Game 458 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2

Game 458
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2
Wednesday, November 13, 1963
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs escaped from their most feeble effort of this National Hockey League season with a 2-2 tie against the Montréal Canadiens last night.

Fortunately for the Leafs, the Canadiens continued to save their worst efforts for games against Toronto. They haven’t beaten the Leafs in their past nine league meetings, and including the playoffs, have won only once in 13 games.

The Leafs, who play in New York tonight, now trail league leading Chicago by eight points and remain third, two points behind the Canadiens.

Dick Duff’s first goal of the season, scored less than seven minutes from the end, gave the Leafs the tie. Defenceman Bobby Baun, also scoring his first goal, had provided the Leafs with a 1-0 lead early in the second period.

The Canadiens scored twice in 64 seconds – and both goals were counted against what was allegedly a Leaf power play. Dave Balon of Montréal was serving a major penalty for high s ticking Leaf defenceman Allan Stanley.

The Leafs fired only 16 shots in 60 minutes at goalie Charlie Hodge, two of them in the opening period. Duff’s scoring drive was only their third shot in the final period, and it took them 12 minutes and 35 seconds to get their first of that session.

The Canadiens had 27 shots on Johnny Bower, who returned to the Leafs goal after a two game absence. Bower had 14 of those in the first period, but the total was flattering to Montréal. The Habs lifted several from outside the blueline, apparently trying to bounce the puck past Bower.

The Leaf goalie saved his mates with a brilliant stop late in the period, diving across the goal to catch Bobby Rousseau’s low shot. A minute later, he kicked out a blast from Henri Richard, which was addressed to the bottom corner.

The game attracted the second lowest crowd of the season here – 12,845, which is 883 below Forum seating capacity. Last time the Leafs were here, the crowd was also below 13,000, indicating that the televising of midweek games is definitely hurting the Habs.

It was indicative of the play of both teams that the few standouts were players not expected to be in the limelight.

For the Canadiens, spare forward Red Berenson was the most prominent. He scored their first goal on a breakaway, lashing the puck from just inside the Leafs blueline between Bower’s skates. And he started the play which ended when J.C. Tremblay eased a backhander to the far side of the net.

Carl Brewer, still obviously favouring the arm he broke last spring, was the leading Leaf, proving that with one arm, he’s better than most with two. Bob Nevin, who hadn’t played since October 20, and Duff, out for 10 days, were much more prominent than their more conditioned colleagues.

Frank Mahovlich had only one good opportunity – and “The Big M”‘s lack of scoring is now a major concern to the Leafs. He has four goals, having scored twice in two of the Leafs’ twelve games. Dave Keon is still far from the dominant figure of last season. Keon had a breakaway opportunity last night, but failed to control the puck.

Hodge, who scarcely had enough work to justify his selection as the game’s second star, was beaten by Baun on almost the same type of play as the one on which Gordie Howe scored his 545th goal last Sunday.

Defenceman Jacques Laperrière lost the puck after Mahovlich and Red Kelly had misfired on a pass. Baun retrieved it and slapped it into the short side from about 25 feet. It came at 1:25 of the middle period, and was the Leafs’ third shot of the game.

Leafs leader Punch Imlach was toying with a new power play combination when the Canadiens staged their game offensive. Billy Harris was at centre for Duff and George Armstrong, Tim Horton and Dave Keon were on the points. After the two goals, this group was replaced, and none too soon, but during the five minutes Balon was off, the Leafs had only two shots on Hodge, and one of these was a long roller which the goalie cleared.

NOTES: Eddie Shack did not accompany the Leafs on this trip, but may play in Toronto against the Rangers Saturday. He has a stretched knee ligament…Hodge’s 2.16 average for six games is supporting rumours that Gump Worsley (3.00) may have trouble getting his job back…Imlach considered employing Rochester centre Louie Angotti, but changed his mind.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 14, 1963

1st Period

TOR PEN – 14:14 – Horton, holding
MTL PEN – 14:33 – Richard, hooking

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 01:25 – Baun
TOR PEN – 04:41 – Nevin, charging
MTL PEN – 08:42 – Balon, high sticking major
MTL SH GOAL – 09:04 – Berenson (Laperrière)
MTL SH GOAL – 10:13 – J. Tremblay (Berenson, Watson)
TOR PEN – 18:39 – Baun, interference

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 13:18 – Duff (Keon, Stanley)

MTL – Hodge (T, 14-16)
TOR – Bower (T, 25-27)

MTL – 14+7+6 = 27
TOR – 2+7+7 = 16

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Jacques Laperrière, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay, Bryan Watson. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, John Ferguson, Bernie Geoffrion, Bill Hicke, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Al Arbour, Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Ed Litzenberger, John MacMillan, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 6-4-4 (.571)
TOR – 6-4-2 (.583)