|1936–37 Boston Bruins · NHL|
|Goals for||120 (3rd)|
|Goals against||110 (3rd, tie)|
|General Manager||Art Ross|
|Goals||Charlie Sands (18)|
|Assists||Bill Cowley (22)|
|Points||Bill Cowley (35)|
|Penalties in minutes||Jack Portland (58)|
|Wins||Tiny Thompson (23)|
|Goals against average||Tiny Thompson (2.29)|
|← Seasons →|
- Monday, October 26 - Bruins 2 Maroons 1 @ Saint John
- Wednesday, October 28 - Maroons 3 Bruins 1 @ Saint John
- Thursday, October 29 - Bruins 1 Maroons 0 @ Moncton
- Saturday, October 31 - Maroons 4 Bruins 0 @ Halifax
- Monday, November 2 - Bruins 3 Maroons 2 @ Halifax
- Wednesday, November 4 - Maroons 3 Bruins 1 @ Moncton
The high expectations set for the Bruins first line of captain Red Beattie, Hooley Smith and Dit Clapper weren't realized and after three games, Smith became a winger on Bill Cowley's line. Speculation was that the line wasn't in the best physical condition. His play improved while Nels Stewart moved up to the first line. After losing their first game of the season 2-0 to the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins had a week off from the NHL schedule. Art Ross arranged an exhibition game on November 11, 1936 against their farm team, the Providence Reds, which Boston won 3-2.
The Bruins defensemen wore helmets during the season. Two notable additions to the backline played their first full seasons for the Bruins, Jack Portland and Flash Hollett. Portland was a bruising stay at home type who played until traded in the 1939–40 Boston Bruins season. Hollett developed into an incredible offensive threat, twice scoring an unheard of 19 goals a year for Boston in his eight seasons with the club. He'd set the defenseman goal scoring record of 20 in a season until broken by Bobby Orr.
On November 17, 1936, Art Ross sent an open letter to the NHL's general managers encouraging them to play "open hockey" with an emphasis on speed and clean play. He offered to pay $1000 to any team if the Bruins didn't play this style against them as long they agreed to the same penalty.
When Eddie Shore suffered a back injury during the November 23, 1936 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Smith took a turn at defense until Shore's return in mid-December. Ultimately though, Smith was a disappointment and had his worst point total in ten years. Leroy Goldsworthy also failed to perform and saw his goal scoring cut in half from the previous season. With a week off after tying the New York Rangers 2-2 on November 28, 1936, the Bruins played an exhibition game against the Springfield Indians on December 1, 1936 and won 5-4.
Milt Schmidt played his first NHL game during the 4-3 loss to Detroit on December 8, 1936. During the 4-3 win over the New York Americans on December 13, he impressed with his speed and courage, drawing a 10 misconduct after an altercation with future Bruin Eddie Wiseman in which he bloodied his nose. Several teams took up the Bruins "open hockey" challenge with the December 20, 1936 game against the Detroit Red Wings reported as the "most spirited battle of speed and brawn offered in the Detroit puck palace this winter."  Nels Stewart was sold to the Americans on December 21 and Hooley Smith moved back to the first line. Defenseman Ted Graham was traded to the Americans on the same day, having been out of the line-up every game but one due to an injured shoulder.
Ross rival Conn Smythe refused the open hockey challenge and after the December 22 game against Toronto was marred by boring defensive hockey, in retaliation, Ross promised "if they want defensive hockey, we'll give them an overdose of it."  Good to his word, the Bruins surrounded their own net and barely attacked during the December 26 re-match in Toronto and won 2-1. However, it came at a cost as Hooley Smith, Leroy Goldsworthy and Charlie Sands were injured. Milt Schmidt took Smith's place on the first line for the game. Ross' tactics paid dividends as the Bruins led the league in goal scoring by the end of 1936 and were just three points back of the Rangers for first in the American Division. However, goalie Tiny Thompson aggravated a hip injury which had been largely responsible for the Bruins elimination in the 1936 Quarter-finals.
