The Hockey News - - Buzz -

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.


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