Playing the Field by Dink Carroll
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04-06-2012, 01:21 PM
I voted for Kodos
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
The Montreal Gazette - April 14, 1965:
There is still some distance to go, but the Canadiens are halfway home. What's more, they are going to be a more rested team than their opponents going into the Stanley Cup final, which may provide them with the edge they need to win the cup.
They were a better team than the Toronto Maple Leafs in the semifinal series which they could have closed out in four straight if all the breaks had gone their way. But perhaps that would have put them at a disadvantage because they would have been forced to wait around for more than a week before the final series started, a protracted delay which isn't good for any team.
Of course, there is another way of looking at it. If the series hadn't gone to six games, they wouldn't have lost Jacques Laperriere, which leaves coach Toe Blake with a problem. Only last Saturday, Toronto's King Clancy was talking about Laperriere.
"I think the defense lost that last game for the Canadiens in Toronto," he said. "They're pretty slow. Laperriere is the fastest of the lot, though I don't think he was as good in the second half of the season as he was in the first."
The coach now has a few days in which to find a solution to the problem. He can give Jean-Guy Talbot, a guy who can move, a regular turn on defence, but for the last couple of months he has been using Talbot as a penalty-killer and occasionally at left wing. If he didn't think Talbot was more effective in those roles than as a regular defenseman, he wouldn't have given him those assignments.
- interesting about the rest of the Habs defense being slow at the time, and about Talbot's role. I don't know how often Talbot played the wing, but his goals definitely did spike a bit in 1964-65.
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