A busy night in the National Hockey League last night with five games on tap, including a loss by the Montreal Canadiens stretching their winless skein to eight games. We’ll also have reports on the other four games, news on Bobby Orr’s latest injury, plus the usual Quick Hits.
Habs Sink Lower in Basement
It seems right now things can’t get much worse for the Montreal Canadiens. Already mired in last place in the NHL’s Eastern Division, the Habs lost to the New York Rangers 3-2 last night at Madison Square Garden. Montreal now is winless in its last eight games, and falls five points behind the fifth-place Rangers.
Rangers centre Phil Goyette, just back in the lineup from a shoulder injury, led the Rangers to the win. He scored the New York’s first goal, his 11th of the year, and won a number of key faceoffs as he returned to his customary spot between captain Bob Nevin on the right side and left wing Don Marshall. Nevin also had a goal and an assist for New York, with Vic Hadfield netting the other goal.
Ralph Backstrom and Jacques Lemaire had the Canadiens goals.
Along with Goyette, Rangers received strong performances from defencemen Harry Howell and Arnie Brown. They form the Rangers first defensive pairing and for them it was perhaps their finest game of the year.
New York coach and general manager Emile Francis was overjoyed to have the slender centre back in the lineup:
“If it weren’t for Phil Goyette, I don’t know where we’d be. I can’t say enough about him. My guys played well but Phil made the difference as the team leader, setting the pace and getting those big faceoffs.
“Goyette is the quiet type of team leader. He leads by what he does on the ice.”
Goyette had been listed as a doubtful starter. He hadn’t skated since taking a hit from Detroit’s Gary Bergman on Wednesday night. He worked out yesterday before the game and informed Francis he was good to go:
“It was my decision to play and I told Emile I could play. If I didn’t think I could go 100 per cent, I’m not going to go out there when there is someone who could go 100 per cent. Once you’re warmed up you don’t feel it.”
It was yet another dismal showing by the Habs. They played only about 10 minutes of good hockey in this one. For the most part they were disorganized and at times listless. Habs coach Toe Blake contributed to the disarray by experimenting with over a dozen different line combinations in an effort to try to find a spark for his team.
Montreal goalie Gump Worsley put forth a valiant effort in a losing cause but he has had better games. He was knocked unconscious for the second time in a couple of weeks in the seventh minute of the first period. Ranger forward Ron Stewart fell on Worsley when he was flattened by Montreal’s John Ferguson. He was quickly revived and remained in the game.
Moore Gives Leafs the Blues
Dickie Moore thought he was finished with professional hockey – he really did. After his abbreviated comeback with the Toronto Maple Leafs that ended with Toronto’s loss to Montreal Canadiens in the 1965 Stanley Cup semi-final, Moore figured his aching knees had once and for all put an end to an illustrious hockey career.
Then, along came NHL expansion and the St. Louis Blues. Blues general manager Lynn Patrick and his assistant Scotty Bowman talked Moore into coming to St. Louis and working out with the team to see if he could still be competitive at the NHL level. After a week of hard skating and endless encouragement from Bowman, Moore decided to give it another shot.
Moore joined the Blues lineup on Wednesday night in Los Angeles and took a regular shift, not looking a bit out of place. Last night, he scored the winning goal as the upstart Blues, currently sixth in the NHL’s Western Division, upset the Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 before 7,004 fans in St. Louis.
Moore’s winning goal came at 11:20 of the third period with the score tied 1-1. He picked up a loose puck about 15 feet in front of the Toronto goal, faked Toronto defenceman Larry Hillman by dropping his shoulder as if to shoot and moved in alone on Leafs goalie Bruce Gamble. Moore beat gamble with a lightning-quick wrist shot that was reminiscent of his halcyon days with Montreal Canadiens in the 1950s.
The 36-year-old Moore dove into the net to retrieve the puck and gave it to coach Scotty Bowman for safe-keeping at the bench. Moore commented after the game on securing the souvenir:
“When you get to be my age, you keep as many as you can get. Who knows, maybe this will be the last one.
“Larry went for the big deke on my goal and the goalkeeper went right along with him. This allowed me to bring the puck back on my forehand and send it into the open side of the net.”
The goal was Moore’s 257th career marker. He is now one behind Bill Mosienko for 18th place on the NHL’s all-time list.
The first Blues goal was scored by 28-year-old rookie Frank St. Marseille, his first in the NHL. Unlike Moore, he was so excited about scoring, he forgot to pick up the puck after the goal.
