Ice Hockey: All in the Mind


"I'm feeling lousy," grumbled Coach Hector ("Toe") Blake, as his Montreal Canadiens were preparing for a Stanley Cup playoff game against the Detroit Red Wings. "I get these chest pains right here," he said, stabbing his chest with a finger. "But I've been to a doctor, and he says it's not physical. So I guess it must be mental."

Fair guess—considering that Blake's favored Canadiens trailed the ragtag Red Wings 2-0 after the first two games of the best-of-seven playoffs. The Canadiens were the defending Stanley Cup champions. They had won the regular-season National Hockey League championship (Detroit finished fourth),...

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