On March 1, 1969, Blues coach Scotty Bowman put the three Plager brothers, all fullbacks, in the starting lineup and played them together on the same line in a game against the Montreal Canadiens.
“I remember Scotty saying the lineup in the locker room,” Bobby Plager once told the Post-Dispatch. “Barclay Plager, Center Ice. Bob Plager, Left Wing. Billy Plager, Right Wing.”
Here is our original coverage of this game.
MONTREAL — Montreal’s Fire wagon Canadiens maintained their lead in the East Division of the National Hockey League here tonight by defeating their West counterparts, the St. Louis Blues, 3-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,819.
The win not only kept Montreal two points clear of the hard-fought Boston Bruins, but also extended the Canadians’ unbeaten streak against St. Louis to 13 games, including last year’s Stanley Cup final.
The best the Blues could achieve in that span was two draws.
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Canada’s goaltender Lorne (Gump) Worsley made sure there was no draw this time around by thumping everything the Blues fired at him to score his fourth shutout of the season. The experienced goalkeeper processed 26 shots, 11 of them in the last third. Glenn Hall in St. Louis also stopped on the 26th.
The Blues, who maintained their 21-point lead in the West despite the loss, flew by plane to New York immediately after the contest. They meet the Rangers there on Sunday night and play in Pittsburgh on Wednesday before returning home for a meeting with the Oakland Seals next Saturday.
Montreal wasted little time getting on the scoreboard first. Just 2 minutes and 3 seconds had elapsed in the opening period when defenseman Jean Calude Tremblay flicked a 25-foot ball past goalie Glenn Hall in the St. Louis cage.
Blues defender Bob Plager, who was back in action after more than two months out with a knee injury, was serving a prison sentence at the time.
St. Louis coach Scotty Bowman started the game with five defenders on the ice. He placed Barclay Plager midway between his two younger brothers, Bob and Billy, backing them up with Al Arbor and Doug Harvey.
The Plager line only stayed together for one shift, then Bowman brought the brothers back to their regular defensive positions.
Bentley boys Max, Doug and Reg were the last three brother combo to play together in the National Hockey League. You worked for the Chicago Black Hawks in the late 1940s. However, Reg played less than a dozen games in the big time before returning to the minors.
Photos: Bob Plager through the years with the blues
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