Game 152 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0

Game 152
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0
Thursday, November 10, 1938
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Bill Thoms, Nick Metz and Gus Marker were the “Three Horsemen” of your hockey apocalypse in the 2-0 defeat administered to the Canadiens.

They were authors, last night in Montréal, of a Toronto bestseller entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence Pucks.” This qualifies them as the Dale Carnegies’ of your ice world.

Thoms and Metz snuggled pucks behind Wilf Cude, while Gus Marker played a major role in a bout of forward backchecking that was as fine as this hockey club, incessantly hounded by Smythe and Irvin, has ever produced.

From the moment King Clancy dropped the first puck until he stopped giving exhibitions of fast skating, much whistle tooting and the troops left the ice, your Leafs were practically always in command.

Possibly sensing their first win of the season, after having stopped a robust first burst from the Canadiens, the Leafs never looked back. The whole team played heads-up hockey. The checking of the forwards was something worth the long overnight haul into the Québec centre to see.

The most amusing picture presented at The Forum, aside from the actual hockey play, was a three-reeler screened by referee Mickey Ion. He went the full 60 minutes, didn’t ruffle a hair or drop a sweat bead, did not commit anything whatever to the record.

There was nothing to give penalties for. So Ion did just that. He skated up and down, eyed Clancy with undisguised admiration as the brisk little man skated a distance greater than from here to Greenland (one way) and did absolutely nothing himself.

Clancy was busier than a hungry sparrow in mid-street. There were two officials on the ice. One did everything there was to do. The other just looked on.

Yet, one is informed, Clancy gathers a few kopecks for his labors and Ion takes a good sized fee. It’s a joke on somebody, this new dispensation. Fortunately, we are not obliged to open that up.

The Canadiens have a staff of seven experts behind them in Montréal. These troupers make pregame selections. Yesterday they came out, all seven in a neatly printed row, and called the Canadiens to win.

One of the seven, a girl typist who has never seen a hockey game, has been leading a field that includes T.P. Gorman and two or three sports writers. I understand she was right once!

But she, too, went the way of all flesh yesterday when she “yessed” that group and wrote the Canadiens as a cinch.

For a few minutes after the game commenced, it looked as though she might click. But Broda turned aside some fiercely driven pucks. He was never better than in those first fierce bursts, when the Canadiens tried to get the jump on your crippled Leafs.

That was the extent of their leadership. The Leafs turned back the fast opening rushes of Gagnon, Gracie and Cain. When the lines switched, the Leafs assured command and never lost it.

Thoms headed a line with Jackson and Marker that stymied the enemy. Bill and Busher spearpointed the attacks. Marker, playing in a fashion reminiscent of Frank Finnegan, was the best checking forward on the ice. He broke up so many Canadien attacks, he finally fractured the enemy hearts. I’ve never seen a better display of tactical, two way going than Marker turned in.

It was a three man rush, too, in the second period, started by Marker, that brought first victory fruits.

Busher, Gus and Bill all touched the puck as they came up. Thoms, when he received it, was forced across the goal about 20 feet out, by the Canadiens’ defence. As he sped across, Bill let go one off his backhand.

Cude was caught off guard. The shot, when it came, was so unexpected. The puck never left the ice, it slipped between Cude and the post, snuggled into the twine and lay there. That was the payoff explosion.

After that it was up to the Canadiens. But their attacks, and they launched many, fizzled out on the rock-like defence offered by the Leafs.

Every forward was on his toes. Their checks did not get away. Normie Mann, doing his first stint at right wing, was the only uncomfortable unit. Mann never got going sensibly.

The Leafs were sent back on their heels many times in the third period. Led by Babe Siebert, the Canadiens ganged savagely.

But the Leafs held. They were forced again and again to resort to heaving the puck. The Canadiens could not pass, however, and finally Kelly sent Metz after for the goal that eased the tension. Nick went in and scored like a champion.

The best performance by an individual was the smooth journey made by Georges Mantha. He went from goal to goal at high speed, never lost the puck, and finished with a full burst of shrapnel at the beleaguered Turk. Broda played an inspired game.

Pleasing to Leaf experts was the fine showing of the Thoms line and the beautiful checking turned in by Chamberlain, Metz and Kelly. Apps and Davidson worked a two man shift without Drillon. They went better when Parsons had the right wing beat. George was shooting hard and true on Cude.

There was an almost capacity crowd. The Canadiens were hot favourites, but they were never able to prove this edge was theirs by right of conquest.

The Leafs came home intact this morning, and now await the return engagement at the Gardens tomorrow night.

The Canadiens were not the force we reckoned on. Either that, or the Leafs have hit their top stride. We shall know more about that after tomorrow.

Jimmy Ward was not his old self. Goupille, Evans and Siebert were the defence aces. Blake was bottled up.

Story originally published in The Toronto Daily Star, November 11, 1938

1st Period

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 03:21 – Thoms (Jackson, Marker)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 15:32 – Metz (Kelly)

TOR – Broda (W + SO)
MTL – Cude (L)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Jimmy Fowler, Reg Hamilton, Red Horner (C), Bingo Kampman. Forwards: Syl Apps, Murph Chamberlain, Bob Davidson, Busher Jackson, Pep Kelly, Norm Mann, Gus Marker, Nick Metz, George Parsons, Bill Thoms.
MTLGoaltenders: Wilf Cude. Defence: Walter Buswell, Stewart Evans, Red Goupille, Georges Mantha, Cy Wentworth. Forwards: Toe Blake, Herb Cain, Johnny Gagnon, Bob Gracie, Paul Haynes, Rod Lorrain, Armand Mondou, Babe Siebert (C), Lou Trudel, Jimmy Ward.

TOR – 1-2-0 (.333)
MTL – 0-2-0 (.000)