more glorious, the Montreal canadiens collected the Stanley cup, especially during the golden years of Maurice Richard, there are exactly 60 years ago Tuesday, relished the last championship of his illustrious career.
Thus, on April 14, 1960, the Holy Flannel, completed a sweep of the four games in the final at the expense of the Toronto Maple Leafs to lift his fifth cut in a row, a mark in the national League that still stands. A victory of 4 to 0, at Maple Leaf Gardens has allowed Richard to get his eighth ring in life, in what was his farewell to the competition. The “Rocket” has actually announced his retirement on 15 September of the same year.
Also, the Habs had crushed everything in its path, winning eight duels in the playoffs. Asked to explain the success of the training for which it has evolved during more than 700 games between 1954-1955 and 1966-1967, the ex-defender Jean-Guy Talbot has a very simple answer.
“We were a family, he mentioned the site NHL.com. After each party, we went out together to go eat in the company of our wives. It took a few glasses, we headed home and the next day, we went back on the rink. It was a great time.”
“We worked hard for these championships, he also pointed out. Before each duel, we were afraid to lose. We trimait so hard that the more we worked the more we made. We had a great team, all the players were like brothers.”
Unlike the 2000s, the communication between the players was easier, according to the Quebec 87-year-old.
“We traveled by train for away games. We spoke a lot, because we had not bad time. A guy could say that he has played poorly and that he will do better next time. Another said that they would have had to give him the puck more often. We talked always of the meetings.”
The boat master
Talbot, like his deceased friend, Henri Richard, has won the cup in his first five full seasons in his career. Upon his arrival, he met with head coach Toe Blake, who, as a former hockey player, advocated an approach based on the player.
“Toe was the best instructor I’ve ever played on, said Talbot, who has worn the uniform of four other clubs until his retirement in 1971. We practiced like we played. We had sequences of three against two. So, I was practicing defensive against the best attackers in the league. It was easier once rendered in front of the opposition on the day of the match, since during the sessions, I was against Henry, the Rocket and Dickie Moore. Let’s say that they were superior to the guys of other teams. We worked very hard in training.”
This hard work has created the greatest dynasty in the history of the national League and Talbot does not hide his pride no more.
“Our record of five cuts will never be beaten and it makes me very happy,” he said.