1939–40 NHL season

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1939–40 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration November 2, 1939 - April 13, 1940
Number of games 48
Number of teams 7
Regular season
Season champion Boston Bruins
Season MVP Ebbie Goodfellow (Detroit Red Wings)
Top scorer Milt Schmidt (Boston Bruins)
Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup champions New York Rangers
  Runners-up Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL seasons

The 1939–40 NHL season was the 23rd season for the National Hockey League. Of the league's seven teams, the Boston Bruins were the best in the 48-game regular season, but the Stanley Cup winners were the New York Rangers, who defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in the best-of-seven final series 4–2 for their third Stanley Cup in 14 seasons of existence. It would be another 54 years before their fourth.

Regular season[edit]

Tragedy struck the Montreal Canadiens when Babe Siebert, named coach of the struggling club, drowned along with his daughter in August. It put a big hole in the Habs defence and the team finished last under Pit Lepine. An all-star benefit was held in Siebert's memory.

The New York Americans, in financial trouble, decided to trade their star left wing Sweeney Schriner to Toronto for Harvey "Busher" Jackson, Buzz Boll, Murray Armstrong, and minor-leaguer Jimmy Fowler. Late in the season, they traded Eddie Wiseman and $5000 to Boston for Eddie Shore. The Americans then managed to make the playoffs by finishing a poor sixth. They also obtained Charlie Conacher and used him as a defenceman.

The first place Boston Bruins had a new coach in Cooney Weiland, their one-time captain, and were once again led by their Kraut Line, Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart, and Bobby Bauer as they finished 1–2–3 in overall league scoring. Unfortunately, the potent three were unable to help the Bruins get past the first round of the playoffs as the Bruins lost in six games to the Rangers.

The New York Rangers were coasting in first place and went 19 consecutive games without a loss. They slumped in the second half, though, and Boston edged them out for first place.

The first NHL game broadcast on television was between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens on February 25, 1940. The game was seen by only 300 people in a small area in the United States. This, though, was not the first ice hockey game broadcast on television, as a broadcast had been made in England in 1938.[citation needed] The CBC's first hockey broadcast was in 1952 between the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.

Final standings[edit]

National Hockey League
GP W L T GF GA PIM Pts
Boston Bruins 48 31 12 5 170 98 330 67
New York Rangers 48 27 11 10 136 77 520 64
Toronto Maple Leafs 48 25 17 6 134 110 485 56
Chicago Black Hawks 48 23 19 6 112 120 351 52
Detroit Red Wings 48 16 26 6 90 126 250 38
New York Americans 48 15 29 4 106 140 236 34
Montreal Canadiens 48 10 33 5 90 167 338 25

[1]

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

Playoffs[edit]

The Boston Bruins were expected to make the Stanley Cup finals after a first overall finish during the regular season riding the shoulders of the "Kraut Line". But the New York Rangers were too much for the Bruins who lost in six games, out-scored 14 to 8 and shut-out twice, in the first round. The third seed Toronto Maple Leafs swept the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks en route to the Stanley Cup finals.

Note: All dates in 1940

Quarter-finals and Semi-finals[edit]

Series A: Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers

Date Home Score Away Score Notes
March 19 New York Rangers 4 Boston Bruins 0
March 21 Boston Bruins 4 New York Rangers 3
March 24 Boston Bruins 4 New York Rangers 2
March 26 New York Rangers 1 Boston Bruins 0
March 28 Boston Bruins 0 New York Rangers 1
March 30 New York Rangers 4 Boston Bruins 1

Rangers win best of seven series 4 games to 2

Series B: Chicago Black Hawks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 19 Chicago Black Hawks 2 Toronto Maple Leafs 3 6:35 of OT
March 21 Toronto Maple Leafs 2 Chicago Black Hawks 1

Toronto wins best of three series 2 games to 0

Series C: New York Americans vs. Detroit Red Wings

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 19 New York Americans 1 Detroit Red Wings 2 0:25 of OT
March 22 Detroit Red Wings 4 New York Americans 5
March 24 New York Americans 1 Detroit Red Wings 3

Detroit wins best of three series 2 games to 1

Series D: Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 26 Detroit Red Wings 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 2
March 28 Toronto Maple Leafs 2 Detroit Red Wings 1

Toronto wins best of three series 2 games to 0

Stanley Cup Final[edit]

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Rangers

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 2 Toronto Maple Leafs 1 New York Rangers 2 15:30 of OT
April 3 Toronto Maple Leafs 2 New York Rangers 6
April 6 New York Rangers 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 2
April 9 New York Rangers 0 Toronto Maple Leafs 3
April 11 New York Rangers 2 Toronto Maple Leafs 1 11:43 of OT
April 13 New York Rangers 3 Toronto Maple Leafs 2 2:07 of OT

