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Remembering The Great Henri Richard

March 8, 2020

One way to look at the great Henri Richard, who died days back at age 84, is the fact he had more than half as many Stanley Cup titles, all with the Montreal Canadiens, than he had actual birthdays. (Henri, who died on March 6th, a scant 6 days after turning 84, had 21 actual birthdays, having been born on February 29, 1936).

Eleven Stanley Cup titles! That is more than any other player, the classy, great Jean Beliveau, whom I did meet, played on 10 title teams. Only the great Bill Russell, who played on 11 title winners with the Boston Celtics matches Henri Richard’s 11 playing crowns in any major or for that matter, minor North American sports league. Also it is a record that may never be broken.

Back to Beliveau and 10 titles, he gained it and Henri’s 10th as well, in a (3-2) win at Chicago in game 7 of the 1971 Stanley Cup final vs the Blackhawks.

Henri Richard scored the tying goal in the second period and the last goal/Stanley Cup winning goal in the third period. Has anyone ever been “that clutch” in a “winner take all game?!” In any sport?!

The man known as “The Pocket Rocket” (his legendary older brother Maurice was “The Rocket”) also scored the Stanley Cup winning goal in game 6 at Detroit vs the Red Wings, in the 1966 Stanley Cup final.

Others have 2 Stanley Cup winning goals but theirs do not match Richard’s in terms of importance to the overall result.

It is that fact, the winning, the skill (twice leading the league in assists) and most of all the determination, that makes Henri Richard an unforgettable great.

Some say Henri got his chance from Canadiens’ executive, Frank Selke, as a favor to brother Maurice, with whom Henri would play on 5 consecutive Stanley Cup winners, in Maurice’s last 5 seasons (’56-’60). Maybe so, with Henri, of course proving to be great.

That “favor” will not be necessary if and when God/G-d picks his hockey team, as Henri Richard easily makes the grade.

 

 

 

Below the great broadcaster, Danny Gallivan calls Henri Richard’s Stanley Cup winning goals in 1966 and then 1971. Dick Irvin, also a great, adds commentary in 1971.

 

 

Chex Henri Richard.jpg

Henri Richard, pictured and headed ABOVE.

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