It was 1971 and once again the Montreal Canadiens were a dominate force; however, they finished third in the East Division behind the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. They needed something more to beat the hot-flying Bobby Orr and the Bruins in the playoffs. That something more came in the form of rookie goalie, Ken Dryden, who was called up late-season and won all six games he played for the Canadiens with a 1.65 goals against average. His performance earned him a start in the playoffs and the Canadiens never looked back as they upset the Bruins in seven, handled the Minnesota North Stars in six and overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 in the finals to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 for the Stanley Cup.
Ken Dryden out-dueled Chicago’s Tony Esposito and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the series MVP. The following year Dryden won 39 games and had a 2.24 GAA which earned him the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year. Although, the Habs did not win the Stanley Cup that year, Dryden would help the Canadiens to five more including four in a row from 1976 to 1979.