Sunday, November 20, 2011

Phil Kessel, meet Frank Mahovlich

Feb. 16, 1961-The Canadian Press
"The league's two top scorers - Frank Mahovlich of the Leafs and Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffirion of the Canadiens - failed to get any points. Mahovlich, leading the race with 69 points, was well shadowed by Dickie Moore and had only a couple of good scoring chances. Geoffrion, who has 68 points, was in close several times but couldn't get a clear shot on goal."

This day would be the last time for over 50 years that a Toronto Maple Leaf led the NHL in scoring more than 20 games into a season, until today.

After 20 games of the current campaign, Leaf Phil Kessel has 27 points, one more than Flyer Claude Giroux. Granted, it's only a quarter of the way through the season, but that is as late as a Leaf has led the league in half a century.

On that same day in 1961, Feb 16, Bernie Geoffrion would explode for 5 points in a 9-1 win over Boston. The Big 'M' responded with 4 points in two games that weekend but 'Boom-Boom' kept him at bay with 3 more of his own.

Mahovlich would finish with 84 points, 11 behind leader Geoffrion and in third place behind Jean Beliveau's 90.

Below are the NHL scoring leaders on the morning of Feb. 16, 1961.
50 years later there is a Maple Leaf back on top, but for how long?

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