Game 338 – Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 1

Game 338
Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, January 26, 1955
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Montréal Canadiens sacrificed a three game winning streak on the altar of a four game unbeaten string to solidify their National Hockey League leadership with a 1-1 tie against the Toronto Maple Leafs last night.

The Maple Leaf Gardens largest crowd of the season, 14,270 fans, watched the hurrying Habs devote full attention to strong checking tactics that grew stronger with the clock.

Both goals, scored by two of the league’s top snipers, Sid Smith of the Leafs and fabulous Jean Béliveau of the Forum Legion, came in a penalty saturated first period.

Whistling Willie Chadwick piped 10 victims to confinement in the opening 20 minutes, cut his quota in half during the second period, and beamed approval of all that happened in the closing session.

It may, or may not, be significant that the calibre of play deteriorated with the decreasing flow of penalties.

Smith and Béliveau added to their scoring stature as a result of the penalties, which didn’t interfere with a wide open, actionful first period. Play became ragged at times during the middle portion of the game, and the sloppy intervals increased with the stronger trend to defensive play in the later stages.

Although the Leafs outshot the Canadiens 33 to 20, neither Harry Lumley nor his Montréal opposite Jacques Plante was reduced to nervous jitters, a goodly portion of their saves coming from long shots and unpredictable blooper bouncers.

Rosuing work on the defence and relentless backchecking of forwards cased the work for Lumley and Plante, although both were fortunate at times when the puck slithered across the crease unattended.

Jimmy Thomson, who balked Maurice Richard twice when “The Rocket” was only one man away from Lumley, and long Hughie Bolton were particularly tremendous for the Leafs, while Jim Morrison and Tim Horton didn’t concede a thing. At the other end Doug Harvey was steady, Tom Johnson and Dollard Saint-Laurent were fast on the cover and quick on the break.

Smith’s 25th goal of the season at 10:41 of the first period was scored while Don Marshall and Tod Sloan were serving fighting majors, and Bert Olmstead was paying off a holding penalty.

Bolton earned two assists on the play. He carried up from his own end and fired the puck behind the net. Rudy Migay recovered it there, whipped it out to Bolton at the side, and Hughie dished it over to Smith. Sidney fired into a net left vacant when Plante vacated his post in a futile effort to block a Bolton shot that didn’t arrive.

Slightly better than three minutes later, hockey’s hardest and heaviest shot beat Lumley for the equalizer, and ironically, it was Smith who was sitting out a penalty.

Béliveau carried down from his own blueline, toyed with the thought of passing to his left, but just inside the Leafs’ line he whistled a bullet at the Toronto goal. Lumley got a small piece of the puck with his left glove, but anything short of 100 per cent isn’t much good with Béliveau’s blasts. It was number 28 for Jean.

It was unfortunate that of the 15 penalties called by Chadwick, Smith’s offence was the least reprehensible, It was for “too many men on the ice.”

During one player switch, Smitty was to replace Tod Sloan. As play swung by the Toronto bench, Sloan stayed on the ice as Smith came on. Smitty skated to the other end of the bench and came off; he didn’t participate in the play, but it was a penalty he had to take.

NOTES: “It looked like Irvin had them hobbled,” said Leaf coach King Clancy. “He had them Kitty-Bar-the-Door. If I had scorers like he has I sure wouldn’t play them that way”. Maybe that Béliveau isn’t the player of the future after all…If Eric Nesterenko keeps going, there’s no telling what he can achieve. The tall guy was just about the top forward in action…There never was an opportunist like “The Rocket.” The puck just wasn’t behaving for him…Rookie Marshall threw most of the punches in his fight with Sloan, but Tod managed the only two good punches of that affair. Three seconds after Sloan and Marshall were penalized, Rudy Migay, another top performer, was thumbed for interference…In the last minute of play, Geoffrion slapped a hard one from the blue line. Lumley couldn’t find the puck in the crease behind him, and he almost kicked it into the net while trying to locate it.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 27, 1955

1st Period
MTL PEN – 01:29 – Harvey, tripping
TOR PEN – 03:54 – Bailey, tripping
MTL PEN – 04:53 – Richard, holding
MTL PEN – 07:05 – Marshall, fighting major
TOR PEN – 07:05 – Sloan, fighting major
TOR PEN – 07:08 – Migay, interference
MTL PEN – 09:16 – Olmstead, holding
TOR PP GOAL – 10:41 – Smith (Bolton, Migay)
TOR PEN – 12:13 – team, too many men on the ice
MTL PP GOAL – 13:56 – Béliveau (Richard, Harvey)
TOR PEN – 16:07 – Sloan, tripping
TOR PEN – 17:34 – MacDonald, tripping

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 02:00 – Armstrong, high sticking
MTL PEN – 03:22 – Béliveau, cross checking
MTL PEN – 06:37 – Johnson, high sticking
TOR PEN – 14:28 – MacDonald, interference
MTL PEN – 18:34 – Bouchard, hooking

3rd Period

TOR – Lumley (T, 19-20)
MTL – Plante (T, 32-33)

TOR – 13+7+13 = 33
MTL – 5+5+10 = 20

TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Larry Cahan, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Bob Bailey, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Parker MacDonald, Rudy Migay, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Bob Solinger.
MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Jack LeClair, Calum MacKay, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 20-14-15 (.561)
MTL – 28-12-8 (.667)