Richard? Lafleur? No, shorthanded goals…Gainey? Jarvis? Carbonneau?
While Guy Carbonneau does hold the franchise records for shorthanded markers in a season and in a career, the single-game mark belongs to the late Ken Mosdell.
Known as “Big Moe” to his teammates, he was one of the NHL’s best checking forwards during his career in Montreal (1944-56). He was always called upon in penalty killing situations, or to shadow the oppositions best players.
He also had a scoring as attested by his 132 goals in a Canadiens uniform and often filled in when the team’s top-line centres were injured.
“He had a lot of class, in fact he was in a class all by himself,” said longtime teammate and friend Maurice “Rocket” Richard, who was his roommate for thirteen seasons in Montreal.
“He was never a great player, but he was a good centreman, a good penalty killer, and a good playmaker, especially on the power play.”
Mosdell’s record-setting game came on February 17, 1949.
The fifth place Canadiens were struggling at the time, playing below .500 hockey and having just a tie in their last seven games.
Their opponents on the night were the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were on a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2).
Mosdell opened the scoring in the first period,with a shorthanded goal, at 4:38 and was followed seven minutes later with a goal from Gerry Plemondon.
Mosdell would score his second shorthanded goal of the night in the second period at 7:32.
Bill Durnan turned away all 19 Toronto shots for his fifth shutout of the season for a 3-0 victory.
For the Canadiens, it turned their season around. Durnan was about to embark on a record-setting shutout streak the following week, and the Canadiens went 10-2-2 to finish in third place. They would succumb to the first-place Detroit Red Wings in a seven-game playoff series.
For Mosdell, he had tied an NHL record for shorthanded goals in a game. It would be tied by many others, but remain unbroken until 1991, when Theoren Fleury would establish a new benchmark with three.
Other facts on Ken Mosdell:
- Mosdell was on the last New York/Brooklyn Americans team before they folded in 1941. When he retired in 1959, he was the last active player remaining from the Americans.
- Missed most of the 1947-48 season when he broke his leg in a collision with another player during a softball game. The other player’s name was Sam Pollock.
- Often filled in for an injured Elmer Lach, centering the “Punch Line” with Toe Blake and Maurice Richard in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
- Though he was playing in the minors during the 1958-59 regular season, Mosdell was called up by the Canadiens, for three games, during the playoffs to replace an injured Jean Beliveau.
- First Team All-Star (1954), Second Team All-Star (1955) and played in five consecutive All-Star Games (1951-55).
- Won four Stanley Cups with the Canadiens (‘46,’53,’56,’59)
- Honoured by the Canadiens at the Montreal Forum on “Ken Mosdell Fan Appreciation Night”, Feb 19, 1955. He was truly in good company as Bill Durnan, Maurice Richard, Doug Harvey, Elmer Lach and Emile Bouchard were the only previous recipients.