Game 441 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1

Game 441
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, March 22, 1962
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Jean Béliveau, a player suspected to be nudging shinny senility as a result of his indifferent play this season, guided the Montréal Canadiens to an impressive 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in a National Hockey League game here tonight.

Béliveau has seldom been more effective or polished in his deportment. He scored one goal and assisted on three others, while the Canadiens dominated the Leafs with a convincing show of power.

Left winger Gilles Tremblay was a two goal scorer for the Canadiens, and defenceman Al MacNeil scored their other goal. Bobby Pulford, with the first goal of the game early in the first period, was the only scorer for the Leafs, who were outplayed callously by the speedy Canadiens. The Canadiens were so superior throughout the game that the 4-1 score is flattering to the Leafs.

Gilles Tremblay, whose goal production for the season is now 31, merely had to steer two passes from Béliveau past Toronto goalie Don Simmons. Béliveau’s passing was so artistic that Tremblay could hardly have missed on either attempt.

Jacques Plante, the masked Montréal goalkeeper, confirmed a bonus of $1,000 as a result of the win. There was a suggestion of doubt prior to this game that he might not win the Vézina Trophy as the goalie with the best goals against average, but tonight’s debacle removed all such ridiculous notions.

Late in the game, the usual unemotional Plante behaved as if Leaf aggressive defenceman Bobby Baun was trying to filch the $1,000 bonus from him. Baun, after a wobbly rush, rammed into Plante in the Montréal goal crease. Plante, with the approval of 14,643 fans, raced after Baun, brandishing his goalie stick, but he failed to get within range.

He did take a vigorous swing at Baun and, for this peevish outburst, he was given a two minute penalty for tripping.

As far as the standings were concerned, tonight’s game was unimportant. The Canadiens had already assured themselves of first place, the Leafs second. The Canadiens will open the Stanley Cup semifinals next week against the Chicago Black Hawks, and the Leafs, awaiting last minute complications, seem destined to start their semifinal round against the New York Rangers in Toronto on Tuesday.

The Canadiens, knocked out in the semifinal by the Hawks last season, seem to have the skating power and the aggressive checking to renew their attachment for the Stanley Cup this year – if tonight’s game was true indication. Normally, the Leafs subject the Canadiens to a severe test of strength. But in this game, the Canadiens had too much speed, too much class and, so it seemed, too much determination. The Leafs discouraged easily.

Pulford scored the Leafs’ goal at 4:49 of the first period. Ed Litzenberger recovered a Baun shot behind the Montréal goal, threw the puck in front, and Pulford drove a backhander past Plante.

MacNeil, with his first goal of the season, tied the score late in the third period with a screen shot from the left point. Béliveau won a draw from Leaf Dave Keon to set up the play.

Béliveau moved the Canadiens ahead before the period expired while the Leafs had two players in the penalty box, the Canadiens one. He faked a shot as he approached Leaf defenceman Allan Stanley, stepped around him and scooped a backhander past Simmons.

Gilles Tremblay scored the only goal of the second period. Béliveau barrelled down the right wing, threw the puck in front of the Toronto net, and Tremblay merely gave it the final nudge to send it in the proper direction.

Tremblay made a similar move to finish a Béliveau rush on a Montréal power play halfway through the third period. Béliveau, from the corner to Simmons’ left, caressed the puck out in front of the Toronto goal and, once again, Tremblay stabbed it into the net.

Tremblay described a jubilant victory dance after his 31st goal, but Béliveau merely skated back to the bench, almost sadly, as if he was overcome with remorse at the sorry plight of goalkeepers.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 23, 1962

1st Period

TOR GOAL – 04:49 – Pulford (Litzenberger, Baun)
TOR PEN – 08:23 – Shack, slashing
MTL PEN – 08:23 – Béliveau, hooking
MTL PEN – 08:27 – Rousseau, hooking
MTL PEN – 10:50 – Berenson, hooking
MTL GOAL – 15:38 – MacNeil (G. Tremblay, Béliveau)
TOR PEN – 17:24 – Armstrong, elbowing
TOR PEN – 17:56 – Horton, cross checking
MTL PEN – 18:05 – Geoffrion, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 19:20 – Béliveau (Moore, Talbot)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 03:43 – G. Tremblay (Béliveau, MacNeil)
MTL PEN – 04:54 – Talbot, cross checking
TOR PEN – 10:33 – Shack, roughing
MTL PEN – 10:33 – G. Tremblay, roughing
TOR PEN – 11:47 – Baun, interference
MTL PEN – 15:48 – J. Tremblay, hooking

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 02:25 – Pulford, hooking
MTL PEN – 04:29 – Talbot, misconduct
TOR PEN – 08:32 – Baun, slashing
MTL PP GOAL – 09:45 – G. Tremblay (Béliveau, Geoffrion)
TOR PEN – 12:32 – Baun, charging
TOR PEN – 13:56 – Horton, hooking
MTL PEN – 14:58 – G. Tremblay, roughing
TOR PEN – 14:58 – Shack, roughing
MTL PEN – 14:58 – Plante, slashing
TOR PEN – 17:02 – Armstrong, cross checking

MTL – Plante (W, 28-29)
TOR – Simmons (L, 36-40)

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Lou Fontinato, Tom Johnson, Al MacNeil, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Don Simmons. Defence: Al Arbour, Bobby Baun, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Ed Litzenberger, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack.

MTL – 40-14-14 (.691)
TOR – 37-21-10 (.618)