Ice Hockey Wiki
1937–38 Boston Bruins · NHL
Prince of Wales Trophy Winners
American Division Champions
Division 1st American
1937–38 record 30–11–7
Goals for 142 (3rd)
Goals against 89 (1st)
General Manager Art Ross
Coach Art Ross
Captain Cooney Weiland
Arena Boston Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Bobby Bauer (20)
Assists Bill Cowley (22)
Points Bill Cowley (39)
Penalties in minutes Flash Hollett (54)
Wins Tiny Thompson (30)
Goals against average Tiny Thompson (1.85)
← Seasons →
1936–37 1938–39

The 1937–38 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 14th season in the NHL. It saw the return of Eddie Shore from a season ending cracked vertebrae injury in 1936–37. With the emergence of the "Kraut Line" of Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart, the Bruins finished first in the American Division and the league, winning their seventh Prince of Wales Trophy. The Bruins lost in the Semi-finals to the Toronto Maple Leafs 3 games to 0.


After a disappointing 1936-37 season, GM Art Ross sold Hooley Smith to the New York Americans. To replace him, Ross purchased Art Jackson, brother of scoring champion Busher Jackson.

On October 28, 1937, Frank Brimsek was signed by the Bruins and assigned to the Rhode Island Reds.[1]


Captain Cooney Weiland headline, December 15, 1937.

The Bruins opened their training camp in Hershey, Pennsylvania on October 18, 1937. After suffering a cracked vertebrae in January 1937, Eddie Shore was fully recovered. Several Bruins raved about his physical conditioning and forecasted a comeback.[2]

The Bruins played the following exhibition games:

After the exhibition games, Hooley Smith, who'd played on the first line and defense the previous season, was sold to the New York Americans.

Dit Clapper scores, Howie Morenz Memorial Game, November 2, 1937.

Although official Bruins records list Dit Clapper as the team's captain for the season, Cooney Weiland was appointed to lead the team as reported in the Boston Globe and a number of other newspapers.

After the death of Howie Morenz, the Howie Morenz Memorial Game was held at the Montreal Forum on November 2, 1937 to benefit Morenz's family. 8,683 fans attended, contributing $11,447 to an eventual total of over $20,000 in donations. A team of NHL All Stars played a combined team of the Montreal Maroons and Canadiens, defeating them 6-5. The Bruins Tiny Thompson, Dit Clapper and Eddie Shore played for the NHL All Stars with Clapper scoring the All Stars' first goal and Shore assisting on the winning goal.

Regular Season


The Bruins first and second lines, November 1937.

The 1937-38 season saw a changing of the guard on the Bruins offense. The "Kid Line" of the previous season, Charlie Sands, Bill Cowley and Ray Getliffe remained intact and was the first line. Put together in training camp, the "Kraut Line" (often called the Sauerkraut Line) of Woody Dumart, Milt Schmidt and Bobby Bauer became the second line. Newly acquired Art Jackson was put on the third line with Red Beattie and Leroy Goldsworthy. Captain Cooney Weiland acted as the spare forward.

Ray Getliffe had a hat trick in the Bruins season opener, November 6, 1937.

After playing on the first line the year before, Dit Clapper was paired with Jack Portland on defense while Eddie Shore and Flash Hollett formed the other pair. As in the previous season, the Bruins defense wore helmets. Tiny Thompson started his ninth year in goal.

The Kraut Line made its debut in the season opener against the Montreal Maroons and had an immediate impact. Milt Schmidt scored, assisted by Woody Dumart while Ray Getliffe had a hat trick in a 4-2 win. With a week off until their next game, the Bruins played an exhibition against the Rhode Island Reds on November 9, 1937. Boston won 5-1 but could have run up the score much higher if not for the outstanding goaltending of Reds goalie Frank Brimsek. The high-flying New York Rangers were the Bruins next opponent on November 14, 1937. Bauer and Schmidt both scored in the 3-2 victory but Ray Getliffe was lost with a strained leg ligament. Charlie Sands' nose was severely cut in practice the next day, requiring the call-up of Mel Hill and Robert "Red" Hamill. Both played their first NHL game on November 16, 1937 in the 1-0 win over the Maroons. Eddie Shore suffered a severe cut on his toe during the game.[3]

Kraut Line as successor to the "Dynamite Line", November 1937.

