Game 466 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 0

Game 466
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 0
Wednesday, February 12, 1964
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Bernie Geoffrion, who has been rumoured on the verge of shinny senility this season, scored two goals last night, and Charlie Hodge earned his fifth shutout on Toronto’s muzzled Maple Leafs 4-0.

Geoffrion’s goals were the 364th and 365th of his 12-year career in the National Hockey League, tying him for third place with Ted Lindsay in the lifetime scoring list, behind Gordie Howe and “Rocket” Richard.

The Leafs, who were supposed to show the effects of a cram course in positive thinking on this occasion, tried to get by with 20 minutes of aggressive hockey. That was the first period. But they were frustrated by Hodge, who has permitted them one goal in the last 240 minutes of National League play.

For the balance of the game, which was viewed by 13,665 in the Forum, they became progressively more inept. And finally, in a desperation born of frustration, coach Punch Imlach sent out a power play composed of his five defencemen.

This only served to emphasize the inadequacy of his forwards. Forechecking tenaciously and passing with an accuracy the forwards have rarely shown this season, the defencemen allowed the Habs to escape their own end of the rink only twice during three Montréal penalties in the third period.

However, even this didn’t produce a goal and the Leafs were blanked for the 10th time this season.

On the other hand, the Canadiens power play emerged from a season long slump against the Leafs and scored twice in four chances. These goals, Geoffrion’s 15th and Dave Balon’s 22nd, clinched the win which left the Habs in a tie with the Chicago Black Hawks for first place.

The Leafs are 12 points back and a victory by Detroit over Boston tonight would reduce their margin over the fourth place Wings to only four points.

Gilles Tremblay, with his 21st goal, completed Montréal’s scoring.

Imlach appeared to be drawing his line combinations from his hat some of the time. The only surprise was the infrequent use of rookie Jim Pappin. Although not prominent in the majority of road games, Pappin has scored three of his nine goals against Montréal, two of them were. Ed Shack was the other Leaf rarely employed.

But it was Shack who forced Hodge to make his best save, and preserve his shutout, late in the final period. The Leaf rover caught him going the wrong way, but Hodge got his glove over in time to deflect the shot.

Although far off the norm which had allowed them to dominate the first period, the Leafs held the Canadiens goalless until late in the second period, when Geoffrion shoved in what proved to be his seventh winning tally of the season. Bower vehemently protested that he had the puck covered before Geoffrion punched it from his grasp.

A minute and 29 seconds after Ron Stewart was penalized for elbowing, Geoffrion slapped a screened shot off the post on the short side.

The Habs were all over the Leafs in the early seconds of Dick Duff’s hooking penalty and scored within 18 seconds. Balon fielded a rebound and shot it behind Bower, catching the far post.

Gilles Tremblay, who spent most of the game perched on Bower’s doorstep, was rewarded at 14:40 of the final period. After taking a pass from Henri Richard, he lashed a long shot which Bower stopped. The puck went up, over Bower’s stick and landed in the crease. Tremblay, never breaking stride, nudged the rebound over the line.

In addition to their goals, the Canadiens had breakaways – by Balon, Richard, Gilles Tremblay and Geoffrion. Also, a rebound lay in the crease for several seconds after a Geoffrion shot, and later “Boom Boom” missed an open net.

For the Leafs, Red Kelly in the early action and Dave Keon were the outstanding players. Tim Horton’s slapshot and Shack’s screened backhander in the first period, George Armstrong’s miss of an open net and Stewart’s drive which hit Terry Harper in the second, and Shack’s late effort were Toronto’s best scoring chances.

NOTES: The Canadiens outshot the Leafs 40-31, 32-17 in the last 40 minutes…The Leafs have won only two of their last 14 games, and only two of the last 10 on the road…The loss was the Leafs’ third in a row at the Forum…They have won four, tied one of 11 games with the Habs…The Canadiens have been beaten once in their last nine games, winning four and tying four.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 13, 1964

1st Period

MTL PEN – 07:49 – Laperrière, hooking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 05:10 – Brewer, tripping
MTL PEN – 09:41 – Ferguson, high sticking
TOR PEN – 09:41 – Douglas, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 17:57 – Geoffrion (Backstrom, Ferguson)
MTL PEN – 18:41 – Richard, hooking

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 00:56 – Stewart, elbowing
MTL PP GOAL – 02:23 – Geoffrion (Richard, Rousseau)
TOR PEN – 06:30 – Duff, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 06:48 – Balon (J. Tremblay, Béliveau)
MTL PEN – 07:00 – J. Tremblay, hooking
MTL PEN – 08:43 – Balon, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 14:40 – G. Tremblay (Richard)
MTL PEN – 14:33 – Béliveau, tripping
TOR PEN – 14:33 – Stanley, slashing
MTL PEN – 18:54 – Geoffrion, slashing

MTL – Hodge (W + SO, 31-31)
TOR – Bower (L, 36-40)

MTL – 8+13+19 = 40
TOR – 14+7+10 = 31

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Jacques Laperrière, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, John Ferguson, Bernie Geoffrion, Bill Hicke, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Larry Hillman, 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, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 28-14-11 (.632)
TOR – 23-20-9 (.529)