Game 512 – Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 0

Game 512
Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 0
Thursday, October 19, 1967
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Your Uncle Charley could have shut out the Maple Leafs last night the way they timidly challenged Gump Worsley in the Montréal Canadiens’ goal.

The Leaf forwards, touted as the most fearsome in the National Hockey League, appeared to be ignorant of the fact that a goal existed in the Forum. They mustered only 15 shots on Worsley and lost 1-0.

Worsley will never earn an easier shutout. When he was tending goal for the New York Rangers he had more tough shots in five minutes than he did against the Leafs in this one before a bored audience of 15,205.

They frequently clapped for action. But the Leafs were incapable of providing it and the Canadiens seemed content to protect the one-goal margin.

A rummage sale at the CNE would be twice as exciting as this hockey game.

Even the Canadiens’ truculent John Ferguson, who usually goes ape at the sight of a blue and white Leaf uniform, was placid in this game. Perhaps he didn’t want to get the Leafs riled.

The only goal of the game was scored at 5:36 of the first period by Leaf nemesis Yvan Cournoyer. It came on a power play, while Bob Pulford was off for tripping. Last year Cournoyer netted 10 against the Leafs while they were shorthanded.

Ironically, if Leaf goalie John Bower had ignored the high shot from the right point, the puck wouldn’t have ended up in the net. Bower reached up for Cournoyer’s sizzling drive, dropped it and it trickled into the net.

Bower, who deserved a much better fate in facing 27 shots had trouble catching the puck all night.

John has been doing this for years, said ex-Montréal goalie Jacques Plante.

But Bower can’t be blamed for this defeat. He was brilliant in turning back 15 shots in the second period.

An ineffective attack was unable to get untracked against the close-checking Canadiens.

“They weren’t driving at all on the net and you can’t expect to win unless you do,” said King Clancy in summing up the contest.

The Leafs didn’t have a tough shot on net in the first period until 18:48 when Brian Conacher backhanded a drive from 10 feet out.

Of the Leafs’ 15 shots on goal, Frank Mahovlich had three, Wayne Carleton, Ron Ellis, was one of the few forward Leafs who rated praise, and Tim Horton each had two shots on Worsley.

The Leafs looked sharper in their first exhibition game of the season on Sept. 15. Last night their passing was off target and they weren’t skating, especially in the first two periods.

Referee John Ashley could have meted out far more penalties than he did to the Leafs. Because they weren’t skating, they frequently were grabbing and holding in their own end to thwart the speedy Canadiens.

The closest the Leafs came to scoring occurred early in the final period when Pulford drilled a shot from the Canadiens blueline that beat Worsley, but hit the goalpost.

The Canadiens did try to oblige in the third period when Henri Richard and Ferguson were penalized. But the Leafs couldn’t get a dangerous shot on Worsley during both penalties.

The Leafs also took out Bower with 79 seconds to play, but the man advantage only seemed to confuse them and twice they had to put Bower back because the Canadiens forced a faceoff in the Leaf zone.

The Leafs did accomplish something, they knocked little Richard to the ice on three occasions. Peter Stemkowski, Marcel Pronovost and Allan Stanley all flattened the not-so-shifty centre. Ellis did likewise to Bobby Rousseau and Ralph Backstrom caught Dave Keon with a thumping blow.

But other than these displays of grinding bodies, the Leafs were here for a skate, and not a very hard one at that. It looked as if they were saving themselves for the remaining 70 NHL games.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 20, 1967

1st Period
TOR PEN – 03:52 – Pulford, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 05:36 – Cournoyer
MTL PEN – 09:12 – Ferguson, charging
TOR PEN – 11:54 – Pronovost, interference
MTL PEN – 17:14 – Laperrière, hooking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 03:33 – Pronovost, interference
TOR PEN – 06:50 – Stemkowski, tripping
TOR PEN – 15:41 – Conacher, hooking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 01:19 – Richard, tripping
MTL PEN – 05:53 – Ferguson, slashing

MTL – Worsley (W + SO, 15-15)
TOR – Bower (L, 26-27)

MTL – 6+15+6 = 27
TOR – 6+5+4 = 15

MTLGoaltenders: Rogatien Vachon, Gump Worsley. Defence: Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Serge Savard, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Yvan Cournoyer, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Garry Monahan, Claude Provost, Mickey Redmond, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower, Bruce Gamble. Defence: Tim Horton, Marcel Pronovost, Duane Rupp, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Wayne Carleton, Brian Conacher, Ron Ellis, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Murray Oliver, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Pete Stemkowski, Mike Walton.

MTL – 3-1-1 (.700)
TOR – 2-2-0 (.500)