Still without Getliffe and Sands, Eddie Shore also missed the next game, against the New York Americans on November 18, 1937.[4] Down 1-0, Flash Hollett scored a shorthanded marker before Milt Schmidt sent Woody Dumart in alone to score with less than two minutes left as the Bruins won 2-1. The three injured players returned for the November 20 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs and showed they were no worse for wear. Getliffe scored the Bruins first goal and Sands (wearing a nose guard) had the winner in a 3-2 victory. The Bruins ended their three game road trip against the Chicago Black Hawks on November 21. The Kraut Line did all the scoring as the "Rossmen" triumphed 2-1, their sixth consecutive victory to start the season.

Note Charlie Sands' nose guard in Bruins-Canadiens action, November 23, 1937.

Exhausted after playing four games in five nights, the Bruins limped home for their November 23 tilt against the Montreal Canadiens. Habs GM Cecil Hart promised to break the Bruins winning streak and he'd be right, sort of. The game was slow and Eddie Shore took the only penalty, which resulted in Armand Mondou scoring in the first period. Determined to atone, Shore caught Mondou with a check in the second period, which broke Mondou's leg. Soon after, he set up Woody Dumart's third of the year and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. With only one game in the next week, Ray Getliffe was given the November 28 game against the Americans off to rest his leg. Former Bruin Nels Stewart had a hat trick as the match ended in a 3-3 tie. Undefeated in November, Boston held first place in the American Division and the league.

Bill Cowley scored twice, December 7, 1937.

The streak came to an end with a 2-0 loss to the Canadiens on December 2, 1937. Babe Siebert's lucky shot from the corner bounced in off Tiny Thompson's pad for the winner. While in Montreal, Dit Clapper was served with a lawsuit by a fan who was hit by a puck Clapper shot into the crowd in a previous game.[5] This started the Bruins worst stretch of the season, as they lost 4-0 to the Rangers on December 5 and 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings on December 7. The latter game was rough and was tied 2-2 in the third period, with three of the goals coming on the power play. Eddie Shore was elbowed by Detroit's Doug Young and as he fell, his stick came up, cut Young on the lip and he was assessed a major penalty. The Red Wings scored the winner on the ensuing power play.

Cooney Weiland ended the Bruins losing skid, December 14, 1937.

With a week off until their next game, Art Ross ran the team through some gruelling practices in preparation for the December 14, 1937 match against his rival, Conn Smythe and the Maple Leafs. Captain Cooney Weiland scored his first two goals of the season, seven seconds apart, to lead the Bruins to a 3-1 win. League scoring leader Gordie Drillon was held pointless and the Bruins snapped their three game losing skid. This was the first game that Art Jackson played against his brother Busher. They'd become Bruins teammates five years later. A 3-1 victory over the Maroons ensued on December 18 with Eddie Shore taking the faceoff on the play that led to the winning goal by Woody Dumart as the teams played four aside.[6] Weiland's hot hand continued as he scored twice, as did Charlie Sands, in the Bruins 4-2 win over the Red Wings on December 19, 1937.

Bruins-Black Hawks action, December 21, 1937.

Red Beattie was traded for Gord Pettinger and made his debut during the December 21, 1937 game against Chicago. Weiland and Sands continued to shine on special teams and Weiland also spelled Pettinger off on the third line. While penalty-killing in the second period, Weiland beat Hawks defenseman Earl Seibert with a pass to Sands whose backhand eluded Mike Karakas. In the final frame, Sands returned the favour to Weiland. Tiny Thompson was nine seconds from a shutout but his brother Paul spoiled it as the Bruins won 2-1. The Americans, known for stifling defensive hockey, were the Bruins opponent on Christmas Day. The Kraut Line engineered the game's only goal as Boston extended its winning streak to five games.

