Game 367 – Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 1

Game 367
Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, February 6, 1957
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

In any other circumstances, it might have been considered a moral victory when the Maple Leafs tied the Canadiens 1-1 at the Gardens last night.

After all, the Flying Frenchmen had won seven and lost a mere two of the nine previous games between the teams.

But the tie cost the Leafs a mighty big point in their gradually losing struggle to retain the National Hockey League’s fourth and last playoff perch. Those pesky New York Rangers jumped to within one point of the Leafs by downing the Boston Bruins 3-2. What’s more, the Rangers can ride the crew-cut locals into fifth place on a victory over the Hawks in Chicago tonight.

As it was, the Leafs came by their draw the hard way, because it was the Habs who opened up the goal-getting. Donnie Marshall’s goal in the closing seconds of the first period was overcome by George Armstrong’s in the seventh minute of the middle period.

Overall, the Canadiens have authored much better performances against the Leafs than this latest effort. They weren’t hurtling in their best polished style, perhaps because such greats as “Rocket” Richard, Jean Béliveau and Doug Harvey weren’t nearly as noticeable as usual.

Henri Richard too didn’t come close to his dazzling performance of the last game here – but he had an excuse, although he didn’t use it. “The Pocket Rocket”‘s wife in Montréal yesterday presented him with an eight pound daughter – their first born.

Before 14,046, Tod Sloan set up the tying goal that marked Armstrong’s 10th of the term. The “Slinker” slapped a bouncing puck under control and passed out from the end boards. “The Big Chief,” wasting not a moment as is sometimes his wont, whacked it in from just outside the crease.

It appeared that goalie Ed Chadwick could hardly be blamed for losing a shutout. He blocked two shots and was sitting on his pantaloons when Marshall pushed the puck past him. At least that’s the way it looked, although some Leafs suggested the puck may have struck a Toronto skate. Anyway, there are always the game movies to decide.

Chadwick pulled off a key save on the best scoring thrust of the final period. Quick like a bunny, he leaped from one side of the cage to the other to block a goal-labelled drive by Claude Provost. That young worthy had deflected a cross-goal pass from Marshall.

It wasn’t a bruising affair, although the Leafs used body blows as a recipe for outplaying the Habs during the middle period. Only eight minor penalties were called – four to each side. Dour winger Bert Olmstead, who seemed to be the Leafs’ target for the night, drew three of the Montréal sentences.

The sometimes scrambly game was delayed for a few minutes at the midway mark when goalie Jacques Plante was victim of a rather freakish accident. Gerry James let go a drive that struck a prone Canadien and glanced off to hit Plante above the eye. One stitch closed the wound.

NOTES: The Leafs’ total of 11 draws leads the league…Rookie Bobby Baun gave a creditable performance on the Toronto defence. The Toronto Marlboro junior of last season was elevated from Rochester of the American League to fill in for Ron Stewart, sidelined with a groin infection…When Plante wandered from his net to trap a puck in the opening period. James skated at him. Then Plante bent and James went tumbling over him. He arose to look at his thumb, signalling a charging penalty…The Leafs pulled a player switch, with Tim Horton moving to right wing on a line with Ted Kennedy and Bob Pulford. Horton replaced Gerry James who took Horton’s spot on a line with Rudy Migay and Smith.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 7, 1957

1st Period

MTL PEN – 04:36 – Provost, holding
TOR PEN – 10:45 – James, charging
TOR PEN – 17:20 – Pulford, interference
MTL GOAL – 19:24 – Marshall (Pronovost, Provost)

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 06:34 – Armstrong (Sloan, Réaume)
MTL PEN – 12:23 – Olmstead, elbowing
MTL PEN – 19:13 – Olmstead, roughing
TOR PEN – 19:13 – Armstrong, roughing

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 15:20 – Olmstead, high sticking
TOR PEN – 15:20 – Duff, high sticking

TOR – Chadwick (T, 20-21)
MTL – Plante (T, 23-24)

TOR – 7+9+8 = 24
MTL – 10+6+5 = 21

TORGoaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Bobby Baun, Tim Horton, Al MacNeil, Jim Morrison, Marc Réaume, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Dick Duff, Gerry James, Ted Kennedy (C), Rudy Migay, Mike Nykoluk, Bob Pulford, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith.
Goaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson, Dollard Saint-Laurent, Jean-Guy Talbot. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).

TOR – 16-24-11 (.422)
MTL – 27-15-9 (.618)