Montreal Canadiens are one win away from their second straight Stanley Cup after they drubbed the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 last night in Montreal. It was an all-round team effort for the Canadiens. Five players shared in the Habs’ scoring as the Red Wings had no answer for Montreal’s balanced attack. Canadiens now lead the best-of-seven final series three games to two.
Roger Crozier, thought to be finished in this series after being injured in game four, was a surprise starter in goal for the Wings. The little netminder put in a game effort, but just wasn’t his normal acrobatic self. But Crozier would not use the injured limb as an excuse:
“The leg felt a little shorter than the other because of all the tape, I guess. But it didn’t hamper my movements that much. I lost my balance a couple of times and had a little pain.
“If it had bothered me too much I wouldn’t have played. It’s as simple as that.”
Canadiens dominated the game right from the outset. They outshot the Red Wings 32-21 on the night and really were never challenged. Claude Provost’s goal at 1:06 of the first period gave fans an early indication how this game would unfold.
Yvan Cournoyer scored in the final minute of the first to make the score 2-0 for the Habs after one.
Montreal essentially ended any hopes the Wings had of a comeback with two goals in the second minute of the second period. Dave Balon counted at 1:05, followed by Bobby Rousseau 15 seconds later. Norm Ullman got the Red Wings on the board late in the second, but that was all the offence the visitors could muster.
The teams went through the motions in the third period, with the issue already decided. Dick Duff added some more insurance with Montreal’s fifth goal of the night.
Detroit coach Sid Abel wasn’t about to second-guess himself for going with Crozier in goal:
“He told me he was all right and I went with my best. You can’t blame Roger for those goals. Nobody gave him any help. The Canadiens were picking up rebounds 20 feet in front of the net.”
Montreal coach Toe Blake was a little surprised that his team was able to handle the Red Wings so easily:
“I certainly didn’t expect a 5-1 victory since the other games were so close and could all have gone either way. But my players were really up tonight. I didn’t think Detroit’s choice of goalie would have made any difference.”
Captain Jean Beliveau put in a dominant performance. He was named the game’s first star, even though he gained only an assist on the score sheet:
“I guess it was one of my good games. But I was surprised to be picked as the first star when I didn’t score. It’s not often you play so well and don’t get a goal.”
New Governors Get Orientation
National Hockey League president Clarence Campbell hosted the governors of the six expansion franchises yesterday in Montreal. The purpose of the get-together was to give the new owners an orientation into how the league does things at the upper levels.
The new governors were expecting to learn what sorts of players they would be receiving a little more than a year from now when the league conducts its historic expansion draft. However, they received no news on that front, as the established clubs have not yet been able to come to an agreement on a formula for stocking the new teams.
Representing the new teams were Bill Putnam (Philadelphia), Jack Kent Cooke (Los Angeles), Senator Jack McGregor (Pittsburgh), Gordon Ritz (Minnesota), Sidney Salomon III (St. Louis) and Barend Von Gerbig (San Francisco).
Campbell described the activities the group went through:
“Today was an orientation session. We discussed such items as constitution and by-laws. The June annual meeting, NBC-TV and the details of the buildings and their leases and their new operations.
“I outlined for the new governors data regarding gate receipts and tax information and circulated as memorandum regarding the names the clubs will adopt.”
Campbell also made it official that the winners of the Eastern and Western Divisions will meet for the Stanley Cup in the spring of 1968.
No Lawsuit Yet From Reeves
In other expansion news, the threat of a law suit by one of the rejected franchise applicants has not net materialized. Dan Reeves, one of the owners of the Los Angeles Blades of the Western Hockey League had hinted that he would pursue legal action over the rejection of his bid for the NHL franchise.
Campbell explained what he knew of the potential for a suit by Reeves:
“Reeves believes he is entitled to hold the Los Angeles territory against the world, but we have not been served with any paper indicating legal action. There has been so suggestion of what indemnities, if any, Reeves wants from the NHL.”
A fly in the ointment for the Los Angeles franchise has been owner Jack Kent Cooke’s inability to find a suitable place for his fledgling team to play until his new arena is built. Cooke has been unable to come to any sort of agreement to play in the Los Angeles Sports Arena. It is believed the Coliseum Commission, who control the Sports Arena, favours a team owned by Reeves and will not lease the rink to Cooke for less than three years.
Cooke says he would only need to be in a temporary location for two years at most and would not sign a three-year deal.
Oil Kings Meet Generals For Memorial Cup
The Edmonton Oil Kings will meet the Oshawa Generals tonight in the first game of the 1966 Memorial Cup Final. And already there is controversy as both managers attempted to stir things up prior to the drop of the puck.
Edmonton’s manager, a fellow known as “Wild Bill” Hunter, blew into town claiming his team is far superior than the Eastern champs. Hunter went on to say that his Oil Kings boast two defencemen who are far better than Oshawa’s Bobby Orr.
Hunter says that Allan Hamilton and Bob Falkenburg of the Oil Kings both are vastly superior to Orr. Hamilton was impressive in a brief trial with the New York Rangers this season.
Meanwhile, Oshawa’s manager Wren Blair was complaining about the fact that the Oil Kings had recruited three players from the Saskatchewan Junior A League. Edmonton added forwards Ross Lonsberry, Ted Hodgson and Jim Harrison from Estevan Bruins.
Blair threatened to protest any game in which those three players appear. Any such protest won’t get very far, however. The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association allows for such pick-ups for the Memorial Cup Final.
AHL All-Stars Named
The Rochester Americans have placed three players on the American Hockey League First All-Star team. Dick Gamble and Gerry Ehman were named to two forward slots at left and right wing respectively, while Al Arbour was picked for one of the two defence spots.
Joining Arbour on defence is Jimmy Morrison of Quebec. The goaltender is Claude Dufour of the Hershey Bears. The other forward spot went to Joe Szura of Cleveland at centre.
The second team has George Gardner of Pittsburgh and Les Binkley of Cleveland tied in goal. The defence is made up of the Amerks’ Duane Rupp and Quebec’s Noel Price. The forward line has Keke Mortson of Quebec at centre, Jim Pappin of Rochester on right wing and Gene Ubriaco of the Hershey Bears on the left side.
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.