Game 415 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1

Game 415
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, October 19, 1960
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Left winger Frank Mahovlich of the Maple Leafs was accused of deliberately trying to injure a Montréal player, as the Maple Leafs defeated the Montréal Canadiens, 3-1, in an incandescent National Hockey League game in the Gardens last night.

Mahovlich, an arresting, powerful rusher for the Leafs throughout this turbulent game, fired a shot late in the third period that hit Canadien Henri Richard over the right eye. It almost provoked a brawl that might have wound up in the UN for settlement.

“If they’re gonna cut us up why don’t they at least call a penalty?” said an apoplectic Toe Blake, the Canadiens’ head coach, after the game. “We couldn’t get away with that stuff in Montréal because Campbell (NHL president Clarence Campbell) is always watching.”

Blake, from his ice level position, thought that Mahovlich had charged into Richard with stick upraised. He was surprised to learn that Richard had been felled by a shot.

Frank Selke, Canadiens managing director, said that Mahovlich had deliberately fired the puck at Richard, an interpretation that should enlighten the Leafs’ brass. They have been under the impression that Mahovlich couldn’t hit the end of the rink with a handful of rice. Now he’s administering black eyes to the league’s fleetest centreman with a flick of the wrist.

This outbreak, near the three quarter mark in the third period, merely obscured the fact that the Leafs had administered an eloquent hockey lesson to the proud Canadiens. The Canadiens, of course, have been beaten before, but seldom as emphatically as they were in this one by the brash Leafs.

Led by Mahovlich, tormenting defenceman Carl Brewer, hard hitting Bob Pulford and watchful goalkeeper Johnny Bower, the Leafs showed an incredible superiority over the Canadiens, Stanley Cup champs for the past five years.

The Leafs, if it hadn’t been for their usual erratic shooting, should have won by a much more emphatic margin. They outshot the Canadiens 38-25. Jacques Plante, the Montréal goalie, made several fine saves, but the Leafs squandered many opportunities by shooting wide or hitting posts.

Richard, the Canadiens’ ectoplasmic centre, was their most effective player and, until he was hurt, he was still making motions as if he might lead the Canadiens back. His wound, incidentally, required eight stitches over the right eye and two below it.

The Leafs won with a couple of third period goals by a pair of Bobbies, Pulford and Nevin. It was Nevin’s first NHL goal. Gerry Ehman had given the Leafs a 1-0 lead in the first period with his first goal of the season, and Richard tied it for the Canadiens early in the second.

And, although the Leafs were leading 3-1 at the time, there was still a suspicion that the Canadiens could come back with one of their brutal offensive drives, until Richard was injured near the 14 minute mark in the third period.

Richard’s linemate, Dickie Moore, apparently was of the opinion that Mahovlich had deliberately shot the puck into Richard’s face.

When Moore, his stick upraised, went after Mahovlich, other players moved in and there was the usual mass shoving session. But Moore refused to be calmed, and Mahovlich suddenly became enraged. They strained at the arms encircling them, Moore brandishing his stick and Mahovlich waving both fists in the air.

Moore was finally wrestled to the Montréal bench, and subsequently to the dressing room, for a cooling off period. Mahovlich went to the Leafs bench. Neither player was given a penalty.

Ehman scored the first goal, deflecting in Tim Horton’s drive from the right corner. Richard tied the score early in the second period. His shot from near the right point was partially grabbed by Bower, but the puck squirmed away and rolled between Bower and the post into the net.

Pulford broke the tie with a flukey goal in the third period. Although pinned to the boards by Jean Béliveau, he backhanded a shot that hit Plante’s stick and deflected into the net.

Nevin scored the clincher when he rapped in Mahovlich’s rebound. Mahovlich had split the defence of Doug Harvey and Junior Langlois, but his shot was kicked out by Plante.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 20, 1960

1st Period

MTL PEN – 00:27 – Moore, hooking
TOR GOAL – 04:52 – Ehman (Horton, Stanley)
TOR PEN – 07:01 – Armstrong, holding
MTL PEN – 14:26 – Backstrom, high sticking
MTL PEN – 19:54 – Talbot, high sticking
TOR PEN – 19:54 – Mahovlich, high sticking

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 00:14 – Richard (Harvey)
TOR PEN – 02:48 – Horton, hooking
MTL PEN – 10:42 – Moore, high sticking
TOR PEN – 10:42 – Mahvolich, high sticking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 02:14 – Johnson, cross checking
TOR PEN – 02:48 – Ehman, holding
TOR GOAL – 05:50 – Pulford (Stewart, Brewer)
TOR GOAL – 10:03 – Nevin (Mahovlich)
TOR PEN – 17:34 – Stewart, hooking
MTL PEN – 18:11 – Talbot, tripping

TOR – Bower (W, 24-25)
MTL – Plante (L, 35-38)

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Gerry Ehman, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Larry Regan, Ron Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey (C), Tom Johnson, Albert Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Wayne Connelly, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, André Pronovost, Henri Richard.

TOR – 2-3-2 (.429)
MTL – 4-2-2 (.625)