The Americans smothering defense, December 26, 1937.

Boxing Day had the "Rossmen" facing the Americans at the Boston Garden. The Bruins had a wide shot margin but after going down 1-0, the Amerks constantly surrounded their net. With two seconds left in the second period, John Gallagher scored on a breakaway, New York's only chance of the middle frame. After Charlie Sands cut the lead to 2-1, Sweeney Schriner potted an empty-netter with a second left for a 3-1 Boston loss, ending their five game winning streak. The loss gave the Bruins next opponent, the Rangers, who were four points in arrears, hope of making up ground on December 28, 1937. This important match was judged to be the "poorest refereed game seen here in many a moon" [7] and as so often happens, when the referees (Clarence Campbell and Archie McTier) wouldn't keep order, the players took matters into their own hands.

Cooney Weiland scores, December 28, 1937.

The spark that lit the fire occurred at the 12 minute mark of the first period with the Bruins leading 1-0 on Cooney Weiland's seventh goal of the season. As Milt Schmidt was carrying the puck out of the Bruins end, Mac Colville caught him with an elbow to the jaw, breaking it. Schmidt left the game and no penalty was called. As play progressed, every scrum saw high-sticking and threats. In the second period with Boston leading 2-0, anger turned to outrage when Dit Clapper was assessed a weak interference penalty. The Rangers knotted the game on the power play and shortly after, Phil Watson and Eddie Shore crashed into each other. Watson butt-ended Shore in the mouth and received a blow from Shore's stick to his forehead, felling him. Both players received major penalties and cooler heads prevailed for the rest of the game. Flash Hollett scored the winner on a weak, one-handed shot as he was holding off Ott Heller and the Bruins won 3-2. The grudge match on December 31 was absent of major incidents as the Rangers won 5-3. The Bruins ended 1937 holding first place in the league.


Eddie Shore clears the net, January 2, 1938.

The New Year began in Detroit on January 2, 1938 with Gord Pettinger taking Milt Schmidt's place on the Kraut Line. He fit right in and contributed two assists as the line had three goals in the Bruins 4-1 victory. The Red Wings Mud Bruneteau suffered a broken arm during the game. On January 4, Toronto rolled into town on a six game winning streak but much to the chagrin of Conn Smythe, the "B's" handled them 6-3, led by Leroy Goldsworthy and Cooney Weiland's three points each.

Eddie Shore and Tiny Thompson stop John Sorrell and Marty Barry, January 11, 1938.

The Bruins bane was the Canadiens who continued their unbeaten record against the "Rossmen" during their 6-2 win on January 8. A frustrated Art Ross promised a Bruins win the next time the teams met.[8] Eddie Shore had one of his best games during the 6-2 win over Detroit on January 11 due to a disagreement with Ross. Shore had been experimenting with shorter stick blades, which Ross panned before the game and determined to prove his point, Shore had a goal and two assists. During practice the next day, Shore discovered that his stick blades had been sawn in half and taped up. He suspected Dit Clapper of being the culprit, due to him constantly slashing his blades. Shore had a laugh but indicated that Ross should pay for his replacement sticks out of his own pocket.[9] Wearing a jaw protector, Milt Schmidt practised for the first time in nearly three weeks.

Flash Hollett took the loss on January 25 to the Rangers hard.

The Bruins fulfilled their GM's promise to beat the Canadiens with a 1-0 victory on January 16. Art Jackson scored the lone goal on a breakaway after a four-way passing play. Milt Schmidt returned to the line-up during the 5-1 victory over Chicago on January 18. With their next game in Toronto in four days, numerous players from Ontario were given permission to go home.[10] The home cooking worked wonders as the "B's" demolished the Maple Leafs 9-1 on January 22, 1938 in which eight different Bruins scored. Ray Getliffe was lost with dental problems and Gord Pettinger took his place on Bill Cowley's line for several games. After a disappointing 3-2 loss to Chicago, the Bruins met the Rangers on January 25 in a battle for first place. The Bruins lost 3-2 and Flash Hollett took it hard, feeling responsible for the defeat despite playing with a closed eye, swollen left arm and bandaged right hand.[11] With Getliffe's jaw now infected, the Bruins played shorthanded during a pair of ties that ended the month. In both games, the Bruins insisted they scored goals that the referees disallowed for not crossing the goal line. In the case of one dispute, during the January 30 game against the Maroons, one referee agreed with them.[12] Boston held a three point lead on the Rangers for first place in the American Division.

