Game 405 – Canadiens 8, Maple Leafs 2

Game 405
Canadiens 8, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, December 17, 1959
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Rumours that the Montréal Canadiens were floundering in a slump were not substantiated here tonight, as the skillful Canadiens overwhelmed the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-2 in a National Hockey League game.

The Canadiens had gone six games in a row without a win prior to this game, and there was a feeling of uneasiness among their subjects that they might be deteriorating.

But a crowd of 13,908 received convincing proof in this debacle that the Canadiens are just as formidable, just as resourceful as ever. The Leafs, with a vigorous effort in the first two periods, gave them a tough tussle, but the Canadiens ran away with the game with four goals in the third period.

This was the fifth successive loss for the Leafs and, hampered by injuries, they gave the impression that things might get worse before they get better. They were without left wingers Bert Olmstead and Dick Duff. Replacements were Gerry James and Pat Hannigan, with James seeing regular service.

Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Bill Hicke, Claude Provost, Doug Harvey, Henri Richard, Junior Langlois and Ralph Backstrom scored for the Canadiens. Johnny Wilson and George Armstrong were scorers for the Leafs.

Referee Ed Powers had a busy time gesticulating offenders to the penalty box. There were several gang outbreaks with pushing and shoving predominant. The biggest outbreak was in the second period, when Powers gave majors to Tim Horton and Jean Béliveau for fighting, and roughing minors to all the other players on the ice, exclusive of the goalkeepers.

This bewildered the penalty timekeepers, and in the third period the game was delayed while Powers and the timekeeper debated the issue.

Béliveau sent the Canadiens into the lead at 11:52 of the first period by shovelling in his own rebound from about four feet in front of the Toronto net.

Bonin scored almost an identical goal several minutes later, lassoing his own rebound at the left side of the Toronto goal while Johnny Bower was on his derriere, and flipping the puck into the deserted net.

The Canadiens were shorthanded when Wilson scored for the Leafs early in the second period. Jacques Plante partially stopped Wilson’s shot, but the puck spun off his stick and slunk over the goal line.

The Canadiens came back to score two goals in little more than a minute. Hicke scored the first one on a Montréal power play, deflecting Doug Harvey’s shot from the right point. Provost swept in the next one while Bower was lying several feet outside his net after blocking a previous shot.

Armstrong brought the Leafs back late in the period with a peculiar goal. Larry Regan pushed the puck in front from the back boards, and Armstong shoved the puck and goalkeeper Plante into the net.

In the third period Harvey, a superb operator for the Canadiens, bombed in their fifth goal from the right point. Henri Richard sniped a delicate angle shot from the right wing, Langlois hammered in another blast from the blue line, and with a few seconds remaining Backstrom broke away, outshifted the Leafs’ goaler and deposited the puck in the net.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 18, 1959

1st Period

TOR PEN – 06:43 – Edmundson, cross checking
MTL PEN – 08:30 – Béliveau, charging
TOR PEN – 11:22 – Baun, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 11:52 – Béliveau (Richard, Geoffrion)
MTL GOAL – 18:19 – Bonin (Richard, Johnson)
MTL PEN – 19:17 – Johnson, cross checking

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 01:25 – Wilson (Horton)
TOR PEN – 02:55 – Brewer, hooking
TOR PEN – 10:24 – Stewart, slashing
MTL PP GOAL – 11:47 – Hicke (Harvey, Geoffrion)
MTL GOAL – 12:50 – Provost (Goyette, Turner)
MTL PEN – 13:18 – Johnson, roughing
TOR GOAL – 16:37 – Armstrong (Regan)
MTL PEN – 16:54 – Béliveau, fighting major
TOR PEN – 16:54 – Horton, fighting major
TOR PEN – 16:54 – Stanley, roughing
MTL PEN – 16:54 – Moore, roughing
TOR PEN – 16:54 – Wilson, roughing
MTL PEN – 16:54 – Johnson, roughing double minor

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 05:22 – Harvey (Moore, Geoffrion)
MTL GOAL – 08:46 – Richard (Turner)
MTL PEN – 00:54 – Geoffrion, roughing
TOR PEN – 00:54 – Harris, roughing
MTL PEN – 01:54 – Talbot, roughing
TOR PEN – 01:54 – James, roughing
MTL PEN – 02:54 – Richard, cross checking
TOR PEN – 15:58 – Edmundson, fighting major
MTL PEN – 15:58 – Bonin, fighting major
TOR PEN – 15:58 – Pulford, cross checking
TOR PEN – 16:08 – James, roughing
MTL PEN – 16:08 – Richard, roughing
TOR PEN – 16:08 – Armstrong, misconduct
MTL PP GOAL – 16:38 – Langlois (Harvey, Marshall)
MTL GOAL – 19:44 – Backstrom (Talbot, McDonald)

MTL – Plante (W, 29-31)
TOR – Bower (L, 45-53)

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Albert Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Ab McDonald, Dickie Moore, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Marc Réaume, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Garry Edmundson, Gerry Ehman, Ted Hampson, Pat Hannigan, Billy Harris, Gerry James, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Pulford, Larry Regan, Ron Stewart, Johnny Wilson.

MTL – 18-5-7 (.717)
TOR – 13-10-6 (.552)