1963 Stanley Cup Finals

The 1963 Stanley Cup Finals was contested by the defending champion Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. The Maple Leafs would win the best-of-seven series four games to one to win the Stanley Cup, their second straight NHL championship.

1963 Stanley Cup Finals
12345 Total
Detroit Red Wings 22321 1
Toronto Maple Leafs 44243 4
Location(s)Toronto: Maple Leaf Gardens (1, 2, 5)
Detroit: Olympia (3, 4)
CoachesDetroit: Sid Abel
Toronto: Punch Imlach
CaptainsDetroit: Alex Delvecchio
Toronto: George Armstrong
DatesApril 9 – April 18
Series-winning goalEddie Shack (13:28, third, G6)

Paths to the Finals

Toronto defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4–1 to advance to the finals and Detroit defeated the Chicago Black Hawks 4–2

Game summaries

Johnny Bower limited the Wings to 10 goals in the five games, and five different Leafs had multiple-goal games: Duff, Nevin, Stewart, Kelly and Keon.

The Leafs had finished first in the regular season, and were installed as 13–5 favourites by oddsmakers.[1]

Toronto won series 4–1

Game one

In the first 68 seconds, Dick Duff scored twice on Detroit's Terry Sawchuk, the fastest two goals to start a game in Stanley Cup history. The Leafs would suffer a second-period letdown but would win 4–2 to take the lead in the series. Because of the second period letdown, Punch Imlach would put the team through a morning practice the next morning.[2]

April 9Detroit Red Wings2–4
0 – 3, 2 – 0, 0 – 1
Toronto Maple LeafsMaple Leaf Gardens
Attendance: 13,848

Game two

The Leafs would again win 4–2 and would again have to have a morning after workout assigned by Imlach.[2]

Game three

The series now moved to Detroit. The team was sequestered out of town in a Toledo, Ohio hotel. The Red Wings, led by rookie centre Alex Faulkner's two goals, including the winner, captured the game three–2. It was his third game-winning goal and all had been scored on Sundays. Faulkner was a native of Newfoundland and Howie Meeker, exclaimed that there would be "dancing in the streets tonight".[2]

Game four

The Leafs felt that they had let game three slip away due to overconfidence and were determined to not repeat the mistake in game four. The game was close, and was tied 2–2 until with ten minutes to go Dave Keon scored. Red Kelly added another to make the score 4–2. On the way to the dressing room the Leafs' players were pelted with paper cups, programs and food containers.[3]

Game five

Back in Toronto, the Red Wings kept the score close. After Keon scored a short-handed goal, Marcel Pronovost scored for Detroit to tie the game. The game and series winner was scored by Eddie Shack with seven minutes to go on a deflection. Shack had scored the goal unintentionally as he later admitted. Keon then scored another short-handed goal to put the game out of reach for Detroit.[3]

The Leafs celebrated their second consecutive Stanley Cup by throwing Imlach, Harold Ballard and Stafford Smythe into the showers fully clothed. The team was given a victory parade along Bay Street with a reception at Toronto City Hall.[4]

As of 2019, this is the only one of the last seven big four championship series involving a Toronto team (all of which have been won by Toronto) which did not last exactly six games.

Toronto Maple Leafs 1963 Stanley Cup Champions



Coaching and administrative staff

Stanley Cup engraving

  • *Larry Hillman played only 5 regular-season games, and spent most of the year in the minors. His name was still engraved on the Stanley Cup.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs was engraved as the TORONTO MAPLE LEAES, with an "E" instead of an "F". This mistake was corrected on the Replica Cup.
  • John MacMillan was engraved as C. MacMILLAN, but his first name starts with a "J". MacMillan name was not corrected on the Replica Cup created in 1992–93.
  • Bob Davidson (Chief Scout), Dr. Karl Elieff (Physiotherapist), Dr. Jame Murphy, Dr. Hugh Smythe (Team Doctors) - left off

See also


  1. Jenish, p. 212
  2. Jenish, p.213
  3. Jenish, p.214
  4. Jenish, p.215


  • Total Stanley Cup. NHL. 2000.
  • Jenish, D'Arcy (1992). The Stanley Cup: A Hundred Years of Hockey at its best. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-4406-2.
  • Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. ISBN 1-55168-261-3.
  • "All-Time NHL Results".
Preceded by
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Toronto Maple Leafs
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