With no games scheduled in the NHL last night, there are a couple of matches on tap both tonight and tomorrow. There was some AHL and OHA action action, as well as some off-ice news.
Games in the NHL tonight will see Detroit visit Montreal while the New York Rangers are at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
New rules a headache for Campbell
In NHL news, president Clarence Campbell said yesterday that Boston Bruins coach Milt Schmidt will not be fined for his post-game tirade about the work of referee John Ashley during the Bruins’ game against Toronto Thursday evening. Campbell’s reasoning was thus:
“Schmidt did not attack the official’s integrity, nor challenge his general competence. These are the basic grounds for action by the NHL office.”
Schmidt challenged rulings Ashley made during the game and then blamed the referee for limiting his team’s inability to win. The Bruins and Maple Leafs skated to a 2-2 draw in the game in question.
Campbell went on to comment on Schmidt’s right to complain about officiating: “He’s entitled to his opinions. He isn’t immune to criticism and neither are our officials. If he thinks Ashley blew a call, I certainly won’t prevent him from saying so, but we can, and will disagree with him. Ashley is as competent to interpret the rules as Schmidt. And I think more likely to be right.”
Campbell said he has read wire-service reports on the game and had stories carried in the Toronto papers read to him over the phone. Campbell is known to respect several veteran sportswriters, and when such an esteemed observer as the Toronto Star’s Red Burnett agrees with Schmidt’s assessment of the official, Campbell likely looked at the referee’s performance with a jaundiced eye.
Campbell also commented on Punch Imlach’s compaints about how the new faceoff interference rules are being called. The NHL president was surprisingly candid with his remarks:
“Imlach says the rule is not being called correctly and is being applied improperly, but he goes no further. We are tightening up on interference after the faceoff by the same players that were in the faceoff.”
At the same time Campbell admitted that on three of the seven faceoff interference penalties called so far this year, the officials may have made the wrong calls.
Let’s Talk Hockey, a how-to long playing record album, stars Punch Imlach, Johnny Bower, Tim Horton, Andy Bathgate and Dave Keon. On the record these hockey icons explain their special skills to young listeners. It is now available at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Toronto goalie Johnny Bower was in for physiotherapy on a wonky shoulder that has been bothering him for a couple of weeks. He is not expected to miss any time due to the injury.
Some NHL observers say that by employing 12 or 13 forwards every game, Punch Imlach is not getting enough ice time for his first line players. Imlach doesn’t respond to such criticism, but likely would point to the advanced age of his more prominent employees, and suggest that the lighter work load does them good while they have a couple extra skaters around. Teams must reduce their rosters from 18 to 16 skaters on December 1.
Chicago coach Billy Reay had a great line about Ted Lindsay’s comeback with Detroit: “Lindsay is the Jack Benny of hockey.” We’re not sure if Billy was referring to Benny’s reticence to reveal his true age, or his penchant for pinching pennies.
Lindsay plays on a line with youngsters Bruce MacGregor and Eddie Joyal. MacGregor was three years old when Lindsay broke into the NHL. Terrible Ted isn not impressed with the NHL’s new rules crack-down and expressed his displeasure to Stan Fischler of the New York Journal-American:
“The league is ruining the game with this penalty crack-down. They’re making hockey too soft. Hockey will become worse than basketball if they keep that up.”
There were three Friday night games in the American Hockey League. Buffalo whipped Rochester 7-4, Baltimore blanked Providence 4-0, while Springfield edged Hershey 4-3.
At Rochester, rookie Ray Cullen led the charge for the Bisons with his first professional hat-trick. Veteran Len Lunde added a pair of goals, with singles coming off the sticks of Jack Stanfield and Paul Popiel. Buffalo led 3-1 with eight minutes left to play before the Americans scored to narrow the gap to one. The Bisons then erupted for four goals in the next five minutes to put the game out of reach. Rochester marksmen were Bronco Horvath, who scored three times, and Gerry Ehman. Ed Chadwick made 29 saves for Buffalo, while Rochester netminder Jerry Cheevers came up with only 18 stops.
Veteran goalie Jacques Plante registered his first AHL shut out this season as the hometown Baltimore Clippers thumped the Providence Reds 4-0. Plante kicked out 27 shots and showed no ill effects from the knee that he says had been bothering him. Reds’ goaltender Ed Giacomin put up a fine performance in a losing cause, as he faced 46 shots. Billy Taylor, Ken Schinkel, Ray Brunel and Larry Cahan collected the Clippers’ goals.
In the night’s premier OHA game, the powerful Niagara Falls Flyers hung a beating on their Niagara neighbours, the St. Catharines Black Hawks, to the tune of 5-0. Flyers’ netminder Bernie Parent had the honour of collecting the first shut out in OHA Junior A play this season. making 30 saves in the process. Ted Snell led the way for Niagara Falls with a two-goal performance. Notching single markers were Bud DeBrody, Jean Pronovost and Bill Goldsworthy. Parent’s performance so far this season has folks around the league talking about a possible MVP award for the Quebec-born puckstopper. If his development continues on its present path, the Bruins should have a premier backstop in just a few years.