Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Maple Leafs vs. NHL All-Stars, 1968

The Hockey Den and it's Maple Leaf Programme Project already has a few Toronto game programs from the 1967/68 season, but I still have to pick this one up recently when I saw it at a show. This is from the 21st NHL All-Star Game and pitted the reigning Stanley Cup champs Toronto against the league stars. The game was on Tuesday, January 16, 1968 at Maple Leaf Gardens and was won by the Leafs 4-3 in front of an All-Star record crowd of 15,740.

Here, various hockey writers select their 1st and 2nd season All-Stars to that point in the 67/68 season. A second-year Bobby Orr receives great accolades after producing 9 goals and 26 points through the first 41 games of the season. Although he collected an assist on Norm Ullman's goal eight minutes into the last period, Orr suffered a bruised shoulder after colliding with Leafs' Frank Mahovlich earlier in the game. "He cross-checked me", Orr said. "It's tender now, but I don't think it's going to put me out of action." In fact he would be out of action with the shoulder trouble for a few games before injuring is knee in early February.

Maple Leaf goaltender Bruce Gamble held the All-Stars to two goals on 30 shots over the first two periods. Regular goalie Johnny Bower missed the game after suffering an elbow injury. Youngster Al Smith, up from Central League Tulsa played the third period for Toronto and turned aside 9 of 10 shots securing Toronto's victory.

Leaf goals were scored by Murray Oliver, Allan Stanley, Pete Stemkowski,  and Ron Ellis. Stan Mikita, Ken Wharram and Ullman scored for the Stars. New York's Ed Giacomin and Terry Sawchuk of the Kings shared duties for the All-Stars.

Here's the lineups for the game including statistics up to that point in the season. The Leafs sat in fourth place in the new Eastern Division with a 19-14-8 record but would end up missing the playoffs  all together.
NHL stats to that point in the season

Cool ad featuring Leaf goalie Johnny Bower.

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