Cartoon lampooning Paul Thompson always scoring on brother Tiny, February 8, 1938.

The Bruins started February with a 2-0 win over Detroit, maintaining their three point lead over the Rangers. The game was filled with flagrant fouls which the referees refused to call, including Charlie Sands being clubbed over the head by Hec Kilrea and leaving for stitches.[13] With their next game in Toronto on February 5, the team was given time off and many of those from Ontario made their way home early. As Ray Getliffe was still sidelined with a dental infection, Art Ross called up Mel Hill for the match. The Bruins lost 3-1 and hopped on the train for a game in Chicago the next night. With the Bruins up 2-0 in the second period, the Hawks Johnny Gottselig was given a misconduct which resulted in a continual shower of debris on the ice, delaying the game for 18 minutes.[14] The Bruins scored five goals in the third period and Hill finished with two in a 7-2 win. Chicago's Hickey Nicholson played the first of two career NHL games and scored while Tiny Thompson's brother Paul Thompson scored on him, which had become somewhat of a tradition.

Cartoon of the Bruins and Black Hawks arriving for the February 8, 1938 game.

Dit Clapper's hand was cut during the game necessitating the call-up of Jack Crawford for his first NHL match on February 8 against Chicago. Cooney Weiland was shaken up in a car accident the day before the game and as the team's train pulled into Boston, it was apparent that both clubs were banged up. Chicago was missing three regulars and to boot, Roger Jenkins learned his father had passed but committed to playing the game. Paul Thompson was held scoreless as the "B's" won 3-1.

Bobby Bauer scores the Bruins second goal, February 15, 1938.

With Dit Clapper's hand still ailing, Jack Crawford played his second and last game of the season against the Canadiens on February 13, 1938. The Bruins held the edge in play while Wilf Cude and Tiny Thompson held both teams scoreless going into overtime. Leroy Goldsworthy's centering pass from behind the Habs net bounced off a skate for a 1-0 Bruins victory. The last place Maroons came to Boston on February 15 and were widely outplayed with the Bruins firing 38 shots at Bill Beveridge. Powered by Bill Cowley's three assists, the Bruins won 5-2 with the last goal on a breakaway by Woody Dumart. Three points up on the Rangers, a home and home series with their rivals awaited the "Rossmen."

Dit Clapper's overtime winner, February 17, 1938.

The February 17, 1938 game in New York went to overtime (which was not sudden death) tied 1-1 on goals by Milt Schmidt and Mac Colville. Tiny Thompson saved the game for Boston just before the third frame ended with a diving save off Bryan Hextall. After the Bruins Gord Pettinger scored at the 3:59 mark, Woody Dumart put Milt Schmidt on a 2 on 1 with Dit Clapper. Clapper smoothly executed a forehand-backhand move and put the puck behind Dave Kerr. Hextall scored with 19 seconds left but the Bruins held on for a 3-2 win and a five point lead for first place.

Eddie Shore and Babe Pratt penalty box altercation, February 20, 1938.

Determined to not lose any more ground, the Rangers came out blazing against the Bruins on February 20, 1938 and scored twice in the first period. Near the end of the frame, Eddie Shore nailed Babe Pratt with a check and the two went at it. Having not settled matters, the two fought in the penalty box which required police intervention. Charlie Sands scored through a screen in the second period and Dit Clapper tied the game 5:02 into the third period. With 1:11 left in regulation, Leroy Goldsworthy whacked in a rebound for a 3-2 Boston win. It was the first time all season the Rangers blew a two goal lead and put the "B's" ahead for first place by seven points.

