Game 375 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2

Game 375
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2
Wednesday, November 13, 1957
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Montréal Canadiens won from the Maple Leafs 4-2 at the Gardens last night, but they lost their scoring sensation, Maurice Richard, for possibly six weeks – maybe longer.

The 36 year old right winger, who has scored 504 goals in 16 seasons in the National Hockey League, almost completely severed the Achilles tendon in his right ankle early in the second period.

He was injured on a typical Richard manoeuvre. He had just lashed a shot at Leafs goalie Ed Chadwick, when – overcome by his own momentum – he fell to the ice. Leafs defenceman Marc Réaume, who was rushing in to block the shot, fell over the Montréal player, and in the tangle, Réaume’s skate inflicted the wound.

Richard immediately grabbed for his ankle, and then stretched full length on the ice, seemingly in pain. He was assisted to the Gardens’ hospital, where 15 stitches were required to close the gash.

Doctors in attendance said that Richard’s tendon was cut “about two thirds to three quarters through.” A cast will be placed over the damaged leg.

The injury is certain to prevent Richard from achieving one of his chief ambitions – winning the NHL scoring crown. Despite his incredible marksmanship, this is one distinction that has eluded him. He was leading the league with 23 points (11 goals) going into last night’s game.

While Richard’s injury is a serious blow to the Canadiens, they proved last night that they are quite a formidable team even without this incomparable right winger. They always seem to have talented fellows on their bench who are capable of coming through in emergencies.

The Canadiens were leading 2-0 when Richard was injured. A few minutes later, they lost Don Marshall for the game, but they permitted the flailing Leafs only one goal late in the period, then outscored them 2-1 in the final 20 minutes.

Marshall was hammered into the end boards by George Armstrong. An examination revealed later that Marshall had sprained his right ankle. He will have X-rays taken in Montréal today.

But the Canadiens’ bench strength reacted typically in the emergency, Marcel Bonin and André Pronovost, who ordinarily would have logged an abundance of bench time, scored Montréal’s third period goals. It was Bonin’s first goal of the season, and the second for Pronovost. Bonin replaced Richard and Pronovost moved into Marshall’s place on the Canadiens’ third line.

Marshall gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead in the first period, and Jean Béliveau made it 2-0 early in the second. Dick Duff scored the Leafs’ first goal while the Canadiens had two players in the penalty box. Then with the score 4-1, Frank Mahovlich scored the Leafs’ second goal with little more than a minute left to play.

The Leafs had the legs and the desire throughout most of the game, but they seldom could muster an orderly offensive. Territorially, they probably had an edge on the Stanley Cup champs, but the Canadiens proceeded directly to their objective with much less bluster and with a fraction of the effort.

The Leafs spent almost the entire first 15 minutes of the game in the Montréal zone, but wild shooting, disorganization and the ubiquitous Jacques Plante still blanked them.

Plante, his health restored, played one of his better games. He was especially alert on Leafs power plays, moving with cat-like agility to stop close-in shots.

Marshall sent the Canadiens ahead at 15:57, and it was on the Canadiens’ fourth shot at Leaf goalie Ed Chadwick. Marshall gathered in Phil Goyette’s pass and picked the far side of the net with a quick shot.

Béliveau scored his goal by intercepting a clearing pass from Leaf defenceman Ron Stewart. The puck skidded past two Leafs before Béliveau picked it up and rammed a 20-foot screened shot past Chadwick.

Duff cuffed in a backhander while Claude Provost and Doug Harvey were in the penalty box. Plante screamed that a Leaf was in the crease, but he was ignored.

In the third period, Pronovost stole in behind Jimmy Morrison and took the puck from him at the Montréal blue line. Then he wheeled around, eluded Ron Stewart on the Leafs defence, and drilled a 30-footer into the Leafs net.

Henri Richard raced down left wing to set up Bonin’s goal. He was stopped by Réaume, but passed to right wing, where Bonin picked up the puck and launched a shot that Chadwick caught and fumbled into the cage.

Mahovlich scored the Leafs’ second goal, his third of the season, from a pileup in front of the Montréal net. He shoved the puck across the goal line, despite Plante’s resistance.

NOTES: Maurice Richard, before his injury, received his first penalty of the season – for hooking Morrison in the first period…Provost was one of the more industrious Canadiens, and he has been every time against the Leafs…Armstrong was the Leafs’ chief threat. Sloan flew on occasions, but his shooting was wild.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 14, 1957

1st Period

TOR PEN – 03:48 – Sloan, tripping
MTL GOAL – 15:57 – Marshall (Goyette, Provost)
MTL PEN – 18:30 – M. Richard, hooking

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:47 – Béliveau (Geoffrion, Olmstead)
MTL PEN – 03:58 – Moore, high sticking
TOR PEN – 03:58 – Baun, high sticking
TOR PEN – 13:12 – Ba. Cullen, slashing
MTL PEN – 16:43 – Provost, hooking
MTL PEN – 17:30 – Harvey, holding
TOR PP2 GOAL – 18:19 – Duff (Harris, Mahovlich)

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 01:30 – Br. Cullen, slashing
TOR PEN – 07:02 – Harris, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 08:40 – Pronovost
MTL PEN – 14:15 – Harvey, hooking
MTL GOAL – 16:37 – Bonin (H. Richard, Moore)
TOR GOAL – 18:49 – Mahovlich (Duff, Armstrong)

MTL – Plante (W, 23-25)
TOR – Chadwick (L, 22-26)

MTL – 7+9+10 = 26
TOR – 10+7+8 = 25

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).
TORGoaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Bobby Baun, Tim Horton, Al MacNeil, Jim Morrison, Marc Réaume. Forwards: Gary Aldcorn, George Armstrong (C), Pete Conacher, Barry Cullen, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Rudy Migay, Bob Pulford, Tod Sloan, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 10-2-2 (.786)
TOR – 4-9-2 (.333)