Skip to main content
Etched in History

Maple Leafs won Stanley Cup again in 1962-63 behind Bower

Toronto's back-to-back champions highlighted in NHL.com series about teams being removed from trophy

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

Every 13 years when the bottom band of the Stanley Cup is filled with names of champions, the top band is removed and retired to be displayed in the vault of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The current top band, featuring NHL championship teams from 1953-54 to 1964-65, is coming off, and four bands below it are sliding up one place to make room for a fresh fifth band at the bottom that will begin with the 2017-18 Washington Capitals. Each day through Oct. 2, NHL.com will look at one of the 12 Cup-winning teams leaving hockey's most coveted trophy.

 

1962-63 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Regular-season record: 35-23-12 (82 points), first in NHL
Coach: Punch Imlach
Captain: George Armstrong
Names on the Cup: 28
Players on the Cup: 20
Future Hall of Fame players of the Cup: George Armstrong, Johnny Bower, Dick Duff, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Allan Stanley

 

Stanley Cup engraving anomaly: The misspelling TORONTO MAPLE LEAES is above the names.

Name on the Cup: Maple Leafs board chairman John Bassett produced the 1971 film "Face-Off," a cult classic starring Canadian actor Art Hindle as Toronto rookie Billy Duke. It featured performances by NHL players George Armstrong, the Maple Leafs captain, and Derek Sanderson, as well as cameos by many others who were uncredited.

 

How they made history

A Maple Leafs forward appears on the Stanley Cup as Edward Shack in 1962, '63 and '64, and that seems wrong in a hundred different ways. He was, is, and forever will be the fabulously entertaining Eddie Shack (as he appears in 1967), who scored the Cup-winning goal in '63 against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of the Final to give Toronto its second of three straight championships.

In the NHL Semifinals, Toronto breezed past the Montreal Canadiens, who struggled with injuries throughout the season. Canadiens coach Toe Blake said that unless his team improved dramatically, it would lose the series in four games.

Montreal won Game 4 after losing the first three but was no match for Toronto, especially the stellar play of Maple Leafs goalie Johnny Bower, who had two shutouts. Perhaps the most trouble the Maple Leafs had in the series was when Imlach and assistant King Clancy, stuck in traffic, missed Toronto's flight to Montreal for Game 3. Each was fined $100 by team vice president Harold Ballard.

Even after a 2-0 win in Game 3, Imlach was upset with the officiating, gritting his teeth and swallowing his words when he said, "They're not worth being fined over." 

Video: 1963 Stanley Cup Film: Leafs go back-to-back

Game 5 of the Final was tied 1-1 with under seven minutes remaining in the third period when Shack was in front of Red Wings goalie Terry Sawchuk, digging in as defenseman Kent Douglas shot from the blue line. Douglas' shot struck Shack, ricocheted off Detroit defenseman Doug Barkley and dribbled past Sawchuk at 13:28 to send Maple Leaf Gardens into rapture.

"A double bank, like in pool, that's what it was," said brilliant Detroit defenseman Bill Gadsby, who played 1,315 regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff games over 20 NHL seasons without ever winning a championship.

"I was cruising near the net," Shack said. "All I wanted to do was get out of the way of Kent's shot."

Toronto Mayor Nathan Phillips, waving a fist in the air, welcomes the victorious Maple Leafs and the Stanley Cup into his City Hall office.

 

It was Shack's only goal of the Final, but the rambunctious forward took full advantage of a bigger role after the offseason retirement of Bert Olmstead. An assist on the winner went to Douglas, the Maple Leafs' only first-year player in the playoffs. He won the Calder Trophy that season as the NHL's best rookie.

Dave Keon's empty-net goal in the final minute ended the suspense and made it 3-1 after Bower made a miraculous save moments earlier on Norm Ullman with Sawchuk pulled for an extra skater.

