|NHL||03/23 23:07||-||MON Canadiens vs BOS Bruins||-||View|
|NHL||03/25 23:00||-||MON Canadiens vs CLB Blue Jackets||-||View|
|NHL||03/27 23:00||-||BUF Sabres vs MON Canadiens||-||View|
|NHL||03/28 23:00||-||PHI Flyers vs MON Canadiens||-||View|
|NHL||03/30 23:00||-||MON Canadiens vs FLA Panthers||-||View|
|NHL||04/01 23:00||-||MON Canadiens vs CAR Hurricanes||-||View|
|NHL||03/21 23:00||-|| TB Lightning v MON Canadiens ||W||2-3|
|NHL||03/18 23:00||-|| MON Canadiens v TB Lightning ||L||3-5|
|NHL||03/16 23:00||-|| MON Canadiens v FLA Panthers ||L||5-9|
|NHL||03/14 23:00||-|| MON Canadiens v PIT Penguins ||W||6-4|
|NHL||03/13 23:30||-|| COL Avalanche v MON Canadiens ||L||8-4|
|NHL||03/12 00:00||-|| NJ Devils v MON Canadiens ||L||3-1|
|NHL||03/10 00:00||-|| NY Rangers v MON Canadiens ||L||4-3|
|NHL||03/08 00:00||-|| CAR Hurricanes v MON Canadiens ||L||4-3|
|NHL||03/05 23:00||-|| MON Canadiens v VGS Golden Knights ||L||3-4|
|NHL||03/04 03:00||-|| MON Canadiens v ANA Ducks ||L||2-3|
|NHL||03/03 03:30||-|| MON Canadiens v LA Kings ||L||2-3|
|NHL||03/01 03:30||-|| MON Canadiens v SJ Sharks ||W||3-1|
The Montreal Canadiens (French: Les Canadiens de Montréal), officially le Club de hockey Canadien (lit. The Canadian Hockey Club) and colloquially known as the Habs, are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Since 1996, the Canadiens have played their home games at Bell Centre, originally known as Molson Centre. The team previously played at the Montreal Forum, which housed the team for seven decades and all but their first two Stanley Cup championships.
Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team worldwide, and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL. One of the oldest North American professional sports franchises, the Canadiens' history predates that of every other Canadian franchise outside football, as well as every American franchise outside baseball and the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals. The franchise is one of the "Original Six", the teams that made up the NHL from 1942 until the 1967 expansion. The team's championship season in 1992–93 marked the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup.
The Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup more times than any other franchise, having earned 24 championships, with 23 victories since the founding of the NHL, and 22 since 1927, when NHL teams became the only ones to compete for the Stanley Cup. The Canadiens also had the most championships by a team of any of the four major North American sports until the New York Yankees won their 25th World Series title in 1999.
The Canadiens were founded by J. Ambrose O'Brien on December 4, 1909, as a charter member of the National Hockey Association, the forerunner to the National Hockey League. It was to be the team of the francophone community in Montreal, composed of francophone players, and under francophone ownership as soon as possible. The founders named the team "Les Canadiens," a term identified at the time with French speakers. The team's first season was not a success, as they placed last in the league. After the first year, ownership was transferred to George Kennedy of Montreal and the team's record improved over the next seasons. The team won its first Stanley Cup championship in the 1915–16 season. In 1917, with four other NHA teams, the Canadiens formed the NHL, and they won their first NHL Stanley Cup during the 1923–24 season, led by Howie Morenz. The team moved from the Mount Royal Arena to the Montreal Forum for the 1926–27 season.
The club began the 1930s decade successfully, with Stanley Cup wins in 1930 and 1931. The Canadiens and its then-Montreal rival, the Montreal Maroons, declined both on the ice and economically during the Great Depression. Losses grew to the point where the team owners considered selling the team to interests in Cleveland, Ohio, though local investors were ultimately found to finance the Canadiens. The Maroons suspended operations, and several of their players moved to the Canadiens.
Led by the "Punch Line" of Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Toe Blake and Elmer Lach in the 1940s, the Canadiens enjoyed success again atop the NHL. From 1953 to 1960, the franchise won six Stanley Cups, including a record five straight from 1956 to 1960, with a new set of stars coming to prominence: Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore, Doug Harvey, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Jacques Plante and Richard's younger brother, Henri.
The Canadiens added ten more championships in 15 seasons from 1965 to 1979, with another dynastic run of four-straight Cups from 1976 to 1979. In the 1976–77 season, the Canadiens set two still-standing team records – for most points, with 132, and fewest losses, by only losing eight games in an 80-game season. The next season, 1977–78, the team had a 28-game unbeaten streak, the second-longest in NHL history. The next generation of stars included Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer, Ken Dryden, Pete Mahovlich, Jacques Lemaire, Pierre Larouche, Steve Shutt, Bob Gainey, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson. Scotty Bowman, who would later set a record for most NHL victories by a coach, was the team's head coach for its last five Stanley Cup victories in the 1970s.
The Canadiens won Stanley Cups in 1986, led by rookie star goaltender Patrick Roy, and in 1993, continuing their streak of winning at least one championship in every decade from the 1910s to the 1990s (this streak came to an end in the 2000s). In 1996, the Habs moved from the Montreal Forum, their home during 70 seasons and 22 Stanley Cups, to Molson Centre (now called Bell Centre).
Following Roy's departure in 1995, the Canadiens fell into an extended stretch of mediocrity, missing the playoffs in four of their next ten seasons and failing to advance past the second round of the playoffs until 2010. By the late 1990s, with both an ailing team and monetary losses exacerbated by a record-low value of the Canadian dollar, Montreal fans feared their team would end up relocated to the United States. Team owner Molson Brewery sold control of the franchise and the Molson Centre to American businessman George N. Gillett Jr. in 2001, with the right of first refusal for any future sale by Gillett and a condition that the NHL Board of Governors must unanimously approve any attempt to move to a new city. Led by club president Pierre Boivin, the Canadiens returned to being a lucrative enterprise, earning additional revenues from broadcasting and arena events. In 2009, Gillett sold the franchise to a consortium led by the Molson family which included The Woodbridge Company, BCE/Bell, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Michael Andlauer, Luc Bertrand and the National Bank Financial Group for $575 million, more than double the $275 million he spent on the purchase eight years prior.
During the 2008–09 season, the Canadiens celebrated their 100th anniversary with various events, including hosting both the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, and the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The Canadiens became the first team in NHL history to reach 3,000 victories with their 5–2 victory over the Florida Panthers on December 29, 2008.
For the 2020–21 season, the league moved the Canadiens along with the other six teams from Canada to the North Division. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadiens only played against teams in the division in the regular season to avoid travel restrictions between the United States and Canada. All teams in the division played without fans to begin the season. The Canadiens advanced through the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs 4–3, overcoming a 3–1 Maple Leafs lead in the series. The Canadiens then swept the Winnipeg Jets in the second round, advancing to the Stanley Cup semifinals. The Canadiens defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in the semifinals, clinching an overtime victory in Game 6 of the series, and reaching their first Stanley Cup Finals in 28 years, whilst also being the first Canadian team to reach the Finals since the Vancouver Canucks in 2011. Montreal lost the Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4 games to 1.
In 2021–22, the Canadiens were unable to replicate their success from the prior season, ultimately finishing last in the league for the first time since the 1939–40 season and the first time in the NHL's expansion era, in what was one of the worst seasons in the team's history. In the process they set team records for most regulation losses (49), most goals against (319), fewest wins (22), and fewest points (55), while their .335 point percentage was the team's third-worst ever, after only 1925–26 (.319) and 1939–40 (.260).