In one of the most lopsided games in recent years, the Toronto Maple Leafs trounced the first-place Detroit Red Wings by a score of 10-2 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto last night in one of three National Hockey League games. The other matches saw Montreal down Chicago 5-3 while the Rangers and Bruins skated to a 3-3 tie.
Pulford hurt, hospitalized
While the Leafs won big against the Red Wings, the victory may prove to be a costly one. Centre Bob Pulford, playing the best hockey of his career and emerging as one of the best in the NHL, was lost for an indefinite period with an eye injury early in the first period when struck by Gordie Howe’s stick.
Pulford was admitted to the Toronto General Hospital with what was diagnosed as a contusion to the eyeball. Doctors said that the presence of blood in the eye was not necessarily dangerous, but there was a risk of secondary hemorrhaging. Because of this, Pulford will be kept in the hospital for four days with his eyes bandaged. Howe was not penalized on the play.
Veteran Red Kelly, who always seems to rise to the occasion when playing his former team, replaced Pulford at centre. He scored two goals, assisted on another and was a force at both ends of the rink. Dave Keon, rounding back into form as he recovers from that groin injury, looked good as ever with a six-point performance on two goals and four assists. Rookie Ron Ellis also was a two-goal sniper. Single markers were scored by Andy Bathgate, George Armstrong, Jim Pappin and Ron Stewart. Pit Martin and Norm Ullman had the Detroit scores, both unassisted.
Toronto had 41 shots at Detroit goaltender Roger Crozier. Terry Sawchuk in the Leaf net stopped 34 of 36 Detroit drives.
Sawchuk consoles Red Wings rookie
A nice moment took place at the end of the game. As the teams walked down the corridor to their dressing rooms, Sawchuk reached across and grabbed Crozier by the shoulder, pulled him aside and appeared to whisper something in the rookie’s ear. Sawchuk was asked what he told the young goalkeeper who replaced him in Detroit.
“I told him to forget it”, Sawchuk said. “Start over Sunday against Montreal. He got bombed once last year too (by Canadiens 9-3). And he came back. He’s a good kid, a real good kid. That can happen to any of us and I just thought he could use a pat on the back.”
Richard fires a pair for Habs
Henri Richard paced the Montreal attack against Chicago with two goals, While Bobby Hull also fired a pair for the Hawks in a losing cause.
Montreal led 2-1 at the end of one period thanks to goals by Gilles Tremblay and Jacques Laperriere, with Hull’s first marker sandwiched in between. Phil Esposito tied it up early in the second, only to have Richard net his first of the night to make the score 3-2 at the end of two.
Hull tied the score again early in the third with his 19th of the season, but less than a minute later, Richard’s second of the night put the Habs back in front for good. Montreal’s rookie defenceman Ted Harris then scored his first NHL goal with less than six minutes to play to put some icing on the cake.
Lesser lights shine in Bruins-Rangers tie
At Boston, little-used Forbes Kennedy was given a regular line assignment against the Rangers, and the move paid off for coach Milt Schmidt as Kennedy fired the tying goal for the Beantowners with less than six minutes to play to give the Bruins a point. Rookie Wayne Maxner, with his first NHL goal, and Tommy Williams with his second of the season were the other Boston marksmen. Vic Hadfield, Rod Gilbert and Dick Duff replied for the Rangers.
Ranger goalie Marcel Paille was the star of the game. He was returning to action after missing the last 10 games due to injury and the fine play of Jacques Plante. He made 30 saves, including 16 in the third period when the Bruins were all over the New Yorkers.
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.