PLANTE WON SEVEN Vezina Trophies, a Hart Trophy and he is the only goalie other than Dryden and Charlie Hodge – who was Plante’s longtime backup – to win six Stanley Cups. That puts him solidly in the conversation for the greatest goaltender of all-time. He also managed a playoff feat that even Murray won’t be able to match: his rookie resume includes not two but three separate post-seasons.
The first came in 1953, after Plante had appeared in just three games for the Canadiens. Once the playoffs arrived, Plante split time with Gerry McNeil, winning three games as the Habs captured the Stanley Cup. The following season, Plante started the season in the minors before working his way back to Montreal, where he saw action 17 times. He followed that up by starting eight of the team’s 11 playoff games, going 5-3 with a 1.88 GAA.
The 1954-55 season marked Plante’s third in the NHL, but he was still technically a rookie. This time he finally solidified his position as the full-time starter, playing 52 games and finishing third in Calder Trophy voting. He started all 12 playoff games for Montreal, but the team fell short of the Stanley Cup for the second straight year.
That was the last time Plante and the Canadiens fell short of anything for a long while. In each of the next five seasons, he took home both the Vezina Trophy and a Stanley Cup ring.