The Boston Bruins, NHL doormats for the past few seasons, suddenly look like they are making progress towards a rebirth of the National Hockey League franchise. The Bruins won their third straight game last night, edging the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in Boston. The other two NHL games saw Detroit whip New York 5-1 while Chicago and Montreal skated to a 3-3 draw.
First Win Streak in Three Years
The Bruins’ triumph was their first three-game winning streak in three years. They now are just two points behind the sliding New York Rangers.
The game was a bit of a see-saw battle, if not on the scoreboard, then on the territorial advantages the Leafs and Bruins held as the game wore on.
Toronto held the edge in play in the scoreless first period, outshooting the home side 13-6. Rookie Boston goalie Bernie Parent was at his best, stopping everything the Leafs could throw at him with aplomb. Parent started this game because veteran Ed Johnston suffered an arm injury Saturday afternoon in the game against the Rangers.
The middle stanza was a complete reversal of the first period. It was perhaps the best period the Bruins have played this season. They fired 22 shots at Toronto netminder Johnny Bower, who was spectacular in his own right. The Bruins managed to beat Bower twice, with Pit Martin and Murray Oliver doing the honours.
The Leafs then woke up for the final 20 minutes and it was their turn to terrorize the opposing goaltender. Parent faced 18 Toronto drives, many of the difficult variety, but he stood fast in the Boston net. Only Tim Horton managed to get a shot past him. That was a long blast from the blue line that Parent got a piece of, but was unable to hold.
The key save of the game for Parent took place in the final minute of play. Leafs Bob Pulford let go a screaming wrist shot that appeared destined to catch the top corner. Parent dove and took the shot square on the chin, but kept it out of the net. The save preserved the much-needed win for the Bruins.
After the game, Parent recounted the play:
“The puck hit me on the chin, just under my mask. She hurt like heck but it was worth it. But I’m awfully tired. I was much sick Thursday and I am still not 100 per cent.”
Parent spend Thursday night in hospital with appendicitis. He did not undergo surgery but had been off the ice for four days prior to last night’s game.
Henderson Scores Another Game-Winner
Detroit Red Wing forward Paul Henderson continued his penchant for scoring important goals this weekend. He connected for the winning goal for the second consecutive game last night as the Red Wings whipped the free-falling New York Rangers 5-1 at the Olympia in Detroit.
Henderson’s goal was his 15th of the season, and it was the eighth time a goal he scored provided the margin of victory. He scored it in the second period’s eighteenth minute, after the teams had exchanged goals earlier in the period. The opening 20 minutes had been scoreless.
Floyd Smith had given Detroit a 1-0 lead at 1:50 of the first. Ranger defenseman Jim Nielson then notched his first of the year to tie it at 8:28. Henderson’s goal gave the Wings the lead they would not surrender at 17:14, and that was followed a minute and a half later by Bruce MacGregor’s 11th.
Alex Delvecchio rounded out the Detroit scoring with a pair of goals in the final frame. They were his 13th and 14th goals of the season.
Detroit goalie Roger Crozier put in another fine performance, just missing on his bid for his eighth shutout of the season. Ed Giacomin, recalled on Friday from Baltimore of the American Hockey League to replace the injured Cesare Maniago, handled the goaltending duties for the Blueshirts.
The dual weekend losses leaves the Rangers just two points out of last place in the NHL standings. The Red Wings remain in first place, now four points ahead of second-place Montreal. The win was Detroit’s eighth straight.
Hull’s 38th Ties It
Bobby Hull’s 38th goal of the season with just less than 11 minutes remaining in the game lifted the Chicago Black Hawks into a 3-3 tie with the Montreal Canadiens at the Chicago stadium.
The game seemed to follow a pattern similar to that of the Toronto-Boston match. The teams took turns dominating territorially, although the scoreboard did not bear the results.
Chicago took a 2-0 first period lead over Canadiens on goals by Stan Mikita and Pat Stapleton. The Hawks outshot the visitors by 13-11 and certainly looked to be rolling towards a win in this one. Glenn Hall’s fine work in the Chicago goal was instrumental in keeping the Hawks in front after 20 minutes.
The Canadiens took over in the second period and scored three times. However, controversy surrounded a goal scored by the Habs, and one that referee Frank Udvari denied the Black Hawks. Udvari’s decisions drew the ire of the over 16,000 fans who jammed the Stadium.
Richard’s Goal Disputed
Montreal scorers in the period were Henri Richard, Ralph Backstrom and Claude Larose. Richard’s goal was the one that put the Chicago fans in a surly mood. His shot appeared to hit the goal post behind Glenn Hall, who then smothered the puck. Richard raised his stick immediately and charged at Udvari, claiming the puck had entered the net. Most press-box observers felt that Richard was in error, but Udvari conferred with his linesmen and goal judge Bob Andel, and Canadiens were awarded the goal.
Scant minutes later, with the crowd already heaping derision upon Udvari, Stan Mikita appeared to score for the Hawks. There was no question about this shot, it definitely got into the net. But Udvari negated the play, ruling that Chicago forward Ken Wharram was in the goal crease and he refused to allow the goal to stand.
This was almost too much for the Black Hawk faithful. They littered the ice and the noise in the building was almost to the point of being deafening.
That set the stage for Hull’s tying goal in the final frame. He beat Charley Hodge, who took over in goal for Montreal after Gump Worsley was injured in the second period. Hodge played well in relief of the Gumper, making several key saves on Hull and Stan Mikita. He had no chance on Hull’s bullet drive to tie it up.
The tie was a welcome point for the Black Hawks, who had lost three straight going into the contest. Their slump has seen them slip from first place into third, just behind Montreal.
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.