Tiny Thompson, #7 Cooney Weiland, #9 Leroy Goldsworthy defend against the Canadiens, February 24, 1938.

Toronto visited the Hub for their last regular season game against Boston on February 22. The Maple Leafs had first place in the Canadian Division pretty much locked up and were the Bruins likely first round opponent in the playoffs. Brilliant solo efforts by Cooney Weiland and Bill Cowley less than two minutes apart in the second period powered the Bruins to a 2-0 blanking, their 7th win in a row. Boston won the season series five games to one over the Maple Leafs. The month ended with a 1-1 tie with the Canadiens on February 24, Leroy Goldsworthy tallying the "B's" only marker. The Habs had the best record against the Bruins and ended their consecutive win streak. Art Ross was angry at a blown call by referee Clarence Campbell who after the Bruins scored, blew the play dead before the goal judge put the light on and disallowed the goal.[15]

Boston's third line was broken up in March 1938 due to the injury of Leroy Goldsworthy (left).

After a four day lapse with no games, the Rangers inched closer to the Bruins in the standings, whose lead narrowed to four points. Detroit visited on March 1, 1938, who were battling with Chicago for the last playoff spot in the American Division. Rusty from the layoff, the "B's" were sluggish and didn't get going until the Red Wings scored in the second period. Six straight Boston goals, two by Bobby Bauer, powered them to a 6-1 win. March 3 saw Boston in Chicago who were desperate to hold their slim lead over Detroit. With the score tied 2-2 in the third period (Paul Thompson having scored his usual goal on brother Tiny), Cully Dahlstrom potted his second of the game and the Black Hawks won 3-2. Leroy Goldsworthy suffered a severe muscle bruise, requiring the call-up of Mel Hill for the March 6 game in Detroit. The Bruins never led but after battling back to a 3-3 tie, Detroit's Herbie Lewis scored his hat trick goal to win it 4-3.

Milt Schmidt scores a second too late, March 8, 1938.

Returning home to play the Americans on March 8, 1938, the Bruins showed no mercy and whipped them 7-0. Led by the Kraut Line's four goals, the score could have been much worse if not for the superb goaltending of Earl Robertson. Milt Schmidt scored a goal just as the first period bell sounded which was disallowed. With Leroy Goldsworthy back in the lineup for the return match in New York, the Bruins fought back for a 2-2 tie when Dit Clapper knotted the game in the third period. Two more points would clinch first place for Boston and the team trying to catch them for the title was their next opponent.

Tiny Thompson and Mel Hill against the Rangers, March 13, 1938.

Still in New York, the Bruins met the Rangers on March 13, 1938 and the Blue Shirts Alex Shibicky opened the scoring, or did he? His shot hit the net, bounced out to the blueline, Shibicky raised his stick in triumph and the goal light went on. Several New York Americans players were in the stands and informed the Bruins the puck hit the crossbar.[16] The Bruins protested but referee Clarence Campbell counted it. In the third period, Charlie Sands tied it up and in the last minute, there was a faceoff in Boston's zone. Bill Cowley won it, kicked the puck to Woody Dumart who used Sands as a decoy on a 2 on 1, and fired it in. Mistakenly, no assist was given on the game winner. The Bruins had won their 7th Prince of Wales Trophy.

Bruins 1937-38 top scorers - Bobby Bauer, Bill Cowley, Charlie Sands.

Two home games remained with little on the line except for lowest goals against in the league. Up 2-1 on the Maroons on March 15, the Bruins tried to get Jack Portland his first goal of the season but it backfired as they went down 4-2 in the third period. Eddie Shore set up two goals by the Kraut Line to salvage a 4-4 tie in the second last game the Maroons would ever play. The Bruins last game was against the Black Hawks. Both teams wanted to avoid injury so the game was wide-open and only one penalty was called. Tied 1-1 going into the third period, the Kraut Line exploded with four straight goals and capped by a marker by Bill Cowley in a 6-1 win.

