Boston Bruins 1929 Stanley Cup Champions.

The 1928-29 NHL season was the twelfth season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. This was the first Stanley Cup playoffs ever that saw two United States based teams compete for the cup. The Boston Bruins won over the New York Rangers 2 games to 0 in a best-of-three final.

League Business

Notable Rule Changes

Forward passing was permitted from the neutral zone across the blue line into the attacking zone, as long as no offensive player preceded the puck into the attacking zone; forward passing within the attacking zone was still forbidden. Regular season overtime was changed to a 10-minute, non-sudden-death format, to be played in its entirety.

Playoff Format

The playoff format was revised to match first-place teams in a best-of-five series for the NHL championship, second-place teams and third-place teams in a two-game total-goals series to determine the participants for a best-of-three semi-final and the semi-final winner against the NHL Champion in a best-of-three series for the Cup.

Regular Season

Opening night at the Boston Garden, November 20, 1928.

The Boston Bruins moved into a new home, the Boston Garden. In their debut game at the Garden on November 20, 1928, the Bruins lost 1–0 to the Montreal Canadiens.

Ottawa continued in financial trouble and sold Punch Broadbent to the New York Americans. They continued to erode, and at one point, rumour had it that they would be sold to a Chicago group. Frank Ahearn, the Senators owner, denied this, but admitted that the team was for sale to the highest bidder.

Lester Patrick and the New York Rangers offered Winthrop native Myles Lane to the Boston Bruins, astonishingly asking for superstar Eddie Shore in return. Bruins' general manager Art Ross replied famously, "You are so many Myles from Shore you need a life preserver." Nonetheless, the Bruins purchased Lane's rights for $7,500.

The New York Americans, last place finishers in 1927-28, surprised everyone by occupying first place for much of the season in the Canadian Division. They were held up by the great play of defenceman Lionel Conacher and goaltender Roy Worters. However, the Montreal Canadiens dislodged the Americans and finished first. George Hainsworth, Canadiens goaltender, set an unprecedented record of 22 shutouts and a .98 goals against average. Boston, led by rookie Tiny Thompson in goal, led the American Division.

Bruins player George Owen was the first NHL player to regularly wear head gear for protective purposes. Prior to this, the only time protective head gear was worn was to temporarly protect injuries. Fifty-one years later the NHL would mandate the use of helmets. Craig MacTavish was the last NHL player to not wear a helmet in 1997.

Final Standings

Canadian Division
Montreal Canadiens 44 22 7 15 71 43 59
New York Americans 44 19 13 12 53 53 50
Toronto Maple Leafs 44 21 18 5 85 69 47
Ottawa Senators 44 14 17 13 54 67 41
Montreal Maroons 44 15 20 9 67 65 39

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

American Division
Boston Bruins 44 26 13 5 89 52 57
New York Rangers 44 21 13 10 72 65 52
Detroit Cougars 44 19 16 9 72 63 47
Pittsburgh Pirates 44 9 27 8 46 80 26
Chicago Black Hawks 44 7 29 8 33 85 22

Scoring Leaders

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

Ace Bailey Toronto Maple Leafs 44 22 10 32 78
Nels Stewart Montreal Maroons 44 21 8 29 74
Howie Morenz Montreal Canadiens 42 17 10 27 47
Carson Cooper Detroit Cougars 43 18 9 27 14
Andy Blair Toronto Maple Leafs 44 12 15 27 41

Leading Goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; Mins = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average

Player Team GP W L T Mins GA SO GAA
George Hainsworth Montreal Canadiens 44 22 7 15 2800 43 22 0.92
Tiny Thompson Boston Bruins 44 26 13 5 2710 52 12 1.15
Roy Worters New York Americans 44 16 12 10 2390 46 13 1.15
Dolly Dolson Detroit Cougars 38 19 16 9 2750 63 10 1.37
John Ross Roach New York Rangers 44 21 13 10 2760 65 13 1.41

Stanley Cup Playoffs

Third line center Bill Carson scored the Bruins first Cup winning goal.

The playoffs were now between division finishers of each division, rather than a division champion from each division.The Boston Bruins knocked off the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers beat the New York Americans and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Cougars. The Rangers beat Toronto and then the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup defeating the Rangers. In the process, Boston became one of the few Cup winners in history to not lose a single game in the playoffs, and the last team until 1952 to win every playoff game.

Playoff Bracket

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  C1  Montreal Canadiens 0  
    A1  Boston Bruins 3  
    A1  Boston Bruins 2
  A2  New York Rangers 0
  C2  New York Americans 0G  
A2  New York Rangers 1G  
A2  New York Rangers 2
    C3  Toronto Maple Leafs 0  
C3  Toronto Maple Leafs 7G
  A3  Detroit Cougars 2G  


NHL Awards

1928-29 NHL Awards
O'Brien Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Prince of Wales Trophy: Boston Bruins
Hart Memorial Trophy: Roy Worters, New York Americans
Lady Byng Trophy: Frank Boucher, New York Rangers
Vezina Trophy: George Hainsworth, Montreal Canadiens


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1928-29 (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 1928-29 (listed with their last team):


See Also


NHL Seasons

1924-25 | 1925-26 | 1926-27 | 1927-28 | 1928-29 | 1929-30 | 1930-31 | 1931-32 | 1932-33

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