Thursday, February 2, 2012

35 years ago today; Ian Turnbull scores Five

"It was a long drought, although I had just as many chances in the last 30 games and nothing happened".
Yes, when Ian Turbull scored five goals in a game 35 years ago today, he snapped a 30 game scoreless drought. Turnbull explained that the Leafs had to change their style of play with scoring leader Darryl Sitttler out with an injured rib. "Our wingers are coming back, allowing the defence more mobility, more chance to move the puck."

The Leafs beat Detroit 9-1 this night in a game that was actually scoreless after one period. Turnbull potted two in the second against Eddie Giacomin, then had three in third against Jim Rutherford. Borje Salming had helpers on three of Turnbull's markers, the other two were actually unassisted.

Somewhat strangely, Toronto would have two more 10 goal games over the next three weeks (10-0 over Washington and 10-8 over Chicago) and Turnbull would score only one goal in those two matches. He did however add eight assists in the two games.

The record for goals by a defenceman was set in 1929, by two different defenders in the SAME game. On Nov. 19, 1929 Johnny McKinnon of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Hap Day of the Leafs each scored four times in a 10-5 Pittsburgh victory. McKinnon scored a grand total of 28 goals in 208 career NHL games.

Turnbull would amazingly go on to also have a four goal game on Dec. 12, 1981 while playing for the Los Angeles Kings. He had been traded from Toronto just one month earlier when L.A. beat Vancouver 7-5 that night. Turnbull scored all four on Canuck goalie Glen Hanlon, and would score only five more goals before retiring a year later.

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