Game 417 – Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3

Game 417
Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3
Saturday, November 19, 1960
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Toe Blake, who has been insisting that the Montréal Canadiens he coaches have returned to the pack as mere mortals, Saturday night deemed them the worst team in the National Hockey League.

Such an astounding assertion followed a 6-3 walloping administered by Toronto’s flying Maple Leafs, before a roaring crowd of 14,720 in Maple Leaf Gardens. Never in recent years have the Leafs found the perennial world champions so easy to handle.

Ron Stewart led the Toronto tormentors with two goals. Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Dick Duff and Ed Shack added the others. Shack, ending the goal-getting in the last period, scored on a shot from behind the Montréal net. The oddity came off an attempted pass out, when the puck struck wandering goalie Jacques Plante on the back of the leg, and bounced into the cage.

Plante had a bad night. He wasn’t helped a bit by the fact his forwards were amiss in their checking, and the defence was backing in on him. The Habitants did take a short lived lead on Donnie Marshall’s first goal of the season in the fifth minute of play. But the Leafs came on for a 5-1 lead before “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and Marcel Bonin scored the other Montréal goals.

“We used to be able to go out and get goals back,” Blake said loudly in the dressing room after the game. “Now we fall dead. We’re not checking and we’re afraid of being hit. Some of these guys think they have it made. They may have a rude awakening.”

The Leafs, outdoing the Habs in just about everything but mistakes, received all the breaks, too. For instance, Toronto tied the score at 1-1 when a long shot by Brewer went in off Stewart’s skate. The Canadiens howled that Stewart, illegally, had kicked in the puck, and he probably did.

Plante’s protective mask hid a red face when Keon gave the Leafs a 2-1 lead halfway through the period. His weak shot, from directly in front of the cage, never left the ice, but slipped between Plante’s legs.

The second period had barely started before Red Kelly took the puck from Junior Langlois inside the Montréal zone. He passed to Mahovlich who scored on a 20-footer. That was the first of three goals over a span of two minutes and 34 seconds.

The second came when Stewart’s stick bunted a long shot by Stanley. The puck fell behind Plante and slowly rolled over the goal line. Duff made it 5-1, scoring from in close on a pass from Keon who had fielded the puck behind the cage.

The Canadiens’ Marshall, in opening the scoring, counted on a slow backhander. Geoffrion’s goal, off a power play, was a tip-in of a shot by Jean Béliveau. The final Montréal goal came on a long shot by Bonin that was deflected into the cage after hitting Leaf rearguard Bobby Baun.

NOTES: The gathering represented the largest for an NHL game in the Gardens since November 16, 1946. On that date, before the capacity was limited, 16,318 were on hand for a Leaf-Canadien game…Against the Canadiens this season, the Leafs have won two and lost two…Over the same period last season, the Leafs had won none against the Habs, while losing three and tying one.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 21, 1960

1st Period

MTL GOAL – 04:11 – Marshall (Backstrom)
TOR GOAL – 06:15 – Stewart (Brewer, Pulford)
TOR GOAL – 09:51 – Keon (Brewer, Armstrong)
TOR PEN – 14:45 – Stanley, kneeing

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 00:33 – Mahovlich (Kelly, Nevin)
TOR GOAL – 01:04 – Stewart (Stanley, Pulford)
TOR GOAL – 02:24 – Duff (Keon, Armstrong)
TOR PEN – 11:08 – Olmstead, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 11:50 – Geoffrion (Moore, Béliveau)
MTL GOAL – 17:25 – Bonin (Richard, Moore)
MTL PEN – 19:52 – Harvey, holding

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 02:00 – Talbot, roughing
TOR PEN – 02:00 – Pulford, roughing
MTL PEN – 05:17 – Moore, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 08:11 – Shack (Keon)
TOR PEN – 19:33 – Stanley, cross checking
MTL PEN – 19:39 – Moore, interference

TOR – Bower (W, 29-32)
MTL – Plante (L, 25-31)

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Larry Hillman, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, 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, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.

TOR – 9-6-4 (.579)
MTL – 10-6-3 (.605)