The Bruins had the best goals against in the league led by Eddie Shore and goalie Tiny Thompson who won their fourth Hart Memorial Trophy and Vezina Trophy respectively. Both were also First Team All-Stars. Bill Cowley led the team in scoring again (he'd do so for 6 of the next 8 seasons), was 6th in the league and a First Team All-Star. The Maple Leafs were the Bruins opponents in the Semi-finals, both teams receiving a bye from the Quarter-finals.

Final Standings

American Division
Boston Bruins 48 30 11 7 142 89 67
New York Rangers 48 27 15 6 149 96 60
Chicago Black Hawks 48 14 25 9 97 139 37
Detroit Red Wings 48 12 25 11 99 133 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.

Game Log

1934 Logo.jpg Regular Season Results 1934 Logo.jpg
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W November 6, 1937 4–2 @ Montreal Maroons (1937–38) 1–0–0
2 W November 14, 1937 3–2 New York Rangers (1937–38) 2–0–0
3 W November 16, 1937 1–0 Montreal Maroons (1937–38) 3–0–0
4 W November 18, 1937 2–1 @ New York Americans (1937–38) 4–0–0
5 W November 20, 1937 3–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1937–38) 5–0–0
6 W November 21, 1937 2–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1937–38) 6–0–0
7 T November 23, 1937 1–1 OT Montreal Canadiens (1937–38) 6–0–1
8 T November 28, 1937 3–3 OT New York Americans (1937–38) 6–0–2
9 L December 2, 1937 0–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1937–38) 6–1–2
10 L December 5, 1937 0–4 @ New York Rangers (1937–38) 6–2–2
11 L December 7, 1937 2–3 Detroit Red Wings (1937–38) 6–3–2
12 W December 14, 1937 3–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1937–38) 7–3–2
13 W December 18, 1937 3–1 @ Montreal Maroons (1937–38) 8–3–2
14 W December 19, 1937 4–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1937–38) 9–3–2
15 W December 21, 1937 2–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1937–38) 10–3–2
16 W December 25, 1937 1–0 @ New York Americans (1937–38) 11–3–2
17 L December 26, 1937 1–3 New York Americans (1937–38) 11–4–2
18 W December 28, 1937 3–2 New York Rangers (1937–38) 12–4–2
19 L December 31, 1937 3–5 @ New York Rangers (1937–38) 12–5–2
20 W January 2, 1938 4–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1937–38) 13–5–2
21 W January 4, 1938 6–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1937–38) 14–5–2
22 L January 8, 1938 2–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1937–38) 14–6–2
23 W January 11, 1938 6–2 Detroit Red Wings (1937–38) 15–6–2
24 W January 16, 1938 1–0 Montreal Canadiens (1937–38) 16–6–2
25 W January 18, 1938 5–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1937–38) 17–6–2
26 W January 22, 1938 9–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1937–38) 18–6–2
27 L January 23, 1938 2–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1937–38) 18–7–2
28 L January 25, 1938 2–3 New York Rangers (1937–38) 18–8–2
29 T January 29, 1938 2–2 OT @ Montreal Maroons (1937–38) 18–8–3
30 T January 30, 1938 2–2 OT @ Detroit Red Wings (1937–38) 18–8–4
31 W February 1, 1938 2–0 Detroit Red Wings (1937–38) 19–8–4
32 L February 5, 1938 1–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1937–38) 19–9–4
33 W February 6, 1938 7–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1937–38) 20–9–4
34 W February 8, 1938 3–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1937–38) 21–9–4
35 W February 13, 1938 1–0 OT Montreal Canadiens (1937–38) 22–9–4
36 W February 15, 1938 5–2 Montreal Maroons (1937–38) 23–9–4
37 W February 17, 1938 3–2 OT @ New York Rangers (1937–38) 24–9–4
38 W February 20, 1938 3–2 New York Rangers (1937–38) 25–9–4
39 W February 22, 1938 2–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1937–38) 26–9–4
40 T February 24, 1938 1–1 OT @ Montreal Canadiens (1937–38) 26–9–5
41 W March 1, 1938 6–1 Detroit Red Wings (1937–38) 27–9–5
42 L March 3, 1938 2–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1937–38) 27–10–5
43 L March 6, 1938 3–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1937–38) 27–11–5
44 W March 8, 1938 7–0 New York Americans (1937–38) 28–11–5
45 T March 10, 1938 2–2 OT @ New York Americans (1937–38) 28–11–6
46 W March 13, 1938 2–1 @ New York Rangers (1937–38) 29–11–6
47 T March 15, 1938 4–4 OT Montreal Maroons (1937–38) 29–11–7
48 W March 20, 1938 6–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1937–38) 30–11–7


