Game 419 – Canadiens 6, Maple Leafs 2

Game 419
Canadiens 6, Maple Leafs 2
Wednesday, December 7, 1960
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Montréal Canadiens concentrated on an artistic first period offensive to overwhelm the Maple Leafs, 6-2 in a vigorous National Hockey League game at the Gardens last night.

It was a discouraging defeat for the ambitious Leafs and all other would-be pretenders to the Canadiens shinny throne. For the Stanley Cup champions, in orbit again after several false starts, it was their sixth victory in a row.

The Leafs, already burdened by injuries, lost defenceman Allan Stanley for a minimum of three weeks in this game. He suffered a broken jaw in the second period after a collision with Canadien Bill Hicke.

Stanley fell after lunging at Hicke and the Montréal player’s skate grazed his right cheek. Twenty five stitches were required to close the wound, but Stanley returned for one shift late in the second period.

He took his regular turn in the third period, playing a total of 10 minutes. After the game, another examination revealed that his jaw was broken.

Bernie Geoffrion, the league’s leading point getter and Guy Gendron, a recent steal from the Boston Bruins, each scored two goals for the Canadiens. Henri Richard, the floating centreman, and Dickie Moore scored the others. Ed Shack and Bert Olmstead scored for the Leafs.

A crowd of 14,720 (the same number who saw the Canadiens in their last visit here) saw Geoffrion score the 270th and 271st goals of his NHL career, the fifth highest total in NHL history. Only Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and the late Nels Stewart have scored more goals.

Geoffrion moved ahead of his father in law, the late Howie Morenz, and Aurèle Joliat, each of who scored 270 goals during his NHL career.

The Leafs, who had four regulars out with injuries, managed to keep pace with the Canadiens for the first few minutes. But the Canadiens wore them down with speed, tight checking and swift, unerring passing plays.

The Leafs had several attractive scoring opportunities, but they failed to make them pay off. The Canadiens didn’t squander a break, and Leafs goalkeeper Johnny Bower wasn’t nearly as formidable as usual.

The Canadiens, either through compassion or disinterest, moderated their assault through the final 20 minutes. They seemed to be content in brushing up on their passing technique, while frustrating the Leafs’ floundering efforts to get possession of the puck.

The loss dropped the Leafs back into third place, two points behind the Detroit Red Wings, who won their game in New York. The first place Canadiens maintained their five point edge on the Wings.

Richard, Jean Béliveau, Geoffrion, Gendron and Moore did most of the offensive work for the Canadiens. Red Kelly, who played on defence, was the Leafs’ most consistent threat, but the other Leafs were bewildered by the Canadiens’ close checking.

Richards cored early in the first period after taking the puck from Leaf Larry Hillman near the Montréal blueline. He flew down the left side, fired a long shot at Bower, and then darted in to tuck his own rebound behind Bower.

Shack, who did some solid bumping in this game, tied the score in fewer than two minutes, batting in Bob Pulford’s pass. The Canadiens, unimpressed, stormed back with three goals.

Geoffrion scored two in a row. For his first, he lobbed in a backhander from a few feet in front of the Toronto net. He scored his second on a long shot from near the left point. Moore scored his 23rd goal of the season late in the period after trading passes with Richard through the Leafs’ defence. Moore, from a sharp angle, flipped the puck high into the far side with Bower hugging the near post.

Gendron, who has scored three goals and picked up three assists since becoming a Canadien, scored his first goal in the second period, another angle shot that eluded Bower. Then Olmstead scored for the Leafs on a power play, batting a bouncing puck past goalie Charlie Hodge.

Gendron scored his second goal early in the third period. Richard, lying on the ice, poked the puck to him and Gendron, from about 30 feet out, shot the puck into the far side of the net.

NOTES: Hicke was unaware that his skate had injured Stanley in that second period collision. He dropped into the Leafs dressing room after the game to express his regrets…The Leafs are now without three of their top defencemen in Stanley, Tim Horton and Carl Brewer. Horton, bothered by a chronic groin injury, as indicated that he will get back into the lineup this weekend…Leafs manager coach George Imlach said he would wait a day or two before deciding if he would seek help from Rochester, the Leafs’ AHL farm team.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 8, 1960

1st Period

MTL GOAL – 06:47 – Richard (Talbot)
TOR GOAL – 08:07 – Shack (Olmstead, Pulford)
MTL GOAL – 09:13 – Geoffrion (Béliveau, Gendron)
MTL GOAL – 14:07 – Geoffrion (Béliveau)
MTL GOAL – 18:31 – Moore (Richard, Bonin)
TOR PEN – 18:54 – Olmstead, high sticking

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 08:48 – Gendron (Béliveau, Geoffrion)
MTL PEN – 10:22 – Marshall, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 10:38 – Olmstead (Nevin, Mahovlich)
MTL PEN – 11:40 – Richard, roughing
TOR PEN – 11:40 – Shack, roughing

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 02:15 – Gendron (Richard, Harvey)
TOR PEN – 08:02 – Mahovlich, hooking

MTL – Hodge (W, 18-20)
TOR – Bower (L, 18-24)

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Doug Harvey (C), Tom Johnson, Albert Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Jean-Guy Gendron, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Larry Hillman, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, John MacMillan, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack.

MTL – 16-7-4 (.667)
TOR – 12-10-5 (.537)