Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 0
Wednesday, February 26, 1964
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, QC
Bernie Geoffrion, suffering from a throat infection and earlier in the day listed as a non-starter, scored the only goal of last night’s National Hockey League game here, as the Montréal Canadiens shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs 1-0.
The 33-year-old right winger decided late in the afternoon that he was going to play anyway, and it proved a valuable move for Montréal.
His eighth winning goal of the season, his third against the Leafs, elevated the Canadiens two points ahead of the Chicago Black Hawks in the battle for first place. The Leafs, who reverted to form after an unexpected three game undefeated streak, remained four points up on the fourth place Detroit Red Wings.
It was Toronto’s 11th goalless game this season.
The shutout was the sixth for Charlie Hodge, his fourth against the disenchanting Leafs in the last five Montréal-Toronto games and in 300 minutes against the Habs. The Leafs have scored exactly one goal.
The Leafs played most of this game as if they had been on the road for four months instead of four days. They were unable to keep pace with the Canadiens almost from the outset.
Only the usual competent goaltending of Johnny Bower saved the Leafs from a more decisive trouncing. Bower was brilliant and lucky. He made 40 saves and twice the Canadiens missed the open net. On another occasion, Carl Brewer smothered a loose puck lying in the crease.
The Leafs fired 29 shots at Hodge. George Armstrong had their two most dangerous scoring chances, and on each hit the post. The first came while the Leafs were killing a first period penalty, Armstrong drew Hodge out of the net, then hit the post. In the second period he whistled a 40-footer past Hodge, again off the pipe.
In an unsuccessful attempt to get something resembling an all-out effort, coach Punch Imlach shifted right wingers late in the second period, playing Andy Bathgate with Bob Pulford and Jim Pappin, Ron Stewart with Frank Mahovlich and Red Kelly.
Then in the third period, he benched Mahovlich and Kelly for two shifts, replacing them with Ed Shack and Billy Harris. Shack almost scored the first time he touched the puck, and kept a crowd of 13,739 in constant uproar.
Kelly, who made two round trips to Ottawa since Sunday at midnight, showed fatigue.
The Leafs are scheduled to practice this morning “as soon after we get in as the trainer can have the equipment ready,” according to Imlach.
Bower, who had kept the Leafs in the game throughout and especially in the early moments of the first and second periods, certainly couldn’t be faulted on Geoffrion’s goal, his 17th this season.
The Leafs couldn’t clear the puck and created a traffic jam in front of the goalie. He couldn’t get to the loose puck, and eventually Geoffrion closed in and rifled it past him from point blank range. That was at 10:08 of the middle period.
Referee Art Skov imposed six penalties, all minors, and of course, evenly divided. He also missed a glaring holding infraction in the second period when Jim Pappin was hauled down by Terry Harper on a partial breakaway. Earlier, J.C. Tremblay had been called for a similar offence against the determined Leaf left winger.
It was Pappin, incidentally, who last scored for the Leafs on Hodge – 217 minutes, 55 seconds ago.
NOTES: Lynn Patrick’s appearance here last night revived rumours that Dean Prentice, the Boston left winger and a former linemate of Bathgate’s in New York, will be traded to the Leafs during the summer…The Boston general manager had no comment, but quipped “Bathgate needs Prentice and I’ve got him.”…Dave Keon crashed into the post in the final period, but did not appear to be injured…Dave Balon stopped a shot by Jacques Laperrière and required stitches to close a head cut. He also had a couple of the Habs’ better scoring chances.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 27, 1964
TOR PEN – 09:42 – Kelly, holding
MTL PEN – 15:36 – J. Tremblay, holding
MTL GOAL – 10:08 – Geoffrion (Béliveau, Balon)
MTL PEN – 13:40 – Balon, high sticking
TOR PEN – 13:40 – Stanley, slashing
MTL PEN – 19:06 – Laperrière, interference
TOR PEN – 19:44 – Pulford, slashing
MTL – Hodge (W + SO, 29-29)
TOR – Bower (L, 40-41)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MTL – 17+11+13 = 41
TOR – 11+11+7 = 29
MTL – Goaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, 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.
TOR – Goaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Andy Bathgate, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Don McKenney, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Ron Stewart.