Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, January 8, 1964
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
Frank Mahovlich and Red Kelly, one of the National Hockey League’s most productive partnerships of the past three seasons, are definitely back in business.
Mahovlich and Kelly, reunited late New Year’s Eve in Detroit, continued their celebration last night by leading the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-1 decision over the Montréal Canadiens.
In handing the Canadiens only their second loss in 10 games, the Leafs moved into a tie for second place with Montréal. The Leafs have a game in hand over Montréal and the Chicago Black Hawks. The Habs and Leafs are three points behind the Hawks.
“The Big M” was the Leafs’ outstanding player. He scored the game’s best goal and assisted on three others. Finally back to his proper scoring orbit, Mahovlich has nine goals in 10 games, and with 17 goals and 19 assists, is sixth in individual scoring.
Kelly, the Leafs’ leading playmaker with 22 assists, scored a goal and aided in two others. Rookie right winger Jim Pappin contributed a goal and an assist to give the line nine points.
Centres Dave Keon and Bob Pulford, and defenceman Carl Brewer, scored the Leafs’ other goals.
Henri Richard fired the only Montréal goal as Johnny Bower continued to make it almost impossible for coach Punch Imlach to consider employing Don Simmons in the Toronto goal. Bower, who made 27 saves to Charlie Hodge’s 22, has permitted 12 goals in nine games. One in the last four at the Gardens.
For 35 minutes, this was a fast and entertaining hockey game and a crowd of 14,036 in the Gardens was justifiably appreciative. After Pulford deflected Allan Stanley’s long shot for a 4-1 edge, the pace slackened, and the third period offered little challenge to the applause meter.
The Canadiens, flying in recent weeks, were not up to their previous standard, and the Leafs indicated they were playing back to the calibre of Saturday’s win over Chicago.
In the course of one of the Leafs’ more impressive victories, several scoring droughts ended. Pulford’s goal was his first in 16 games; Kelly’s his first in 13 and second in 26; Pappin’s his first in nine. Keon has scored in only two of 11 games, although the scoring records of the three centres belie their overall performance.
Kelly and Richard provided a 1-1 tie in the first period. It was Imlach’s contention that the Canadien score provided the impetus to hostility that sent “The Big M” on to stardom in the game.
Mahovlich missed a check on the boards. Ultimately Terry Harper intercepted a clearing pass by Allan Stanley, and Richard scored with Tim Horton screening Bower.
“The Big M” had started the play that Kelly finished. Harper checked Mahovlich, but he persevered to recover the puck behind the net and pass to Pappin who fed Kelly.
His own goal was a typical Mahovlichian effort, on which defenceman Jacques Laperrière stopped him twice, did everything possible, but still wound up a loser.
After pilfering the puck from J.C. Tremblay, he was checked near the faceoff circle. Mahovlich kicked the puck ahead, drove past another check, fielded the puck about 10 feet from Hodge and flipped it past the goalie with consummate ease.
Solid forechecking by George Armstrong and Billy Harris, who replaced Dick Duff for the second and third periods, set up Keon’s goal, No. 12. Keon lifted the puck over Hodge, who had made two saves.
Pulford, who confessed “it was like scoring my first goal of the season,” checked Hodge outside the crease to deflect Stanley’s point shot for the fourth Leaf goal. Eddie Shack had checked Claude Provost into the boards to let Stanley field the puck.
Another Mahovlich rush produced Brewer’s goal, scored on a soft, low shot from the point. Pappin, who had forced Hodge to two of his biggest stops of the game, one on a breakaway, finally got his fifth NHL goal. Kelly started it, Mahovlich dug the puck out of the corner, and Pappin shot in a rebound.
In spite of several resounding thumps delivered by a few Leafs, most noticeably Bobby Baun and some unsecured high sticking, this was not a particularly belligerent game. Referee Frank Udvari called only eight penalties, all minors; the Leafs took five. The Canadiens survived a 35-second span early in the first period when they were two men short and none of the penalties figured in the scoring.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 9, 1964
TOR PEN – 01:30 – Baun, tripping
TOR GOAL – 05:07 – Kelly (Pappin, Mahovlich)
TOR PEN – 05:26 – Pulford, high sticking
MTL PEN – 06:01 – Balon, hooking
MTL PEN – 06:48 – Talbot, holding
MTL PEN – 09:58 – Ferguson, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 13:15 – Richard (Harper)
TOR PEN – 19:35 – Brewer, interference
TOR GOAL – 03:56 – Mahovlich
TOR PEN – 07:57 – Mahovlich, hooking
TOR GOAL – 11:16 – Keon (Harris, Armstrong)
TOR GOAL – 13:57 – Pulford (Stanley)
TOR GOAL – 01:39 – Brewer (Kelly, Mahovlich)
TOR GOAL – 17:10 – Pappin (Mahovlich, Kelly)
TOR PEN – 19:44 – Shack, cross checking
TOR – Bower (W, 27-28)
MTL – Hodge (L, 22-28)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 8+10+10 – 28
MTL – 10+11+7 = 28
TOR – Goaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack.
MTL – Goaltenders: 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 Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TOR – 20-11-6 (.622)
MTL – 19-11-8 (.605)