Preseason Game 23 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 3

Preseason Game 23
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 3
Sunday, September 19, 1982
Ottawa Civic Centre, Ottawa, Ontario

Ryan Walter’s ribs were aching, but his smile was wide, his optimism high.

After all, when a chap is placed on a line with a revitalized Guy Lafleur, it’s not exactly an unpleasant situation, although Walter sits on one of the hottest seats in the National Hockey League heading into the 1982-83 season.

Walter and defenceman Rick Green went to the Montréal Canadiens from the Washington Capitals in exchange for defencemen Rod Langway and Brian Engblom, forwards Doug Jarvis and Craig Laughlin just before training camp opened.

The deal was a controversial blockbuster because a large segment of Montréal fandom felt the Canadiens gave up too much in the trade. Walter realizes his performance with Les Habitants will be monitored very closely.

The Maple Leafs figure Walter’s days as a Canadien are off to a splendid start. He and Lafleur split 11 points in five periods of a pair of weekend exhibition wins over the Toronto club, including a 5-3 triumph at Civic Arena here last night.

Walter missed the third period because of bruised ribs, acquired in a collision with Leafs rookie Craig Muni.

The deal was a shocker because it was the variety that seldom is made in hockey when a number of front line players are involved. Walter appeared to be a cornerstone of the Capitals, team captain and leader.

“There was absolutely no hint that the trade was coming,” he said. “I’d been through some of the bad times, so I was looking forward to being there in the good times.

“But any downer about it didn’t last very long. To become a Canadien is something quite special. It’s a very intense experience playing with them because so much is expected.

“Many players have risen to great heights in Montréal and I’m hoping that I can.”

Walter is the tough, straight-ahead type of winger who can produce the puck in the attacking zone, which allows Lafleur, cavorting like a rookie, to play his freelance game and get in the clear.

“My job is to go up and down and allow Guy to roam, something he does extremely well,” Walter said. “He’s great at getting loose in the other team’s zone.”

The Leafs, who rested several veterans last night and played a large number of youngsters, gave it another good effort and produced a good number of scoring chances. But once again, they were done in by a quick Canadien outburst.

Saturday, the Canadiens scored twice in the last minute to salvage the win. Last night, a two goal burst in the first four minutes of the third period wrapped it up.

Walter, Lafleur, Dan Daoust, Mark Hunter and Keith Acton scored for the Canadiens. John Anderson, Bill Derlago and Norm Aubin scored for the Leafs, who used Bob Parent and Jiri Crha in goal.

“There were plenty of good signs for us in those two games,” said Leafs captain Rick Vaive. “The effort was good and we had a big number of scoring chances but couldn’t connect. If we didn’t have plenty of play in their zone, we would worry.”

The Leafs continue the exhibition grind tomorrow night in Québec against the Nordiques and meet the Canadiens again Wednesday in Toronto.

Story originally published in The Toronto Star, September 20, 1982

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 02:24 – Walter (Lafleur)
TOR PEN – 05:03 – Korn
TOR PEN – 11:40 – Korn
TOR GOAL – 14:28 – Anderson (Adam)
MTL PEN – 16:24 – Schofield

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:55 – Acton (Picard, Gainey)
TOR GOAL – 04:57 – Derlago (Poddubny, Melrose)

MTL PEN – 06:56 – Hunter
TOR PEN – 08:13 – team, bench minor
MTL PEN – 10:28 – Wickenheiser
MTL GOAL – 13:08 – Lafleur (Walter, Carbonneau)
TOR PEN – 15:15 – Korn

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 02:25 – Hunter (Gainey, Acton)
MTL GOAL – 03:24 – Daoust (Hereux, Joly)

MTL PEN – 08:05 – Picard
TOR PEN – 10:55 – Higgins
TOR PEN – 13:34 – McGill, major
MTL PEN – 13:34 – Hunter
MTL PEN – 14:31 – Wickenheiser
TOR PP GOAL – 15:18 – Aubin (Muni, Duris)

MTL – Sévigny (12-14), Holden (W, 14-15)
TOR – Parent (11-13), Crha (L, 20-23)

MTL – 6+14+16 = 36
TOR – 10+8+11 = 29