Oilers at Blues, G32, 09-10

This is Glenn Hall. He was a wonderful goalie, in fact he might have played the greatest game ever (1961, Hawks vs. Habs) and won by stopping an exceptional Montreal team.

The record shows that between 1942 and 1969 the Stanley was awarded to the three dominant teams (Det, Tor, Mont) of the original six era–save one time. 1961, Chicago.

The classic game was #3 in the series, the previous two split between the two teams. Montreal were winners of 5 Stanley’s in a row and a powerhouse hockey team. Murray Balfour scored in the middle of the second period to put Chicago up 1-0 in a frantic, action packed game.

It stayed that way until there was less than a minute left, faceoff in the Chicago zone. Habs didn’t win the faceoff, but Donnie Marshall tied up Bill Hay enough to allow Henri Richard time to zip in, grab the puck and deposit it past Hall for a tie game.

In OT, Montreal forced the play and were dominant. Jean Beliveau appeared to score the winner but the referee ruled big Jean’s stick was above the crossbar when he made contact. Still 1-1.

Deep into the third overtime, Montreal’s Dickie Moore took a penalty. Balfour scored again to end it, sending 16,666 Chicago fans into a frenzy that lasted the rest of the Montreal series and then through the finals against Detroit. Toe Blake, Montreal’s coach, climbed over the boards after the Balfour goal and rushed the referee and threw a punch at him. It cost Toe $2,000 and signaled the end of the Habs wonderful run of championships in the 1950′s.

The Blues haven’t seen much glory since Hall and company led them to three finals appearances right after expansion. St. Louis has done an exceptional job in the procurement department since Jarmo Kekalainen arrived from Ottawa and should have a nice run in the next few seasons unless management does something stupid.

Edmonton and St. Louis have been hot lately (both are 6-3-1 in the last 10) and both are on the outside of the playoffs but within striking distance. The odds of the Oilers winning a 5th road game in a row must be incredible, as unreachable as those young Hawks chances of winning against the legendary Habs of Beliveau, Plante and Harvey those many years ago.

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