Game 484 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 1

Game 484
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, November 4, 1965
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

A lonely bugler sits in the Montréal Forum. At his signal to charge, the hockey fans react vociferously and the Montréal Canadiens pour down the ice in a red wave.

The bugler played another tune last night. He summed up everyone’s feelings in the third period when he played “The Last Post” for the Maple Leafs.

The Canadiens whipped the Leafs 5-1 in their first meeting of the National Hockey League season and looked perfectly capable of repeating their performance any time they wish.

Most observers seem to have the same impression of this season’s Leafs: they shake their heads sadly, as if to say that the Leafs are only a shadow of a once great team.

“The Leafs won’t make the playoffs,” said Floyd “Busher” Curry, the former Hab star. “Maybe it isn’t a fair thing to say after seeing them only once, but I thought they might have improved themselves with offseason trades.

“They didn’t – they’re not as good as last season.”

The Leafs have met all five other league teams once and it must be evident to manager-coach Punch Imlach that unless there is an overnight rejuvenation, this lineup isn’t good enough.

Montréalers wondered why the Leafs were using only 16 men, when teams are allowed 18 at this time of the season. And they wanted to know why centre Pete Stemkowski isn’t with the team.

The Leafs are using only 16 players because they are short of players throughout their farm system. Stemkowski is in Rochester at Imlach’s request.

Late in the third period, the 15,229 fans started to chant “we want Shack,” and even Eddie Shack’s worst critics would have admitted he would have been a handy guy to have around – merely to stir things up once in a while.

If Terry Sawchuk woke up last night with a nightmare, it wouldn’t be surprising. At one point, Sawchuk seemed so irritated by his non-checking teammates that he came out of his goal to make a check himself.

Little Henri Richard, with more desire than is evident in the entire Leaf lineup, scored two goals and had an assist. The other Canadiens marksmen were Bobby Rousseau, Ralph Backstrom and Gilles Tremblay.

Defenceman Tim Horton scored for Toronto, sweeping in a loose puck on Red Kelly’s rebound.

It didn’t take anyone long to figure out that the Leafs no longer are serious rivals of the Habs. The Canadiens outshot them 18-3 in the first period.

Not only are the Leafs not scoring goals, but their lack of skating has also made them ineffective as tough guys, which used to be their trademark. You can’t hit them when you can’t catch them.

And even worse it appears that the Leafs may be harbouring a couple of pantywaists – fellows who slow noticeably to avoid body contact.

It’s early in the season to be too critical, but you can’t ignore the many signs of decay.

If Imlach makes a good showing with this crew this season, they will need to name him coach of the year.

The odds, however, are not in his favour.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 5, 1965

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 03:38 – Backstrom (Larose)
TOR PEN – 04:18 – Pappin, high sticking
MTL PEN – 06:34 – Duff, tripping
TOR PEN – 14:53 – Mahovlich, hooking
TOR PEN – 16:50 – Baun, charging
MTL PEN – 16:50 – Duff, charging

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 02:01 – Rousseau (Béliveau)
MTL GOAL – 02:08 – Richard
TOR GOAL – 02:59 – Horton (Kelly, Pulford)
TOR PEN – 05:55 – Jeffrey, tripping
MTL GOAL – 09:12 – Richard (Provost)
MTL PEN – 13:26 – G. Tremblay, hooking
TOR PEN – 16:08 – Douglas, tripping

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 05:44 – Horton, tripping
MTL GOAL – 11:24 – G. Tremblay (Richard, J. Tremblay)

MTL – Hodge (W, 24-25)
TOR – Sawchuk (L, 36-41)

MTL – 18+9+14 = 41
TOR – 3+11+11 = 25

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Terry Sawchuk. Defence: Bobby Baun, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Marcel Pronovost, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Ron Ellis, Larry Jeffrey, Eddie Joyal, Dave Keon, Orland Kurtenbach, Frank Mahovlich, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Brit Selby.

MTL – 4-1-1 (.750)
TOR – 2-3-1 (.417)