Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mid-Season All-Star Teams, 50 Years Ago

Fifty years ago, Montreal Gazette columnist Pat Curran selected his mid-season All-Star team for the 1966/67 season. Curran described the factors that went into his All-Stars,"Points production was broken down as much as possible to consider winning or tying goals and assists plus consistent performances during the half schedule. Defensive play was also a major factor."
Among the obvious choices like Mikita, Pilote and Howell, Curran selected under-rated Don Marshall as his 1st Team LW over Bobby Hull and Rod Gilbert at RW over Gordie Howe. Curran valued Marshall's all around game over Hull and he was only four goals in arrears of the perennial sniper. Gilbert's choice over Howe was perhaps less surprising as he had led the league with 20 goals, 7 ahead of Howe.
Less respect was given to rookie Bobby Orr, who at the halfway mark had 7 goals and 18 points, only 6 and 4 points behind veterans Pilote and Howell. Curran chose Tim Horton and Terry Harper for his 2nd Team, they had 15 points combined. Apparently, Curran really did value the defensive side of the game. The NHL scoring leaders as of Jan 10, 1967 are below.

Just for fun, let's see who were the second half scoring leaders of 1967.

BHull       33-19-52
Mikita      18-27-45
Esposito   14-28-42
Mohns      18-21-39
Ullman     14-24-38
Richard    13-21-34
Bucyk      12-22-34
Pulford     12-21-33
Howe        12-21-33
Rousseau  10-20-30
Wharram  12-17-29
Delvecchio  9-20-29
Ferguson   16-12-28
Keon         11-17-28
Goyette       8-20-28
Pilote          2-26-28
Hampson    5-22-28
Stemkowski 10-17-27
Prentice      14-12-26
Mahovlich   7-19-26
Beliveau      8-16-26

Orr               6-17-23
Marshall       9-11-20
Howell         5-13-18
Gilbert           8-7-15
Bobby Hull has a fantastic second half, ripping off 33 goals and 52 points in Chicago's final 37 games outscoring his teammate and overall scoring leader Mikita. Phil Esposito, riding the Hull wave breaks out with over a point per game in the second half. Doug Mohns rounds out the Chicago quartet atop the second half leaders, almost doubling his first half points.  Montreal's John Ferguson literally did double his first half production. 
A surprising name produces top-tenscoring i the second half, Toronto's Bob Pulford. His 33 points equaled Gordie Howe and almost tripled his production up till Jan 10. Also, Pete Stemkowski had 27 points in the second half after only 8 in the first. Three of Curran's first half stars tailed off; Marshall, Howell and Gilbert were all well below in the second half. Rookie Bobby Orr kept chugging along with 23 points to earn the Calder Trophy and official Second Team All-Star status.

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