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SI Flashback: Stanley Cup 1950-1959
1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959

1955: Detroit over Montreal in six games

Detroit Red Wings took 3-0 lead on pair of goals by Alex Delvecchio, demoted center, and deflected shot by sharpshooting Gordie Howe, held on to whip Montreal Canadiens 3-1 for fourth time in seven-game series, skated off with Stanley Cup at Detroit. Jimmy Skinner, Red Wings' first-year coach who brought Detroit through to two-point edge over Canadiens during regular season for seventh straight National Hockey League title, accepted congratulations on his feat, wearily commented: "I'm tired and I want to take a bath."

Issue date: April 25, 1955

1956: Montreal over Detroit in five games

Montreal's hustling Canadiens got scoring power from husky Jean Beliveau, fiery Maurice (Rocket) Richard and brilliant Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, spectacular play in nets from acrobatic Goalie Jacques Plante to overpower no-longer-fearsome Detroit 3-1 in the fifth game at Montreal, ending Red Wings' two-year grip on Stanley Cup.

Issue date: April 23, 1956

1957: Montreal over Boston in five games

Montreal, after shutout in Boston had momentarily checked headlong rush toward second straight Stanley Cup championship, returned home, got five goals from five different players, crushed the Bruins 5-1 in rough, bloody final game, captured series four games to one. Frantic Referee Frank Udvari, striving to keep trigger-tempered skaters in order, doled out 17 penalties, 10 of them in a wild first period.

Issue date: April 29, 1957

1958: Montreal over Boston in six games

Montreal Canadiens, sniffing Stanley Cup gold after bowing to Boston 3-1, turned to Maurice (Rocket) Richard in fifth game at Montreal and fiery veteran responded with overtime goal for a 3-2 victory. Canadiens struck swiftly in sixth game at Boston, grabbing 2-0 lead in opening minutes on goals by Bernie Geoffrion and Rocket, added three more by Geoffrion, Jean Beliveau and Doug Harvey to beat Bruins 5-3, skated off with Cup for third straight year.

Issue date: April 28, 1958

Montreal over Toronto in five games

By William Leggett

Well, it took the National Hockey League seven months and 228 games to prove -- surprise, surprise -- that the Montreal Canadiens are still the very best team of any size, or any shape, in any country, anywhere.

Their total dominance of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup final playoffs, which ended rather briskly last Saturday, four games to one, pointed out that Montreal has enough of everything to continue skating off with cups indefinitely ...

The rise of the Leafs to the finals of cup play, while it was amazing to behold, serves as a testimony to the contrasting caliber of the Canadiens and the league in general. On New Year's Eve, as the season reached its middle point, Toronto was 19 points out of first place and 6 points out of fourth. But the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers took two of the biggest nose dives in the history of shinny on skates and Toronto, poor Toronto, found itself rising into the Stanley Cup playoffs ...

The Montreal team is in reality a smoothly humming machine which compares almost exactly to the New York Yankees of baseball or the Calumet Farm of racing. Let one bearing, one infielder, one horse falter, and another bounds up to take its place. Montreal was riddled by injuries this year. Not only did they lose the greatest goal getter of all time, Maurice Richard, for almost half a season, but they lost the second highest scorer in the league, Jean Beliveau, for the playoffs. But there was always somebody like Marcel Bonin, Doug Harvey or Ralph Backstrom waiting to skate in and catch the Montreal banner before it could ever touch the ground.

It will be only five months before the National Hockey League again goes into fall training and, unless someone starts building and buying in large quantities, next season will only prove all over again what everyone is getting a little tired of knowing.

Issue date: April 27, 1959