I just watched game three on the NHL Network of the 1962 Stanley Cup finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs ( the Hawks won 3-0 but the Leafs eventually won the series in six games).
I love watching the old stuff. In this game, a young Bobby Hull, wearing number 7 (he first wore number sixteen, then went to nine), skated like the wind and blasted away with that cannon he had. Goalies Glenn Hall and Johnny Bower weren’t wearing masks. Frank Mahovlich skated in big swooping strides. Reg Fleming and Tim Horton got in a scuffle, then went and sat side by side in the penalty box, which players did in those days, even after major scraps. And big, heavy bodychecks were the order of the day.
The game was at a jam-packed Chicago Stadium, and when Stan Mikita scored, fans tossed balloons and the odd fedora on the ice. Toronto announcer Bill Hewitt (Foster’s son) did the play-by-play, and in 1962, he was still a little rough around the edges. He got smoother in later years. And he worked alone, without a sidekick.
Watching games like this is a joy for me. It reminds me of when I was a schoolboy, collecting hockey cards and hockey coins, and dreaming of someday playing in the NHL just like these guys.
I wish they’d show more of these old games. And this is what should’ve been on during those long breaks between games in this year’s playoffs.
Really old games are a beautiful thing. We need more of them.