Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 3
Wednesday, November 1, 1950
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON
The Maple Leafs utilized a power play and shortened lines after the first period last night to down the Montréal Canadiens 5-3 in the first NHL meeting of the two bitter rivals this season.
With Max Bentley sinking two goals and assisting on two others, the largest crowd of the NHL season in Maple Leaf Gardens – 13,757 perspiring people – looked on as the Leafs extended their league lead to three points over the Habs. They also stretched their unbeaten streak to eight games, with a return tussle coming up tonight in Montréal.
In a struggle inclined to slowness because of the bubbling temperature, the Leafs might have won by far more, although missing plenty of chances while outshooting the injury-ridden Habitants 39-16. The truly great “Rocket” Richard scored the Canadiens’ final two goals in the third period, and was by far the most dangerous of the Monrealers.
The feats of Bentley and Richard left them tied for the NHL point-getting lead, each with 12 points. Tod Sloan, Harry Watson and Sid Smith potted the other Toronto counters.
The Leafs, down 1-0 after a freak tally by Calum MacKay in the first period, dropped their fourth line of Johnny McCormack, Ray Timgren and Flem MacKell to start the second. In the hard skating and often thrilling gong, the move paid off and the Leafs took over.
Their power play, mostly a fizzle the last couple of seasons, came into its own, too, with the Leafs scoring their first three goals with the Canadiens shorthanded. Rookie Vern Kaiser was off for elbowing – the first penalty of the affair – when Sloan evened the count just after the midway mark of the second. Standing in front of goalie Gerry McNeil, he slapped in a pass from Cal Gardner.
Burly Doug Harvey was sitting out a hooking count when Bentley, the extra forward on the attack, completed a pressure drive just 25 seconds before the end of the second.
Harvey was still off when Watson completed a picture passing power play after 37 seconds of the third for a 3-1 lead. Bentley had passed back to Jim Thomson, on point duty, and Thomson relayed the puck neatly to Watson in front of the cage.
Danny Lewicki continued to show big league calibre when, with the sides even nearing the 13 minute mark, he avoided a bodycheck at centre, shook Bentley loose with a perfect pass to the Hab blueline. Maxie zoomed in with a low shot that hit the post and ricocheted into the rigging.
Then the Frenchmen, outshot by an amazing 21-5 on the period after a 13-3 adverse count in the second, came back on the wings of “The Rocket,” who is about half their team at the moment. He raced down his wrong wing, whizzed by Bill Juzda, and beat Turk Broda on a low drive. That was with little more than four minutes to go, and he counted again less than two minutes later from a scramble. The Leafs protested Richard had kicked the puck into the net. In any event, “The Rocket” was a beautiful thing to watch.
Just 19 seconds later the Ted Kennedy line, which missed approximately a zillion chances throughout, pinned down a local triumph. It was Captain Kennedy who set up the goal, grabbing the puck in a corner and passing out to Sid Smith, who whacked it in while breathing hard in McNeil’s wet face.
NOTES: The Flying Frenchmen, through MacKay, put a bit of reverse English on the first period puck that made Broda look bad. Actually, he had no chance. The disc landed at his feet, and took a weird hop to his right…Flem MacKell replaced Howie Meeker on the line with Gardner and Watson to start the third, and Howie sat on the bench throughout the final session…The Canadiens were really weakened with defencemen Butch Bouchard and Hal Laycoe and forwards Bert Hirschfeld and Elmer Lach sidelined with varied injuries. Their defence, with Harvey the only experienced member, looked weak at times.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 2, 1950
MTL GOAL – 15:42 – MacKay (Curry)
MTL PEN – 10:04 – Kaiser, elbowing
TOR PP GOAL – 11:44 – Sloan (Gardner, Bentley)
TOR PEN – 12:15 – Juzda, hooking
MTL PEN – 18:51 – Harvey, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 19:35 – Bentley (Gardner, Meeker)
TOR PP GOAL – 00:37 – Watson (Thomson, Bentley)
TOR GOAL – 12:34 – Bentley (Lewicki)
MTL GOAL – 15:53 – Richard
MTL GOAL – 17:15 – Richard (Dussault, Johnson)
TOR GOAL – 17:50 – Smith (Kennedy)
TOR – Broda (W, 13-16)
MTL – McNeil (L, 34-39)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 5+13+21 = 39
MTL – 8+3+5 = 16
TOR – Goaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bill Barilko, Bill Juzda, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Danny Lewicki, Fleming MacKell, John McCormack, Howie Meeker, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.
MTL – Goaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Norm Dussault, Léo Gravelle, Vern Kaiser, Frank King, Calum MacKay, Paul Masnick, Kenny Mosdell, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.