1951–52 NHL season

Last updated
1951–52 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
DurationOctober 11, 1951 – April 15, 1952
Number of games70
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season champion Detroit Red Wings
Season MVP Gordie Howe (Red Wings)
Top scorer Gordie Howe (Red Wings)
Stanley Cup
Champions Detroit Red Wings
  Runners-up Montreal Canadiens
NHL seasons

The 1951–52 NHL season was the 35th season of the National Hockey League. The Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup by sweeping the Montreal Canadiens four games to none.

Contents

League business

A long standing feud between Boston president Weston Adams and general manager Art Ross ended on October 12, 1951, when Adams sold his stock in Boston Garden to Walter Brown.

The Chicago Black Hawks, who had made the mammoth nine player deal the previous season, now decided to make the largest cash deal for players to this time by paying $75,000 for Jim McFadden, George Gee, Jimmy Peters, Clare Martin, Clare Raglan and Max McNab.

Rule changes

The league mandated that home teams would now wear a basic white uniform, while road teams will wear coloured uniforms. Before then, teams would often play with colored jerseys against each other, and with Television being in black white at the time, this helped viewers at home identify the two teams clearly.

The goal crease is enlarged from 3 ft × 7 ft (0.91 m × 2.13 m) to 4 ft × 8 ft (1.2 m × 2.4 m). The faceoff circles are expanded from a 10-foot (3.0 m) radius to a 15-foot (4.6 m) radius. [1]

Regular season

Conn Smythe offered $10,000 for anyone who found Bill Barilko, missing since August 26. Barilko and Dr. Henry Hudson had left Rupert House on James Bay in the doctor's light plane for Timmins, Ontario, after a weekend fishing trip and had not been found.

For the fourth straight season, the Detroit Red Wings finished first overall in the National Hockey League.

Highlights

On November 25 in Chicago, Chicago goalie Harry Lumley hurt a knee. At age 46, trainer Moe Roberts, who played his first game in the NHL for Boston in 1925–26, played the third period in goal for Chicago and did not yield a goal. [2] Roberts would stand as the oldest person to ever play an NHL game until Gordie Howe returned to the NHL at age 51 in 1979. [3]

Chicago was not drawing well and so they decided to experiment with afternoon games. It worked, as the largest crowd of the season, 13,600 fans, showed up for a January 20 game in which Chicago lost to Toronto 3–1.

Elmer Lach night was held March 8 at the Forum in Montreal as the Canadiens tied Chicago 4–4. 14,452 fans were on hand to see Lach presented with a car, rowboat, TV set, deep-freeze chest, bedroom and dining room suites, a refrigerator and many other articles.

On the last night of the season, March 23, 1952, with nothing at stake at Madison Square Garden, 3,254 fans saw Chicago's Bill Mosienko score the fastest hat trick in NHL history, 3 goals in 21 seconds. Lorne Anderson was the goaltender who gave up the goals to Chicago. Gus Bodnar also set a record with the fastest three assists in NHL history as he assisted on all three goals Mosienko scored. Chicago beat the New York Rangers 7–6. [2]

Final standings

National Hockey League [4]
GPWLTGFGADIFFPts
1 Detroit Red Wings 70441412215133+82100
2 Montreal Canadiens 70342610195164+3178
3 Toronto Maple Leafs 70292516168157+1174
4 Boston Bruins 70252916162176−1466
5 New York Rangers 70233413192219−2759
6 Chicago Black Hawks 7017449158241−8343

Playoffs

Detroit finished 8–0, sweeping the defending Stanley Cup champions Toronto (the first time in NHL history the cup champs were swept in the first round) and Montreal, the first time a team had gone undefeated in the playoffs since the 1934–35 Montreal Maroons. The Wings scored 24 goals in the playoffs, compared to a combined five goals for their opponents. Detroit goaltender Terry Sawchuk did not give up a goal on home ice during the playoffs. [2]

Playoff bracket

Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
      
1Detroit4
3 Toronto 0
1Detroit4
2 Montreal 0
2Montreal4
4 Boston 3

Semifinals

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (3) Toronto Maple Leafs

March 25Toronto Maple Leafs0–3Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
No scoringFirst period13:35 – Red Kelly (1)
No scoringSecond periodNo scoring
No scoringThird period02:59 – ppSid Abel (1)
14:21 – Johnny Wilson (1)
Al Rollins Goalie stats Terry Sawchuck
March 27Toronto Maple Leafs0–1Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
No scoringFirst period15:33 – ppJohnny Wilson (2)
No scoringSecond periodNo scoring
No scoringThird periodNo scoring
Al Rollins Goalie stats Terry Sawchuck
March 29Detroit Red Wings6–2Toronto Maple Leafs Maple Leaf Gardens Recap  
Marty Pavelich (1) – 10:56
Ted Lindsay (1) – pp – 16:57
First period11:16 – Joe Klukay (1)
Johnny Wilson (3) – 02:10
Leo Reise Jr. (1) – 05:22
Second period12:20 – Max Bentley (1)
Johnny Wilson (4) – 00:48
Benny Woit (1) – 08:47
Third periodNo scoring
Terry Sawchuck Goalie stats Al Rollins
April 1Detroit Red Wings3–1Toronto Maple Leafs Maple Leaf Gardens Recap  
Ted Lindsay (2) – pp – 04:35
Tony Leswick (1) – pp – 09:32
First period02:56 – Harry Watson (1)
Sid Abel (2) – 04:52Second periodNo scoring
No scoringThird periodNo scoring
Terry Sawchuck Goalie stats Al Rollins
Detroit won series 4–0