New York wins best of seven series 4 games to 2

Playoff bracket[edit]

  Quarter-finals Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
                           
        
  1  Boston Bruins 2  
    2  New York Rangers 4  
      
          
    2  New York Rangers 4
  3  Toronto Maple Leafs 2
  3  Toronto Maple Leafs 2  
4  Chicago Black Hawks 0  
3  Toronto Maple Leafs 2
    5  Detroit Red Wings 0  
5  Detroit Red Wings 2
  6  New York Americans 1  


Awards[edit]

Calder Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Kilby MacDonald, New York Rangers
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Ebbie Goodfellow, Detroit Red Wings
Lady Byng Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Bobby Bauer, Boston Bruins
O'Brien Cup:
(Playoff runner-up)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy:
(Fewest goals allowed)
Dave Kerr, New York Rangers

All-Star teams[edit]

First Team   Position   Second Team
Dave Kerr, New York Rangers G Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
Dit Clapper, Boston Bruins D Art Coulter, New York Rangers
Ebbie Goodfellow, Detroit Red Wings D Earl Seibert, Chicago Black Hawks
Milt Schmidt, Boston Bruins C Neil Colville, New York Rangers
Bryan Hextall, New York Rangers RW Bobby Bauer, Boston Bruins
Toe Blake, Montreal Canadiens LW Woody Dumart, Boston Bruins
Paul Thompson, Chicago Black Hawks Coach Frank Boucher, New York Rangers

Player statistics[edit]

Regular season

Scoring leaders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Milt Schmidt Boston Bruins 48 22 30 52
Woody Dumart Boston Bruins 48 22 21 43
Bobby Bauer Boston Bruins 48 17 26 43
Gordie Drillon Toronto Maple Leafs 43 21 19 40
Bill Cowley Boston Bruins 48 13 27 40
Bryan Hextall New York Rangers 48 24 15 39
Neil Colville New York Rangers 48 19 19 38
Syd Howe Detroit Red Wings 48 14 23 37
Hector Blake Montreal Canadiens 48 17 19 36
Murray Armstrong New York Americans 48 16 20 36

Source: NHL[2]

Leading goaltenders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Dave Kerr New York Rangers 48 3000 77 1.54 27 11 10 8
Paul Goodman Chicago Black Hawks 31 1920 62 1.94 16 10 5 4
Frank Brimsek Boston Bruins 48 2950 98 1.99 31 12 5 6
Turk Broda Toronto Maple Leafs 47 2900 108 2.23 25 17 5 4
Cecil "Tiny" Thompson Detroit Red Wings 46 2830 120 2.54 16 24 6 3
Earl Robertson N.Y. Americans 48 2960 140 2.84 15 29 4 6
Claude Bourque Montreal Canadiens 36 2210 121 3.29 9 24 3 2
Mike Karakas Chicago Black Hawks 17 1050 58 3.31 7 9 1 0
Playoffs

Playoff scoring leaders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty Minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Phil Watson New York Rangers 12 3 6 9 16
Neil Colville New York Rangers 12 2 7 9 18
Syl Apps Toronto Maple Leafs 10 5 2 7 2
Bryan Hextall New York Rangers 12 4 3 7 11
Alex Shibicky New York Rangers 11 2 5 7 4
Hank Goldup Toronto Maple Leafs 10 5 1 6 4
Wilbert Hiller New York Rangers 12 2 4 6 2
Mac Colville New York Rangers 12 3 2 5 6
Mud Bruneteau Detroit Red Wings 5 3 2 5 0
Alf Pike New York Rangers 12 3 1 4 6

Playoff leading goaltenders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP Min W L T SO GAA
Dave Kerr New York Rangers 12 770 8 4 0 3 1.56
Turk Broda Toronto Maple Leafs 10 657 6 4 0 1 1.74
Frank Brimsek Boston Bruins 6 360 2 4 0 0 2.50
Tiny Thompson Detroit Red Wings 5 300 2 3 0 0 2.40
Earl Robertson New York Americans 3 180 1 2 0 0 3.00
Paul Goodman Chicago Black Hawks 2 127 0 2 0 0 2.36

Debuts[edit]

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1939–40 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games[edit]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1939–40 (listed with their last team):

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X. 
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5. 
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9. 
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1. 
  • McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press. ISBN 0-684-13424-1. 
Notes
  1. ^ Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy et al, ed. THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0. 
  2. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 147.

External links[edit]