Game 355 – Canadiens 8, Maple Leafs 1

Game 355
Canadiens 8, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, February 16, 1956
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The return of Harry Lumley to his goaltending duties failed to inspire the Toronto Maple Leafs here tonight, as the Montréal Canadiens walloped them 8-1 in a National Hockey League game.

In extending their unbeaten string to nine, the league leading Canadiens administered the worst beating of the season to the Leafs. It was also one of the most lopsided wins recorded by any team in the league this year.

The Richard brothers, Maurice and Henri, who have been feasting on Leafs all season, each scored two goals. Their linemate, Dickie Moore, scored one and picked up four assists. Claude Provost, Jean Béliveau and Bert Olmstead scored the others.

Tod Sloan, one of the few Leafs who didn’t appear to be in a somnambulistic state, scored the Leafs’ only goal on a power play early in the third period after the Canadiens had taken a 6-0 lead. It was Sloan’s 33rd goal of the season.

Béliveau’s counter was his 37th, tops in the league. Maurice Richard raised his season’s output to 31. Lumley, out of action since January 22 with torn thigh muscles, looked erratic at times, but it is to his credit that he stood his ground in front of the Canadiens’ devastating attack.

The Canadiens monopolized the puck from the start, and the enfeebled Leafs were permitted to play with it for only seconds at a time.

Lum goofed on two goals, but he couldn’t have stopped any of the others even with a suit of armour. The Canadiens shot nothing but bullseyes.

Leafs general manager Hap Day pulled a surprise by starting Lumley, who has been convalescing for the last 11 games. Until shortly before game time, it was understood that Ed Chadwick, who had allowed three goals in the Leafs’ previous five games, would start.

Day changed his mind when Lumley informed him that he was “100 percent recovered.” Chadwick, who was on emergency recall from the Winnipeg Warriors, will fly back to that team tomorrow unless the Leafs pull another switch.

It is extremely doubtful if Chadwick in goal would have made any difference tonight. The Leafs, either because they couldn’t or wouldn’t, played one of their most inept games of the season.

The Richards and Moore peppered Lumley throughout the game, and Lum had to pull several rather amazing saves to keep the Canadiens from reaching double figures.

“The Rocket” scored his first goal at 11:20 of the first period. He crashed through the Leafs defence of Thomson and Morrison and, although off balance, whipped in a blazing 35-footer which hit the far side of the net. Richard fired the shot from his wrong wing, left.

“The Rocket” scored number two from behind the Leaf net. He intended it as a pass-out but Lumley, in trying to smother the puck, swept it into the net.

Twenty seconds later, “The Rocket” gave Moore a pass on the left wing and he slapped a 25-footer past Lumley.

In the second period, Henri Richard increased the Canadiens lead by ramming in brother Maurice’s rebound. Then, Provost made it 5-0 with a long, low shot that slid under Lumley as he fell. The Leafs were shorthanded late in the period when Béliveau, standing outside the Leaf crease, deflected in Geoffrion’s blast from the blue line.

Sloan finally scored for the Leafs early in the third, hacking a short shot past Jacques Plante after Brian Cullen and Dick Duff had earlier shots.

Henri Richard got that back for the Canadiens five minutes later. A pass from Dickie Moore at centre ice found him in the clear and he sped in close, picked his spot and scored.

Lumley was out of his net when Olmstead scored the Canadiens’ final goal. Lumley went out to grab a stray puck, tumbled over Geoffrion, and the puck squirted to Olmstead. Thomson tried to defend the vacant cage, but Olmstead fired the puck past him.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 17, 1956

1st Period
MTL PEN – 04:58 – Talbot, tripping
TOR PEN – 05:16 – Sloan, tripping
MTL PEN – 09:18 – Béliveau, hooking
MTL GOAL – 11:29 – M. Richard (Moore, Johnson)
MTL GOAL – 17:38 – M. Richard (H. Richard)
MTL GOAL – 17:58 – Moore (M. Richard, H. Richard)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:20 – Hannigan, high sticking
MTL PEN – 01:20 – Geoffrion, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 04:27 – H. Richard (Moore, M. Richard)
TOR PEN – 04:33 – Hannigan, tripping
TOR PEN – 08:09 – Armstrong, hooking
TOR PEN – 13:40 – Morrison, tripping
MTL GOAL – 17:07 – Provost (Mosdell, Curry)
TOR PEN – 19:30 – Thomson, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 19:53 – Béliveau (Geoffrion, Moore)

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 03:32 – Bouchard, tripping
TOR PP GOAL – 04:06 – Sloan (Duff, Cullen)
MTL GOAL – 09:09 – H. Richard (Harvey, Moore)
MTL GOAL – 16:21 – Olmstead (Geoffrion, Béliveau)
MTL PEN – 19:37 – H. Richard, slashing

MTL – Plante (W, 30-31)
TOR – Lumley (L, 24-32)

MTL – 7+15+10 = 32
TOR – 8+11+12 = 31

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Jack LeClair, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard.
TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Jim Morrison, Marc Réaume, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Earl Balfour, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Gord Hannigan, Billy Harris, Ron Hurst, Gerry James, Rudy Migay, Tod Sloan, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 35-12-10 (.702)
TOR – 19-29-10 (.414)