Despite the struggles of Smith and Goldsworthy, the season saw an improvement in the Bruin's scoring. This was mainly due to the "Kid Line", centered by Bill Cowley, who would become a perennial scorer for the Bruins for the next decade. Cowley's wingers were Charlie Sands, who was a pleasant surprise as his 18 goals paced the team, and rookie Ray Getliffe. The Bruins started 1937 on a positive note, beating the Rangers 3-2 and coming within one point of catching them for first place. Eddie Shore scored twice in the game and with Hooley Smith still nursing a sore back, Milt Schmidt and Jim O'Neil alternated on the first line.
The flu bug then hit the team with Jack Portland hospitalized for three days after the 2-0 win over the Chicago Black Hawks on January 7, 1937. Tiny Thompson and Red Beattie both continued to play, despite high fevers, during the 4-2 loss to Detroit on January 10, 1937. Dit Clapper played defense and Milt Schmidt was recalled from the minors. This started a losing skid of inconsistent play for the rest of January. Cooney Weiland and Ray Getliffe missed games with the flu and despite the return of Hooley Smith, the team was so ravaged that one pundit joked that 47 year old Art Ross might have to suit up for the January 17 game against the Americans. This despite Ross also suffering from a cold.  However, the short-handed Bruins blanked the Amerks 3-0.
Conn Smythe continued his antics and showed up in a top hat and tails for the January 19, 1937 Bruins-Leafs tilt. Again, Smythe's players formed a ring around the Toronto net and the game was described as a "monotonous fiasco".  Frustrated after the Maple Leafs gained a lead, the game turned into a free-for-all in the third period with numerous fights. During the January 23, 1937 game against the Americans, the Bruins fell behind 4-0 entering the last frame. Six goals in the third period, including one by Hooley Smith with 12 seconds left and Tiny Thompson pulled, resulted in a 6-6 tie. The comeback was fueled by a major penalty to the Americans Sweeney Schriner for high-sticking Eddie Shore, scratching his eye ball.
The next game on January 26, 1937 against the Rangers saw goalies Tiny Thompson and Dave Kerr both play spectacularly. But after Eddie Shore was hurt sliding into the boards, the Rangers broke through and won 3-0. Shore cracked a vertebrae and was lost for the rest of the season. After a tie against the Rangers on January 28, Lorne Duguid played his first game of the season (and second last of his career) on January 31 against Detroit. He opened the scoring but after Hec Kilrea tied it up, both teams played cautiously. Hec's brother Wally scored a fluke goal, which bounced in off Allan Shields' shoulder, and the Red Wings won 2-1 in a penalty-free game, ending the Bruins worst month of the season.
The Bruins started February with a 1-0 loss to the Canadiens on the 2nd. Habs coach Cecil Hart was a convert to "open hockey" and praised Boston's play as a "thrill a second" and "the league's greatest road attraction." He advocated the Bruins transfer to the Canadian Division and said they'd save hockey in Montreal.  After the game, Art Ross called up Milt Schmidt and Woody Dumart and demoted Lorne Duguid and Jim O'Neill. Mired in a slump, Dit Clapper was placed on a line with Schmidt and Dumart for the rematch against the Canadiens on February 4, 1937. They clicked with Clapper scoring twice as the Bruins won 6-2. Schmidt's assist on one of Clapper's goals was his first NHL point. Scribes indicated that "if he lives up to his promise, it will be the forerunner of hundreds."  Prophetic words indeed. Despite losses on February 7 and 9, the addition of the two rookies turned the Bruins season around.
On February 11, 1937, the Bruins signed Sylvio Mantha, who had been the Montreal Canadiens player-coach the previous season, and was fired at the season's end. From February 13-23, Boston went on a six game undefeated streak. On February 16, Leroy Goldsworthy scored the winner in a important four point game with the Rangers. During the 2-2 tie with the Canadiens on February 21, 1937, Woody Dumart scored his first NHL goal, assisted by Milt Schmidt. This moved the Bruins into second place in the American Division, which they wouldn't relinquish for the rest of the season. On February 26, 1937, the NHL adopted a proposal by Art Ross, that teams had to provide their starting line-ups at least ten minutes prior to a game.
