Game 327 – Canadiens 0, Maple Leafs 0

Game 327
Canadiens 0, Maple Leafs 0
Thursday, February 25, 1954
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Maple Leafs and the Canadiens failed to find a goal labeled puck that would settle their second place tie tonight – and wound up in a 0-0 deadlock.

It was the fourth goalless game of this NHL season – the third in which the Leafs have participated – and goalie Harry Lumley came up with some fine saves. So did tall Jacques Plante at the other end, and he was somewhat lucky too, in that a shot from the side by Sid Smith hit the goalpost early in the third period.

Lumley’s 11th shutout, one more than all last season, again shot him into the contention for the Vézina Trophy and the $1,000 bonus. Before tonight, he had been tied with Terry Sawchuk of Detroit in goals against, and Chicago scored two against the Detroiter tonight.

The Leafs, however, have played two games less than Detroit.

Lumley was particularly hot in the middle period when the Leafs were outshot 12-6. He started out that period by kicking out a partially screened long shot by Butch Bouchard, then fell on a second shot off the rebound.

Later, with the Leafs two short and the Habitants one through penalties, he saved a sizzler from Jean Béliveau. His toughest saves in the final period were on Tom Johnson, who blasted a long one, and a low shot by “Rocket” Richard in the closing minutes.

Plante, in his second shutout since replacing the injured Gerry McNeil a couple of weeks ago, made his first real save late in the opening period. Tod Sloan handed George Armstrong a perfect pass, and the big guy grabbed it. In the later stages, he foiled Ted Kennedy and Sloan on a couple of tough ones.

Actually, one puck did go into the net. That was fired by Ron Stewart little more than midway through the game, but he was offside on the play.

The game was slow in developing, and the crowd of 14,512 wasn’t really roused until the last few minutes of the opening period. There seemed to be an unusually large number of whistles, too, and that, plus some foot rubbers thrown on the ice at intervals to protest Montréal penalties, made for frequent stoppages.

There definitely wasn’t the fire and dash of previous clashes between the two teams this season. With so much at stake, they played it cautiously and, with the accent on defence, good passing and smooth plays were the exception, rather than the rule.

NOTES: Up to noon today, “Boom Boom” Geoffrion wasn’t scheduled to play because, as coach Dick Irvin put it, “he’s not in shape.” But the old mind changer had “Boom Boom” out there tonight. He has been sidelined with a sore ankle since stopping a Tim Horton shot on the Leafs’ last visit here three weeks ago…Late in the opening period tonight, a long slap shot by Horton knocked the goal stick from Plante’s hands. Plante fell on the puck at the side of the net…So-called amateur hockey is having a rough time in Québec province this season from an attendance standpoint. As one prime example, there were about 150 spectators in suburban Verdun Auditorium last night for an interlocking junior league doubleheader with St. Catharines and Guelph as the visiting teams…McNeil expects to have a cast taken off his sprained ankle this weekend…Irvin had four lines in action, in contrast to the three used by other clubs. He also put Ken Mosdell back at centre between “Rocket” Richard and Bert Olmstead. Jean Béliveau had been used there of late, but Irvin felt he lacks speed to keep up with “The Rocket.”

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 26, 1954

1st Period
MTL PEN – 00:48 – Richard, slashing
TOR PEN – 02:06 – Sloan, hooking
TOR PEN – 04:22 – Nesterenko, high sticking
MTL PEN – 04:22 – Geoffrion, high sticking / holding double minor
TOR PEN – 08:02 – Nesterenko, interference

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 03:15 – Thomson, holding
TOR PEN – 07:45 – Migay, interference
TOR PEN – 07:55 – Morrison, roughing
MTL PEN – 07:55 – Geoffrion, roughing
MTL PEN – 12:24 – MacKay, hooking
TOR PEN – 16:33 – Kennedy, slashing
MTL PEN – 16:33 – Mosdell, spearing

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 02:24 – Sloan, hooking

MTL – Plante (T + SO, 20-20)
TOR – Lumley (T + SO, 24-24)

MTL – 4+12+8 = 24
TOR – 8+6+6 = 20

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson, Eddie Mazur. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Lorne Davis, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, John McCormack, Paul Meger, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Maurice Richard.
TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Fern Flaman, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Bob Bailey, Earl Balfour, Ted Kennedy (C), Rudy Migay, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart, Harry Watson.

MTL – 30-21-8 (.576)
TOR – 28-18-12 (.586)