Last night’s exhibition games resulted in injuries to three of the NHL’s most famous names as well as a notable upset. Two of the injured players ended up in hospital, one for observation and one for treatment.
Howe hits the post – ends up with a headache
Detroit Red Wings star Gordie Howe was taken to hospital in the Motor City last night after crashing into a goal post during the Red Wings 5-2 win over a team made up of farm hands from their Memphis and Pittsburgh clubs. While big Gordie wasn’t knocked unconscious, team officials felt he should head to hospital for observation, just to be safe. The Wings say he sustained a mild concussion.
As far as the game results go, Bruce MacGregor led the Wings with two goals. Ed Joyal, Norm Ullman and Bill Gadsby also counted for the Red Wings. Lowell MacDonald and Chuck Holmes scored for the minor leaguers. Roger Crozier played a flawless first half of the game for the Red Wings before being relieved by Carl Wetzel, who surrendered the two goals against the Wings.
Plante pulled from NY lineup
Another big-name injury from last night was to Ranger goalie Jacques Plante. He was actually pulled from the team’s lineup yesterday due to a knee ligament problem and sent to a New York hospital for treatment. Jake the Snake joins a lengthy New York injury list that includes Phil Goyette (wrist), Dick Duff (ankle) and Camille Henry (back).
The third and least severe injury of the evening was to Chicago Black Hawks star netminder Glenn Hall. The durable Hall was struck above the eye with a shot during a game between the Hawks and the AHL Buffalo Bisons, sustaining a cut requiring stitches . The laceration was not deep and the wound is not expected to keep the man they call Mr. Goalie out of action. The game ended in a 2-2 tie, which can’t be considered much of an upset, since the parent Chicago team loaned several players to the Bisons to even things out.
Aces Trump the Habs
At the Forum in Montreal last night, 4,200 fans were shocked to see their heroes manhandled by the American Hockey League Quebec Aces, as the Habs came out on the short end of a 5-2 score. This was by far the Canadiens worst performance so far this fall. Montreal coach Toe Blake quipped, “It’s a good thing there are not seven teams in the National Hockey League or we would finish seventh.” Blake went on to say that this type of game would do the Canadiens some good, since there are players who think they have jobs sewn up.
Quebec coach Bernie Geoffrion treated the win over the team from which he had retired this summer like a Stanley Cup victory. Geoffrion said he felt the Aces were in for a win when Quebec took the lead in just about eight minutes into the second period.
“I know the Canadiens, when you get on top of them they don’t know what to do with the puck”.
Five players shared in the Aces scoring, with Cleland Mortson, Bill Sutherland, Terry Gray, Leon Rochefort and Wayne Hicks each netting a singleton. John Ferguson and Bobby Rousseau were the only Habs who managed to beat Gump Worsley. The Gumper, who still hasn’t been told by the Habs where he will be toiling this season, played a fine game for Quebec. His goaltending counterpart, Charlie Hodge, was not sharp in the Montreal goal. Bryan Watson, thought to be the odd man out on the Canadiens’ defence, was very solid and may have played himself back into consideration for a big-league job.
There were a few off-ice news items yesterday. The Red Wings signed three players to contracts. Left Winger Ron Murphy, acquired in an off-season trade from Chicago inked a one-year deal, as did forward Eddie Joyal and defenseman Albert Langlois.
The Rangers sent defenseman Bob Plager to Vancouver of the WHL, making Canucks’ coach Max McNab a very happy man. McNab called Plager “One of the strongest men in hockey”.
And finally, a couple of former NHL’ers have found work as coaches in the amateur ranks. Gerry James, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and now stars for the Canadian Football League Saskatchewan Roughriders, will coach the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Senior Hockey League. Jack Portland, who spent 14 seasons in the NHL mainly with Boston, was named coach of the Brockville Braves of the Central Junior A Hockey League.
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.