2001–02 Montreal Canadiens season

The 2001–02Montreal Canadiens season was the club’s 93rdseason. After missing the playoffs in the three preceding seasons, the Canadiens returned to the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Canadiens were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Carolina Hurricanes by a series score of 4–2.

NHL hockey team season
This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (September 2011)
2001–02Montreal Canadiens
Division 4th Northeast
Conference 8th Eastern
2001–02 record 36-31-12-3
Goals for 207
Goals against 209
Team information
General manager Andre Savard
Coach Michel Therrien
Captain Saku Koivu
Alternate captains Doug Gilmour
Unknown
Arena Molson Centre
Team leaders
Goals Yanic Perreault (27)
Assists Doug Gilmour (31)
Points Yanic Perreault (56)
Penalty minutes Gino Odjick (104)
Plus/minus Karl Dykhuis (+16)
Wins Jose Theodore (30)
Goals against average Jose Theodore (2.11)

. . . 2001–02 Montreal Canadiens season . . .

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The Canadiens season began with a shocking announcement that team captain Saku Koivu was suffering from intra-abdominal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. This condition kept him out of all but three games in the regular season. On October 5, to respond to Koivu’s absence, General Manager Andre Savard signed veteran forward Doug Gilmour to address the absence. The team began the season hovering around the .500 mark, but a five-game winning streak to end November, highlighted by spectacular performances by goaltender Jose Theodore, allowed the Canadiens to climb into the playoff mix. Around this time, Savard added offensive power to the team by acquiring Donald Audette and Shaun Van Allen from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Martin Rucinsky and Benoit Brunet. Head Coach Michel Therrien and the Canadiens had a rough December, posting a record of 4–8–2–1 while the newly acquired Audette had his forearm tendons sliced by the skate of New York Rangers forward Radek Dvorak. His season was jeopardized. Despite the inconsistency of the team, Theodore was spectacular in net. In January, the Canadiens played more .500 hockey, which prompted Savard to make a change. He traded forward Brian Savage to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Sergei Berezin. The regular season went on hold for two weeks while the 2002 Winter Olympics were taking place. When play resumed, Jose Theodore took matters into his own hands and carried the Habs into the playoffs, finishing the regular season with a record of 30–24–10, seven shutouts and a goals against average of 2.11. In the 80th game of the regular season, captain Saku Koivu returned from treatment and played his first game of the season against the Ottawa Senators. He played for the team for the rest of the season. The Canadiens made the playoffs with a record of 36–31–12–3 behind the play of eventual Hart Memorial Trophy winner Jose Thoedore.

The Canadiens finished the regular season having allowed the fewest power play goals, with just 38.[1]

. . . 2001–02 Montreal Canadiens season . . .

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. . . 2001–02 Montreal Canadiens season . . .

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