After losing 4-2 to the lowly Chicago Black Hawks on March 2, 1937, Sylvia Mantha was inserted into the line-up. He was given Eddie Shore's jersey #2 and turned in a competent defensive game on the blueline during the 1-0 win over the Rangers on March 7, 1937. Woody Dumart's goal with less than two minutes left was the winner and clinched a playoff spot. A signature game against the league-leading Red Wings on March 9, 1937 saw the Bruins prove their mettle as they won convincing by 6-1. The Clapper-Schmidt-Dumart line, tabbed the "Blackjack Line", dominated with Clapper scoring twice and Dumart once. The line continued producing the next game, a 6-2 victory over Chicago on March 11, 1937. Schmidt scored his first NHL goal, added another, Clapper scored twice while Dumart had three helpers.
Sylvia Mantha cracked a bone in his elbow in the Black Hawks game but played the next, a 2-1 loss to Detroit on March 14, 1937. This was his last NHL game as he went on the injured list and missed the rest of the season. The loss of Mantha required Dit Clapper to play defense and resulted in the call-up of Bobby Bauer for his second NHL game during the Bruins last regular season match against Chicago on March 21, 1937. Bauer marked his first career goal but it was Bill Cowley's four assists that paced Boston to a 6-1 win. The pieces were in place for the Kraut Line. The Bruins finished second in the American Division and drew the second place team in the Canadian Division, the Montreal Maroons, as their post season opponent.
|Detroit Red Wings||48||25||14||9||128||102||59|
|New York Rangers||48||19||20||9||117||106||47|
|Chicago Black Hawks||48||14||27||7||99||131||35|
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
|Regular Season Results|
|1||L||November 7, 1936||0–2||@ Montreal Canadiens (1936–37)||0–1–0|
|2||W||November 15, 1936||2–1||Montreal Canadiens (1936–37)||1–1–0|
|3||L||November 17, 1936||6–0||New York Rangers (1936–37)||1–2–0|
|4||W||November 21, 1936||4–3||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1936–37)||2–2–0|
|5||W||November 22, 1936||2–1||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1936–37)||3–2–0|
|6||T||November 24, 1936||1–1 OT||Chicago Black Hawks (1936–37)||3–2–1|
|7||W||November 26, 1936||3–2 OT||Montreal Maroons (1936–37)||4–2–1|
|8||T||November 28, 1936||2–2 OT||@ New York Rangers (1936–37)||4–2–2|
|9||L||December 5, 1936||3–4||@ Montreal Canadiens (1936–37)||4–3–2|
|10||L||December 8, 1936||3–4||Detroit Red Wings (1936–37)||4–4–2|
|11||W||December 13, 1936||4–3||@ New York Americans (1936–37)||5–4–2|
|12||W||December 15, 1936||5–3 OT||New York Americans (1936–37)||6–4–2|
|13||W||December 17, 1936||5–0||@ Montreal Maroons (1936–37)||7–4–2|
|14||L||December 20, 1936||3–4||@ Detroit Red Wings (1936–37)||7–5–2|
|15||L||December 22, 1936||2–4||Toronto Maple Leafs (1936–37)||7–6–2|
|16||W||December 26, 1936||2–1||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1936–37)||8–6–2|
|17||W||December 29, 1936||3–0||Montreal Maroons (1936–37)||9–6–2|
|18||T||December 31, 1936||2–2 OT||@ New York Rangers (1936–37)||9–6–3|
|19||W||January 3, 1937||3–2||New York Rangers (1936–37)||10–6–3|
|20||L||January 5, 1937||2–3||Detroit Red Wings (1936–37)||10–7–3|
|21||W||January 7, 1937||2–0||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1936–37)||11–7–3|
|22||L||January 10, 1937||2–4||@ Detroit Red Wings (1936–37)||11–8–3|
|23||L||January 12, 1937||2–4||Chicago Black Hawks (1936–37)||11–9–3|
|24||W||January 17, 1937||3–0||@ New York Americans (1936–37)||12–9–3|
|25||L||January 19, 1937||2–6||Toronto Maple Leafs (1936–37)||12–10–3|
|26||W||January 21, 1937||2–1||@ Montreal Maroons (1936–37)||13–10–3|
|27||T||January 24, 1937||6–6 OT||New York Americans (1936–37)||13–10–4|
|28||L||January 26, 1937||0–3||New York Rangers (1936–37)||13–11–4|
|29||T||January 28, 1937||1–1 OT||@ New York Rangers (1936–37)||13–11–5|
|30||L||January 31, 1937||1–2||Detroit Red Wings (1936–37)||13–12–5|
|31||L||February 2, 1937||0–1||Montreal Canadiens (1936–37)||13–13–5|
