Game 387 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 0

Game 387
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 0
Wednesday, October 29, 1958
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Montréal Canadiens, who might have even a more powerful team than in the preceding three years, manhandled the disorganized Maple Leafs 5-0 in a National Hockey League debacle at the Gardens last night.

For the 13,756 customers in attendance, one fact was painfully apparent: the Leafs might be in the same league as the Canadiens, but they aren’t in the same class.

This was the Canadiens’ fifth game in seven nights (they played in Chicago a night earlier) and there was a faint hope they might be reeling in fatigue. Instead, they overwhelmed the Leafs with their powerful skating, strong checking and a polished passing game that was almost mechanical in execution.

The Leafs, especially Frank Mahovlich, tried mightily at times, but it was a desperate, disconnected effort that was repeatedly repelled by the Canadiens’ rocky defence, or by the able goaltending of Jacques Plante. Plante played exceedingly well, but what goalie hasn’t against the Leafs?

The Canadiens, whose scoring strength always is well distributed, had five scorers last night in Tom Johnson, Jean Béliveau, Ab McDonald, Bernie Geoffrion and Dickie Moore. Two of their goals were on power plays, and another was scored while both teams were playing five a side.

It was a disillusioning return to the Leafs goal for Ed Chadwick, who replaced Johnny Bower for the first time this season. But Chadwick and a squad of draegermen couldn’t have stopped the Canadiens last night.

Frank Selke, the Canadiens managing-director, said his team played its best hockey of the season during the first two periods. And other Montréal observers agreed with him.

“Goalkeeping had nothing to do with it,” said sad Billy Reay, the Leafs’ coach. “It wouldn’t have mattered if we had used both Chadwick and Bower. We were outskated and outroughed.

“The Canadiens came at us in waves. They should never let us play that team shorthanded. We simply have to get players who can skate faster.” But where, coach?

The Leafs, in their haste and anxiety, committed several faux pas, and the Canadiens turned them into goals. The Canadiens also made mistakes, but they covered up so well that the Leafs couldn’t divert them to their use.

The Leafs were shorthanded when Johnson opened the scoring on a blast from the point halfway through the first period. Defenceman Carl Brewer and a cruising Canadien blocked Chadwick’s view of the shot.

Both teams had a player in the penalty box two minutes later when Béliveau knocked down Dave Creighton’s stray pass and, in the same motion, hammered a 15-footer past Chadwick. McDonald scored his first NHL goal late in the period, also assisted by a misdirected Leaf pass. This one was from Tim Horton. McDonald picked it up at the Toronto blueline, sped in from left wing and ricocheted a shot into the net off the left goal post.

Geoffrion, foiled by Chadwick on three other occasions, finally scored in the second period. He whirled around defenceman Allan Stanley, drew out Chadwick, and tucked the puck in behind him.

The only goal of the third period, credited to Moore, was the most bizarre of the game. Henri Richard bounced the puck off the goal post, and it curled around behind the Leaf net. Ron Stewart, in trying to clear, hit Chadwick on the back of the neck, and the puck dropped behind him. Moore, who was the closest Canadien to Stewart, whooped joyously as if he had accomplished the goal through hypnotism. Maybe he did – he seldom misses against the Leafs.

Leaf Dick Duff and Maurice Richard had a brief altercation in the first period, when the venerable Maurice objected to Duff’s close checking.

Maurice later felled Duff with a stiff check in front of the Leafs net. When Duff sought to pursue the matter, he was intercepted by Henri Richard. They high sticked each other and were sent off.

This was the Canadiens’ seventh win in 11 games. They have tied two and lost two others, both to Boston incidentally. Their win last night moved them into a seven point lead on the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, who are tied for second.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 30, 1958

1st Period

MTL PEN – 00:58 – Moore, holding
TOR PEN – 05:02 – Brewer, hooking
TOR PEN – 09:50 – Stanley, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 10:20 – Johnson (M. Richard, Geoffrion)
MTL PEN – 11:04 – H. Richard, high sticking
TOR PEN – 11:04 – Duff, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 12:50 – Béliveau
MTL GOAL – 19:03 – McDonald (Cushenan)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:47 – Pulford, hooking
MTL PEN – 11:52 – Turner, elbowing
MTL GOAL – 14:12 – Geoffrion (Béliveau, Johnson)
TOR PEN – 19:52 – Réaume, holding

3rd Period
MTL PP GOAL – 00:26 – Moore
MTL PEN – 01:53 – McDonald, hooking
TOR PEN – 07:11 – Réaume, interference

MTL – Plante (W + SO, 27-27)
TOR – Chadwick (L, 31-36)

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Ian Cushenan, Tom Johnson, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Don Marshall, Ab McDonald, Dickie Moore, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).
TOR Goaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Steve Kraftcheck, Marc Réaume, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dave Creighton, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Willie Marshall, Rudy Migay, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 7-2-2 (.727)
TOR – 2-6-0 (.250)