in collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
With a 4-0 win in Game 7 at the Montreal Forum, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Chicago Black Hawks for their 13th Stanley Cup Championship. Jean Beliveau, who had eight goals in the postseason and five goals in the Stanley Cup Finals, would win the first Conn Smythe Award given to the playoff MVP. In goal, it was Gump Worsley who led the way for the Canadiens with two shutouts against Chicago.
It had been five years since the Montreal Canadiens dynasty ended with the retirement of Maurice Richard. In the four seasons in between sips from the Stanley Cup, the Canadiens had won the Prince of Wales trophy three times as the best team in the regular season. In the 1964/65 season, the Canadiens coached by Toe Blake finished with a record of 36-23-11.
The Montreal Canadiens faced the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. The Maple Leafs had entered the playoffs having won three straight Stanley Cup championships. Those three titles had allowed the Maple Leafs to equal the Canadiens record for most Stanley Cup victories with 12. The Canadiens would win the battle of Canadian hockey superpowers in six games. The Detroit Red Wings had been the best team in the regular seasons but were upset by the Chicago Black Hawks in seven games. Coached by Billy Reay; the Black Hawks posted a record of 34-28-8.
The series began at the Montreal Forum, with the Canadiens winning 3-2 on a power-play goal by Yvon Cournoyer. In Game 2, Gump Worsley, a journeyman goalie who had played 12 seasons, earned his first postseason shutout as the Canadiens beat the Black Hawks 2-0. After losing the first two games in Montreal, the Black Hawks were happy to return to home ice for Game 3, as they defeated the Canadiens 3-1 to get back in the series. Charlie Hodge would start for Montreal in Game 4 and had a nightmarish game, allowing five goals as Chicago evened the series with a 5-1 win, as Bobby Hull scored twice.
Charlie Hodge would start in goal again in Game 5 back at the Montreal Forum and had a much better day, as the Canadiens put goals past Glenn Hall. It was Jean Beliveau who led the attack with a pair of goals. Back in Chicago for Game 6, the Canadiens south to claim the Stanley Cup holding a 1-0 lead entering the third period. However, the Black Hawks scored twice to win the game 2-1.
Gump Worsley got the start for Montreal in Game 7 at the Montreal Forum. The first six games had been won by the home team. Just 14 seconds into the game, Jean Beliveau gave the Habs a lead they would not relinquish. The Canadiens would get goals from Dick Duff, Yvon Cournoyer, and Henri Richard. The 4-0 lead would stand as Worsley recorded his second shutout to help the Canadiens lift the Stanley Cup.
The 1965 NHL Playoffs had a new trophy to be raised, as the Conn Smythe Trophy, donated by the longtime owner and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was awarded for the first time. Jean Beliveau, the captain of the Canadiens, had eight goals and eight assists in the postseason, including five goals in the Stanley Cup Finals to win the honor being the first winner of the Conn Smythe.