|32||W||February 4, 1937||6–2||@ Montreal Canadiens (1936–37)||14–13–5|
|33||L||February 7, 1937||0–8||@ Detroit Red Wings (1936–37)||14–14–5|
|34||L||February 9, 1937||0–2||Montreal Maroons (1936–37)||14–15–5|
|35||W||February 13, 1937||3–0||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1936–37)||15–15–5|
|36||W||February 14, 1937||2–1||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1936–37)||16–15–5|
|37||W||February 16, 1937||3–2||New York Rangers (1936–37)||17–15–5|
|38||W||February 18, 1937||2–1||@ Montreal Maroons (1936–37)||18–15–5|
|39||T||February 21, 1937||2–2 OT||Montreal Canadiens (1936–37)||18–15–6|
|40||W||February 23, 1937||5–2||New York Americans (1936–37)||19–15–6|
|41||L||February 25, 1937||1–3||@ New York Americans (1936–37)||19–16–6|
|42||L||March 2, 1937||2–4||Chicago Black Hawks (1936–37)||19–17–6|
|43||W||March 7, 1937||1–0||@ New York Rangers (1936–37)||20–17–6|
|44||W||March 9, 1937||6–1||Detroit Red Wings (1936–37)||21–17–6|
|45||W||March 11, 1937||6–2||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1936–37)||22–17–6|
|46||L||March 14, 1937||1–2||@ Detroit Red Wings (1936–37)||22–18–6|
|47||T||March 16, 1937||1–1 OT||Toronto Maple Leafs (1936–37)||22–18–7|
|48||W||March 21, 1937||6–1||Chicago Black Hawks (1936–37)||23–18–7|
Montreal Maroons 2, Boston Bruins 1
The last playoff series win for the Montreal Maroons saw them defeat the Bruins 2-1 in a best of three first round series. The Bruins were without all-star defenseman Eddie Shore who was sidelined with a cracked vertebrae as well as Bun Cook and Sylvio Mantha.
Game 1 at Montreal was dominated by the Maroons who went ahead 2-0 on goals by Carl Voss and Baldy Northcott before Jack Beattie cut the lead to 2-1. Late third period goals by Herb Cain and Bob Gracie sealed a 4-1 victory. Dit Clapper received a major penalty for fighting Dave Trottier after the latter butt-ended him in the head. After referee Clarence Campbell insulted Clapper, he punched at Campbell.
Game 2 at Boston saw the Maroons without first-liner Dave Trottier, whose eye was swollen shut after his fight with Dit Clapper in Game 1. Clapper was fined $100 but not suspended for any games. Lionel Conacher took a minor penalty in the first period after a viscous cross-check in which he broke Leroy Goldsworthy's nose. Dit Clapper scored on the power play at 4:54 before Charlie Sands made it 2-0 at 15:42 after his blueline blast deflected in off Maroons defenseman Stewart Evans. In the second period, Conacher was awarded a penalty shot after Bruins goalie Tiny Thompson tripped him in a goalmouth melee. Thompson made a brilliant skate save to preserve his shutout which was the turning point in the game. Ray Getliffe scored soon after on a rebound of a Bill Cowley shot and Goldsworthy returned to action with plaster over his nose. In the third period, captain Red Beattie beat goalie Bill Beveridge with a slapshot as the Bruins won 4-0 and tied the series.
Game 3 at Boston saw Bobby Bauer play his first post season match. The first period was scoreless in which Tiny Thompson's hand was cut in a goalmouth scramble. The game was delayed for 12 minutes while Thompson received stitches. In the second period, the Bruins took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Dit Clapper. After Thompson made a save, he accidentally batted the puck into his own net at 15:49. Rattled, he misplayed a Russ Blinco shot, making it 2-1 for the Maroons. The Maroons added two more in the last frame to take the series 2 games to 1. They'd lose their second round series to the New York Rangers.
|1||March 23||Boston Bruins||1-4||Montreal Maroons||0-1|
|2||March 25||Montreal Maroons||0-4||Boston Bruins||1-1|
|3||March 28||Montreal Maroons||4-1||Boston Bruins||2-1|
|14, 15||Milt Schmidt||C/D||26||2||8||10||15|
|2, 15||Nels Stewart||C||11||3||2||5||6|
|6, 14||Jim O'Neil||C/RW||21||0||2||2||6|
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals
MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts
Awards and Records
- The Bruins did not win any league awards this season.
