No. 1 – April 23, 1964 – Toronto 4, Detroit 3 (OT)
Bobby baun blocked many shots in his 17-year NHL career, but one in particular immortalized him in hockey history and Maple Leafs lore.
It was Game 6 of the 1964 Stanley Cup final. The Leafs were seeking their third straight title but trailed the Red Wings 3-2 in the series and were tied 3-3 in the third period. Baun dug in against Gordie Howe on a faceoff. Earlier in the period, Baun had taken a Howe shot off his right leg, fracturing it, unbeknownst to him. As he attempted to win the draw, his left skate elevated, putting his body weight on the broken right leg. “I just heard a snap and it caved in underneath me,” Baun said.
Baun tumbled to the ice and was carried off on a stretcher. His first question to the medical staff was, “Can I hurt myself any more?” The answer was no, and Baun instantly knew the next steps: freeze it, tape it and get back out there. “Pain never bothered me much,” he said. “I played five years with a broken neck and didn’t know it.”
Baun returned before the end of the third period and was on the bench to start overtime, after receiving more injections to numb his leg. Early in the extra frame, Baun intercepted a clearing attempt and fired a one-timer from the right point. The puck glanced off the stick of Wings D-man Bill Gadsby and snuck past Terry Sawchuk.
The legend of Game 6 was cemented in Game 7. Baun laid low at a friend’s farm for the two days between games, icing his leg, then skated out for Game 7 to the astonishment of the home crowd. Injected with painkillers, Baun was instrumental in a 4-0 win to clinch the Leafs the Cup.
No. 2 – April 18, 1942 – Toronto 3, Detroit 1
Turk Broda slammed the door on Detroit in Game 7 to complete the only comeback from a 3-0 series deficit in Stanley Cup final history.
No. 3 – April 25, 1967 – Toronto 3, Montreal 2 (2OT)
Bob Pulford's double-OT goal lifts the Leafs over the Habs in the most captivating game of the ’67 final en route to Toronto’s fourth Cup of the decade.
GREATEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF ALL-TIME
Feb. 7, 1976 – Toronto 11, Boston 4
After watching sittler put up seven points in two periods, Leafs statistician Stan Obodiac paid a visit to the dressing room. Until then, Sittler didn’t know he was on the cusp of history. Forty-four seconds into the third period, Sittler scored to tie Maurice Richard’s 32-year-old NHL record for points in one game.
But he wasn’t done. He scored again. And again. His sixth goal and 10th point was an attempted pass from behind the goal line that went off Boston’s Brad Park and trickled into the net. “That kind of told the story,” Sittler said. “It was just one of those nights.”