Today we have the details on the only National Hockey League game played last night which featured a brother vs brother matchup. We also have an update on Bobby Orr’s injury from the young superstar himself, plus Quick Hits.
Kings Skin Seals, Smith Beats Smith
The Los Angeles Kings, paced by Brian Smith’s two goals, defeated the Oakland Seals 3-1 last night at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Only 4,045 fans were on hand to see a rare brother against brother match-up. One of Smith’s goals came at the expense of his younger brother Gary Smith, who tends goal for the Seals.
Bob Wall scored the other Los Angeles counter, and he added a pair of assists as well. Bill Hicke had the Oakland marker.
The Kings had lost three straight coming into the game and all three losses were dismal performances. In this one, they came out flying and kept up the pace all evening. Los Angeles dominated the first period, outshooting the Seals 12-2. Only some great goaltending from the Seals’ Smith kept the game scoreless through the first 20 minutes.
The the game remained without a goal until just past the half-way point. That’s when, at 10:02 of the second, Brian Smith finally rammed a puck past his brother. Up until that point, Gary looked for all the world like he may never give up another goal in this lifetime.
Brian scored on a rebound after Gary had made a great save on Bill White’s shot from the blue line. Just prior to that, Brian had missed two other excellent scoring chances.
On the first one, he was robbed by Gary from point-blank range. Just a few minutes later, he managed to beat Gary with a quick wrister, but the puck clanged off the crossbar.
Just one minute and 11 seconds after the opening goal, the Seals knotted the score on Hicke’s tally.
Wall scored the winner about half-way through the final period. He beat Gary Smith with a long, screened shot from the point while the Kings had a man advantage.
Brian Smith added another goal, but didn’t victimize his brother on that one. He slid the puck into an unguarded Oakland net after coach Bert Olmstead had lifted Gary for an extra attacker in the final minute of play.
Coach Red Kelly was satisfied that his players were finally hustling and hitting the way he knows they can:
“They all hustled tonight. It was a rough game. There was some real hitting out there. They all really put an effort into it and never quit. I just hope our slump is over.”
Brian Smith said that he has played against Gary six times over the years, and he has never fared very well. He had only two goals on Gary during those six games.
Gary Smith was the Seals best player in the game. In only his second start of the season, he made 26 saves.
Wayne Rutledge was tested only 21 times for the Kings in a workman-like performance.
Impatient Orr Eyes Dec. 27 Return
Bobby Orr can’t wait to get back on the ice for the Boston Bruins. He is so frustrated on the sidelines that he finds it difficult to even watch his team play. Tonight the injured Boston star is scheduled to be at the home of some friends, but he isn’t sure he can watch the game with them on television. He spoke about this and other issues during an interview with Tom Fitzgerald of the Boston Globe:
“Let’s put it this way. I’m going to try to watch. I’ll be at the home of some friends who’ll want to see the game, but I don’t know whether I can last through to the finish.
“After a while I get feeling a little mad. And I don’t like my friends to see or hear me when I get feeling that way.”
Orr injured his shoulder in a game against Toronto on December ninth. He says that now the injury has healed better than he expected and he’s feeling pretty good:
“The should is not sore at all now. I’ve skated once and I’m going to skate again at Lynn Wednesday. It really won’t take me too long to get ready when I get permission.
“The way I feel I’d want to point for the game against Chicago here just after Christmas (Dec. 27). That’s a big one and I’m sure I could play then if the doctor says it‘s all right.”
Orr is bothered by the reaction of Boston fans to the Bruins recent three-game losing streak:
“You’d think it was the end of something. I just can’t understand people. The guys showed in Los Angeles that this team can come back all right. This was the first slump we had. We never lost more than two in a row before that. It would be hard to believe that any team could go through a season without something like this happening.”
Bobby downplays his importance to the team and the effect his absence has had:
“Sure it was tough when Teddy and I got hurt at the same time. I think some of the fans miss a big point, though. What this club has done has been as a team. It’s bad when you lose a man off each defense pair. It would be just as bad if we lost a centre or wing off any one of the lines.
“I just wish people would remember there is no one player who is all that important by himself. We’re happy because we think and act like a real team and that’s the way we want it to stay.”
- Canadiens coach Toe Blake says he isn’t upset with goalie Gump Worsley after the tantrum he threw when yanked from Sunday’s game with Detroit. Blake said that he wants his players to show some emotion and there will be no disciplinary action against the Gumper.
- Chicago Black Hawks goalie Denis DeJordy is thinking of donning a mask for games. He shows team mate Pit Martin the model he’s been using in practices.
- Alan Eagleson, the executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association, had a retort for remarks Emile Francis made this week about the players’ union: “I guess the Bruins and Canadiens were just having a little fun when they whacked each other around. Just a little chummy stuff, eh?”
- Detroit Red Wings right winger Bruce MacGregor had surgery yesterday on his nose, broken Saturday night in a game against Montreal. MacGregor will be forced to miss at least one game. Red Wings called up forward Ron Anderson from Memphis of the Central Professional Hockey League for fill in.
- St. Louis Blues coach Scotty Bowman has done some line juggling. Bowman will move left winger Dickie Moore up to the first line, centred by Red Berenson with Jimmy Roberts on the right side.
- Philadelphia Flyers seem to be shooting less and winning more. In eight of their 14 victories this season, the Flyers have less than 24 shots on goal. In those 14 wins, Philadelphia has given up an average of 32 shots against. It’s been the fine work of goalies Doug Favell and Bernie Parent that has been responsible for many of those wins.
- The new home of the Los Angeles Kings, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, is nearly ready. The Kings will open the building on December 30 when they host the Philadelphia Flyers.
- The American Hockey League Quebec Aces and Buffalo Bisons skated to a 2-2 tie last night in Quebec City. Bob Jones and Al Hamilton scored for the Bisons. Jimmy Johnson and Roger Pelletier had the Quebec markers.