Game 360 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2

Game 360
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, November 29, 1956
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Dickie Moore, the National Hockey League’s leading goal scorer, fired his 12th and 13th of the season here tonight to lead the Montréal Canadiens to a 4-2 win over the decrepit Toronto Maple Leafs.

Moore, who has been doing most of his scoring against the Leafs this season, scored only 11 throughout the entire schedule last campaign. Last time the Canadiens met the Leafs in Toronto, he collected three goals, and his personal total against them this season is six.

The loss merely prolonged the Leafs’ nosedive. Now in fifth place, they have won only one, tied two and lost nine in their last 12 games. Four of their regulars, defenceman Hugh Bolton, Jim Morrison and Jim Thomson, and forward George Armstrong, are out with injuries. The Canadiens were without their great scoring ace, Maurice Richard, for this game.

Other Montréal goals were scored by Bert Olmstead and Bernie Geoffrion. Toronto scorers were Dick Duff, his 8th of the season, and Billy Harris.

The Leafs, although lacking in team play and skating power, had plenty of fight and, especially their younger players, kept battling grimly until the end. But throughout, they were consistently outmanoeuvred by a cool, calculating Montréal team that refused to let up its pressure. The Canadiens checked remorselessly in the Toronto end, a style of play they don’t normally favour – not against the Leafs anyway.

The Canadiens outshot the embattled Leafs 40-27, but once again goalkeeper Ed Chadwick did everything but devour the puck. At one time in the second period the Canadiens, with their power play, kept the puck in the Toronto end for more than two minutes, but they couldn’t fire it past Chadwick.

Two newcomers to the Toronto lineup, defenceman Bobby Baun and right winger Kenny Girard, played in creditable fashion – especially Baun. The ex-Marlboro bomber threw his weight around with authority, and several Canadiens were giving him yardage in the third period. Defenceman Marc Réaume also did some heavy bumping for the Leafs. Girard played on a line with Duff and Tod Sloan. Baun and Réaume were teamed on the Toronto defence.

The Canadiens’ great power play produced two of their goals. Moore scored his first in the opening period, banking in a slider off Tim Horton’s skates. Gerry James was off for tripping at the time, his first of three penalties.

Duff tied the score in the second, blasting in a 25-footer after Sloan gave him a lateral pass from a faceoff. Sloan won the draw from Olmstead.

Jean Béliveau, one of the Canadiens’ top operators, which was expected, set up Montréal’s second goal. His pass was picked up by Olmstead and he fired in a 10-foot screen shot. About four minutes later, Moore scored his second, a 40-footer which bounced into the net off Chadwick’s pads.

Geoffrion made it 4-1 in the third period on a passing relay from Béliveau, to Olmstead, to Geoffrion. “The Boomer” was in the clear from the Leafs blue line in, and he beat Chadwick with a wrist shot instead of his famed slapper.

Harris gave the Leafs a momentary lift at 12:57 by golfing the puck from a faceoff to the left of the Canadiens net. He knocked the puck off Henri Richard’s stick, and the looping shot took Jacques Plante by surprise.

NOTES: Béliveau’s three assists gave him a total of 28 points for the season. Nine of them are goals…The Canadiens expect Maurice Richard back in about two weeks. He had an elbow operation earlier this week…Moore, heading for his greatest season, seems certain to break his personal NHL scoring record. He had 18 in his first season, his best to date…A crowd of 14,250 witnessed the game.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 30, 1956

1st Period

MTL PEN – 00:36 – Geoffrion, slashing
TOR PEN – 05:59 – James, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 06:39 – Moore (Olmstead, Béliveau)
MTL PEN – 15:39 – Talbot, holding

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 03:32 – team, too many men on the ice
TOR PEN – 04:11 – Br. Cullen, hooking
MTL PEN – 05:08 – Harvey, tripping
TOR PP GOAL – 05:10 – Duff (Sloan)
MTL GOAL – 08:49 – Olmstead (Béliveau, Geoffrion)
TOR PEN – 09:28 – Réaume, holding
TOR PEN – 10:44 – James, cross checking
MTL PP GOAL – 12:03 – Moore

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 07:16 – Geoffrion (Olmstead, Béliveau)
TOR GOAL – 12:57 – Harris
TOR PEN – 16:14 – James, roughing
MTL PEN – 16:14 – Pronovost, roughing

MTL – Plante (W, 25-27)
TOR – Chadwick (L, 36-40)

MTL – 6+20+14 = 40
TOR – 11+6+10 = 27

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Jack LeClair, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard.
Goaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Bobby Baun, Tim Horton, Al MacNeil, Marc Réaume. Forwards: Gary Aldcorn, Barry Cullen, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Kenny Girard, Billy Harris, Gerry James, Rudy Migay, Bob Pulford, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 11-9-2 (.545)
TOR – 5-10-6 (.381)