Friday, November 07, 2008

Robinson, Tiger, Gregory and Me

In response to the recent post looking at Leaf GMs, habsfan10 posted an interesting comment about the Leafs-Habs series in 1979. The Leafs were swept by the Habs in that series, but I think game 3 went to double OT and game four was won in OT on a "controversial" call against Dave "Tiger" Williams.

I started typing up a a reply and in doing so came across a video of the goal that eliminated the Leafs that year, it's a fantastic clip and I really wanted to share it.

As you watch the video there are a few things to note: when was the last time the ACC sounded as loud as this crowd down at MLG? I can't recall the last time I heard Leaf fans chant like that. What was Paul Harrison doing in nets for the Leafs? I wonder why Palmateer didn't get the start (until I saw this vid, I had always presumed #29 was between the pipes that night). And even though he's announcing a Habs win, do I ever miss the voice of Paul Morris...

As you'll see in the video, after Robinson eliminates the Leafs, Tiger Williams comes out of the box to go after the ref and it's absolute mayhem on the ice. I can't imagine the headlines or the suspensions that would result from such activities today.

At about the 4:40 mark Robinson comes over and talks some sense into Williams. It's an unbelievable moment. I don't know that I've ever seen anything quite like it.

I know the Leafs weren't in the same class as those late 70s Habs (who was?) but Jim Gregory sure had that team on the right track. And then it was all gutted by Imlach and Ballard and it would be 12 years before the team hit .500 again.


  1. That was pretty incredible. The Leafs have been getting screwed by the refs since '79! And here I thought it was just a recent phenomenon.

    But you're right, I've never seen an opposing player come over and try to calm a guy down. That was great. Robinson was pure class.

  2. Anonymous12:47 pm

    They should have let Tiger kill the ref.

  3. Wow, that's the sort of bullshit call you see nowadays. That's a terrible way to lose.

    Great find.

  4. Anonymous1:34 am

    That was beyond cool!

  5. Anonymous8:20 pm

    Thanks for posting that clip.
    As I was watching, I couldn't believe it, but I was rooting for the Leafs to kill the penalty. I knew that they wouldn't, put was still rooting them on. Crazy.

    Pathetic call by the ref. It pains me to say it, but what a class act by Robinson to go talk sense into Williams.

  6. Anonymous10:47 am

    Tiger, in his biography, basically credits Robinson with saving his career that night. He'd have taken the ref apart.


  7. Anonymous9:18 pm

    Palmateer did start that game. He was injured in the third and replaced by Harrison.