Five Overtimes

The Habs and the Leafs in the 1951 Stanley Cup Finals


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SKU: 9781476695204 Categories: ,

About the Book

The quarter century comprising the “Original Six” years of the National Hockey League is often fondly discussed by the sport’s scholarly fans. However, one surprisingly underappreciated jewel from that era is the 1951 Stanley Cup final series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. It provided something never seen before in the history of the NHL and has not been seen since: every one of the five games required a dramatic sudden-death overtime period to determine a winner.
This book takes an in-depth look at this exciting conclusion to the 1950–51 NHL season, as well as an examination of the two playoff semifinal series, and a general overview of the goings-on from the 210–game regular season featuring many amusing anecdotes. As an added bonus, a special chapter discusses the short life, baffling disappearance, and untimely death of Toronto defenseman Bill Barilko just four months after he notched the Cup-winning tally in April. Also examined is the recent controversy about who really possesses the historic puck with which Barilko scored his famous goal.

About the Author(s)

John G. Robertson is a private tutor and sports historian who lives in Cambridge, Ontario. He is the author of numerous books on baseball, hockey and boxing history.
Carl T. Madden has collaborated on many sports history books. He lives in Welland, Ontario and operates an Escape Room in Brantford.

Bibliographic Details

John G. Robertson and Carl T. Madden
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9520-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5254-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Notes on Spellings ix

Introduction 1

 1. The 1950–51 NHL Regular Season: A ­Two-Team Race 5

 2. Semifinal Series “A”: Montreal vs. Detroit 30

 3. Semifinal Series “B”: Boston vs. Toronto 45

 4. Montreal vs. Toronto: Their Histories and Rivalry 61

 5. The 1951 Stanley Cup Finals: The Anticipation 70

 6. Game One: Sid Smith Settles Matters 76

 7. Game Two: Rocket Richard Responds 82

 8. Game Three: Ted Kennedy Gives the Leafs the Edge 93

 9. Game Four: Harry Watson’s Goal Puts Toronto in Control 104

10. Game Five: Bill Barilko Becomes Famous 114

11. ­Post-Series Miscellany 131

12. Studs and Duds of the 1950–51 Stanley Cup Finals 137

13. The Short Life, Disappearance and Recovery of Bill Barilko 142

14. The Curious Case of the Two Barilko Pucks 163

15. Oops! The Stanley Cup Engraver Had a Bad Day 171

16. Postscripts 173

17. 1951 Stanley Cup Finals: Series Statistics 198

Chapter Notes 201

Bibliography 209

Index 211