Playoff Game 32 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2

Playoff Game 32
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2
Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1
Thursday, April 7, 1960
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens, despite a peculiar relapse in the last two periods, defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2, in the first game of the Stanley Cup best of seven final in the Forum here tonight.

The Canadiens, incorrigible collectors of Stanley Cups, erected a 3-0 lead in the first period, and they accomplished it with ridiculous ease. But, in the next two periods, they played with a strange indifference and the Leafs, with a little more effort, might have fought from behind.

It wasn’t a distinguished performance for either team, and a crowd of 14,301 had no difficulty containing its applause. The Leafs, who appeared to be in awe of the Canadiens in the first period, are capable of playing much better hockey. And the Canadiens, who are looking for their fifth successive Stanley Cup, can, and will, play an improved brand of hockey in future games. You can bet on that.

Dickie Moore, Doug Harvey, Jean Béliveau and Henri Richard scored for the Canadiens. Bobby Baun and Bert Olmstead were the scorers for the Leafs.

The second game in this series will be played here on Saturday night. Then the series reverts to Toronto for games on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Leafs, who trailed 0-3 after the first period, scored their two goals in the second period, although they were outshot 18-6 during this 20 minute interval. They played their best hockey in the final 20 minutes, but the poised Canadiens scored the only goal.

And, although the Canadiens gave the indication that they could rise to any emergency, the Leafs were much more businesslike in the final two periods. They should be much more difficult to handle in the next game.

Referee Frank Udvari imposed 17 penalties, nine to the Leafs, but it was not an obstreperous game. Body checking was meticulously avoided most of the time, and players were almost apologetic for the few collisions that did occur.

One consolation for the Leafs was that they ended Montréal goalkeeper Jacques Plante’s goalless streak. In his previous two playoff games, he had blanked the Chicago Black Hawks – on Chicago ice.

The Leafs, although outshot 43-29, had numerous opportunities to score more goals, and it wasn’t strictly Plante’s vigilance that thwarted them. They frittered away their more attractive chances.

In the first period, for instance, Bobby Pulford, a fellow who doesn’t miss too often, had an unobstructed breakaway, but he shot wide of the net. In the second period, Plante fanned on a shot by Dick Duff, but the puck slid past the Montréal net.

Moore, an old Leaf tormentor, scored the first goal of the game early in the first period, while Leaf Gerry Ehman was in the penalty box for hooking Maurice Richard. A shot by Bernie Geoffrion deflected off Leaf defenceman Carl Brewer, and Moore hopped in to shovel a slider past Leafs goalkeeper Johnny Bower.

Both teams were shorthanded when Harvey made it 2-0 about six minutes later. From the right point, he hammered a shot into the far side of the Toronto net; Henri Richard had nursed the puck back to him. That goal cancelled a penalty to the Leafs’ Brewer, which the referee had indicated was upcoming.

A short time later, Béliveau scored the third goal for the Canadiens, ramming Henri Richard’s pass into the short side from about six feet out. It was a clever play by Richard and for the final few feet, he practically carried Leaf Red Kelly on his back.

Baun revived the Leafs in the second period when he slapped a shot from the right point that eluded Plante. The Montréal goalie appeared to be screened on the shot.

Then Olmstead, who played his customary energetic game for the Leafs, scored their second goal, scooping in a shot that was launched by defenceman Tim Horton. The puck deflected off Montréal defenceman Jean-Guy Talbot, and Olmstead glided in and threw it behind Plante.

That should have been enough to inspire the Leafs, but Plante partially deflated them a minute or so later with a remarkable save on one of Horton’s low, hard ones.

Then Henri Richard completed the job early in the third period. Almost parallel to the Toronto net, to Bower’s left, he threw the puck out in front, it hit Horton and ricocheted past Bower.

The Leafs fought back with their most ambitious hockey of the game after that embarrassing experience, but Plante, and a relaxed Montréal defence, frustrated their attempts at scoring.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, April 8, 1960; photo property of Yardbarker

1st Period

TOR PEN – 01:59 – Ehman, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 02:27 – Moore (H. Richard, Geoffrion)
MTL PEN – 02:42 – Harvey, hooking
TOR PEN – 05:10 – Brewer, hooking
MTL PEN – 06:32 – Bonin, tripping
TOR PEN – 08:18 – Pulford, slashing
MTL PEN – 08:18 – Johnson, boarding
MTL EA GOAL – 08:55 – Harvey (H. Richard)
MTL PEN – 09:40 – H. Richard, boarding
MTL GOAL – 11:56 – Béliveau (Geoffrion, H. Richard)
TOR PEN – 13:01 – Baun, boarding
MTL PEN – 14:56 – Béliveau, cross checking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:57 – Baun, holding
TOR GOAL – 05:23 – Baun (Armstrong, Regan)
MTL PEN – 05:56 – Goyette, tripping
TOR PEN – 11:25 – Wilson, tripping
TOR GOAL – 17:35 – Olmstead (Kelly, Horton)
TOR PEN – 19:22 – Armstrong, slashing

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:30 – H. Richard (Moore, Geoffrion)
TOR PEN – 02:19 – Duff, tripping
TOR PEN – 06:26 – Baun, tripping
MTL PEN – 09:03 – Bonin, spearing
MTL PEN – 11:59 – M. Richard, tripping

MTL – Plante (W, 27-29)
TOR – Bower (L, 38-42)

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, Dickie Moore, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. 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.