Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Unidentified Leafs Photo #8

Here's another great old image from the archives of Vintage Sports Images here in North Van. This one is a great action shot of the Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. In net for the Leafs is obviously Johnny Bower, but who are the rest of the guys?
At first glance, the #19 Leaf appears to be Kent Douglas and checking the photo records it sure seems so. Also, Toronto wore this specific uniform with the bordered Leaf logo from 1963/64 through 1966/67. Douglas was the only player to wear #19 in that period.
As for the Bruins #19, the only ones to wear it over this time frame were Doug Mohns, Reggie Fleming and John McKenzie. Pie McKenzie was a right-shooter and the guy in the photo is not Doug Mohns. It has to be Reggie Fleming in 1965/66 as he was traded to the Rangers on January 10, 1966 for...McKenzie.
Doug Mohns
Reg Fleming
So, if it's 65/66 we can now easily visually identify the Bruin in the back as Tommy Williams using various photo databases. Williams was a member of the USA Olympic squad that took the Gold Medal in 1960.
Tommy Williams
The Bruins hosted the Leafs in 65/66 three times prior to Fleming being traded and Bower played only two of them (Nov 14 and Dec 19). The one other difference between these two games was the referee. Art Skov worked the November game, Bill Friday the December one. In the background of this photo, along the boards we see referee...Bill Friday. 
This means that the photo is from Sunday, December 19, 1965; a game won by Toronto by a score of 3-1 with Bower making 28 of 29 saves. Boxscore is here.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Maple Leafs Most Goals First Two Games of Season

Firewagon hockey. That's the only thing to call it. 15 goals for and 7 against in the first two games of the 2017/18 season for the Toronto Maple Leafs makes for fun hockey-watching. It is the most goals the Leafs have ever scored in the first two games of the season. Exactly 100 years ago, when the franchise was known as the Arenas, they potted 20 goals in the first two games and somehow lost one of them. 
In fact, the Leafs are the first team in 27 years to score at least seven goals in each of their first two games of the season. In 1990/91 the Penguins opened the year with back-to-back 7-4 victories. In those two games the line of Kevin Stevens,  John Cullen and  Mark Recchi 9, 9 and 6 points respectively. 
The Maple Leafs of 2017 have nine different players with at least three points and only Kadri and Matthews with four. Slightly more balanced scoring that the 90/91 Pens. The previous record for the Leafs was 13 goals in the first two games of 1978/79. They won by scores of 3-2 and 10-7, led by 9 points from Darryl Sittler, 6 from Lanny McDonald and 5 from Borje Salming.
The most goals the Leafs have scored in the first THREE games of a campaign (not including the Arenas of 1917/18 who scored 27 goals) is 18 in 1981/82. In the third game of that season Toronto won 9-8 at home over Chicago (a game I attended as a kid). The third game of the 2017/18 season is at home against Chicago (who also have 15 goals in 2 games). More firewagon hockey tonight?

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