Toronto Maple Leafs 3, Boston Bruins 0

Game 1 cartoon, March 24, 1938.

The Maple Leafs and Bruins met for the fourth time in playoffs in the 1930's. The Leafs won the three previous series but the Bruins were heavy favorites, having won the season series convincingly. Turk Broda and Tiny Thompson played every minute in goal. Toronto effectively checked the Kraut Line, keeping them off the scoresheet in the series.

Game 1 at Maple Leaf Gardens was a close checking, rough affair and scoreless through regulation. The Bruins killed off a penalty to Ray Getliffe in the first overtime period. In the second OT, in front of Toronto's net, Milt Schmidt missed a pass which sprang Nick Metz and rookie George Parsons on a 2 on 1. Metz's pass to Parsons was perfect and he fired a shot over Thompson's pad at 1:31 for the game winner.

Game 2 at Toronto had the Bruins vowing to not match the Leafs defensive style and to forecheck more. Good to their word, the Bruins pressed hard and 70% of the game was spent in Toronto's zone.[17] After a scoreless first period, the turning point came when league scoring champion Gordie Drillon, who was being effectively shadowed by Ray Getliffe, kicked Getliffe in the skate, cutting his foot deeply and knocking him out of the game. The Leafs went in front 1-0 on a second period goal by "Pep" Kelly until Charlie Sands tied it up at 7:37 of the third period. Ex-Leaf Art Jackson was assigned to cover Drillon but wasn't up to the task as Drillon scored and the Leafs won 2-1. The Leafs Conn Smythe acknowledged his club was lucky to come out ahead, praised the many rushes made by Eddie Shore and indicated the Bruins lack of finishing off chances was their downfall. Smythe had attendants at each corner of the rink with sticks, so if a Leaf broke his, he wouldn't have to skate back to the bench for a replacement.[18]

Cartoon lampooning the underdogs winning all three series, March 29, 1938.

Game 3 at Boston Garden saw several line-up changes. Ray Getliffe played but Mel Hill was recalled from the minors and spelled him off. Robert "Red" Hamill and Frank Brimsek were also recalled but not used. Toronto was without Busher Jackson who suffered torn hand ligaments. In a repeat of Game 2, the Bruins held a wide edge in chances while the Leafs played defensive hockey and waited for breaks. Drillon opened the scoring in the second period before Bill Cowley (playing with a broken nose) tied it up early in the third. Pep Kelly and Cowley traded goals and late in the period, Jack Portland, who'd played an outstanding defensive game for the Bruins, missed an open net. Drillon scored on a 50 foot screen shot at 10:04 of the first OT to win the series for the Leafs. Hockey columnists noted that the underdogs won every series.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 24 Boston Bruins 0-1 (2OT) Toronto Maple Leafs 0-1
2 March 26 Boston Bruins 1-2 Toronto Maple Leafs 0-2
3 March 29 Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 (OT) Boston Bruins 3-0

