Game 376 – Maple Leafs 0, Canadiens 0

Game 376
Maple Leafs 0, Canadiens 0
Wednesday, December 4, 1957
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The upstart Maple Leafs and the “Rocket”-less Montréal Canadiens seesawed to a 0-0 draw at the Gardens last night, adding to Leafian distinction in more ways than one. As might be expected, the goaltenders were most conspicuous by their brilliance.

This wasn’t only the first goalless tie of the National Hockey League season. It also marked the first time the Habitants have been shut out since last December 26. And guess who did it then? Yep, the Leafs, by 1-0.

But that’s not all. This was the third such non-scoring game over all of last season and up to now. Yep, again. The Leafs were involved in every game.

“We’re a team of firsts,” said coach Billy Reay of the dashing locals, who seemingly wasn’t joyous over a split. “I thought we had this one. Frank Mahovlich, for instance, had a couple of fine choices.

“With the Richard brothers (Maurice “The Rocket” and Henri “The Pocket Rocket”) out with injuries, the Canadiens look ordinary even if they are leading the league. They’re no supermen.”

The game was just about as even as the score would indicate. Both sides had some great chances and, as an indication of the play, the Leafs, with 27 shots on goal, had one more than the Habs.

The result left the Leafs one point back of the third place Boston Bruins, and Reay’s young warriors now have dropped only one of their last eight games. They’ve won three in a row. The Canadiens have been unbeaten in six.

The Leafs might have well won out on a play by Mahovlich in the closing minute of the tight checking opening period. “Jake The Snake” Plante managed a tremendous save, and the ricocheting puck zoomed by an open part of the cage. Again, early in the brilliant middle period, Plante robbed Mahovlich in close.

The nomadic netman also committed a bit of larceny on such as Barry Cullen, Jim Morrison, Billy Harris and Brian Cullen.

Chadwick, appearing most relaxed under terrific pressure, contributed two key saves among his others. On the first, he pulled off a tremendous stop on “Boom Boom” Geoffrion from close range. The shot struck him on the stomach pads and he jacknifed to the ice, clutching the puck. That was midway through the game.

The second key stop was on a breakaway with the Habs shorthanded through a penalty in the second minute of the third period. Defenceman Bob Turner stopped a shot by Ron Stewart, which was a form of retaliation because Stewart, playing defence, had knocked down plenty of pucks before they could reach Chadwick.

Before 12,865 fans, Turner picked up the rebound in the clear. He bore in on Chadwick, but the goalie refused to budge and, at the last second, Turner fired into his pads.

NOTES: The same teams play in Montréal tonight…The game threatened to get out of hand through a forest of high sticks in the opening period…When Hab Dickie Moore drew a slashing minor, he jostled referee Dalt McArthur, and was assessed a 10 minute misconduct penalty…”Chadwick played one of his road games at home,” praised Reay…The line of Harris, Tod Sloan and Mahovlich was best for the Leafs…The previous goalless draw was between the Leafs and Black Hawks at Chicago last March 3. Before that, the Leafs and New York Rangers failed to gain a goal in a game here last December 8.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 5, 1957

1st Period

MTL PEN – 05:01 – Johnson, roughing
MTL PEN – 06:53 – Moore, slashing + misconduct
MTL PEN – 10:52 – Béliveau, elbowing
TOR PEN – 10:52 – Br. Cullen, spearing

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 03:41 – Ba. Cullen, slashing
TOR PEN – 14:04 – Sloan, slashing
MTL PEN – 17:47 – Talbot, high sticking
TOR PEN – 17:47 – Pulford, high sticking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 01:10 – Talbot, tripping
MTL PEN – 08:36 – Saint-Laurent, delay of game
MTL PEN – 17:29 – Béliveau, holding
TOR PEN – 19:45 – Morrison, tripping

TOR – Chadwick (T + SO, 26-26)
MTL – Plante (T + SO, 27-27)

TOR – 5+13+9 = 27
MTL – 6+11+9 = 26

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

TOR – 8-11-5 (.438)
MTL – 14-4-4 (.727)