Thursday, January 12, 2017

Unpublished Photos; Leafs vs Habs

My photojournalist buddy, Doug Petepiece has shared some great photos he took of a Maple Leafs/ Canadiens game in the 1970s. He didn't give me the date of the game, but a little bit of digging solved that issue. 
First of all, the game is obviously in Montreal at the Forum and a rookie Mike Palmateer is in Toronto's net. This means the game is from 1976/77 and is one of two games. The Leafs played three times in Montreal that year, but Palmateer wasn't called up the first time they met at the Forum, and Wayne Thomas played on Oct. 21, 1976 and took the 5-2 loss.
The other two games the Leafs played in Montreal, Palmateer did play. Nov. 21, 1976, the rookie got roughed up in a 9-5 Montreal win, and March 30, 1977 they played to a 3-3 draw. There is one player in the top photo that nails down this game as the March tie, Toronto #4 Tracy Pratt. Pictured at the right of the photo (alongside the obvious Shutt, Salming and Palmateer) is Pratt, the only player to wear #4 for Toronto that year. Below is a Getty Images pic of Pratt being greeted as a Leaf on March 8, 1977, the day he was acquired from Colorado for a 3rd round pick.
Sittler, Pratt, McDonald
The Maple Leafs jumped out to a lead on Lanny McDonald's 45th goal six minutes into the game, Doug Jarvis tied it under seven minutes later. Steve Shutt with his Montreal franchise record-breaking 57th goal, gave them the lead on the powerplay with five to go in the 2nd. Toronto's Errol Thompson knotted the score under two minutes later and the teams went to the 3rd tied 2-2. Mario Tremblay gave the Habs the lead halfway through the 3rd before Darryl Sittler's 36th tied it 97 seconds later. Montreal outshot Toronto 30-24 as the young rookie goaltender kept pace with the veteran Ken Dryden. 
In the Montreal Gazette, Dryden is quoted, "We played terribly. It was our fault it was a tie. There are times when we are very smart, very snappy. We were none of those things tonight." Toronto would play two more regulation games before beating Pittsburgh in the preliminary round of the playoffs before bowing out to the Flyers in six games. Montreal steam-rolled two their 2nd of four straight Cups, sweeping Boston in the final.
#10 George Ferguson, #14 Mario Tremblay, #18 Savard, #12 Thompson, #29 Dryden
#21 Jarvis, #19 Robinson, #18 Savard, #7 McDonald, #15 Boutette, Dryden,  #25 Lemaire

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