Player Stats

Regular Season

# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
10 Cowley, BillBill Cowley C 48 17 22 39 8
17 Bauer, BobbyBobby Bauer RW 48 20 14 34 9
4 Sands, CharlieCharlie Sands C/RW 46 17 12 29 12
15 Schmidt, MiltMilt Schmidt C/D 44 13 14 27 15
14 Dumart, WoodyWoody Dumart LW 48 13 14 27 6
6 Getliffe, RayRay Getliffe C/LW 36 11 13 24 16
7 Weiland, CooneyCooney Weiland C 48 11 12 23 16
9 Goldsworthy, LeroyLeroy Goldsworthy RW 46 9 10 19 14
11 Pettinger, GordGord Pettinger C 35 7 10 17 10
2 Shore, EddieEddie Shore D 48 3 14 17 42
5 Clapper, DitDit Clapper RW/D 46 6 9 15 24
12 Hollett, FlashFlash Hollett D 48 4 10 14 54
16 Jackson, ArtArt Jackson C 48 9 3 12 24
8 Portland, JackJack Portland D 48 0 5 5 26
19, 20 Hill, MelMel Hill RW 6 2 0 2 2
18, 19 Hamill, RedRed Hamill LW 6 0 1 1 2
20 Crawford, JackJack Crawford D 2 0 0 0 0
11 Beattie, RedRed Beattie LW 14 0 0 0 0
1 Thompson, TinyTiny Thompson G 48 0 0 0 0
Thompson, TinyTiny Thompson 2970 48 30 11 7 89 1.80 7
Team: 2970 48 30 11 7 89 1.80 7


# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
10 Cowley, BillBill Cowley C 3 2 0 2 0
4 Sands, CharlieCharlie Sands C/RW 3 1 1 2 0
6 Getliffe, RayRay Getliffe C/LW 3 0 1 1 2
12 Hollett, FlashFlash Hollett D 3 0 1 1 0
2 Shore, EddieEddie Shore D 3 0 1 1 6
19 Hill, MelMel Hill RW 1 0 0 0 0
17 Bauer, BobbyBobby Bauer RW 3 0 0 0 2
5 Clapper, DitDit Clapper RW/D 3 0 0 0 12
14 Dumart, WoodyWoody Dumart LW 3 0 0 0 0
9 Goldsworthy, LeroyLeroy Goldsworthy RW 3 0 0 0 2
16 Jackson, ArtArt Jackson C 3 0 0 0 0
11 Pettinger, GordGord Pettinger C 3 0 0 0 0
8 Portland, JackJack Portland D 3 0 0 0 4
15 Schmidt, MiltMilt Schmidt C 3 0 0 0 0
7 Weiland, CooneyCooney Weiland C 3 0 0 0 0
1 Thompson, TinyTiny Thompson G 3 0 0 0 0
Thompson, TinyTiny Thompson 212 3 0 3 6 1.70 0
Team: 212 3 0 3 6 1.70 0


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


Farm Teams




A minute worth of footage from the February 17, 1938 game won 3-2 by the Bruins over the New York Rangers. Fascinating footage including the Kraut Line in action, Milt Schmidt getting into a scrap, Eddie Shore with an open ice hit and a goal by Dit Clapper, assisted by Schmidt on the Rangers Dave Kerr which would win the game 3-2 in overtime.

See Also


  1. Boston Globe, p.19, October 28, 1937.
  2. Boston Globe, p.22, November 4, 1937.
  3. Boston Globe, p.22, November 17, 1937.
  4. Boston Globe, p.31, November 19, 1937.
  5. Boston Globe, p.21, December 7, 1937.
  6. Montreal Gazette, p.12, December 20, 1937.
  7. Boston Globe, p.18, December 29, 1937.
  8. Boston Globe, p.7, January 10, 1938.
  9. Boston Globe, p.21, January 13, 1938.
  10. Boston Globe, p.11, January 19, 1938.
  11. Boston Globe, p.20, January 26, 1938.
  12. Boston Globe, p.8, February 1, 1938.
  13. Boston Globe, p.11, February 2, 1938.
  14. Boston Globe, p.7, February 7, 1938.
  15. Boston Globe, p.5, February 26, 1938.
  16. Boston Globe, p.29, March 14, 1938.
  17. Boston Globe, p.8, March 28, 1938.
  18. Boston Globe, p.9, March 29, 1938.
  19. 1937-38 Boston Bruins Statistics - Retrieved on 2009-06-11.