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1950-51 NHL season

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The 1950-51 NHL season was the 34th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens four games to one for the Stanley Cup to win their fifth Cup in seven years.

Regular seasonEdit

The biggest trade in NHL history at the time took place in July of 1950 with Sugar Jim Henry, Gaye Stewart, Bob Goldham, and Metro Prystai of Chicago going to Detroit for Harry Lumley, Black Jack Stewart, Al Dewsbury, Don Morrison, and Pete Babando, an exchange of nine players altogether.

Joe Primeau was named coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs with Hap Day kicked upstairs to assistant general manager. Toronto came flying out of the gate, undefeated in 11 games. Al Rollins had a great year, finishing with a 1.75 goals against average in 40 games. The Leafs had hoped to have Rollins share the Vezina Trophy with Turk Broda, but the league decided Rollins alone would be the recipient. The Leafs' .679 win percentage remains their all time best for a season, despite the fact that they were second in the league standings behind Detroit.

With the New York Rangers slumping this season, they hired a hypnotist, Dr. David Tracy, to help relax the team. The treatment remained in doubt and the Rangers lost to Boston November 12th. Asked why the treatment didn't work, Dr. Tracy said that he should have worked with the goaltender (Chuck Rayner) as he wasn't relaxed enough.

Montreal fans were excited when it was reported that two junior stars, Jean Beliveau and Bernie Geoffrion, would be given a trial in a December 16th game with the Rangers. The Canadiens played a 1-1 tie before 14,158 fans. Geoffrion scored the Canadiens goal in his debut.

Chicago was in third place at mid-season when bad luck struck. Their captain, Black Jack Stewart, ruptured a disc in his back and had to undergo surgery. He was finished for the season and his career was in jeopardy. Aggravating things were injuries to Gus Bodnar and Bill Gadsby. The Black Hawks won only two games in the second half and finished last.

In March, Rocket Richard ran into trouble in a game with Detroit. Richard was tripped and rose with a cut between the eyes. No penalty was called and Richard commenced an argument with referee Hugh McLean. He continued his argument too long and was given a misconduct penalty. Richard then skated to the penalty box and found Leo Reise of Detroit there to welcome him with derisive remarks which infuriated Richard, who then punched Reise, and when linesman Jim Primeau rushed to intervene, Richard took a poke at him and Richard was given a game misconduct. The Canadiens took a train to New York for a game against the Rangers, and the next morning, Richard encountered referee McLean and linesman Primeau in the lobby of the Picadilly Hotel. No punches were thrown, but Richard grabbed McLean by the tie and then Primeau intervened. Considerable profanity filled the air, but cooler heads separated the trio before fists could fly. NHL President Clarence Campbell took a dim view of the matter and fined the Rocket $500 for conduct prejudicial to the welfare of hockey.

The Detroit Red Wings got hot in the second half, overtaking Toronto and finished in first place again, becoming the first team with more than 100 points. Gordie Howe led the NHL in goals, assists, and points while goaltender Terry Sawchuk won the Calder Trophy as the league's best rookie. Sawchuk set a record for most wins by a goalie, as he was in net for all of Detroit's 44 victories.

Final standingsEdit

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Detroit Red Wings 70 44 13 13 101 236 139 566
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 41 16 13 95 212 138 823
Montreal Canadiens 70 25 30 15 65173 184835
Boston Bruins 70 22 30 18 62178 197 656
New York Rangers 70 20 29 21 61 169 201 774
Chicago Black Hawks 70 13 47 10 36 171 280 615

Scoring leadersEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 7043 43 86
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 65 42 24 66
Max Bentley Toronto Maple Leafs 67 21 41 62
Sid Abel Detroit Red Wings 69 23 38 61
Milt Schmidt Boston Bruins 62 22 39 61
Ted Kennedy Toronto Maple Leafs 63 18 4361
Ted Lindsay Detroit Red Wings 67 24 35 59

