Game 310 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1

Game 310
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, January 22, 1953
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens used their newly devised defensive formula for a well merited 4-1 victory over the Maple Leafs tonight, and stormed to within one point of Detroit’s front-running Red Wings.

The successful stonewalling concoction arose out of a mixture of the two-armed clutch, Gerry McNeil’s superb goaltending, the crossbody stick block and alert forwards who skate even faster toward their own goal than they do toward the enemy’s.

The Leafs wilted unexpectedly in the third period tonight, after showing signs of recovering from an early two goal setback. They scored once in the second, but showed extremely little in the final session, during which the statistician chalked down only two Toronto shots against 11 by the Canadiens.

“Rocket” Richard scored half of the Montréal goal total, missed three or four other glorious chances that he wouldn’t have missed a couple of years ago, and still didn’t seem to be extremely dangerous.

McNeil had only 14 shots to handle and was just Max Bentley away from a shutout. Maxie took a sharp pass right in front of McNeil, made one deke then flipped a backhander high into the net.

Although beaten four times, Harry Lumley shared starring Toronto honours with Fern Flaman, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan and Sid Smith, and Leo Boivin.

Richard’s first goal developed out of a penalty to Flaman. Elmer Lach “stole” the second one. Curry fired number three after loose Leaf defensive work had made Lumley kick out two hard shots just before the rebound went to Curry.

Doug Harvey did the work on Richard’s second goal. Harvey weaved, and retained possession while dragging one Leaf who was draped all around him. Finally he lost the puck in front of the goal, but Richard was there to convert it.

Adding insult to injury, Dick Irvin, who had Butch Bouchard in uniform, didn’t bother using him until with about five minutes to go.

Bouchard’s appearance made it look more like a Leafs-Canadiens game. He rammed Nesterenko against the backboards, but seconds later, Eric creamed big Butch. That made it Bouchard’s turn, and when he jammed Nester against the boards, then tried to bend him in two, Fernie Flaman came hurtling up and took on the big fellow.

That could have made a fearsome spectacle, but the linesmen intervened capably. Flaman and Bouchard appeared heated enough to start up again if they ever got out of the penalty box, but with less than five minutes to go, Red Storey sent them to their dressing rooms.

There was a tint of luck to Richard’s opening score. He took up a position halfway between the blue line and Lumley while Flaman was serving time. Lach fed him a pass and “The Rocket” took a hurried slap shot. The puck hit the post, bounced against Lumley’s back, and dropped just over the line.

Lach’s goal was a gift, but the reward of his persistent checking. He interrupted George Armstrong’s excursion in front of the Toronto goal with a sudden poke check that jabbed the puck cleanly off Army’s stick and past a startled Lumley.

NOTES: The crowd of 14,426 was the 20th in 22 games which have attracted better than 14,000 in the Forum this season. The other two crowds were in the 13,000 bracket. The extensive altercation which Frank Selke instigated, to enlarge the seating capacity from 9,660 to 13,450, is paying handsome dividends every NHL night…Phil Maloney skated off, gingerly feeling his left arm above the elbow when MacPherson splashed him against the corner boards. Dr. Jim Murray, Toronto’s club physician last season, who is taking a special course in Montréal this winter, went around to the Toronto dressing room, and Maloney was back in action after missing one regular turn.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 23, 1953

1st Period
TOR PEN – 03:11 – Flaman, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 03:40 – Richard (Lach, Olmstead)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 00:59 – Lach
TOR GOAL – 08:54 – Bentley (Stewart, Smith)
MTL PEN – 12:40 – Richard, elbowing

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 03:40 – Curry (McCormack, Gamble)
MTL GOAL – 09:54 – Richard (Harvey, Mosdell)
TOR PEN – 11:28 – Flaman, boarding
TOR PEN – 15:51 – Flaman, fighting major
MTL PEN – 15:51 – Bouchard, fighting major

MTL – McNeil (W, 13-14)
TOR – Lumley (L, 23-27)

MTL – 10+6+11 = 27
TOR – 8+4+2 = 14

MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson, Dollard Saint-Laurent. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Dick Gamble, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, Paul Masnick, John McCormack, Paul Meger, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.
TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Leo Boivin, Fern Flaman, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Max Bentley, Gord Hannigan, Bob Hassard, Phil Maloney, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart, Harry Watson.

MTL – 19-12-13 (.580)
TOR – 17-19-9 (.478)