‘I felt pretty foolish when I had to go up to the referee and ask him for it before the next faceoff. I was so excited at scoring that getting the puck never entered my mind.”
St. Marseille’s goal came on a waist-high shot from a sharp angle that found its way past Gamble just inside the post. He was signed by the Blues this season after playing the past three years for Port Huron in the semi-pro International Hockey League.
Jim Pappin had opened the scoring for Toronto after a scoreless first period. He connected at 2:44 of the middle frame when he beat St. Louis goalie Glenn Hall from about 10 feet after being set up by centre Pete Stemkowski from behind the net.
The Leafs hardly resembled a championship team. They committed numerous turnovers in their own zone, the passing was rarely on the mark and they seemed to be skating with less than the required effort for most of the evening.
Toronto coach Punch Imlach wasn’t in the mood for snappy quotes after the game:
“You saw it, write it” was all he would say to reporters.
Imlach’s assistant, King Clancy went into slightly more detail:
“That was awful, the worst of the season. We would have been stoned early but for our goalkeeper.”
Hull Leads Hawks Past Flyers
Bobby Hull scored two goals to lead the Chicago Black Hawks past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 last night at The Spectrum in Philadelphia. Hull has now scored 24 goals this season in only 27 games.
Doug Mohns had the other Hawks goal. Chicago goalie Denis DeJordy made 30 saves, including 16 in the third period, to register his first shutout of the season. DeJordy had to be extremely sharp as the Flyers, buoyed by their largest crowd of the season, put on a spirited performance and gave the Black Hawks all they could handle. Over 14,600 crammed into the Spectrum to see the first visit by Hull and his team mates.
The Flyers felt with a little luck they might have been able to take this one. Winger Leon Rochefort twice clanged shots off goal posts and lamented his near-missed could have changed the game”
“If I had just put the puck in the net one of those times, it would have been a different ball game. All we needed to give us a big lift was to score a goal.”
Flyers goalie Doug Favell was chagrined at giving up two to Hull, especially because neither goal came on one of Hull’s 100-mph blasts:
“That’s three open net goals Bobby has scored against us. Dammit I’d rather have a guy blast one past me than to let them get them that way.”
Favell played very well for the Flyers, making 32 saves, many of which were made in seemingly hopeless situations.
Flyers coach Keith Allen was disappointed only by the result, and not at all upset with the Flyers’ effort:
“Not a gosh-darned thing was going in for us. We seemed to be gaining momentum in the final period to get a goal which would have put us only one goal behind. But it never came. We got the chances but couldn’t capitalize.”
Defenceman Larry Zeidel had the last word on the night:
“Garbage goals, that’s all they got against us. Hell, in the two losses we’ve had to them the only difference has been that they’ve been able to get those easy ones right in front of the net.”
Kings Crown Bruins
The Boston Bruins got a look at what life might be like without their budding superstar Bobby Orr last night and they mustn’t have liked what they saw. With Orr on the shelf with a broken collarbone the Bruins saw their eight-game unbeaten streak come to an end at the hands of the visiting Los Angeles Kings right in Boston Garden.
Ted Irvine, Gord Labossiere and Lowell MacDonald took care of the offence for the Kings. Wayne Rutledge provided stellar goalkeeping as the Kings skated to a 3-1 win. Eddie Shack scored Boston’s only goal of the game to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Los Angeles scored two quick goals late in the second period to take control . Irvine connected for the Kings at 18:31, followed 71 seconds later by Labossiere, who converted a beautiful pass from Terry Gray.
Kings coach Red Kelly allowed himself to gloat a little bit when he met with the media after the game:
“They said if any of the new teams won six games against the old clubs all year it would be a great year.”
The Kings record against the established teams now stands at six wins and six losses.
The Kings received quite an injury scare of their own with about four minutes left to play. With number one goalie Terry Sawchuk already out for a couple of weeks, Rutledge took a long shot by Bruins rearguard Dallas Smith squarely on the left cheekbone.
Rutledge went down as if shot by a sniper and lay motionless face-down until team mates and the Kings’ trainer came to his aid. Backup Jacques Caron came off the bench and limbered up while Rutledge was attended to. The lanky blond netminder eventually cleared his head (with the help of a healthy dose of smelling salts) and remained in the game.
