On This Day March 11th.

Howie MeekingHowie Meeking
March 11: On this day in 1918, the Toronto Arenas played their first ever NHL playoff game. They defeated the Montreal Canadiens 7-3. Harry Meeking born in Berlin (Kitchener), Ontario, was dubbed "Hurricane Howie," he played left wing for the Arenas recorded the first hat trick in NHL playoff history. A couple of nights later, Toronto won the two-game, total goal series 10 goals to 7. After spending two seasons in Toronto (scoring 19 goals in 34 career games), Meeking headed west. From 1919 through 1926 Meeking played in the British Columbian capital city of Victoria. He starred with the Aristocrats/Cougars, winning the Stanley Cup in 1925. That Victoria team was the last non-NHL team to win the Stanley Cup.

March 11: On this day in 1924, "Wild Bill" Ezinicki was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As greatly loved as he was by Leaf fans, Ezinicki had a reputation for being the most hated player in the NHL during the 1940's. He played on three Leaf Cup winning teams in a row between 1947-49 and twice led the league in penalty minutes, 1949 and '50. In Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1947 between the Leafs and Canadiens, Ezinicki got under the skin of Rocket Richard to the point where the Rocket slashed him over the head. Richard served a 20 minute misconduct and in those days it caused a 20 minute Leaf powerplay. The Rocket was also suspended for three games. In all, Ezinicki played 271 games with the Leafs between 1944 and 1950.

March 11: On this day in 1995, the Leafs ceremoniously raised banners to the rafters of Maple Leaf Gardens in honour of the franchise's two greatest goaltenders of all time, both jersey number 1's, Turk Broda and Johnny Bower. Between them, Broda and Bower won 9 Stanley Cups in net for the Leafs during their illustrious careers.

March 11: On this day in 2003, the Leafs acquired former all-star defenseman Phil Housley from Chicago in exchange for a couple of draft picks. Housley was supposed to add depth in Toronto's playoff run but was injured after one game in a Leaf uniform. He did suit up for 3 playoff games but the Leafs were eliminated in the first round. Housley recorded zero points as a Leaf after a long NHL career of 1,495 games and 1,232 regular season points.
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