The Toronto Maple Leafs vs The New York Rangers
Rangers of New York looked weak at the beginning of the season on a par with “Montreal”, but now the “Cops” straightened their position and even managed to gain a foothold in the playoff zone. The hosts in this season play very strongly in their own arena, after the recession they lost only three games out of 16. Such results make one look at the Rangers as an extremely formidable opponent in the match at Madison Square Garden.
Toronto problems began with the injury of Oston Matthews, after which “Leaves” lost four games on the road and defeated “Carolina” at home. Now the Maple Leafs are already on the sixth line in the conference, and this can not please Canadians. “Maple” tolerably look in guest meetings, but without a young American, you can not win.
Statistics and personal meetings
- “Rangers” won 13 of the last 16 games at home.
- “Toronto” did not score a single point in four previous games at a party.
- “New York” – the best team of the East on the game on its ice.
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“New York” has become almost invincible on native ice. “Toronto” is seriously weakened with the loss of Matthews, the guests are winning because of their strong attack, and the defense of Canadians very often fails. Considering all the main factors, we tend to win the hosts taking into account overtime and shootouts.
We will tell you the story of Lorne’s life “Gump” Worsley, the famous Canadian goalkeeper, the four-time winner of the Stanley Cup and many more personal awards.
Childhood and early career
Lorne (“Gump” Worsley) was born May 14, 1929 in the second largest city of Canada – Montreal. “My parents lived in a three-room apartment on the Congregation Street in St. Charles Point, which is located in the suburbs of Montreal. It was a time of great depression, so money was naturally not enough. In hockey, I started playing in the street, playing for the team of Phil Walton, who owned a grocery store in our area. Despite the fact that I was small, I was always put on the attack. Until one day, at the insistence of Walton, I did not take a place at the gate, “Gump recalls.
By the way, why Gump, you ask? The thing is that at the age of ten the goalkeeper received this nickname from George Ferguson, a famous Canadian hockey player and coach. After all, Lorne’s hair was sticking out in different directions, and that was how he looked very much like the comic character – Andy Gump. Even during the performance in the junior leagues, the hockey player asked that the jersey not write his real name, but a nickname.
His career Lorn began in the lower leagues, in which he happened to speak for more than four years. He spent two years playing for Verdun Cyclones, sponsored by the “New York Rangers”, so the rights to the young goalkeeper belonged to them. In total, Gump went through three junior leagues (EHL, USHL, PCHL). And already in the season of 1952-1953, the young goalkeeper was invited to the training camp “Rangers”.
The first experience in the NHL and the dizzying success
Foothold immediately as part of the “Rangers” Gump failed, after the training camp goalkeeper was sent to the WHL to play for the team “Saskatoon Quakers.” But then in the career of Lorna the case interfered.
During the exhibition match, the main goalkeeper of the “Rangers” Chuck Raymer was seriously injured. And in the fall of 1952, Gump made his debut in the NHL, stepping onto the ice of the Olympia Stadium against Detroit. That’s how the goalkeeper recalls his debut for the Rangers:
“By the 16th minute of the first period we lost 0: 3, in the” Wings “scored: Lindsay, Delvekkio and, of course, Gordie Howe. I was ready, but ultimately we lost 3: 5, but I got an invaluable experience from this game. “
As a result of the first professional season, Lorne won a trophy called “Calder Memorial Trophy”, a prize given to the best rookie of the league. This is all despite the fact that the “Rangers” took that season the last place.
After such a dizzying start to his career, the goalkeeper wanted an increase in his salary, but the bosses of the club found this too bold for a beginner and decided to send him back to the WHL to play for the Vancouver Canucks. By the way, in the first season in the lease Gump was recognized as the most valuable league player.
In 1955, the goalkeeper returned to the Rangers, and one of the main goalkeepers of the team at that time, Johnny Bauer was sent to Vancouver. And everyone thought that Gump would be the number one in the team. But the goalkeeper had disagreements with the head coach, who blamed his wards for each defeat. However, thanks to good teamwork, the Rangers managed to reach the playoffs for the first time in 6 years.
“I was for Watson (head coach) like a whipping boy, he always said that I have a beer belly, although in fact, until the end of my career, I kept myself in shape,” Lorne said then.
In the summer of 1963 a very interesting exchange took place, of which the Canadian goalkeeper became a participant.
“The owners of the club had a large-scale exchange with my participation, and also exchanged Dave Balon, Leon Rochefort and Lena Ronson, instead of” Rangers “Jacques Plant, Phil Goyette and Donnie Marshall. The most interesting thing is that about the day before the exchange I asked the club’s management about the rumors about my exchange. But I was assured that I will finish my career in the New York Rangers. And then my friend called and said that I was sold to “Montreal”. At first I thought it was a joke, but when I turned on the radio, my mood changed immediately, “Gump recalled.
A new stage in his career and resentment at the Rangers
Of course, Gump Worsley was very offended by his former club, because he did not even hear a single farewell from the leadership, unlike the CEO of Montreal, who warmly welcomed the goalkeeper in his team. However, returning to his hometown turned out to be an unpleasant trauma for Lorna, because of which he was even sent to play for the AHL club.
But in the season of 1965, the goalkeeper, along with the team, won his long-awaited Stanley Cup, to which he walked for twelve years. Gump himself after the victory said the following:
“THE FIRST CUP IS SPECIAL FOR ME, NOTHING CAN COMPARE WITH THESE ACUTE SENSATIONS”.
A year later there was another victory in the Stanley Cup and the prize for the best goalkeeper of the NHL. Lorne himself could not have dreamed of such a success.
Pleasant completion of career
Goalkeeper was going to finish his career, especially in the last season for the “Montreal”, he had only 6 games. However, he was surprised by one phone call. Minnesota’s General Director René Blair suggested that Gampa should be number one in his club, despite the fact that the Canadian was 40 at that time.
Without thinking twice, Lorne agreed to the proposal of “Minnesota” and on the whole played for her 4 seasons. “It was a nice four years in my career, I played in tandem with Cesare Magnago. Also from “Canadiens” in “Minnesota” my friends Ted Harris and Bobby Russo went. My best season in the North Stars was 1972, when I became the second in the league with the score of missed goals – 2.12. All my life I was afraid of flying on airplanes. In 1968, after a short flight from Montreal to Chicago and Los Angeles, I had to turn to a psychiatrist and skip matches, which, in fact, I was flying. But when I played in Minnesota, located in the central part of the continent, our team flew the least in the league, “- said then the goalkeeper.
As a result, in the 1974 season at the age of 44, Gump completed his excellent career. By the way, all his games goalkeeper played without a mask, only the last 6 games in his career, he defended his face, so as not to damage his vision completely, with which he began to have problems during the decline of his career.
Achievements of Gump
The Canadian goalkeeper takes the third place in the number of matches played among the goalkeepers. He also became the first goalkeeper who managed to win 300 matches and lose as much. A little later, only Curtis Joseph was able to reach this figure. Behind Gump, there are four Stanley Cups and two prizes for the best NHL goalkeeper. Worsley was brought to the Hall of Hockey Glory.
“He was one of the first real personalities in the NHL,” said his former partner in the Minnesota, Lou Nanni, about the goalkeeper. “Worsley did not look like an athlete, and in the breaks he smoked like a locomotive, but when he went out on the game, it was just gorgeous.”
January 22, 2007 Canadian goalkeeper did not become, he died because of heart failure. The world has remembered him forever, as a fearless gate guard and a legend of ice hockey.