His cheekbone was red and swollen, but not cut on this occasion. He sported a nasty-looking abrasion just below the three stitches he took in Wednesday night’s home game.
X-rays later showed that Rutledge had suffered a bruised cheekbone, and thankfully, no break.
Stars Turn Tables on Pens
After dropping a 3-2 home-ice decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first half of their home-and-home weekend series Saturday night, the Minnesota North Stars turned the tables on their hosts last night in Pittsburgh. The Stars scored four times in the first period en route to a 7-4 win over a listless Pittsburgh club.
Seven players shared in the Minnesota scoring. Bill Collins, Ray Cullen, Parker MacDonald and Dave Balon found the range in the first period. Andre Boudrias connected in the second, with Wayne Connelly and Bill Goldsworthy adding third-period markers.
Pittsburgh goal-getters were Andy Bathgate, Ken Schinkel, Billy Dea and Ab McDonald. Bathgate’s goal was the 324th of his NHL career. That ties him with Nels Stewart for eighth place on the NHL all-time goal scoring list.
Penguins coach Red Sullivan wasn’t happy with the play of his club. He felt Bathgate’s early goal at 1:35 of the first let his club feel that they were home free.:
“After Bathgate scored we thought we had it made. We started running around.
“From the goaltender on out, we just had a bad, bad night. We put one or two games together and then we fall off.”
North Stars goalie Cesare Maniago earned a 10-minute misconduct for arguing a Penguins goal a bit too enthusiastically in the second period. Maniago thought he had made a brilliant save on a Pittsburgh three-on-one rush, but the goal judge ruled the puck had crossed the goal line.
North Stars coach Wren Blair was upset with the call on Maniago, despite the win. He feels his club has been unduly victimized by poor decisions by officials on questionable goals all season
“We’ve had seven goals called back this year, and of four questionable goals the other way, they’ve allowed every one. You could see Maniago definitely made the save.”
Sullivan, naturally said that he saw the puck lying on the ice in the net over the goal line.
- Rangers general manager-coach Emile Francis is worried about the lack of production from his star right-winger Rod Gilbert: “He should have 15 or so goals by now. I’m not sure what it is. He’s been getting his shots all right. But things aren’t going quite right when he’s in front of the net. He hasn’t had finish to his plays.”
- Bobby Orr will be out of the Bruins lineup for two to three weeks with a broken collarbone. Orr was injured when he was checked by Toronto’s Frank Mahovlich during Saturday night’s game at Maple Leaf Gardens. Orr was on the bench for last night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings, in civilian clothes wearing a sling.
- Bruins have called up 19-year-old defenceman Barry Gibbs from their Oklahoma farm team in the Central Professional Hockey League to take Orr’s place. Defenceman Ted Green, also injured when he blocked a shot on Saturday, is expected to be back in the lineup by Friday.
- One of the game’s all-time greats, Charlie Conacher, spent his 57th birthday yesterday in Toronto General Hospital.
- Toronto Marlboros bombed the hapless Ottawa 67s 9-3 in Ontario Hockey Association Junior A play yesterday at Maple Leaf Gardens. Doug Acomb led the Toronto attack with three goals, Terry Caffery added a pair. Pierre Jarry had two goals for the 67s.
- Rich Petit scored three goals in three minutes and five seconds to pace the Hamilton Red Wings in their lopsided 9-2 win over the Oshawa Generals. Cal Russell and Danny Lawson helped out with two goals each.
- Kitchener Rangers came from behind to nip the St. Catharines Black Hawks 5-4. Cam Crosby scored three times for the Rangers. Skeeter Teal had a pair of goals for St. Kitts.
- Montreal Junior Canadiens skated to a 5-3 win over the Peterborough Petes. Andre Gaudette led the Baby Habs attack with a pair of goals.
- Willie Marshall had a hat trick for the Baltimore Clippers as they fought to a 5-5 tie with the Buffalo Bisons at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo. Larry Mickey was the best for the Bisons with two goals.
- Quebec Aces scored five times in the third period to crush the Hershey Bears 6-2 at Quebec City. Dick Sarrazin scored twice for the Aces, with singles coming from Terry Ball, Guy Gendron, Rosaire Paiement and Simon Nolet. Barry Ashbee and Jeannot Gilbert had the Bears markers.
- Providence Reds thumped the Springfield Kings 8-3 at Providence. Jim Mikol and Pierre Brillant were the stars for the Reds with two goals apiece.