Today in Hockey History: December 4

The most successful team in the history of the National Hockey League was founded on this day. Decades later, one of the league’s greatest players has achieved something no one has ever achieved, and very few others have done so. Also, this is a good day to be a goalscorer or skater in Los Angeles. The THW Time Machine is powered up and ready to take us on a journey through the years, so let’s get on board.

Bad & Good for Howe

One of the most remarkable things about Gordie Howe’s legendary career was his endurance. However, it was confirmed on this day in 1948 when he tore a meniscus in his right knee during the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins. Injury forced him to miss 20 games, which was the longest period of inactivity in his entire NHL career.

Exactly two decades later, on December 4, 1968, the news was much better for Mr. Hockey. On this night, Howe became the first player to score 700 goals in the NHL. The big milestone was a 7-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Since this date, seven more players have joined the 700-goal club, with the most recent being Alex Ovechkin of Washington Capitals. Howe became the first player to score 800 goals in 1980, something only he and Wayne Gretzky could do.

The beginning of a hockey empire

On December 4, 1909, J. Ambrose O’Brien officially Established Club de Hockey Canadien, known to generations of hockey fans as the Montreal Canadianiens. They joined the new National Hockey Association in 1910 and won 2-10-0 in their first season. When the NHA ended, they joined the NHL and are the oldest franchise still playing to this day.

Celebrating the 107th birthday of Club de hockey Canadien, #Habs was founded on this day in 1909 with the founding of National Hockey Assn. Opening season: 2-10

The Canadians have won 34 Stanley Cups in franchise history, with the first coming in 1916 and the most recent in 1993. No one has won more Cups than them in hockey history; Red Wings are second with 24. Some of the game’s best players have worn Habs’ sweaters like Jean Beliveau, Bernie Geoffrion, Guy LaFleur and Maurice Richard. 57 players who have played for the Canadian team have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Sports legends rule of the day

Tiny Thompson earns her 75NS ended his career and first with the Red Wings on December 4, 1938, in a 1–0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. This is only his second game against Detroit after being acquired from the Boston Bruins. He was the first goalscorer in league history to earn 75 saves.

That same night, Frank Brimsek, who had replaced Thompson to score against the Bruins, drew the NHL for the first time in a 5-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. This started a streak of six shutdowns in seven games for rookies.

Bill Durnan extended his record unbeaten streak to begin his career on December 4, 1943, with an 8-2 victory over the Red Wings. This improved his record to 12-0-2 in his first 14 NHL games. He held this record until Patrick Lalime of the Pittsburgh Penguins went 16 games without a loss at the start of his career in the 1996-97 season.

Bill Durnan
Durnan’s record has stood for more than 50 years. (Archive THW)

Harry Lumley and Paul Bibeault drew 0-0 on December 4, 1946, in a match between the Red Wings and the Blackhawks. This is Lumley’s fourth career closure. Eight years later, on December 4, 1954, Lumley, now a member of the Maple Leafs, made his 58th start in a 1–0 win over his former team, the Red Wings.

Terry Sawchuk scored his 62nd career game on December 4, 1955, to lead the Bruins to a 5-0 victory over the away Maple Leafs. The victory fixed a six-game losing streak and a 10-game winless streak (0-8-2) for the Bruins.

Now back to the Red Wings, on December 4, 1958, Sawchuk defeated the Bruins 4-0 at Olympia Stadium in Detroit. It was the 74th career close of his Hall of Fame career.

Rookie goalkeeper Ken Dryden recorded his third career game, on December 4, 1971, in a 7-0 Canada game against the Vancouver Canucks. Jacques Lemaire scored his second career hat trick and added two assists, while Frank Mahovlich had four assists to lead the attack.

Related – Canada’s top 3 goalkeepers of all time

On December 4, 1996, Patrick Roy earned 36NS career and set a new franchise record with a fifth close of the season in Colorado Avalanche’s 2-0 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Peter Forsberg led the charts with one goal and one assist.

Martin Brodeur became the first goalscorer to score 25 saves in a New Jersey Devils uniform on December 4, 1997, in a 4–0 win over the Penguins.

Martin Brodeur New Jersey Demons
Brodeur is one of the greatest goalkeepers in NHL history. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Six years later, on December 4, 2003, Brodeur earned 69NS ended his career in a 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals. The demons overtake the Capital 41-9. Patrick Elias gets an assist playing his 500NS game.

