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The 1944–45 NHL season was the 28th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 50 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in seven games versus the Detroit Red Wings.

Contents

Regular season

NHL president Red Dutton offered to resign because of business concerns, but the league's board of governors dissuaded him. Conn Smythe, at one point, was offered the presidency, but turned it down. Dutton then stayed on.

It was the year of the "Punch Line" as Rocket Richard scored 50 goals in 50 games, breaking Joe Malone's record of 44 goals, and when Richard scored his 45th, Malone was on hand to present him with the record-breaking puck. Richard had a 5-goal, 3-assist night against Detroit at the Montreal Forum on December 28, 1944. His centreman, Elmer Lach, though, won the scoring race with 26 goals and 80 points. Toe Blake finished third with 29 goals, 38 assists, and for the second time, an entire line finished 1, 2, 3 in scoring. The previous time had been in 1939–40, when the Boston Bruins' Kraut Line of Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart accomplished the feat. Schmidt finished with 52 points in 48 games that year, and Bauer and Dumart 43 apiece.

Montreal dared not loan Paul Bibeault to Toronto again with his fine year the previous season and loaned him instead to Boston. But the Maple Leafs came up with a fine rookie named Frank McCool who won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie. For the first time, a team produced three consecutive top rookies. McCool and Chicago netminder Mike Karakas tied for the league lead in shutouts with 4 each.

Bill Durnan won his second consecutive Vezina Trophy with Montreal. Flash Hollett became the first defenceman to score twenty goals in one season.[1] The record would stand until Bobby Orr broke it several decades later.

A major trade that occurred this year was Chicago trading their great defenceman Earl Seibert to Detroit for Don Grosso, Cully Simon and Byron "Butch" McDonald. After team owner Frederic McLaughlin died, it was just a matter of time before Bill Tobin would trade Seibert, as the two did not get along.

Final standings

GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties In Minutes
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Montreal Canadiens 50 38 8 4 80 228 121 376
Detroit Red Wings 50 31 14 5 67 218 161 260
Toronto Maple Leafs 50 24 22 4 52 183 161 317
Boston Bruins 50 16 30 4 36 179 219 275
Chicago Black Hawks 50 13 30 7 33 141 194 245
New York Rangers 50 11 29 10 32 154 247 305

[2]

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Elmer Lach Montreal Canadiens 50 26 54 80 37
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 50 50 23 73 46
Toe Blake Montreal Canadiens 49 29 38 67 25
Bill Cowley Boston Bruins 49 25 40 65 12
Ted Kennedy Toronto Maple Leafs 49 29 25 54 14
Bill Mosienko Chicago Black Hawks 50 28 26 54 0
Joe Carveth Detroit Red Wings 50 26 28 54 6
Ab DeMarco New York Rangers 50 24 30 54 10
Clint Smith Chicago Black Hawks 50 23 31 54 0
Syd Howe Detroit Red Wings 46 17 36 53 6

Playoffs

Playoff bracket

  Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
                 
1  Montreal Canadiens 2  
3  Toronto Maple Leafs 4  
    3  Toronto Maple Leafs 4
  2  Detroit Red Wings 3
2  Detroit Red Wings 4
4  Boston Bruins 3  

Semifinals

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 20 Toronto 1 Montreal 0
March 22 Toronto 3 Montreal 2
March 24 Montreal 4 Toronto 1
March 27 Montreal 3 Toronto 4 OT
March 29 Toronto 3 Montreal 10
March 31 Montreal 2 Toronto 3

Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 2

Detroit Red Wings vs. Boston Bruins

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 20 Boston 4 Detroit 3
March 22 Boston 4 Detroit 2
March 24 Detroit 3 Boston 2
March 27 Detroit 3 Boston 2
March 29 Boston 2 Detroit 3 OT
April 1 Detroit 3 Boston 5
April 3 Boston 3 Detroit 5

Detroit wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 3

Finals

see 1945 Stanley Cup Finals

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 6 Toronto 1 Detroit 0
April 8 Toronto 2 Detroit 0
April 12 Detroit 0 Toronto 1
April 14 Detroit 5 Toronto 3
April 19 Toronto 0 Detroit 2
April 21 Detroit 1 Toronto 0 OT
April 22 Toronto 2 Detroit 1

Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 3

NHL awards

O'Brien Cup: Detroit Red Wings
Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy: Frank McCool, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hart Memorial Trophy: Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Trophy: Bill Mosienko, Chicago Black Hawks
Vezina Trophy: Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens

All-Star teams

First team   Position   Second team
Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens G Mike Karakas, Chicago Black Hawks
Emile "Butch" Bouchard, Montreal Canadiens D Glen Harmon, Montreal Canadiens
Flash Hollett, Detroit Red Wings D Babe Pratt, Toronto Maple Leafs
Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens C Bill Cowley, Boston Bruins
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Bill Mosienko, Chicago Black Hawks
Toe Blake, Montreal Canadiens LW Syd Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Dick Irvin, Montreal Canadiens Coach Jack Adams, Detroit Red Wings

Debuts

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1944–45 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1944–45 (listed with their last team):

See also

References

  1. ^ Hockey’s Book of Firsts, p.23, James Duplacey, JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
  2. ^ Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy et al. ed. THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0. 







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