Star New York Rangers right winger Rod Gilbert is hoping to get back into the lineup tonight as the Rangers take on the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal. This will be the second half of a home-and-home series with the Habs. Montreal won the first meeting Sunday evening at Madison Square Garden by a narrow 4-3 margin.
Gilbert did not play in the Sunday evening game. He has been bothered by a back ailment and had been scheduled to be hospitalized this week. However, the 24-year-old skated yesterday and experienced no pain or discomfort. If he plays, he will likely wear the steel corset he sported during exhibition games this fall.
Gilbert is optimistic:
“I feel good now. What worries me is that this condition might act up again. I might go two games, then the back might bother me and I’d have to go in the hospital again. I don’t think I could go through the season that way.”
Rangers have a new line, dubbed the “Muscle Line.” The trio features two newcomers to the team this year, Garry Peters and Larry Mickey, along with Vic Hadfield.
Peters was picked up from Montreal in the deal that brought Cesare Maniago to the Rangers organization. Mickey was drafted from Chicago.
Rookie Ed Giacomin will be between the pipes for New York. He played well in a losing cause against Montreal and earned another shot tonight. Don Simmons will be the backup.
Gump Worsley is slated to start in goal for Canadiens. This will be his third straight appearance, having defeated Detroit 8-1 on Saturday. Charlie Hodge will watch his third straight game from the comfort of the bench.
Bruins Start Cheevers
Rookie goalie Gerry Cheevers, drafted from Toronto during the summer by the Boston Bruins, will be the Boston goalkeeper tonight when the Bruins face the Maple Leafs in Boston. Cheevers, who spent his entire hockey life in the Leaf system, was disappointed to go to Boston, but he relishes the chance to play in the NHL. He harbours no bitterness towards his first organization.
“Sure I was disappointed. It’s tough to leave a team you’ve been with since you were 15. Bitter? No, after all, I’m in the NHL. If I stayed with Leafs, I’d probably have been in Rochester.
“You always try your best, but against your old club, maybe you try a little more, even.”
Leafs rookie Brit Selby aggravated a groin injury in practice yesterday and is a doubtful starter tonight.
Aces Double Clippers
The Quebec Aces scored a 6-3 win over the Baltimore Clippers in the only American Hockey League game played last night.
Bill Sutherland and Gord Labossiere led the way for Quebec with two goals each. Singles came from Don Blackburn and Noel Price.
Ray Cullen, Ted Taylor and Duncan MacDonald replied for the Clippers.
Minor League Scoring Leaders
Ken Schinkel of the Baltimore Clippers is the new scoring leader in the American Hockey League. Schinkel has five goals and five assists for 10 points. Ed Hoekstra of Quebec and Ray Cullen of Baltimore are tied for second with eight points.
Most penalized player in the league is Bruce Draper of the Hershey Bears with 21 minutes. Top goalie is Roy Edwards of Buffalo with a 1.75 goals-against average.
The Western Hockey League’s top scorer is Billy NcNeill of the Vancouver Canucks, who has 10 points. Teammate Bruce Carmichael is tied for second with Portland’s Art Jones with nine each.
Al Millar of Victoria is the leading netminder with a 2.40 average.
The league bad boy is Connie Madigan of Portland. He has served 24 minutes in the sin bin.
London Wins Their First
The London Nationals finally won their first OHA Junior A game last night in London. The Nats came out on top of a wild 8-6 affair against the Hamilton Red Wings.
Stan Allen paced the London attack with three goals. Neil Clark added a pair, with the others coming from Darryl Edestrand, Dave Gorman and Bob Cook.
Brian Watts scored two goals for the Red Wings. Other Hamilton goal getters were Sandy Snow, Bart Crashley, Jim Niekamp and Freddie Speck.