Record-setting day in LA

Marcel Dionne scored his 20th goal of the season, on December 4, 1978, in the Los Angeles Kings’ 10–2 loss to the Capitals. He became the fastest scorer in history with 20 goals because it took only 23 games to get there.

Two years later, on December 4, 1980, Dionne became the 16th player in NHL history to score 400 career goals. His goal early in the first period gave the Kings a 3-1 win over the Canucks.

Bernie Nicholls became the 11th player in Kings history to score 100 goals, on December 4, 1984, in a 2-2 draw with the Minnesota North Stars. Goalkeeper Bob Janecyk made 44 saves to earn a point for The Kings.

Bernie Nicholls
Before Gretzky, Nicholls was from LA. (

On December 4, 1985, Mark Hardy became the first guard in franchise history to earn 200 career assists. He also scored two more goals in the Kings’ 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs at the Great Western Forum.

Just Messin ‘Around

Hall of Famer Mark Messier had one goal and two assists, on December 4, 1995, in the New York Rangers’ 5-1 win over Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. His superb performance made him the seventh player in league history to score 1,400 career points.

Mark Messier New York Rangers
Messier has achieved two major milestones on this day. (Photo by Dave Sandford / Getty Images / NHLI)

Six years later, on December 4, 2001, Messier had an assist in the Blueshirts’ 5-2 loss at the Capitals. With the help of his assistant, he became only the seventh player to score 600 points as a member of the Rangers.

Odds & Ends

The Blackhawks earned their first victory on the road on December 4, 1926, a 5-3 victory over the Canadianiens in Montreal. Victory came after a loss and a draw in their first two road matches.

Marguerite Norris became the first female NHL executive on December 4, 1952, when she was appointed president of the Red Wings following the death of her father, James. She became the first woman to have name engraved on the Stanley Cup when Wings took home her final award in 1954. She stepped down as vice president after another Stanley Cup win in 1955 to focus on her business in New York City. Her brother Bruce has taken over as team president.

The Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 5-2 in Boston on December 4, 1960, to begin a seven-game winning streak. This streak includes at least one win across all five NHL head-to-head arenas.

Bruins striker Andy Hebenton played in his 581NS straight match on December 4, 1963, in a 2-2 draw with the Blackhawks. This broke Johnny Wilson’s NHL record for most consecutive games played. He has never missed a game in his nine-season NHL career and played in 630 consecutive games prior to his suspension.

Rookie Tim Hunter became the first Calgary native to score a goal for the Calgary Flames on December 4, 1982, when he scored his first NHL career goal in a 7-5 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

Another rookie, and future Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Claude Lemieux, scored the first goal of his NHL career, on December 4, 1983, in a 6-2 loss to the Canadianiens to the Canadianiens. Buffalo Sabers.

Jimmy Carson scored three goals on December 4, 1988, to lead the Oilers to a 10-6 win over Rangers. This makes him the third player in NHL history to register six hat tricks before the age of 21NS birthday. This is his first hat trick with the Oilers who won him from the Kings in exchange for Wayne Gretzky the previous August. Guy Lafleur tied his career high with four assists in the loss.

Jimmy Carson, #12 for Edmonton Oilers
Carson’s career is off to a great start. (Photo by B Bennett / Getty Images)

Kirk McLean made 45 saves in the eighth game of his career on December 4, 1991, when the Canucks beat Montreal 3-0. This is the first time Vancouver has closed its doors to Canadaiens in their 21-season franchise history. Greg Adams did all the damage with the third hat trick of his career.

Staying in Vancouver, on December 4, 1996, Jyrki Lumme became the all-time leading defender in the history of the Canucks. He scored his 66NS The same team, in extra time, beat Sabers 7-6, breaking the old record held by Doug Lidster.

Prior to a 5-2 win over Rangers, on December 4, 2001, Peter Bondra was honored by the Capitals for recently becoming the franchise’s all-time leading goalscorer. That was just the beginning, as he scored twice in the victory to become the first player to score 400 goals in a Washington shirt.

Happy Birthday

A total of 20 NHL players were born on this day, including a pair of Hall of Famers, the late Jack Darragh and Red Wings legend Alex Delvecchio (89 years old). Other notable names in this group include Gary Sabourin (78), Rick Middleton (68), Dave Taylor (66), Jassen Cullimore (49), Jeremy Davies (25) and Luke Kunin (24). Today in Hockey History: December 4

Subhankar Mondal

Subhankar Mondal is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Subhankar Mondal joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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