December 15

Just two National Hockey League games last night, including one that saw the Chicago Black Hawks continue their rise in the Eastern Division standings to sole possession of second place. We also have the usual Quick Hits, where a couple of Kannegiessers made some news.

Hawks Scoot Into Second

Riding the efforts of their “Scooter Line” the Chicago Black Hawks took over sole possession of second place in the NHL’s Eastern Division with a 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Stadium.

The Scooter Line

The Scooters, consisting of centre Stan Mikita, left winger Doug Mohns and Ken Wharram on the right side accounted for all three of the Hawks’ markers. Mohns had two goals, Mikita one, while Wharram contributed two assists. The red-hot threesome now has scored 19 goals in their past nine contests.

Mikita’s goal was his 10th in the past 10 games. He has 16 assists over that span as well.

The Hawks stretched their unbeaten streak to five games. Even more impressive is that fact that they have lost only three times in their past 23 games. They are only one point in arrears of first-place Boston, although the Bruins do have three games in hand.

Norm Ullman scored the only Detroit goal in the third period with the Wings already behind by two.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 12.06.28 PM.png
Red Wings’ Bert Marshall dumps Chicago’s Stan Mikita during last night’s game.

Red Wings coach Sid Abel engaged in some line-matching in order to try and slow down the Scooters. He played the line of Ullman, Paul Henderson and Bruce MacGregor against the Mikita unit every chance he could. He also instructed his defence to pound Mikita at every opportunity.

The results speak for themselves.

Denis DeJordy once again performed admirably between the pipes for Chicago. He made 23 saves and had no chance on Ullman’s power play goal.

Selbys Return Boosts Flyers

When the Philadelphia Flyers drafted left winger Brit Selby from Toronto in last summer’s NHL Expansion Draft, they had high hopes for a player just one year removed from winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie-of-the-year.

Those hopes were dashed when Selby was injured on November 2. He’s missed the last six weeks with a separated shoulder and finally made his return to the lineup last night. He scored both Philadelphia goals as the Flyers and St. Louis Blus skated to a 2-2 tie at the Spectrum before a good crowd of 8,005.

Line mates Frank St. Marseille and Gary Sabourin found the net for the recently-rejuvenated Blues.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 11.59.45 AM.png
Frank St. Marseille (9) celebrates the Blues first goal last night.

The goals were Selby’s first of the season. The 22-year-old forward hopes that they represent a change in the bad luck that has dogged his career over the past year.

I just hope all my bad luck is over.

“I’ve only been skating hard for a week but I managed to keep my weight down and that helped. The legs began to go in the last period, though.”

After his fine rookie season, Selby got off to a rough start in training camp with Toronto last year. Unable to get untracked, he found himself dispatched to the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League to try and find his game. He played only 15 games at Vancouver before breaking his leg and missing the balance of the season.

Selby hastened his return to the ice because of a injury to fellow left-winger Bill Sutherland. He’s on the sidelines with a pulled hamstring he incurred last Sunday.

Blues coach Scotty Bowman was impressed with Selby’s play:

“Selby was the best player on the ice. I wasn’t too surprised, though. He’s a young fella and they can stay in shape easily.”

The stalemate puts the Flyers into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Division.

Quick Hits

  • Toronto Maple Leafs coach and manager Punch Imlach says he won’t demote any players until after Christmas. Hans Tanner in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle says that there’s a good chance three Maple Leafs could end up in the American Hockey League after the holiday. He reports that one or all of Jim Pappin, Murray Oliver or Wayne Carleton could be ticketed for the AHL.

    Murray Oliver
  • Canada Bombs Romania…well, at least in hockey. The Eastern version of Canada’s national team thumped the Romanian nationals 10-2 last night in Hull, Quebec. Bert Aube, Butch Goring and Bob Berry each scored twice for the Canadians.
  • The writing style of today’s sportswriters is something we’ll likely look back at with fondness years into the future. Today in his column in the Windsor Star, Jack Dulmage described Chicago Black Hawks coach Billy Reay in his playing days: “…He was a wasp-waisted centre of 155 pounds for the Canadiens.”
  • Not to be outdone, Dick Beddoes of the Toronto Globe and Mail penned this descriptive paragraph about the Philadelphia Flyers Larry Zeidel: “Mr. Zeidel is an excessively intense member of the Philadelphia Flyers, apparently in the major league to stay after 16 years in the boondocks at Edmonton and Seattle, Indianapolis, Hershey and Cleveland. He has altered from an unschooled ogre to a literate werewolf, still anxious to drink the enemy’s blood, preferably at body temperature.”
  • Looks like Bruins defenceman Ted Green won’t make his team’s West Coast trip this weekend. Boston had been hoping to have the bruising rearguard back in the lineup for tonight’s game in Oakland.
  • The St. Louis Blues have sent defenceman Gordon Kannegiesser to their Kansas City farm club in the Central Professional Hockey League.
  • The AHL Buffalo Bisons have acquired defenceman Sheldon Kannegiesser from the Omaha Knights of the CPHL. Bisons sent blue liner Roger LaFreniere the other way. Both teams are farm clubs of the New York Rangers.




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