In today’s report, we look at the five National Hockey League games played last night. We’ll also have some news on the troubled Oakland Seals franchise, and a little more on the investigation into the anti-Semitic remarks from Boston Bruins players alleged by Philadelphia Flyers player Larry Zeidel.
Bruins 2 Rangers 1
The Boston Bruins have moved into a second-place tie with the New York Rangers in the NHL’s Eastern Division. The Bruins edged the Rangers 2-1 last night at Madison Square Garden.
John Bucyk’s 30th goal of the season with less than five minutes remaining in the game was the game-winner for Boston. The veteran left-winger scored when left all alone at the left side of the goal after taking a pass perfectly delivered by centre Phil Esposito. Bucyk flipped the puck past Ranger goalie Ed Giacomin, who was drawn out of position by John McKenzie as the original shooter.
Bucyk describes the goal:
“When we were in there, Pie (John McKenzie) drew Ed Giacomin over to him. Pie got it over quickly to Phil (Esposito) and I had a real piece of open net to pop it in.”
The assist for Esposito was his 44th this season, giving him 75 points and enabling him to move into a tie for second place in the NHL scoring race with Rangers’ Jean Ratelle.
Ed Westfall was the other Boston goal-getter, netting his 13th of the year at 8:37 of the second period. Defenceman Jim Neilson connected for the Rangers only score about eight minutes after Westfall’s tally.
Boston coach Harry Sinden was happy that his team had followed their game plan to perfection:
“We decided we would play it as tight as we could, even if we had to sacrifice some offence. And we had great checking all the way.”
Gerry Cheevers was the big star for the Bruins, who were outshot 40-22 on the night. Cheevers made 39 saves, many of the difficult variety. Cheevers was the reason for many groans from the Madison Square Garden faithful as he frustrated both the Rangers and their fans time after time.
Maple Leafs 3 Blues 3
Paul Henderson scored with just 26 seconds remaining in the third period to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs into a 3-3 tie with the pesky St. Louis Blues last night at The Arena in St. Louis. Henderson’s goal came with Toronto netminder Bruce Gamble on the Maple Leafs’ bench. Coach Punch Imlach had lifted Gamble in favour of a sixth skater at the 18:21 mark.
Norm Ullman started the play on Henderson’s goal when he picked up the puck in the centre zone and fired a pinpoint pass to Tim Horton. Horton carried into Blues’ territory and hit Henderson with a pass on the left side. Henderson cut into the centre and beat St. Louis goalie Glenn Hall with a backhander to the far corner.
Murray Oliver and Brian Conacher scored the other Toronto goals. Jim Roberts had two markers for the Blues after Dickie Moore had opened the scoring near the 11-minute mark of the first period.
Both Gamble and Hall played well, with Toronto outshooting St. Louis 33-30.
Blues’ captain Al Arbour had praise for Hall and also was happy to have gained at least the tie with Toronto:
“That’s the second tie he’s done that to us this year. But I guess I shouldn’t complain. A tie is a good point for us after the way we played in the second period. They could have had three or four more goals if it hadn’t been for Glenn.”
St. Louis coach Scotty Bowman echoed Arbour’s sentiments regarding the tie:
“We were lucky to come out of that one with our scalps. They had us bottled up in our own end three and four minutes at a time.
“Ullman must be talking to himself. He had at least three good opportunities to score from close in but Hall beat him every time.
“Acutally I was quite happy with the tie. If we had won, we might have had a bit of a letdown and lost to Oakland here Friday. This way, everyone’s still riled up.
“What would you rather have – a tie and a win for three points or a win and a loss for two?”
Black Hawks 4 Penguins 3
The Chicago Black Hawks dealt a severe blow to the playoff aspirations of the Pittsburgh Penguins last night at Chicago Stadium. The Black Hawks jumped out to a 4-1 lead and then had to withstand a late rally to edge the Penguins 4-3.
Pit Martin, Pat Stapleton, Eric Nesterenko and Bobby Hull scored the Chicago goals. For Hull, it was his 43rd goal of the season as he grinds on towards that magical 50 mark.
Gene Ubriaco had a pair of third-period markers for the Pens. George Konik had scored in the second frame.
Chicago coach Billy Reay had praise for goalie Jack Norris. Norris had been called up last week from Dallas of the Central Professional Hockey League to replace the injured Denis DeJordy. Norris made 23 saves:
“Jack had to be tough, particularly in the last period when the Penguins really went to work.”
Reay also gave the Penguins credit for putting up a stiff opposition:
“That’s one of the toughest expansion clubs we’ve had to play. I know the Penguins have the best skating team we’ve faced from the Western Division. It’s kind of unfortunate for them that they don’t have Les Binkley in goal right now. I don’t care what his record shows, he’s one of the best netminders in that division, although I think Bassen played very well in this game.”
The Hawks won the season series with the Penguins with two wins, one loss and one tie.
Red Wings 4 Seals 2
The Oakland Seals just couldn’t close the deal. Leading the Detroit Red Wings after 40 minutes by a score of 2-0, the Seals surrendered four goals in the third period to the Detroiters, who skated off with a 4-2 win.
Larry Popein and Ted Hampson scored first-period markers to put the home side up 2-0. For Hampson, acquired from the Seals earlier this season in the trade that sent Kent Douglas to Detroit, it was his 17th of the season.
