Game 368 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1

Game 368
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Thursday, February 14, 1957
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs, with their first win in their last 10 starts, moved back into fourth place in the National Hockey League here tonight by defeating the disillusioned Montréal Canadiens 2-1.

The Leafs, one point behind the New York Rangers before this game, regained fourth place when the Rangers were defeated in Detroit, but the Rangers have one game in hand.

Dick Duff, with his 23rd goal of the season, and Rudy Migay gave the Leafs a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Canadiens’ only reply was a long blazer by Jean Béliveau which carved its way between Ed Chadwick and the post late in the second period.

A crowd of 13,702 looked in on amazement throughout this close checking tussle, as the Leafs had seemingly little difficulty keeping the Canadiens in check. The Canadiens, who have won only one game in their last 10, have doubtlessly looked better than they did tonight, but there was no doubt about the Leafs’ improvement. One of the principal reasons for the Leafs’ superior effort was the bouncy performance on defence by Bobby Baun. The Canadiens, accustomed to cruising across the Leafs blue line without worry, had to keep a close scrutiny in this game, or Baun might have dismantled a few of them. And the Canadiens realized it.

And Chadwick, who was suspected of indulging in a mild slump in recent games, was back on his best behaviour in this one. The Canadiens pelted 32 shots at him, and a great many onlookers are still wondering how he stopped most of them.

It was also obvious that the Leafs had improved in their checking lessons. Shots that would normally have soared past the defence in recent games were stopped. Marc Réaume, the most improved Toronto player in the past two weeks, ranked with Baun as the Leafs’ best rearguard.

Béliveau, who has been criticized in Montréal environs recently for his un-inspirational play, had several opportunities to beat Chadwick, in addition to the goal he scored. Once in the first period he was in alone but, instead of shooting, he slid the puck directly across in front of the Leaf goal.

Duff sent the Leafs ahead early in the first period, beating Jacques Plante with a backhander after Jake had kicked out an earlier shot by George Armstrong. Migay made it 2-0 nine minutes later from a faceoff. He won the draw from Béliveau and hammered a 20-footer past Plante.

Béliveau scored the Canadiens’ lone goal late in the second period, a climbing 40-footer, which sailed between Chadwick and the post on the short side.

The Canadiens removed Plante in the final 20 seconds of the game, but they didn’t get a shot on the Toronto goal.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 15, 1957

1st Period

TOR GOAL – 03:31 – Duff (Armstrong, Baun)
TOR PEN – 06:35 – Réaume, holding
MTL PEN – 10:21 – Pronovost, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 12:30 – Migay
TOR PEN – 13:24 – Ba. Cullen, roughing
MTL PEN – 13:24 – Moore, roughing / elbowing double minor

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 04:05 – Ba. Cullen, interference
TOR PEN – 04:20 – Kennedy, high sticking
MTL PEN – 04:20 – Marshall, high sticking
TOR PEN – 08:53 – Migay, tripping
MTL GOAL – 17:42 – Béliveau (Saint-Laurent)

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 01:20 – Migay, hooking
TOR PEN – 09:23 – Baun, tripping
MTL PEN – 15:18 – Béliveau, cross checking

TOR – Chadwick (W, 30-31)
MTL – Plante (L, 26-28)

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

TOR – 17-25-13 (.427)
MTL – 27-17-10 (.593)