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The Rocket Photo: courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame
Five Goals After the Big Move
(Montreal, December 28, 1944)
Audio - The Three-Star Game

Richard spends the whole day moving into a two-storey house. Exhausted, he calls coach Dick Irvin and asks for the night off, saying he won't be much good. The coach tells him to come in anyway. That night, Richard sets an NHL record for the most points garnered in a single game - 8, for 5 goals and 3 assists. (Montreal, December 28, 1944)

The Rocket Photo: courtesy of the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club

 "The Rocket" 

By the end of 1944, Maurice Richard has a new nickname. According to one story, Richard's teammate, defenseman Ray Getliffe, had been overheard the previous season by Montreal sports reporter Dink Carroll exclaiming over a particularly nice manoeuvre by Richard during practice, "Geez, he went in like a rocket!" In March 1944, Carroll is using "rocket" to describe Richard's play. This season, on December 29, 1944, he uses "Rocket" for the first time to refer to Richard himself. The name catches on, and eventually becomes part of French usage as well, though it is occasionally translated as "La fusée".