The 1930-31 NHL season was the fourteenth season of the National Hockey League. Ten teams played 44 games each. The Montreal Canadiens beat the Chicago Black Hawks three games to two in a best-of-five Stanley Cup final for their second consecutive Cup win.
Art Ross bitterly complained about the Stanley Cup final setup. His team had been vanquished in two consecutive games by the Montreal Canadiens in 1929-30. As a result, the Board of Governors decided to make the final a best of five series.
The Great Depression was starting to take its toll on the NHL. In attempts to solve financial problems, the Pittsburgh Pirates moved to Philadelphia and became the Philadelphia Quakers, but there was nothing about the team to win games or fans. It was intended that the team stay in Philadelphia only until a new arena was built in Pittsburgh. The arena was never built, and the team folded after only one season in the new city. The Ottawa Senators were in a similar financial boat but instead of relocating, they sold their star asset and future Hall of Famer, King Clancy, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for $35,000 and two players. It hurt the team, and attendance declined all the more. However, after a very poor turnout to watch the Philadelphia Quakers, over 10,000 fans came to see the Montreal Canadiens beat Ottawa. Obviously the fans in Ottawa were being selective of who they came to see.
Howie Morenz led the league in scoring and kept the turnstiles clicking at NHL rinks, despite the Depression.
GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties In Minutes
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold
|Toronto Maple Leafs||44||22||13||9||53||118||99||540|
|New York Americans||44||18||16||10||46||76||74||495|
|Chicago Black Hawks||44||24||17||3||51||108||78||416|
|New York Rangers||44||19||16||9||47||106||87||514|
|Howie Morenz||Montreal Canadiens||39||28||23||51||49|
|Ebbie Goodfellow||Detroit Red Wings||44||25||23||48||32|
|Charlie Conacher||Toronto Maple Leafs||37||31||12||43||78|
|Bill Cook||New York Rangers||43||30||12||42||39|
|Ace Bailey||Toronto Maple Leafs||40||23||19||42||46|
|Joe Primeau||Toronto Maple Leafs||38||9||32||41||18|
|Nels Stewart||Montreal Maroons||42||25||14||39||75|
|Frank Boucher||New York Rangers||44||12||27||39||20|
|Cooney Weiland||Boston Bruins||44||25||13||38||14|
|Bun Cook||New York Rangers||44||18||17||35||72|
|Aurel Joliat||Montreal Canadiens||43||13||22||35||73|
Stanley Cup PlayoffsEdit
On 26 March, during the second game of the best-of-five series between the Bruins and Canadiens, coach-GM Art Ross of Boston pulled his goalie for an extra attacker while down 1-0 with 40 seconds left in the final period. This marked the first time in NHL history that a goalie was pulled for an extra attacker. In the finals, the Chicago Black Hawks took an early two games to one lead in the newly expanded best-of-five Stanley Cup finals but the Montreal Canadiens came back and won the series three games to two for their second consecutive Stanley Cup win.
|A2||Chicago Black Hawks||2|
|C2||Toronto Maple Leafs||3G|
|A2||Chicago Black Hawks||4G|
|A2||Chicago Black Hawks||3G|
|A3||New York Rangers||0G|
<tr> <td height="14"> </td> <td align=center bgcolor="#f2f2f2" style="border:1px solid #aaa;"> A3</td> <td style="border:1px solid #aaa;" bgcolor=#f9f9f9> New York Rangers</td> <td align=center style="border:1px solid #aaa;" bgcolor=#f9f9f9>8G</td> <td style="border-width:2px 0 0 0; border-style:solid;border-color:black;"> </td></tr>
Montreal Canadiens 3, Boston Bruins 2 Edit
The league's two best teams met in the second round of the playoffs, both teams having received byes in the first round. The series was extremely close with three of the five games being decided in overtime.
Game 1 in Boston saw the Bruins behind 4-1 entering the third period. A three goal comeback sent the game into overtime where Cooney Weiland scored his second goal of the game to win it for the Bruins.
Game 2 in Boston was a close checking affair with the only goal scored by Georges Mantha in the first period. Early in the third period, Habs goalie George Hainsworth was cut on the forehead with a skate, stopping the game for 8 minutes while he was tended to in the locker room. With 4 minutes left in the game, George Owen was given a major penalty for an infraction against Howie Morenz. This resulted in a shower of debris being thrown on the ice, stopping the game for 15 minutes while it was cleaned up. With a minute to go, for the first time in NHL history, coach Art Ross pulled goalie Tiny Thompson in a failed attempt to tie the game.
Game 3 saw the series shift to Montreal for the remainder of the games played. Down 3-1 entering the third period, the Bruins again mounted a third period comeback to tie it up on goals by Cooney Weiland and Marty Barry. However, Georges Mantha scored the winner in overtime.
Game 4 saw the Bruins build a three goal lead entering the third period including Weiland's fourth goal of the series. A goal by the Canadiens' Nick Wasnie wasn't enough as the Bruins tied the series.
Game 5 followed the pattern of game 1 and 3 in which the Bruins fell behind entering the third period. Two goals from series scoring leader Weiland tied the game up but Wildor Larochelle scored at 19:00 of the first OT and the Habs took the series 3-2.
|1||March 24||Montreal Canadiens||4-5 (OT)||Boston Bruins||0-1|
|2||March 26||Montreal Canadiens||1-0||Boston Bruins||1-1|
|3||March 28||Boston Bruins||3-4 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||1-2|
|4||March 30||Boston Bruins||3-1||Montreal Canadiens||2-2|
|5||April 1||Boston Bruins||2-3 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||2-3|
- Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks
|April 3||Montreal Canadiens||2||Chicago Blackhawks||1|
|April 5||Montreal Canadiens||1||Chicago Blackhawks||2||2OT|
|April 9||Chicago Blackhawks||3||Montreal Canadiens||2||3OT|
|April 11||Chicago Blackhawks||1||Montreal Canadiens||2|
|April 14||Chicago Blackhawks||1||Montreal Canadiens||2|
Montreal wins best-of-five series 3-2.
|1930-31 NHL awards|
|O'Brien Trophy:||Montreal Canadiens|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:||Boston Bruins|
|Hart Memorial Trophy:||Howie Morenz, Montreal Canadiens|
|Lady Byng Trophy:||Frank Boucher, New York Rangers|
|Vezina Trophy:||Roy Worters, New York Americans|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1930-31 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Art Chapman, Boston Bruins
- Doc Romnes, Chicago Black Hawks
- John Sorrell, Detroit Falcons
- Johnny Gagnon, Montreal Canadiens
- Paul Haynes, Montreal Maroons
- Dave Kerr, Montreal Maroons
- Alex Levinsky, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Bob Gracie, Toronto Maple Leafs
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1930-31 (listed with their last team):
- Frank Fredrickson, Detroit Falcons
- Bert McCaffrey, Montreal Canadiens
- Joe Simpson, New York Americans
- Babe Dye, Toronto Maple Leafs
|National Hockey League|
|1930–31 NHL season by team|
|Canadian Division||Mtl Canadiens • Mtl Maroons • NY Americans • Ottawa • Toronto|
|American Division||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • NY Rangers • Philadelphia|
|See also||Stanley Cup Finals|