Game 589 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 4

Game 589
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 4
Wednesday, November 19, 1980

Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs could use a little help from their fans, says Leaf coach Joe Crozier, who blamed the Maple Leaf Gardens crowd, the refereeing and a “brutal” effort by his players for last night’s 5-4 National Hockey League loss to the Montréal Canadiens.

Nor was Crozier pleased that goaltender Jiri Crha declined to play with his second-string catching glove in the first period after the lacing on his regular glove broke.

While Crha was away having the glove repaired, the Canadiens beat substitute Curt Ridley twice, although neither goal could be blamed on Ridley.

The Canadiens then scored on their first scoring thrust after Crha’s return, turning a goalless tie into a 3-0 lead in just over three minutes.

However, it wasn’t Crha, the fans or referees that beat the Leafs, but a pair of second-period goals by Réjean Houle that wiped out a 4-3 Toronto lead.

Crozier, often critical of refereeing in Leaf games this season, had to be persuaded to repeat himself. “That first penalty of (Stewart) Gavin’s – no way. I’m trying to look for an answer.” Then Crozier took a jab at the over-polite crowd. “In Montréal, the fans really get on the referee and they (the fans) call penalties there. Here, they don’t. “It’s happening game in, game out (the calls going against the Leafs). When does it stop?” Houle was robbed of a chance to tie the game before he scored his two goals.

On a breakaway, falling as he shot, he got the puck past a sprawling Crha only to have Crha reach back in the crease and stop the puck with the edge of his stick.

Moments later, Leaf defenceman Borje Salming got into the crease to make a fine save on a shot by Keith Acton on the open side of the net.

Then Acton and Mario Tremblay set up the goal by Houle that tied the score and Houle put the Canadiens in front on another breakaway.

Gaston Gingras, Doug Wickenheiser and Acton had the other Montréal goals. Ian Turnbull, Bill Derlago, Rick Vaive and Laurie Boschman scored for Toronto.

The Canadiens continued their domination of the Leafs without six regulars, including defenceman Larry Robinson, who has a separated shoulder, and Guy Lafleur, who had the flu.

The Canadiens have lost to the Leafs only once during the regular season since November, 1976, and haven’t lost in their past six games this season, the last five of which were on the road.

When they had their lead, they played the kind of disciplined hockey Crozier has been trying, with only intermittent success, to instill in the Leafs.

Crozier was livid about the defeat, his voice getting louder and louder the longer he talked about it. “I was disappointed in the effort I got,” he said. “If they weren’t taught a system, there might be an excuse. “Our passing was terrible. Giveaways? It was charity all night. The difference was they (the Canadiens) threw the puck out. We didn’t throw it out. We threw it away. “It was just a brutal, brutal effort. You’d think we never put a system in.”

NOTES: Wilf Paiement played for the Leafs last night despite a groin injury and wasn’t skating well. That injury, and Salming’s sore throat, were to be checked by Leaf doctors today…Leaf defenceman Dave Shand was back in the lineup after a three-week layoff with an ankle injury…Toronto didn’t dress Greg Hotham, just brought up from New Brunswick of the American Hockey League, and Kim Davis and Paul Marshall, acquired Tuesday from Pittsburgh Penguins…The Leafs end a four-game homestand with a Saturday game against the Los Angeles Kings.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 20, 1980

1st Period
TOR PEN – 08:55 – Gavin, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 09:30 – Gingras (Gainey, Mondou)
MTL GOAL – 10:02 – Wickenheiser (Mondou, Shutt)
MTL GOAL – 11:25 – Acton (Houle, Tremblay)
TOR GOAL – 14:31 – Turnbull (Saganiuk)
TOR GOAL – 14:50 – Derlago (Salming)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 00:26 – Sittler, elbowing
TOR SH GOAL – 02:11 – Vaive (Hickey)
TOR PEN – 04:40 – Duris, roughing
MTL PEN – 04:40 – Nilan, roughing
TOR GOAL – 04:52 – Boschman (Anderson, Farrish)
TOR PEN – 07:10 – Shand, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 08:36 – Houle (Tremblay, Acton)
TOR PEN – 10:09 – Gavin, tripping
MTL GOAL – 13:51 – Houle (Tremblay, Langway)
MTL PEN – 14:26 – Mondou, holding

3rd Period

MTL – Larocque (W, 24-28)
TOR – Crha (L, 28-31), Ridley (3-5)

MTL – 13+15+8 = 36
TOR – 10+11+7 = 28

MTLGoaltenders: Michel Larocque, Richard Sévigny. Defence: Bill Baker, Rick Chartraw, Brian Engblom, Gaston Gingras, Rod Langway, Guy Lapointe, Dave Orleski, Serge Savard (C). Forwards: Keith Acton, Bob Gainey, Réjean Houle, Doug Jarvis, Pierre Mondou, Chris Nilan, Steve Shutt, Mario Tremblay, Doug Wickenheiser.
TORGoaltenders: Jiri Crha, Curt Ridley. Defence: Vitezslav Duris, Dave Farrish, Borje Salming, David Shand, Ian Turnbull. Forwards: John Anderson, Laurie Boschman, Bill Derlago, Ron Ellis, Stew Gavin, Pat Hickey, Mark Kirton, Dan Maloney, Wilf Paiement, Rocky Saganiuk, Darryl Sittler (C), Rick Vaive.

MTL – 10-7-2 (.579)
TOR – 9-6-2 (.588)