Game 343 – Canadiens 0, Maple Leafs 0

Game 343
Canadiens 0, Maple Leafs 0
Thursday, March 10, 1955
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs improved their hold on third place in the National Hockey League by holding the league leading Montréal Canadiens to a 0-0 draw tonight.

By the tie, the Leafs established an NHL record of 22. The old mark of 21 ties originally was set by the New York Rangers in 1950-51.

Coupled with the Boston Bruins’ defeat at home by the Chicago Black Hawks, the Leafs stretched their lead over the fourth place Bruins to three points. Each team has four games to play.

Following the game, Canadiens coach Dick Irvin said he hoped the Canadiens would finish second so they would not meet the Leafs in the playoffs. He implied that the defensive style employed by the Leafs might set hockey back a decade or so.

But despite the objections of Irvin and the impatient stamping of 14,332 fans, the Leafs played a perfect positional game. They outshot the Canadiens 24-15, and in the third period especially, they controlled the play.

It wasn’t one of the most interesting games of the season, but this wasn’t directly due to the Leafs’ close checking. The Canadiens showed a peculiar reluctance to open up, and they resorted to the same bar-the-door style as the Leafs.

The secret weapon of the Leafs was a 19 year old junior, Dickie Duff. Playing his first NHL game on a line with Ted Kennedy and Sid Smith, Duff played with all the poise and assurance of a veteran – one of the better veterans, this is.

Duff persistently lugged the puck out of his own end and made the right moves all the time. He even engaged in bumping duels with such huskies as Doug Harvey and Butch Bouchard.

Goalies Jacques Plante and Harry Lumley weren’t exactly overworked in registering shutouts, although each contributed several fine saves.

Lumley saved the game for the Leafs late in the third period when he kicked out a particularly hard shot fired by Jackie LeClair, one of the Canadiens’ chief threats. Plante followed a minute or so later with a fine save on Tod Sloan, who drifted right through, but tried to outshift the Canadiens goalie.

It was the seventh shutout for Lumley and improved his chances of retaining the Vézina Trophy. It also was the second goalless game of the long NHL season – and the Leafs were involved in the first one, too. Back on January 12, they struggled to a 0-0 tie with the Rangers in New York.

This was only the second time this season that the high scoring Canadiens have been blanked on their home ice. Boston did it earlier.

In addition to Duff, Ted Kennedy, Joe Klukay, Rudy Migay and Ron Stewart were tops for the Leafs up front. Jimmy Thomson and Larry Cahan stood out on defence.

“Rocket” Richard, as usual, was always dangerous for the Canadiens, although checked closely. Jean Béliveau burst loose on a few occasions, but he never did get an opportunity for a direct shot at Lumley. Bouchard and Harvey played strong games on defence.

NOTES: Canadiens defenceman Bud MacPherson, sidelined several weeks after a knee operation, is about ready to return. He feels fine, he said, but may require a week or two to reach his physical peak…A lucite trophy, commemorating Richard’s 325th goal, has been designed for the Canadiens. It will be sent to Queen Elizabeth as a memento of her last visit to Canada. While in Canada, she witnessed a Canadiens game. The trophy, which contains the puck shot by “The Rocket” to break Nels Stewart’s NHL record, also has medallions bearing the name of each Canadiens player. The Canadiens’ managing director, Frank Selke, announced it was necessary to have the trophy designed in the U.S. “Nobody in Canada would undertake the job,” he said.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 11, 1955

1st Period
TOR PEN – 02:35 – Klukay, interference
TOR PEN – 04:20 – Bolton, hooking
MTL PEN – 07:28 – Johnson, holding
MTL PEN – 07:47 – Saint-Laurent, delay of game
TOR PEN – 17:39 – Horton, holding

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 04:07 – Morrison, high sticking
MTL PEN – 04:07 – Mosdell, cross checking
MTL PEN – 07:48 – Geoffrion, boarding
TOR PEN – 09:55 – Cahan, high sticking
MTL PEN – 13:15 – Bouchard, hooking
TOR PEN – 13:45 – Kennedy, tripping

3rd Period

MTL – Plante (T + SO, 24-24)
TOR – Lumley (T + SO, 15-15)

MTL – 2+8+5 = 15
TOR – 6+5+13 = 24

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, Paul Ronty.
Goaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Larry Cahan, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Parker MacDonald, Rudy Migay, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 39-15-11 (.685)
TOR – 23-21-22 (.515)