On This Day April 11th.

April 11: On this day in 1951, Sid Smith scored for the Leafs at 5:51 of overtime ending Game 1 of the Finals. His linemate, Tod Sloan collected a goal and two assists in a 3-2 Leafs victory over Montreal. It The win set the Leafs on the road to a fourth Stanley Cup championship in five years. It was the first of five straight games that required overtime.

April 11: On this day in 1963, in Game 2 of the Cup Finals and with superstar Frank Mahovlich out with an injury, the Leafs inserted former Chicago Black Hawk captain Ed Litzenberger into the lineup as a replacement. He responded by scoring the opening goal and added two assists as the Leafs defeated the Red Wings 4-2 to take a 2 games to 0 lead in the series back to Detroit.

April 11: On this day in 1978, the Leafs opened their best-of-three preliminary round against the L.A. Kings and beat them 7-3. George Ferguson had a hat trick for the Blue & White, all in the 3rd period and became just the third Leaf in club history to score three goals in one period of a playoff game. Toronto eliminated Los Angeles two nights later. The Leafs and Kings have met three times in the playoffs since the Kings entered the NHL in 1967 with the Leafs holding an all-time 2-1 playoff series lead.

April 11: On this day in 1981, the New York Islanders blasted the Leafs 6-1 in Game 3 of their best-of-five preliminary round to sweep the series. Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin picked up three assists. In three games the Isles outscored the Leafs 20-4. Toronto had made the playoffs even though they finished last in their Division with a record of 28-37-15. The Islanders went on to win their 2nd of 4 Stanley Cups in a row.

April 11: On this day in 1990, Harold Ballard, the cantankerous dictator-like owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs since 1972, died peacefully in his sleep. His body succumbed to diabetes, kidney failure, and a weak heart. He was 86. His Leaf teams were often woefully weak and finished .500 or better in only 6 of the 19 seasons he was in charge. Ballard battled with his players, his family, sportswriters and broadcasters, the Soviets, and anyone else who wanted a fight. He defrauded his own team and did time in prison for it, laughing at Leaf fans along the way.The Leafs never finished higher than third in any Division of the NHL with Ballard as owner. The 1980's were a complete disaster as the Leafs did not once finish a regular season with a winning record.

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