Game 270 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0

Game 270
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0
Saturday, February 11, 1950
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Two quick goals took most of the starch out of the tough Montréal Canadiens Saturday night, and enabled the Toronto Maple Leafs to climb into sole possession of second place in the NHL chase.

The Leafs looked after the night’s scoring within the space of 19 seconds early in the first period, and then spent the rest of the evening making sure their old pal, Turk Broda, got his eighth shutout.

Although the score was only 2-0 at game’s end, something like 7-2 would have been more indicative of the play. The Leafs buzzed Bill Durnan with monotonous frequency in the first period. The Montréal goalie had little help from his teammates, and only his coolness under fire kept the score down.

The Canadiens had about two good chances after that, but Broda received the protection Durnan lacked and so equalled a personal shutout record he established 11 seasons ago in a 48 game schedule. Broda now leads the league in shutouts with one more than Durnan.

Joe Klukay and Harry Watson looked after the Toronto goals. Harry scored with a short backhander on a nice passing play set up by Cal Gardner, making his first Toronto appearance since his jaw was fractured by Kenny Reardon in Montréal last November.

On the next play, Max Bentley outdrew Billy Reay on a centre ice faceoff, passed to Ray Timgren, who passed back to Bentley, and Max pulled Reardon out of position and flipped the puck to Klukay. Joe outshifted defenceman Butch Bouchard, and then neatly outfoxed Durnan to lift the puck into an open net.

It looked like a rousing game coming up for the 14,583 fans, but the Canadiens weren’t fighting as of old, and the Leafs were content to protect their lead. Kenny Reardon tried to inject some spirit into his team, but found the official thumb of referee Butch Keeling getting in his eye too often. And he, too, stopped hitting.

Klukay and Timgren were top Toronto men, while Gardner was close behind them. The Toronto defence was puck tight, and BRoda found plenty of support from all positions. Bill Juzda and Bill Barilko continued to lead the defensive corps. They have been scored on only about four times in a dozen games. Jimmy Thomson and Gus Mortson were back to form.

For the Canadiens, give little Norm Dussault a mark for effort, an effort incidentally which came close to accounting for two goals; add the steady work of Durnan and you have the visitors’ contribution to the evening.

NOTES: The Canadiens actually scored when Reay batted the puck into the net with his hand, but referee Keeling saw all and said nay…President Clarence Campbell was a spectator…Good to see Harry Watson handing out more bodychecks. He gave Reardon a dandy late in the second period…Montréal coach Dick Irvin had a large sign on the door outside the Canadiens’ dressing room: “Sports writers welcome, but enter at their own risk,” it read. Irvin was the meekest, and most silent, of coaches after the game…The Canadiens started their two lend-lease amateurs, Bob Fryday and Lulu Denis, with Elmer Lach at centre. They appeared very little after the first period…The visitors were forced to return to Montréal in order to catch a train for last night’s Boston game, another offshoot of the U.S. coal problem…The president of Maple Leaf Gardens has a mathematical problem. He figures he is a 300 percent better mastermind than the vice president. This is based on the president’s back seat driving to a 2-0 win, while the vide president lost a 1-0 decision to the same team. Anybody ever hear of coach Hap Day?

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 13, 1950

1st Period
MTL PEN – 02:55 – Curry, charging
TOR PP GOAL – 04:50 – Watson (Gardner)
TOR GOAL – 05:09 – Klukay (Bentley, Timgren)
TOR PEN – 06:04 – Barilko, interference
MTL PEN – 12:44 – Reardon, charging
MTL PEN – 17:38 – Reardon, boarding
TOR PEN – 19:09 – Ezinicki, elbowing

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 04:55 – Juzda, tripping
TOR PEN – 06:54 – Thomson, interference
MTL PEN – 08:23 – Harvey, high sticking
TOR PEN – 09:37 – Bentley, high sticking
MTL PEN – 12:00 – Reardon, interference

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 00:37 – Mortson, holding
MTL PEN – 04:44 – Reay, slashing
TOR PEN – 07:56 – Smith, tripping

TOR – Broda (W + SO)
MTL – Durnan (L)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bill Barilko, Bill Juzda, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Bill Ezinicki, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Vic Lynn, John McCormack, Howie Meeker, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Roger Leger, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Lulu Denis, Norm Dussault, Bob Fryday, Léo Gravelle, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, Kenny Mosdell, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard, Rip Riopelle.

TOR – 24-20-8 (.538)
MTL – 21-18-12 (.529)