A busy news day with lots going on in the hockey world. Montreal and Toronto tied 2-2 last night at the Forum in Montreal as a key member of the Habs went down with a major injury. Meanwhile, Bruins shocked the Red Wings 5-3 to snap a 6-game losing skid. And the Russians shocked no one (especially Stafford Smythe) by blasting the Canadian National Team 6-1 in Winnipeg.
Gilles Tremblay out for season
In Montreal, the Canadiens came from behind to tie the Maple Leafs in a game highlighted by excellent goaltending by Leafs’ Johnny Bower and Montreal’s Charlie Hodge. Third-period goals by Jacques Laperriere and John Ferguson drew the Habs even after Toronto had built a 2-0 lead. Frank Mahovlich’s 7th of the season in the second opened the scoring before Carl Brewer notched his second during the first minute of the final frame.
Montreal lost left winger Gilles Tremblay, likely for the rest of this season, with a badly broken leg. Tremblay was injured when he crashed feet first into the end boards after he was shoulder checked by Leaf rookie Ron Ellis. The hit was a clean one, and the incident was just the result of an awkward fall by the Montreal forward.
The injury occurred with less than four minutes to play and put a damper on what had been a very entertaining and exciting game between the two legendary rivals.
The Leafs, who were without Don McKenny, remain one player over the limit. With Allan Stanley still ailing, Duane Rupp was called up from Rochester on standby, but Stanley was able to go at the last minute.
How the Canadiens, and specifically new general manager Sam Pollock, respond to the loss of Tremblay will be a key to the success or lack thereof of this season in Montreal. The Habs have several young players in their system who might be able to fill Tremblay’s spot, but none will bring his scoring ability and veteran savvy. Replacing the veteran winger will be no easy task and this alone could define just what kind of executive the Canadiens got when they hired Pollock.
Bruins president beaming after win
In Detroit, a couple of power play goals by the Bruins proved to be the difference against the Red Wings. The Bruins were long overdue for a win at the Olympia, having last claimed victory there on December 20, 1962.
Five players shared in the Boston scoring, with Dean Prentice, Murray Oliver, Tommy Williams, Ab McDonald and Reggie Fleming each notching a goal. Ted Lindsay, Parker MacDonald and Alex Delvecchio replied for the Red Wings.
Detroit’s loss, coupled with Montreal’s tie with Toronto, leaves the Wings in second place, one point behind Canadiens.
Boston president Weston Adams was in the Bruins’ dressing room after the game and was positively beaming.
“I am proud the way these young players came through tonight. You know, Wayne Maxner, Bill Knibbs, Don Awrey and Joe Watson were not even with us when the season started but we’ve had injuries. They all appear to be promising and will get better with experience. We miss Tom Johnson on defence, however.”
Coach Milt Schmidt was no less pleased: “It’s about time we won a game here and I thought my young legs helped. They skated all the way through the game. Our main fault has been folding under the pressure of the opposition, but we didn’t tonight. I like the performance of that new line – Prentice on right wing, Williams at centre and Maxner on the other side.”
Canada once again no match for Russians
The Russians showed off another heretofore unheralded skill last night in whipping the Canadian national team. The Soviet shooting skill, thought be sub-par when compared to the pros, was anything but that as they seemed to score at will against the Canadians. They controlled the game from start to finish.
Konstantin Loktev and Vyacheslav Starshinov were the top Soviet snipers with two goals each. Alexander Almatov and Viktor Kuzkin had the others. Fred Dunsmore netted Canada’s only goal.
The Canadian attack was ineffective against the tight Russian checking and a defence that stifled every foray into their zone. Their main tactic seemed to be to pin the Canadians against the boards and freezing the play.
Hawks going with two netminders
The Chicago Black Hawks have joined a growing trend toward employing two goalkeepers on a rotating basis. Following the example set by the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers, the Hawks have said that veteran Glenn Hall and young Denis DeJordy will split the netminding chores for the rest of this season.
Hall, the NHL iron-man among goaltenders having played over 500 games in succession, has been on the bench for the last five games taking a much-needed rest. His replacement Dejordy has been more than adequate, winning five consecutive starts.
Toronto alternates Johnny Bower and Terry Sawchuk, while the Rangers have both Marcel Paille and Jacques Plante splitting starts. Charlie Hodge is the main man in Montreal, but he has been spelled at times by Gump Worsley. Only Detroit and Boston entrust the puck stopping duties to one man. Eddie Johnston is Boston’s regular, while Roger Crozier’s ascension to the top job in Detroit is well-documented.
Campbell jabs Ranger boss
NHL President Clarence Campbell can give as good as he gets. After New York Ranger president William Jennings ranted once again about what he feels is the ineptitude of league officiating, Campbell fired back yesterday.
In an interview, Campbell set the record straight and took a bit of a shot at the Ranger brass:
“The truth is, a team that can’t defend its goal for six seconds shouldn’t squawk about the linesmen.”
Retired police detective, involved in hockey at all levels for over 50 years. Member of Society for International Hockey Research and presently a video analyst for the leader in advanced hockey analytics (we work exclusively for 2 NHL clubs, and provide advice on an ad hoc basis to many other clients). Currently the Assistant General Manager for the Pelham Pirates of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. Previously owned the Faceoff computer hockey simulation and also provided all player ratings for the EA Sports series of NHL computer games from the late 90’s into the mid 2000’s.