Game 134 – Maple Leafs 8, Canadiens 1

Game 134
Maple Leafs 8, Canadiens 1
Saturday, March 7, 1936
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Spotting the Canadiens the first goal of the contest, the Leafs on Saturday night went on to win by 8 goals to 1, probably the most lopsided score of the whole NHL season.

While the game seemed very definitely in the Leafs’ bag from the opening gong – even for the few minutes when the Canadiens led 1 to 0, it still seemed to be the Leafs’ night – the set-to was highly entertaining, even though the thrills of the last period were decidedly weird ones.

Down 3 to 1 entering the last spasm, the Canadiens elected to send up to the attack what they must laughingly call their defence. Their attacking defence, like Tony the boxer, forgot to duck on the Leafs’ counter-thrusts and, with nobody in front of Cude, the Leafs’ marksmen ran in five goals in wild careening dashes in that hectic third period.

Five red shirts would go touring in on the Leafs’ citadel, slamming and banging the disc goalward in futile efforts to get one by Hainsworth. And then the canny Leafs would suddenly get a stick on the rubber to dynamite it to Conacher or Thoms or Kelly waiting at the blue line for the break. And away would go a Leaf marksman with a trail of Canadiens behind him, endeavouring to catch up.

A dozen times this odd hockey setup was was re-ensoted in the last period, and whether it was particularly good or orthodox hockey or not, it had the spectators sitting on the edges of their seats and screaming themselves hoarse. The Leafs, particularly Conacher, seemed to enjoy this kind of a game, and certainly they all, or most of them, materially aided their scoring and assist percentages.

Bill Thoms, upon whom, after some difficulty in withholding it from Conacher, we would pin the evening’s laurels, was top scorer with three to his credit. Thoms, the persistent, tireless, pestiferous checker, again demonstrated himself to be the most dangerous forward in the league when checking around his opponent’s net. His long sweep check is apt to trap a puck at any time and anywhere inside the enemy’s blue line, and he can drill the disc with a snap of his wrist from any position and any angle. And fight? Half his scoring points have been notched by his “fight-fight-fight” for that puck in and around his opponent’s goal.

Conacher was great. He temporarily incapacitated Cude early in the game with one of those dynamite shots from the blue line. Cude stopped it on the upper part of his left arm, and the impact temporarily paralyzed the arm. He left the ice with it numb to the fingertips, but came back after treatment. He wasn’t just as effective during the rest of the evening as we have seen Cude. But his injury, coupled with the absolute absence of any protection whatsoever in that third spasm, makes even eight goals forgivable.

“Busher” Jackson got an assist, but just could not ring the bell with a counter. The old familiar whang of his shots off the goalpost echoed through the Arena a couple of times, but that was s close as he could get. He has done that so often that we’ll bet that right iron upright on the net at the upper end of the rink has a Jackson bend in it. He must have had twenty bounce off the same spot this season.

Except in the last period, when the Canadiens were “zigging” and omitting to “zag” in their “everybody up” attacks, the visitors were not 1 to 8 less effective than the Leafs. Indeed, in the goalless second period, the homesters were lucky they did not have a couple of goals scored against them. But Hainsworth was great, and the visitors had no luck. If we were to go into the “shoulda” aspect of the game, however, the Leafs “shoulda” had anywhere from four to six more counters from their attacks.

The International section leaders trailed the Detroit Red Wings by a single goal, for scoring honours, as they went into the game, but at the final bell were again well out in front.

Story originally published in The Globe, March 9, 1936

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 00:54 – A. Jackson (Horner)
MTL GOAL – 01:43 – Mondou (S. Mantha)
TOR GOAL – 04:20 – Conacher (Primeau)
TOR GOAL – 08:23 – Thoms (Boll)
TOR PEN – Blair

2nd Period

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 00:41 – Kelly (A. Jackson)
TOR GOAL – 01:56 – Thoms (Day)
TOR GOAL – 03:07 – Horner (Kelly, B. Jackson)
TOR GOAL – 03:46 – Conacher (Davidson)
GOAL – 10:04 – Thoms


TOR – Hainsworth (W, 27-28)
MTL – Cude (L, 26-34)

TOR – 11+9+14 = 34
MTL – 6+9+13 = 28

TORGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: King Clancy, Hap Day (C), Red Horner. Forwards: Andy Blair, Buzz Boll, Charlie Conacher, Bob Davidson, Frank Finnigan, Art Jackson, Busher Jackson, Pep Kelly, Joe Primeau, Bill Thoms.
MTLGoaltenders: Wilf Cude. Defence: Walter Buswell, Art Lesieur, Georges Mantha, Sylvio Mantha (C). Forwards: Toe Blake, Joffre Desilets, Polly Drouin, Johnny Gagnon, Leroy Goldsworthy, Paul Haynes, Aurèle Joliat, Jack McGill, Bill Miller, Armand Mondou.

TOR – 20-16-5 (.549)
MTL – 11-21-10 (.381)