Game 412 – Canadiens 9, Maple Leafs 4

Game 412
Canadiens 9, Maple Leafs 4
Wednesday, March 9, 1960
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Those fanciful rumours that the Montréal Canadiens’ monopoly on the Stanley Cup might be in jeopardy seemed far fetched in the Gardens last night, when the consummate Canadiens demolished the Maple Leafs 9-4.

The Leafs, as current second place lodgers in the National Hockey League, are reputed to be chief contenders to the Canadiens’ throne. But last night, before a crowd of 14,648, it was obvious that the Leafs are strictly pretenders.

The Canadiens, although playing their fourth game in five nights, had amazing stamina, speed, guile, and their usual ability to make the most of their scoring opportunities. And, for a team that had first place locked up, they were unusually ambitious.

Bernie Geoffrion was their leading scorer in this game with three goals – also a couple of assists. Maurice Richard, the old incorrigible, scored two. The others were scored by Tom Johnson, Don Marshall, Jean Béliveau and André Pronovost.

George Armstrong was a two goal scorer for the Leafs, with Bert Olmstead and Red Kelly getting the others.

The Leafs, still trying to clinch second place, successfully parried the Canadiens until the second period. Twice the Leafs came back to tie the score, and it was still an attractive 2-2 count early in the second period. Then the remorseless Canadiens struck with one of their brutal blitzes.

The Canadiens scored five goals in a row in just over nine minutes to take care of the tie. The Leafs staggered back to score two goals late in the period, but the Canadiens scored the only two goals in the final 20 minutes.

Immediately after the loss, the Leafs’ orderly room went into action and transferred two players from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Goalkeeper Ed Chadwick and defenceman Joe Crozier will be with the Leafs for their Saturday game here against the New York Rangers.

Chadwick will replace Johnny Bower, who played last night with a sprained thumb on his right hand. He insisted it didn’t bother him and, in view of the Canadiens’ blitzkreig, two pairs of hands probably wouldn’t have helped him. But the Leafs aren’t taking chances, and Chadwick will be their goalkeeper Saturday.

Crozier, a 31 year old veteran, will be an emergency replacement in the event that Bob Baun is unable to play. Baun injured a knee in last night’s game, he was idle for the final two periods, but he might be able to play again by Saturday. The Leafs dropped right winger Ron Stewart back on defence in Baun’s absence.

Baun’s injury was a serious blow to the Leafs because they already had Allan Stanley, their most proficient defenceman, on the disabled list. The Canadiens, if anyone is interested, managed to carry on without a defenceman named Doug Harvey for most of the game. Harvey, who has a groin injury, played on two shifts in the first period and then retired for the night. And who missed him?

“That was the first good game we played in the last four or five starts,” said Toe Blake, the Canadiens’ coach. “We played like a team for a change.”

One sad development for the Canadiens was that their goalkeeper, Jacques Plante, backslid by three goals in the Vézina Trophy competition. Now he leads Chicago’s Glenn Hall by only one goal.

Plante, who discarded his face mask for a game in Detroit a night earlier, wore it again in last night’s game – “as insurance” he said, against injury for the playoffs. He is undecided if he will be masked or not for the playoffs.

NOTES: Any suggestion that Bower might have been responsible for the Leafs’ thrashing is ridiculous. The Canadiens outshot the Leafs 42-34, and that total was helped by a 22-16 bulge in the second period. Bower made no alibis for his injury, although he insisted he had “a bad night.” The Canadiens have provided numerous bad nights of that type for goalkeepers in the past few seasons…Chadwick will play in goal for the Leafs against the New York Rangers here Saturday, and if the Leafs should happen to secure second place in that game, Chadwick will return to Rochester. But, if second place is still undecided, Chadwick will accompany the Leafs to New York for the Sunday game…In 13 games with the Canadiens this season, the Leafs have won two, tied one – and lost 10. The Habs appear to have an edge.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 10, 1960

1st Period

MTL PEN – 00:53 – Moore, high sticking
TOR PEN – 00:53 – Horton, high sticking
TOR PEN – 09:20 – Olmstead, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 10:21 – Geoffrion (H. Richard, M. Richard)
MTL PEN – 11:09 – Turner, hooking
MTL PEN – 11:57 – Johnson, elbowing
TOR PEN – 11:57 – Mahovlich, high sticking
TOR PP GOAL – 12:48 – Armstrong (Olmstead, Stewart)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:09 – M. Richard (H. Richard)
MTL PEN – 02:27 – Béliveau, high sticking
TOR PP GOAL – 03:46 – Olmstead (Mahovlich, Armstrong)
TOR PEN – 06:03 – Regan, high sticking
MTL PP GOAL – 07:13 – Johnson (Geoffrion, Moore)
MTL GOAL – 10:47 – Marshall (McDonald, Hicke)
MTL GOAL – 14:34 – Béliveau (Bonin)
MTL GOAL – 15:17 – Geoffrion (Bonin, Béliveau)
MTL GOAL – 16:37 – Pronovost (Backstrom)

TOR GOAL – 17:24 – Armstrong (Duff, Harris)
MTL PEN – 18:46 – McDonald, high sticking
TOR PEN – 18:46 – James, high sticking
MTL PEN – 18:46 – Turner, fighting major
TOR PEN – 18:46 – Pulford, fighting major
TOR GOAL – 19:47 – Kelly (Mahovlich, Horton)

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 02:58 – Stewart, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 04:29 – M. Richard (Geoffrion, H. Richard)
MTL GOAL – 05:00 – Geoffrion (Béliveau)
MTL PEN – 09:00 – Pronovost, tripping
TOR PEN – 15:05 – Brewer, boarding
TOR PEN – 16:41 – Edmundson, fighting major
MTL PEN – 16:41 – Pronovost, fighting major

MTL – Plante (W, 30-34)
TOR – Bower (L, 33-42)

MTL – 10+22+10 = 42
TOR – 9+16+9 = 34

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

MTL – 38-15-12 (.677)
TOR – 32-25-8 (.554)