(2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (4) Boston Bruins

March 25Boston Bruins1–5Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoringFirst period05:45 – Maurice Richard (1)
Pentti Lund (1) – 06:27Second period00:30 – Dickie Moore (1)
14:16 – Maurice Richard (2)
No scoringThird period03:09 – Billy Reay (1)
19:24 – Floyd Curry (1)
Jim Henry Goalie stats Gerry McNeil
March 27Boston Bruins0–4Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoringFirst period04:01 – Ken Mosdell (1)
09:49 – ppBernie Geoffrion (1)
No scoringSecond period13:39 – Bernie Geoffrion (2)
No scoringThird period17:14 – Bernie Geoffrion (3)
Jim Henry Goalie stats Gerry McNeil
March 30Montreal Canadiens1–4Boston Bruins Boston Garden Recap  
No scoringFirst periodNo scoring
No scoringSecond period02:05 – Hal Laycoe (1)
02:38 – Dave Creighton (1)
03:07 – Ed Sandford (1)
Floyd Curry (2) – 15:24Third period06:14 – Fleming MacKell (1)
Gerry McNeil Goalie stats Jim Henry
April 1Montreal Canadiens2–3Boston Bruins Boston Garden Recap  
No scoringFirst period09:53 – Real Chevrefils (1)
Floyd Curry (3) – pp – 19:46Second period06:55 – Milt Schmidt (1)
Floyd Curry (4) – 06:48Third period14:37 – Fleming MacKell (2)
Gerry McNeil Goalie stats Jim Henry
April 3Boston Bruins1–0Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoringFirst periodNo scoring
No scoringSecond periodNo scoring
Jack McIntyre (1) – 03:30Third periodNo scoring
Jim Henry Goalie stats Gerry McNeil
April 6Montreal Canadiens3–22OTBoston Bruins Boston Garden Recap  
No scoringFirst period02:53 – Milt Schmidt (2)
11:44 – Dave Creighton (2)
Eddie Mazur (1) – 04:53Second periodNo scoring
Maurice Richard (3) – 11:05Third periodNo scoring
Paul Masnick (1) – 07:49Second overtime periodNo scoring
Gerry McNeil Goalie stats Jim Henry
April 8Boston Bruins1–3Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
Ed Sandford (2) – 12:25First period04:25 – Eddie Mazur (2)
No scoringSecond periodNo scoring
No scoringThird period16:19 – Maurice Richard (4)
19:26 – Billy Reay (2)
Jim Henry Goalie stats Gerry McNeil
Montreal won series 4–3

Stanley Cup Finals

April 10Detroit Red Wings3–1Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoringFirst periodNo scoring
Tony Leswick (2) – 03:27Second periodNo scoring
Tony Leswick (3) – 07:59
Ted Lindsay (3) – 19:44
Third period11:01 – Tom Johnson (1)
Terry Sawchuck Goalie stats Gerry McNeil
April 12Detroit Red Wings2–1Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
Marty Pavelich (2) – 16:09First period18:37 – ppElmer Lach (1)
Ted Lindsay (4) – pp – 00:43Second periodNo scoring
No scoringThird periodNo scoring
Terry Sawchuck Goalie stats Gerry McNeil
April 13Montreal Canadiens0–3Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
No scoringFirst period04:31 – ppGordie Howe (1)
No scoringSecond period09:13 – Ted Lindsay (5)
No scoringThird period06:54 – Gordie Howe (2)
Gerry McNeil Goalie stats Terry Sawchuck
April 15Montreal Canadiens0–3Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
No scoringFirst period06:50 – ppMetro Prystai (1)
No scoringSecond period19:39 – Glen Skov (1)
No scoringThird period07:35 – Metro Prystai (2)
Gerry McNeil Goalie stats Terry Sawchuck
Detroit won series 4–0

Awards

Award winners
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Detroit Red Wings
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Sid Smith, Toronto Maple Leafs
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with best goals-against average)
Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
All-Star teams
First team  Position  Second team
Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings G Jim Henry, Boston Bruins
Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings D Hy Buller, New York Rangers
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens D Jimmy Thomson, Toronto Maple Leafs
Elmer Lach, Montreal Canadiens C Milt Schmidt, Boston Bruins
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings RW Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings LW Sid Smith, Toronto Maple Leafs

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

PlayerTeamGPGAPTSPIM
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings7047398678
Ted Lindsay Detroit Red Wings70303969123
Elmer Lach Montreal Canadiens7015506536
Don Raleigh New York Rangers7019426114
Sid Smith Toronto Maple Leafs702730576
Bernie Geoffrion Montreal Canadiens6730245466
Bill Mosienko Chicago Black Hawks7031225310
Sid Abel Detroit Red Wings6217365332
Ted Kennedy Toronto Maple Leafs7019335233
Milt Schmidt Boston Bruins6921295057

Source: NHL [5]

Leading goaltenders

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

PlayerTeamGPMINGAGAAWLTSO
Terry Sawchuk Detroit Red Wings7042001331.9044141212
Al Rollins Toronto Maple Leafs7041701542.222924165
Gerry McNeil Montreal Canadiens7042001642.343426105
Jim Henry Boston Bruins7042001762.512529167
Chuck Rayner New York Rangers5331801593.001825102
Emile Francis New York Rangers14840423.004730

Source: NHL [6]

Coaches

Debuts

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1951–52 (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 1951–52 (listed with their last team):

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. Fischler et al. 2003, p. 202.
  2. 1 2 3 Dryden 2000, p. 54.
  3. Goaltending Legends: Maurice "Moe" Roberts
  4. "1951–1952 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
  5. Dinger 2011, p. 148.
  6. "1951–1952 – Regular Season – Goalie – Skater Season Stats Leaders – Points – NHL.com – Stats". nhl.com. Retrieved January 16, 2012.

Sources