Canadiens 6, Maple Leafs 1
Tuesday, February 1, 1938
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, QC
The birthday of Conn Smythe, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ manager, was turned into a Habitant, if not Roman, holiday here tonight, when Les Canadiens trimmed the Leafs by 6 to 1 in an NHL fixture that was almost as one-sided as the score would indicate.
The Leafs’ defence could not cope with the Frenchmen’s speed, and the Toronto front lines were outskated by the “hot” winners. Jimmy Fowler, the Leaf defenceman, saved the Leafs from absorbing their first shutout of the season when he scored to cut down a count that had mounted to 5 to 0.
The Canadiens netted two goals in each period. Gagnon and Haynes were the first period goal-getters. Then Blake and Mantha clicked in the second session, and Drouin and Gagnon got two more in the third.
It can be said that the Leafs encountered goaler Wilf Cude when the little fellow was having one of his very best nights, and he robbed them repeatedly in the first two periods. Play was very open and clean until late in the final period, when a near free-for-all was caused by Babe Siebert, butting into a scrap that Davidson and Haynes had started back of the Canadiens’ net.
Les Canadiens skated out here tonight on fast ice in search of their fourth straight win, as the first step toward overhauling the Toronto Maple Leafs in this week’s two-game “croocial” series between the first and second place teams of the NHL’s International Section. Both teams were at full strength, but the crowd of fans certainly was not.
The action was poor in the first few minutes, and then Broda robbed Haynes point blank as the Habitant centre bored in to snare a loose puck. Hamilton drew a penalty for charging Haynes on the next rush.
With Hamilton off at 5:40, the Canadiens opened the scoring. Gagnon trapped Siebert’s backhander in front of Broda, and then stickhandled the goaler out of position before slipping the rubber behind him. Haynes got an assist for starting the play.
Lépine went to the penalty box for walloping Hamilton on the head. The Leafs’ ganging failed to click while Lépine was in the coop. Metz had a fine chance when right in front of Cude, but he did not get his six foot shot off the ice. Then Fowler went right in with Thoms’ pass, and a goal seemed almost certain, but Cude dived to save sensationally. Broda replied with an “unconscious” save of Mantha’s backhander. It was wide open action, and very clean.
Out of the welter of hectic two-way action, the Canadiens scored again at 18:10, when Haynes stole the puck from the Leafs’ defence staff, and had a clear path to cruise right in. Blake was given a mysterious assist.
Cude pulled off a marvellous save from a combined Boll and Fowler net mouth assault in the opening minute of the second period. The little Welsh twine-tender certainly is turning in one of his top-notch displays. It was not long until Broda slid far out to cheat Blake, as the wide open action was maintained. The crowd, which had grown to about 9,000, was in an almost constant uproar.
The uproar grew at 5:25 when the Frenchmen made it 3-0. Haynes’ long pass near the Leafs net got away from Jackson, and Blake nabbed it to beat Broda easily. Gagnon also got an assist. And, if this observer is not very much mistaken, all of the Canadiens goals have been scored while the Apps-Jackson-Drillon line was in action. It was significant that coach Irvin soon sent out a line composed of Armstrong at centre, Apps on left wing, and Drillon on the right flank.
The Thoms-Davidson-Boll array was making the Leafs’ best showing. Cude again cheated Thoms when Bill seemed to be right in with Boll’s pass.
The Canadiens continued to outskate the Torontonians, and at 19:43, Mantha staged a grand rush from his own blue line to score another. He swooped around Kampman and cut in to pick a net corner. Oddly enough, Burke was credited with an assist on Mantha’s fine solo play.
The interval between the periods was enlivened by Conn Smythe inviting Tommy Gorman, the Maroons’ and Forum manager, to come to Toronto to see a real crowd of fans.
The Habitants registered again at 4:04 on a play that appeared to be considerably offside. Drouin beat Broda on a fairly long shot after taking Lorrain’s pass. Mantha also was given an assist. This was the first goal on which Broda had looked to be off-colour.
Buswell drew a penalty for dumping Apps, but the Leafs could not beat Cude before Buswell returned. However, the Leafs escaped their first shutout of the season when Fowler took Thoms’ pass in centre ice, and then wiggled through a gap in the Canadiens defence to pull Cude out before planting the disc in the cage. That was at 11:01.
The Canadiens replied right smartly at only 12:28, when Gagnon cruised down with Haynes acting as a decoy, and Johnny’s shot had Broda beaten all the way.
The Leafs’ woes increased when Metz drew a penalty, but this time the Canadiens did not connect. The teams were at full strength when Davidson and Haynes tangled along the end boards, and when Siebert butted in, a free-for-all scrap took place. No damage was done. Davidson and Siebert drew minor penalties. The game ended when the teams were shorthanded.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 2, 1938
TOR PEN – 03:32 – Hamilton
MTL PP GOAL – 05:40 – Gagnon (Siebert, Haynes)
MTL PEN – 07:51 – Lépine
MTL GOAL – 18:10 – Haynes (Blake)
MTL GOAL – 05:25 – Blake (Haynes, Gagnon)
MTL GOAL – 19:43 – Mantha (Burke)
MTL GOAL – 04:04 – Drouin (Lorrain, Mantha)
MTL PEN – 05:13 – Siebert
TOR PEN – 05:13 – Davidson
TOR PEN – 05:13 – Metz
MTL PEN – 08:35 – Buswell
TOR GOAL – 11:01 – Fowler (Thoms, Hamilton)
MTL GOAL – 12:28 – Gagnon (Haynes)
MTL – Cude (W)
TOR – Broda (L)
MTL – Goaltenders: Wilf Cude. Defence: Marty Burke, Walter Buswell, Red Goupille, Georges Mantha. Forwards: Toe Blake, Joffre Desilets, Polly Drouin, Johnny Gagnon, Paul Haynes, Aurèle Joliat, Pit Lépine, Rod Lorrain, Babe Siebert (C), Don Willson.
TOR – Goaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Jimmy Fowler, Reg Hamilton, Red Horner, Bingo Kampman. Forwards: Syl Apps, Murray Armstrong, Buzz Boll, Murph Chamberlain, Bob Davidson, Gordie Drillon, Busher Jackson, Pep Kelly, Nick Metz, Bill Thoms.