View Single Post
02-10-2012, 08:41 PM
Student Of The Game
seventieslord's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 31,109
vCash: 500
Don Metz, W

Metz wasn't that great a player as an NHLer. He got into 172 NHL games, scoring 55 points. But there is lots to like here, and Metz should definitely be picked by now. Let's recap why:

- He was a contributor to five stanley cups with the Leafs. Obviously no available players have five stanley cups. (are there any with four, even? what about three?)
- The fact that he was with the strongest team in the league over his career is a plus for him; it helps to explain why he was unable to stick as a regular for an extended length of time
- He missed three full years due to WW2, at the ages of 27-29.
- His 42 NHL playoff games are the most among any available player circa the 1967, before the introduction of more teams and longer playoffs.
- His performance in the 1942 finals in particular is legendary. He was brought in to replace an ineffective Gordie Drillon with Toronto down 3-0 in the series, then led the team with 7 points in the next 4 games to take home the cup.
- his 5 points in the 1947 playoffs put him in a tie for 6th on that cup winning squad as well.
- He had an excellent non-NHL career, starting with his senior career. The competition doesn't look to have been great, but Metz proved he was grossly overqualified for that league, with 98 points in 54 games, including a scoring title and a playoff scoring title, and twice playing for the Allan Cup.
- He played 38 games in the 1940 IAHL, and his per-game rate would have led that league had he not been called up to the leafs for 10 games.
- He dominated the SSHL in the 1943 war year with 98 points in 34 games including playoffs. Murray Armstrong, a proven NHL producer when given the chance on lesser teams, had 89 points in those 34 games. Roy Conacher, NHL star, had 25 in 23. Again, the overall competition of the league was not great, but Metz killed that league. His efforts got him into a 3rd Allan Cup tournament.
- as an up-and-down player with the Leafs, Metz scored 100 points in 88 games over 4 postwar seasons. His scoring rate in the 1946 season would have made him 8th in AHL scoring, and 1st in 1947.

Originally Posted by
Don Metz followed his older brother, Nick, east from Saskatchewan to Toronto. After playing junior with St.Michael's College, Don played senior hockey in Toronto, finishing the 1937-38 season as the OHA Senior's leading scorer. Don's 42 points in sixteen games earned him a shot with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1938-39 playoffs.

The aggressive-checking redhead bounced between Toronto and the AHL Pittsburgh Hornets in 1939-40, but he was recognized as a dependable forward and found himself playing fulltime in blue and white during the 1940-41 and 1941-42 seasons. In fact, Metz started out as a spare part in the 1941-42 playoffs, but Leaf coach Hap Day played a hunch, inserting him and rookie Gaye Stewart into the lineup in place of veterans Hank Goldup and Gord Drillon at a desperate time in the series.

Day's strategy worked, and the Leafs turned the tide, erasing a three-games-to-none deficit in the finals against the Red Wings and winning four straight games to shock the world and win the most improbable of Stanley Cup wins. Don Metz played a substantial role, scoring four goals and three assists in the four games he was employed in the final. That Stanley Cup was one of five Metz would enjoy during the nine partial seasons he played in Maple Leaf Gardens.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Don Metz is chiefly remembered for his heroics in the 1942 Stanley Cup final in which the Toronto Maple Leafs staged the greatest comeback in hockey history. After losing the first three games to the Detroit Red Wings, the Leafs improbably won the next four games and the Stanley Cup.

It was Don Metz who replaced benched sharpshooter Gordie Drillon on right wing on the top line with Syl Apps and brother Nick Metz. Coach Hap Day decided to bench Drillon and defenseman Bucko McDonald in favor of Don and defenseman Ernie Dickens after their indifferent play in the first three losses to Detroit.

Don had played in the 1939 playoffs and played parts of the next three seasons before this opportunity to shine. He never was a scorer before, but Hap Day decided that he had nothing to lose by trying him out at this point, since Drillon had been totally ineffective in this series.

Toronto looked finished at first, but then tied the score 2-2 in game four going into the third period. The Detroit Olympia rocked as Carl Liscombe put Detroit ahead 3-2. But then, the Leafs reawakened. Syl Apps, who hadn't scored in the finals, scored to tie it and then Nick Metz took a pass from Apps to win the game, Don also assisting on the goal. The Leafs would live to fight another day.

Game 5 Don's turn to shine. He had a hat trick and assisted on both of Apps 2 goals as Toronto walloped Detroit 9-3.

Detroit made changes for game 6, but none of the Wings could contain Don Metz. Fourteen seconds after the second period began, he intercepted a pass near the Detroit goal and beat goalie Johnny Mowers with a quick shot. It was his fourth goal in three games. Toronto got two more goals for a 3-0 victory and a 3-3 tie in the series.

Don Metz's heroics weren't needed in the seventh and deciding game. Before the largest crowd to see a hockey game in Canada at that time, Toronto won the Cup with a 3-1 victory.

This was Don Metz's 15 minutes of fame. He would soon join the armed forces and missed the next two seasons. He did happen to return to the Leafs in time for the 1945 playoffs. Toronto again won the Cup, though Don did not play a notable role.

Strangely, Don Metz never really played regularly in the NHL, often shuttling between the Leafs and their AHL farm team the Pittsburgh Hornet. But he was always to be found in the playoffs. In 1946-47, he had 2 goals and 3 assists in the playoffs as Toronto won its first of three straight Stanley Cups. Metz was on all of those teams, giving him 5 Stanley Cup championships in his 7 year career.

Don Metz played in 172 NHL games, scoring 20 goals and 35 assists for 55 points during the regular season

seventieslord is online now   Reply With Quote