Sunday, April 23, 2017
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
Tonight, at the Air Canada Centre, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals play game six of their opening round playoff series. The Caps have a 3 to 2 edge over the Leafs.
If the Leafs look to their past, they should gain inspiration from another playoff contest played 53 years-ago tonight at the Olympia in Detroit. On April 23, 1964, the Leafs and Red Wings were entangled in a close battle that eventually went into overtime. A goal by Detroit would result in them capturing the Stanley Cup and end Toronto's two-year rein as Cup champions.
During game six, Leaf defenceman, Bobby Baun, suffered a broken foot that forced him out of action. The big defender, known as "Boomer" was carried off the ice on a stretcher. However, after receiving medical attention and the red-light from doctors, Baun returned to the Leafs defence.
At the 1:43 mark of the first overtime period, Baun fired a shot from the blueline and the puck found its way past Detroit goalie Terry Sawchuk. On the strength of Baun's goal, the Leafs left the Motor City with the series tied-up and a boat-load of confidence heading into game seven at the Gardens.
On April 25, 1964, Andy Bathgate scored what turned out to be the Cup-winning goal at 3:04 of the first period. The Leafs went on to add three more goals and blanked the Red Wings 4-0 to capture the Stanley Cup.