Playoff Game 33 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1

Playoff Game 33
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1
Stanley Cup Finals, Game 2
Saturday, April 9, 1960
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens employed a familiar formula for a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup final, in the Forum here Saturday night.

The competent Canadiens, as in the first game of the series, flew into an early lead and then defied the determined efforts of the Leafs to fight from behind.

A crowd of 14,250 saw Dickie Moore and Jean Béliveau fire the Canadiens into a 2-0 lead before the game was six minutes old. Larry Regan scored the Leafs’ goal late in the first period.

Now, the best of seven series shifts to Toronto for games Tuesday and Thursday. And it was the opinion of many who saw the first two games that the Canadiens can win their fifth successive Stanley Cup in four games.

Toe Blake, the Canadiens coach, said after Saturday’s game that it would be “ridiculous” to suggest that the Canadiens can win in four games.

“The Leafs had enough chances to win this game,” said Blake. “Plante had to make several big saves. Some of our guys were kind of careless, and they’re going to have to play a lot better if they want to win this series.”

The Canadiens scored a third goal at game’s end after Leafs goalkeeper Johnny Bower had been liberated for a six man onslaught. Claude Provost flipped the puck into the vacant net, but referee Ed Powers ruled the game was over.

The Leafs, disorganized early in the first period, came back to play vigorous, alert hockey, but the Canadiens fenced them with infuriating thoroughness. And Plante, as usual, made several fine stops.

In the third period, when the Leafs played their best hockey of the series, Plante foiled Frank Mahovlich and Ron Stewart with brilliant stops. And on another occasion, Johnny Wilson appeared to have Plante beaten, but his shot hit the goal post.

“We didn’t get a break,” said King Clancy, the Leafs’ assistant manager. “We played well enough to win, and we will win the next two games on home ice.”

Referee Powers imposed only six minor penalties, three to each team, but Blake thought that the Leafs should have received several more penalties. He said Powers should have penalized several Leafs for holding.

The game, because of the close checking, was dull at times, and the crowd occasionally stamped in unison in the hope of inspiring some action.

Béliveau, who has been bothered by a chronic groin injury for several weeks, was one of the Canadiens’ most determined attackers throughout the game, and he gave no evidence that his injury was causing him any acute distress.

The game was barely underway when the Canadiens, following the script of the first game, scored the first goal. Moore, loitering in his usual orbit in front of the Leaf goal, steered Henri Richard’s pass from the corner past Johnny Bower. This was Moore’s second goal of this particular series, and his sixth of the playoffs.

Béliveau made it 2-0 about four minutes later, flinging a backhander past Bower. Marcel Bonin had turned Béliveau loose with an accurate pass, and Béliveau fired from a sharp angle. Bower partially blocked the shot, but he couldn’t control it.

The Leafs, greatly outplayed early in the period, fought back stubbornly, but it wasn’t until 19:32 that they finally scored. George Armstrong dug the puck out of the corner and threw it to Regan. Regan hammered a backhander past Plante.

NOTES: The Canadiens outshot the Leafs 36-27. The Canadiens had 18 shots on goal in the second period, the Leafs nine, but the pace sometimes slowed to a crawl…Forum fans, usually the most demonstrative in the league, were almost silent several times in the second period…Jack Adams, general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, thought the Canadiens had a bigger edge in play than the score suggested. “Those guys just refuse to make any mistakes,” said Adams. “How can you beat a club like that? I’m not trying to discourage Toronto, but the Canadiens can play a lot better than they have been…The Canadiens will travel to Toronto tomorrow. The Leafs flew home immediately after the game.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, April 11, 1960

1st Period

MTL GOAL – 01:26 – Moore (M. Richard, H. Richard)
MTL GOAL – 05:56 – Béliveau (Talbot, Bonin)
MTL PEN – 09:55 – Bonin, charging
MTL PEN – 11:53 – Harvey, interference
TOR PEN – 15:13 – Baun, interference
TOR GOAL – 19:32 – Regan (Armstrong, Duff)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 11:18 – Brewer, holding
TOR PEN – 19:54 – Pulford, charging
MTL PEN – 19:54 – Harvey, charging

3rd Period

MTL – Plante (W, 26-27)
TOR – Bower (L, 34-36)

MTL – 10+18+8 = 36
TOR – 11+9+7 = 27

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, Red Kelly, Tim Horton, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Garry Edmundson, Gerry James, Frank Mahovlich, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Larry Regan, Ron Stewart, Johnny Wilson.