Leading GoaltendersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; MIN = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shut outs; AVG = Goals against average

Player Team GP MINS GA SO AVG
Al Rollins Toronto Maple Leafs 40 2373 70 5 1.77
Terry Sawchuck Detroit Red Wings 70 4200 139 11 1.99

Stanley Cup PlayoffsEdit

All dates in 1951

The second seed Toronto Maple Leafs eliminated the fourth seed Boston Bruins in five games, and the third seed Montreal Canadiens upset first overall Detroit Red Wings in six, setting up a Leafs – Canadiens Stanley Cup final series, won by the Leafs 4–1.

Playoff bracketEdit

  Semifinals Finals
                 
1 Detroit Red Wings 2  
3 Montreal Canadiens 4  
    3 Montreal Canadiens 1
  2 Toronto Maple Leafs 4
2 Toronto Maple Leafs 4
4 Boston Bruins 1  

Semi-finalsEdit

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 28 Boston Bruins 2 Toronto Maple Leafs0
March 31 Boston Bruins 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 1 OT1
April 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 3 Boston Bruins 0
April 3 Toronto Maple Leafs 3 Boston Bruins 1
April 7 Boston Bruins 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 4
April 8 Toronto Maple Leafs 6 Boston Bruins 0
1 Note: March 31st game called after one overtime due to curfew

Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 1

Montreal Canadiens vs. Detroit Red Wings

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 27 Montreal Canadiens 3 Detroit Red Wings2 4 OT
March 29 Montreal Canadiens 1 Detroit Red Wings 0 3 OT
March 31 Detroit Red Wings 2 Montreal Canadiens 0
April 3 Detroit Red Wings 4 Montreal Canadiens 1
April 5 Montreal Canadiens 5 Detroit Red Wings 2
April 7 Detroit Red Wings 2 Montreal Canadiens 3

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

FinalsEdit

see 1951 Stanley Cup Finals

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 11Montreal Canadiens2Toronto Maple Leafs3OT-Smith
April 14Toronto Maple Leafs2Montreal Canadiens3OT-M. Richard
April 17Montreal Canadiens1Toronto Maple Leafs2OT-Kennedy
April 19Montreal Canadiens2Toronto Maple Leafs3OT-Watson
April 21Montreal Canadiens2Toronto Maple Leafs3OT-Barilko (2:53)

Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 1

Playoff scoring leadersEdit

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 11 9 4 13
Max Bentley Toronto Maple Leafs 11 2 11 13
Sid Smith Toronto Maple Leafs 11 7 3 10
1951NHLTrophies

NHL AwardsEdit

Prince of Wales Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
Art Ross Memorial Trophy: Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Calder Memorial Trophy: Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Memorial Trophy: Milt Schmidt, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy: Al Rollins, Toronto Maple Leafs






All-Star teamsEdit

50-51NHLAS
First Team   Position   Second Team
Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings G Chuck Rayner, New York Rangers
Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings D Jimmy Thomson, Toronto Maple Leafs
Bill Quackenbush, Boston Bruins D Leo Reise, Jr., Detroit Red Wings
Milt Schmidt, Boston Bruins C Ted Kennedy, Toronto Maple Leafs

</br> Sid Abel, Detroit Red Wings (tied)

Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings RW Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings LW Sid Smith, Toronto Maple Leafs

DebutsEdit

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1950-51 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last gamesEdit

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1950-51 (listed with their last team):

AttendanceEdit

Regular Season Only

  1. Montreal: 502,403
  2. Toronto: 471,516
  3. Detroit: 400,731
  4. New York: 349,251
  5. Chicago: 330,341
  6. Boston: 308,650

See alsoEdit


ReferencesEdit

NHL seasons

1946-47 | 1947-48 | 1948-49 | 1949-50 | 1950-51 | 1951-52 | 1952-53 | 1953-54 | 1954-55

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