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Linking The Great Canadiens And A’s Through Bert Campaneris/Rangers vs Tigers In April 1978

February 11, 2023


The great Dagoberto “Bert/Campy” Campaneris was with the Texas Rangers in 1978 and on the third off day, that one due to rain after two scheduled such–(the Tigers had 4 off days in a row, none were scheduled), he attended his first hockey game, a playoff NHL “quarter,” between the great two time to be 4 time, champion, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.

This information was disseminated by Ernie Harwell, when Texas and Detroit finally played baseball on Saturday afternoon April 22nd, at Tiger Stadium.

Montreal won the Friday night hockey game/# 3 of their (1-1) “quarter,” en route to 9 straight wins and altogether 11 of 13 (9 and 11 somehow) to win a third straight crown.

Linking “Campy,” who was an integral part of 3 straight Oakland Athletics’ title teams (’72-’74) and the (’76-’79) Canadiens, who also won the Stanley Cup in ’73, one gets 8 titles in 8 years either for the A’s with Campaneris and the Canadiens.

The game “Campy” attended was the next to last ‘offs game played at the famed Detroit Olympia, where among many other great moments, the only two NHL Final, 7th game overtime goals were scored (each a Detroit winner, Pete Babando in 1950 and Tony Leswig in ’54).

In the last game ever played there, Jim Rutherford, later a Cup winning general manager with both Carolina and Pittsburgh, was brilliant in goal, as Detroit denied the Canadiens a fourth straight best reg record in a (1-0) win.

However, Montreal defeated another team called the Rangers, (they had 6’d the top record Islanders in the “semis”), the NHL New York Rangers in 5 games in the ’79 final, to win a 4th straight title and an incredible 15th in 24 seasons (’56-’79), a period of time that followed two straight Red Wings’ 7th game/home final wins vs Montreal, the first on the aforementioned Leswig overtime goal.

Today and tomorrow the Canadiens play their traditional Supe weekend day home games. Since those 15 crowns in 24 seasons, Montreal has won but 2 titles (’86 and ’93, each of the “middle of the pack” reg variety) in the 28 completed seasons (no NHL season in 2005), since that point in time.

Montreal is currently behind 6 teams and 15 points out of ‘offs qualifying position, so it is almost certain, dare I say certain, it will be 27 of 29 seasons, sans title for Montreal.

The opponents for Montreal today and tomorrow afternoons are first the New York Islanders and then the Edmonton Oilers.

Speaking of 9 and 11, those two teams/franchises, the Islanders (’80-’83) and Oilers (’84,’85,’87 and ’88 with Gretzky and in ’90 without him) won 9 of the 11 possible titles.

Neither has won a title since that time.


Bert Campaneris 2012.jpg

Bert Campaneris, pictured above.

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