1976-77 Montreal Canadiens Likely The Greatest Regular Season Team of All Time

Published on January 14th, 2021 12:30 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



The Montreal Canadiens of 1976/77 were a team with no flaws. Two teams - the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning - hold the record for most regular season wins with 62.

While both of these teams were great, most NHL historians believe that the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens had the best regular season team of all time.

The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens finished with a total of 60 wins, while the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning both had 62.

The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, however, finished with 132 points in the regular season, despite playing in just 80 games (compared to 82 for both the Red Wings and Lightning).

The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens lost just 8 times in 80 games, which is an eye-poppingly small number. They won 60 games, lost 8 and tied in 12 for a total of 132 points. The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings finished with 131 points over 82 games, while the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning finished with 128 points in 82 games.

It's important to note that the Lightning benefitted from playing in the shootout era, while the 1995-96 Red Wings and 1976-77 Canadiens didn't get those extra shootout win points.

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The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings had a team that was absolutely loaded with talent. Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov, Nicklas Lidstrom and Paul Coffey were just some of the names that played on this team.

The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, however, were absolutely loaded with future Hall of Fames.

Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Larry Robinson, Pete Mahovlich, Serge Savard, Bob Gainey and Ken Dryden were just some of the names that played for this team.

The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens had ten players with at least 50 points, and two players with more than 50 goals (Steve Shutt, Guy Lafleur).

On top of that, you had Ken Dryden backstopping the team in net, as he was in his prime in 1976-77 (29 years of age) and posted an unbelievable stat line of:

41 Wins
6 Losses
117 Goals Allowed
.920 Save $%
2.14 GAA
10 Shutouts

The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens were probably the most top-to-bottom stacked team in NHL history, as they had no flaws.

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The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens received 82.5% of the total available points in the 1976-77 regular season, which is the highest of all time, PLUS they played before the shootout era.

The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens are not only the best regular season team of all time, but probably the best hockey team of all time as well.

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