1954–55 NHL season

The 1954–55 NHL season was the 38th season of the National Hockey League. The Detroit Red Wings were the Stanley Cup champions as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens four games to three in the best-of-seven final series. The Canadiens were without star forward Maurice 'Rocket' Richard who had been suspended for the playoffs, a suspension which led to the March 17, 1955 "Richard Riot" in Montreal.

1954–55 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 7, 1954 – April 14, 1955
Number of games70
Number of teams6
Regular season
Season championDetroit Red Wings
Season MVPTed Kennedy (Maple Leafs)
Top scorerBernie Geoffrion (Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsDetroit Red Wings
  Runners-upMontreal Canadiens

League business

Art Ross announced at the league governors meeting that his connection with Boston would terminate at the end of September. As this would be his last appearance at a league meeting, he took the opportunity to thank the governors and others associated with the league during the 30 years of his being officer of the Boston club for the kindness, courtesy and cooperation he had received, and extended his good wishes for the continued success of the league. Conn Smythe and Frank Selke voiced the good wishes of all present to Ross on his retirement.

Prior to the season, Red Wings head coach Tommy Ivan left Detroit to become general manager of the Chicago Black Hawks, and Jimmy Skinner replaced him behind the bench in the Motor City. One of the first things Ivan did at Chicago was to establish an extensive farm system, something the Black Hawks never had.

Regular season

On December 18, Maurice Richard scored his 400th career goal against Chicago netminder Al Rollins in a 4–1 Canadiens victory over the Black Hawks. Montreal and Toronto played to a 1–1 tie on December 29, at Maple Leaf Gardens. Maurice Richard got a standing ovation when he scored his 401st goal late in the first period.

In a scoreless tie at the Montreal Forum on March 10, a new ice cleaner and resurfacer called a Zamboni was used for the first time. The fans were not appreciative of Toronto's defensive style in this game and threw garbage, including pig's feet, on the ice.

The Richard Riot took place on March 17, 1955. Maurice Richard had been suspended by league president Clarence Campbell after an incident in a game against Boston where Richard punched the referee. Richard was suspended for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Campbell's subsequent appearance at a Canadiens' game at the Montreal Forum incited a group of protesters and led to violence in the Forum and in downtown Montreal.

Final standings

National Hockey League[1]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1Detroit Red Wings70421711204134+7095
2Montreal Canadiens70411811228157+7193
3Toronto Maple Leafs70242422147135+1270
4Boston Bruins70232621169188−1967
5New York Rangers70173518150210−6052
6Chicago Black Hawks70134017161235−7443

Playoffs

Playoff bracket

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

Semifinals

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

Detroit won series 4–0

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

Montreal won series 4–1

Stanley Cup Finals

Detroit won series 4–3

Awards

Award winners
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Detroit Red Wings
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Ed Litzenberger, Chicago Black Hawks
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Ted Kennedy, Toronto Maple Leafs
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Sid Smith, Toronto Maple Leafs
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with the best goals-against average)
Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
All-Star teams
First team  Position  Second team
Harry Lumley, Toronto Maple Leafs G Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens D Bob Goldham, Detroit Red Wings
Red Kelly, Detroit Red Wings D Fern Flaman, Boston Bruins
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens C Ken Mosdell, Montreal Canadiens
Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens RW Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
Sid Smith, Toronto Maple Leafs LW Danny Lewicki, New York Rangers

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

Player Team GP G A PTS PIM
Bernie GeoffrionMontreal Canadiens7038377557
Maurice RichardMontreal Canadiens67383674125
Jean BeliveauMontreal Canadiens7037367358
Earl ReibelDetroit Red Wings7025416615
Gordie HoweDetroit Red Wings6429336268
George SullivanChicago Black Hawks6919426151
Bert OlmsteadMontreal Canadiens70104858103
Sid SmithToronto Maple Leafs7033215414
Ken MosdellMontreal Canadiens7022325482
Danny LewickiNew York Rangers702924538

Source: NHL[2]

Leading goaltenders

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
Harry LumleyToronto Maple Leafs6941401331.932324228
Terry SawchukDetroit Red Wings6840801321.9440171112
Jacques PlanteMontreal Canadiens5231201092.10311375
Charlie HodgeMontreal Canadiens14820312.277341
John HendersonBoston Bruins4526521092.471514155
Lorne WorsleyNew York Rangers6539001953.001533174
Jim HenryBoston Bruins271548793.0681261
Hank BassenChicago Black Hawks211260633.004980
Al RollinsChicago Black Hawks4426401493.3992780

Coaches

Debuts

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1954–55 (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 1954–55 (listed with their last team):

See also

References

  • Coleman, Charles L. (1976), Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol III, Sherbrooke, QC: Progressive Publications
  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (1994). Years of glory, 1942–1967: the National Hockey League's official book of the six-team era. Toronto, ON: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-2817-2.
  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: 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.
  • Duplacey, James (2008), Hockey's Book of Firsts, North Dighton, MA: JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
  • McFarlane, Brian (1969), 50 Years Of Hockey, Winnipeg, MAN: Greywood Publishing, ASIN B000GW45S0
  • McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press. ISBN 0-684-13424-1.
Notes
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