Keon, in his third NHL season, was hugely popular in Toronto, a ferocious competitor who played well within the rules. In 1962-63 he won the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded for playing ability and sportsmanship, for the second straight season; he took one minor penalty in each. Keon also scored the winner in Game 4 at Detroit, where the action was held up after every goal and penalty when Maple Leafs fans pelted the Olympia ice with eggs, ink, firecrackers and coins.

Old friends Gordie Howe and Johnny Bower are interviewed on Maple Leaf Gardens ice following Toronto's Stanley Cup victory.

 

Two nights later, shortly after the Stanley Cup was presented to Toronto, Detroit forward Gordie Howe and Bower, old rivals and dear friends, met on the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens for a live "Hockey Night in Canada" interview with host Frank Selke Jr., producing one of the hockey's greatest photos of good sportsmanship.

"It was a close game and could have gone either way," Bower said. Howe, with his arm around Bower's shoulder, replied, "It was your fault it didn't go our way."

Bower (42 games) had shared the Maple Leafs goal during the regular season with Don Simmons (28), who tied Glenn Hall of the Chicago Black Hawks for the NHL's best goals-against average (2.47). But Bower played all 10 playoff games, with Imlach using the hot hand.

NHL President Clarence Campbell presented the Stanley Cup to captain George Armstrong, but it was "Edward" Shack who carried it joyfully to the dressing room for a wild celebration of the Maple Leafs' second straight championship.

Dave Keon (left) and Eddie Shack wave to fans lining Bay St. in downtown Toronto during the Maple Leafs' ticker-tape parade.

 

"Everyone from the mayor to Maple Leaf Gardens sweepers sipped champagne from the Stanley Cup," Jim Proudfoot wrote in the Toronto Star. "Millionaires, clerks, entertainers, fathers, brothers, sons, politicians, hangers-on and scores of newspaper reporters surged through wild shouting and glaring flashbulbs."

A crowd of more than 150,000 turned out on the streets of Toronto the next morning to celebrate the champions at a victory parade, where the players were showered with ticker tape on their route to a reception at City Hall. The Stanley Cup rode with Armstrong up front in a convertible.

Armstrong may have been captain, but Imlach often found himself looking down the bench to his sparkplug who wore No. 14, Keon, who in 2016 was voted by fans and a blue-ribbon panel as the greatest player in Maple Leafs history.

"I'd have to take Davey," the coach said when asked to select his most valuable player of the postseason. "It may sound like a lot of big talk, but I wouldn't trade him for Gordie Howe."

NHL President Clarence Campbell (right) presents the Stanley Cup to Maple Leafs coach Punch Imlach, captain George Armstrong and a happy team.

 

[Read all Etched in History stories: 1953-54 Red Wings | 1954-55 Red Wings | 1955-56 Canadiens |

1956-57 Canadiens | 1957-58 Canadiens | 1958-59 Canadiens | 1959-60 Canadiens |

1960-61 Black Hawks | 1961-62 Maple Leafs1963-64 Maple Leafs | 1964-65 Canadiens]

 

Stanley Cup Playoffs

Won Semifinal 4-1 vs. Montreal Canadiens

Won Stanley Cup Final 4-1 vs. Detroit Red Wings

Game 1: April 9 at Toronto: Maple Leafs 4, Red Wings 2

Game 2: April 11 at Toronto: Maple Leafs 4, Red Wings 2

Game 3: April 14 at Detroit: Red Wings 3, Maple Leafs 2

Game 4: April 16 at Detroit: Maple Leafs 4, Red Wings 2

Game 5: April 18 at Toronto: Maple Leafs 3, Red Wings 1

Stanley Cup-winning goal: Eddie Shack, Game 5, 13:28 of the third period

Maple Leafs' leading scorer in Final: Dave Keon (six points; four goals, two assists)

Winning goalie: Johnny Bower (4-1, 300 minutes played, 10 goals against, 2.00 GAA)

 

Regular-season trophy winners

Calder Trophy: Kent Douglas

Lady Byng Trophy: Dave Keon

Red Kelly celebrates the sixth of his eight Stanley Cup championships; the NHL's official scoresheet from Game 5 of the Final.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.