- Elizabeth C. Dufresne Trophy: Tiny Thompson
- Purchase Bun Cook from the New York Rangers on September 10, 1936.
- Babe Siebert and Roger Jenkins traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Leroy Goldsworthy, Sammy McManus and cash on September 10, 1936.
- Charles Shannon traded to the Montreal Maroons for Hooley Smith on October 26, 1936.
- Max Kaminsky sold to the Maroons on December 7, 1936.
- Nels Stewart sold to the New York Americans on December 19, 1936.
- Ted Graham traded to the New York Americans for Walter Kalbfleisch on December 19, 1936.
- Joe Jerwa traded to the Americans for the rights to Terry Reardon and the loan of Allan Shields on January 25, 1937.
- Milt Schmidt wore #14 for his first two games as a Bruin (December 8 and 13, 1936) until switching to #15, which would be retired in his honour in 1980. He received a misconduct in his second NHL game.
- After Eddie Shore was injured before the November 21, 1936 versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nels Stewart wore his #2 jersey for several games until switching to #15.
- Shore returned but was shutdown for the season after the January 26, 1937 game versus the New York Rangers. Walter Kalbfleisch, Lorne Duguid and Sylvio Mantha wore Shore's #2.
- Schmidt and Woody Dumart played their first game together on February 4, 1937 in a 6-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. They wore the jersey numbers they would make famous, #15 and #14 respectively.
- Dumart scored his first NHL goal, assisted by Schmidt, on February 21, 1937 in a 2-2 tie with the Canadiens.
- Schmidt scored his first NHL goal, assisted by Dumart, on March 11, 1937 in a 6-2 win over the Chicago Black Hawks. Schmidt added another goal and an assist in the game.
- Bobby Bauer, wearing #10, played his first NHL game in the last game of the season and scored in a 6-1 win over Chicago.
- No Bruins record a hat trick this season.
A fascinating early 1937 video featuring hockey instruction from Art Ross, Eddie Shore, Bun Cook, Bill Cowley, Tiny Thompson, Jack Portland, Jack Beattie and Cooney Weiland. Footage from the January 17, 1937 video versus the New York Americans is at video end including the first (and winning) goal of the game by Hooley Smith. Bruins won 3-0.
- Windsor Star, p.23, December 21, 1936.
- Boston Globe, p.8, December 24, 1936.
- Boston Globe, p.12, January 16, 1937.
- Boston Globe, p.22, January 20, 1937.
- Boston Globe, p.20, February 3, 1937.
- Boston Globe, p.24, February 5, 1937.
- Boston Globe, p.7, February 27, 1937.
- Windsor Star, p.25, March 23, 1937.
- Boston Globe, p.26, March 17, 1937.
|The Franchise||Franchise • Original Six • Team History • All-time Roster • Seasons • Players • Records • GMs • Head Coaches|
|Arenas||Boston Arena • Boston Garden • TD Garden|
|Head Coaches||Ross • Denneny • Patrick • Weiland • Clapper • Boucher • Patrick • Schmidt • Watson• Sinden • Johnson • Guidolin • Cherry • Creighton • Cheevers • Goring • O'Reilly • Milbury • Bowness • Sutter • Kasper • Burns • Keenan • Ftorek • O'Connell • Sullivan • Lewis • Julien • Cassidy|
|Retired Numbers||2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 15 • 16 • 24 • 77 • 99|
|Affiliates||Providence Bruins • Atlanta Gladiators|
|Rivals||Montreal Canadiens • Toronto Maple Leafs • Philadelphia Flyers • New York Rangers|
|Stanley Cups||1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, 2011|
|1936–37 NHL season by team|
|Canadian||Montreal Canadiens • Montreal Maroons • NY Americans • Toronto|
|American||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • NY Rangers|
|See also||1937 Stanley Cup Finals|