Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mystery Maple Leafs Photo; Jan. 21, 1959

Harris, Olmstead, Chadwick, Duff
Here's another of the photos of Maple Leafs behind the scenes found in the City of Toronto Archives. This one is actually dated January 21, 1958 which really helps in naming the unidentified players, although this one was fairly easy to figure out.

On the left is a 23 year-old Billy Harris who was in the midst of his best NHL season. He would finish second on the team in scoring with 22 goals and 52 points. The next one over is the easily recognizable Bert Olmstead. He was claimed from Montreal prior to the 58/59 campaign in the Intra-League draft and had a nice year with 41 points, fourth on the Leafs.

Second from right, wearing the goalie pads is Ed Chadwick who had played every game the previous two seasons but was in the midst of being challenged by Johnny Bower at this point. Chadwick played 31 games in 58/59 posting a 2.97 GAA, but would play only 8 additional NHL games in his career. On the right is Leaf point leader in 58/59, Dick Duff who scored a career high 29 goals and 53 points.

The Leafs on January 21, 1959 were in their second month under the control of new coach Punch Imlach. They finished with 65 points in 70 games, fourth in the NHL, sneaking into the playoffs on the last day of the season. They eventually lost in the Cup final to Montreal four games to one. On the day of this photo however they had reason to smile, having just beat the Habs 3-1. The reason these four were photographed together becomes clear when we learn that Chadwick turned aside 32 of 33 shots and Harris, Olmstead and Duff were the goal scorers.

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