After a scoreless sandwich session, the Wings scored four times in the first 10:22 of the third. Bruce MacGregor, Douglas, Alex Delvecchio and Peter Mahovlich all beat beleaguered Seals netminder Charlie Hodge.
Detroit outshot Oakland 32-26 on the night. Wings goalie Roy Edwards was very sharp after giving up those two first-period scores.
Flyers 4 North Stars 2
Philadelphia Flyers withstood an injury to starting goalie Bernie Parent and held on for a 4-2 win over the North Stars in Minneapolis. The game was a physical, rough affair between two Western Division teams that are building quite a rivalry.
Parent was injured near the midway point in the game with Philadelphia ahead 2-0. He took a wicked shot off the stick of North Stars Bill Goldsworthy off the mask, just below the right eye. The area was badly bruised and quickly became swollen, making it necessary for Parent to turn the net over to Doug Favell.
Favell surrendered goals to Dave Balon and Jean-Paul Parise in the third period, but otherwise performed well. He was especially strong in the third period when the North Stars pushed for a tie.
Philadelphia scorers were Leon Rochefort, Bill Sutherland, Gary Dornhoefer and Ed Hoekstra. Sutherland had missed the Flyers’ previous couple of games with a virus, and had been sent home to Winnipeg to recover. Flyers had been having trouble scoring goals recently, so his return was most welcome.
North Stars also switched goalkeepers during the game. After giving up four goals over the first 40 minutes, Cesare Maniago was given the third period off. Gary Bauman came off the Minnesota bench to play a flawless final frame.
Goldsworthy was involved in an ugly incident in the third period. He knocked linesman John D’Amico to the ice and was issued a game misconduct and an automatic $100 fine. The incident will be reviewed by NHL president Clarence Campbell and a suspension is more than likely.
Seals Sold? Moving to Canada?
There are a number of reports circulating that insist that the sale of the troubled Oakland Seals franchise is imminent. At least two of those reports suggest that Labatt’s Breweries will take control of the struggling franchise in exchange for paying off a $750,000 debt owed to the National Hockey League. Any transfer of the Seals to Labatts ownership would be contingent on the club being moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.
The west coast Canadian city was left out in the cold when the league admitted the six new teams for this season. It appears that several groups have merged together and have brought in an injection of the brewery money to solidify their financial standing.
Depending on to whom you listen, there have been as many as seven offers to buy the Seals. Sources told the Toronto Globe and Mail that the Labatts offer was the most attractive and that executive vice-president of Labatts. Peter Widdrington, was in San Francisco yesterday putting finishing touches on the deal.
A hang-up to the sale could be the shift of the franchise out of Oakland. NHL by-laws stipulate that a move would require nine of the 12 NHL governors to support it. Toronto Maple Leafs vice-president Stafford Smythe remarked that he believes it would require unanimous support, and he, for one, would vehemently oppose any such move.
It’s likely that both Toronto an Montreal wouldn’t support a Seals move north of the border. Both clubs enjoy lucrative deals with the Canadian Broadcasting Company for rights to their games shown on Hockey Night in Canada. Neither would be keen on sharing that income with a third Canadian team.
A dark horse bet to acquire the team has emerged. Charles O. Finley, the flamboyant owner of baseball’s Oakland Athletics, has expressed a strong interest in the Seals. He would purchase the franchise with plans to keep the team in the Bay Area for the long term. That alone makes him more attractive to the majority of NHL governors who want to maintain a presence in Northern California.
Bruins Deny Charges
The Boston Bruins are denying charges by Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Larry Zeidel that Boston players hurled anti-Semitic remarks at him during last Thursday’s game in Toronto.
Zeidel engaged in a vicious stick-swinging battle with Boston’s Eddie Shack. Zeidel said the duel was sparked by the racial slurs directed at him by players on the Boston bench. He said that Shack was not one of those that uttered the epithets, naming Bruins’ defencemen Don Awrey, forward Tom Williams and goalie Gerry Cheevers as the guilty parties.
NHL president Clarence Campbell says he will continue his investigation into the incident, despite the fact that the Flyers have informed him that they want the matter dropped. Campbell will interview more witnesses and the main participants to determine what, if anything, was said.
Boston coach Harry Sinden said that he doesn’t doubt that Boston players may have used the racial slurs, but that those sorts of things are often said in the heat of battle.
One Boston player who requested anonymity, said that Zeidel was a “crybaby.”
- Black Hawks captain Pierre Pilote earned the 400th assist of his NHL career last night. It was his first point in his last 14 games.
- A report out of Toronto says that Bert Olmstead will likely quite his post as coach and general manager of the Oakland Seals at the end of this season. Olmstead turned over bench duties to assistant Gord Fashoway several weeks ago but retained the title. The Globe and Mail reports that Olmstead had offered to resign several weeks ago but was talked into staying on by Seals owner Barry Van Gerbig.
- Flyers general manager Bud Poile says that the roof troubles at the team’s arena, the Spectrum, may force his team to leave the city of Philadelphia for good:
“Yes, we’re serious. We can’t give the league playoff dates. And the way the people in Philadelphia are going, there’s a question if the Spectrum will be ready. Every day is a week now. There are about six or seven different cities bidding for NHL franchises. Why shouldn’t we consider it?”
- The game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings, to be played tonight in Quebec City, will be broadcast back to Philadelphia and Los Angeles in black and white. That’s because the lighting system at Le Colisee is insufficient to support colour television cameras.