Monday, May 2, 2011

44 Years Later, The "Buttock Shot"

Forty-four years. It's now been 44 gosh-darn years since the Toronto Maple Leafs last raised the Stanley Cup. I merely hope it's not going to be that long until the next one. Countless stories have been written about the Leafs last win, I'd guess more has been written about that Cup win than most any other. One thing I had never heard was how the game six winning goal by Jim Pappin was referred to as the "Buttock Shot".

Legendary newspaper man Jim Coleman referred to Pappin's goal as flukey and he probably wasn't to far off. In fact it went in off Montreal defenseman Terry Harper's "derriere". Pete Stemkowski was being wrapped up in front of Gump Worsley by Harper "in an octopus grip" when Pappin sent a back-hand at net from his off wing. According to Coleman, "Harper's hip was jutting directly in the line of Worsley's vision and poor old Gumper didn't see the puck until it was passing him, on it's way into the net."

The Gumper is quoted, "It was a lousy goal, the puck hit somebody and just dropped. It was in before I could move. It was a hell of a (blank) goal to get beaten by. The trouble is that they all count". The goal was originally credited to Stemkowski, and some accounts had it going in off Jacques Laperiere's skate. Pappin himself was as confused as anyone about how it went in. After the game he described it. "I lobbed the puck across the net and it hit Laperriere." Post game, both Harper and Worsley admitted it had bounced off Harper. Harper himself said, "It hit me in front, I can't figure out how it dropped in back of me."

Pappin's mark at 19:24 of the second frame put Toronto up 2-0. Dick Duff would make it 2-1 in the third but the Habs were finished. In an interesting note, the papers of the day after the game mention that the Conn Smythe Trophy would be announced next week and that the past two years it was awarded immediately following the final game. Most believed that Terry Sawchuk was a shoo-in, or perhaps Pappin with his 15 points in 12 games including 4 goals in the final. Of course Dave Keon won the award for his all round play and leadership.

Toronto's Cup win was worth $3,000 per player while Montreal each got $1,500. Each team had received $2,250 per player for their semi-final victories.









1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice pic. Best player to ever lace up a pair of skates in the NHL.

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