Game 369 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1

Game 369
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, March 6, 1957
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Ted Kennedy scored two goals and assisted on a third in the Gardens last night to give the Maple Leafs an important 3-1 win over the disbelieving Montréal Canadiens.

It was important because any game that the Leafs win, especially at home, has to be important. And this was their first such experience before their home fans (13,313) since January 19, when they nipped the Boston Bruins, also by a 3-1 count.

For the haggard Canadiens, some of whom seem to be suffering from tired blood, this loss might conceivably prevent them from finishing in first place in the NHL. Now, with seven games left to play, they trail the Detroit Red Wings by three points. And the Wings have played two fewer games.

The Leafs showed surprising vitality fora team that was adjudged ready for the embalmers only a few days ago. There was nothing flukey about their win. They outplayed the Canadiens most of the time, bumped them unceremoniously and, believe it or not, actually outskated them.

So the Leafs climbed to within six points of the fourth place New York Rangers, and each team has eight more games to play – three with each other. The first of these fur-flying tussles is in the Gardens Saturday.

Ed Chadwick, who is almost assured of being named rookie of the year, shared hero’s billing with Kennedy in this game. The Canadiens have had more firepower in other games this year, but they fired 24 shots at Chadwick. Only one, a deflected shot by Maurice Richard in the second period, eluded him. The Leafs’ other goal was scored by George Armstrong.

This was the incomparable Richard’s 30th goal of the current schedule, and the 490th he has scored in 15 seasons in the NHL. It is also the ninth time he has scored 30 goals or more in a single season.

The Canadiens’ numbing power play, which was largely responsible for the fact that they defeated the Leafs in seven out of 11 previous encounters this season, didn’t get a convincing tryout last night.

The Leafs had four of the nine penalties but, on three occasions they were coincident penalties. They were actually shorthanded only once, in the second period, when Bobby Baun drew a charging minor. But three magnificent saves by Chadwick, two on Maurice Richard and one on Jean Béliveau, discouraged the Montréal attack.

Gerry James, who has received numerous costly penalties in games with the Canadiens this season, was a conspicuous absentee. The Leafs had him in uniform, but kept him on the bench.

Canadiens superstars like defenceman Doug Harvey and Béliveau played in extreme apathy at times. But the Richard brothers, Maurice and Henri, were fired up all the way, and the darting Henri was the Canadiens’ most consistent puck carrier.

The Leafs’ best line was composed of Kennedy, Sid Smith and Ron Stewart; George Armstrong was another standout. Kennedy opened the scoring in the first period, rapping Smith’s rebound past Jacques Plante.

Maurice Richard tied the score in the second frame. He let go a hard shot from about 35 feet out, but the puck hit Al MacNeil’s skate and deflected past the unprepared Chadwick.

The Leafs’ own power play gave them the lead again in exactly five minutes. George Armstrong took a Kennedy pass at the right point and stickhandled in to beat Plante with a long, low shot that hit the back of the net and bounced back out again.

Kennedy slammed in the Leafs’ third goal with fewer than two minutes remaining in the third period, firing the puck between two Montréal defencemen from about 20 feet in front of Plante.

NOTES: “Don’t throw in the ashes yet. You might have to eat them,” was Hap Day’s advice to a sad-faced pallbearer disguised as a reporter…The Cullen brothers, Brian and Barry, didn’t log much ice time with the Leafs. Neither did defenceman Jimmy Morrison, although one section of fans kept imploring coach Howie Meeker to play him…Bert Olmstead, once considered one of the Canadiens’ more able forwards, sat on the bench after the first period. At one time in the last period, Bob Turner, a defenceman, played briefly on left wing in Olmstead’s usual position…Henri Richard, normally noted for his decorous deportment, served three of the Canadiens’ five penalties. He and Rudy Migay sparred briefly in the second and drew double minors. Then in the third, Henri had another spat with Baun.

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

1st Period

MTL PEN – 08:10 – Moore, holding
TOR GOAL – 13:15 – Kennedy (Smith, Réaume)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 05:42 – Baun, charging
MTL GOAL – 10:14 – M. Richard (Moore, Harvey)
MTL PEN – 13:20 – Marshall, holding
TOR PP GOAL – 15:04 – Armstrong (Smith, Kennedy)
TOR PEN – 16:35 – Migay, roughing / high sticking double minor
MTL PEN – 16:35 – H. Richard, roughing / high sticking double minor

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 08:38 – Baun, high sticking
MTL PEN – 08:38 – H. Richard, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 18:38 – Kennedy (Stewart, Réaume)

TOR – Chadwick (W, 23-24)
MTL – Plante (L, 24-27)

TOR – 10+6+11 = 27
MTL – 4+11+9 = 24

TORGoaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Bobby Baun, Tim Horton, Al MacNeil, Jim Morrison, Marc Réaume, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Barry Cullen, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Ted Kennedy (C), Rudy Migay, Bob Pulford, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart.
Goaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C), Stan Smrke.

TOR – 19-29-14 (.419)
MTL – 31-21-11 (.579)