Monday, November 13, 2017

Unidentified Maple Leafs Photo #9

Here's a very cool vintage hockey photo that came to me with zero identifying information. It's from my pals at Vintage Sports Images and shows a melee between some old Leafs and Wings. Simply looking at the faces, we can see that the #19 Leaf at the left is the one and only Bill Barilko and the Red Wing on the right looks to be a very young Red Kelly. 
Barilko and Smythe
A young Leonard "Red" Kelly 
Let's start with Barilko. Although more known for wearing his retired number 5, Barilko actually wore #19 more than any other number during his career with the Leafs. He only wore 5 in 1950/51, when he scored the Stanley Cup overtime winner. The previous two seasons, Barilko sported # 19, and his first two years he was #21. So, seeing Barilko with #19 in this photo means it can only be either 1948/49 or 1949/50. 
In regards to Red Kelly, he began his career with Detroit in 1947/48 and by 1949/50 he was named to the 2nd All-Star Team, his first of eight straight All-Star selections. 
Over the two seasons in question, only one Maple Leaf wore #18, Bill Juzda, a scrappy defenceman who helped them win two Stanley Cups over his four seasons.
The Red Wing standing is identified by looking through roster headshots of the years in question. The player is quickly pinpointed as Rightwing, Jimmy Peters.
Jimmy Peters
Jimmy Peters
Jimmy Peters was a Red Wing for only two years, 49/50 and 50/51. This means the photograph must be from the 1949/50 season, as Barilko would have been wearing #5 in the latter year. The Wings and Leafs played each other 14 times in the 49/50 season with Detroit prevailing overall with an 8-5-1 record. Detroit finished first in the NHL with 88 points, 14 more than third place Toronto. They met again in the semi-finals with the Wings winning in overtime of the seventh game by a score of 1-0 on a goal from Leo Reise. 

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