38-39NYR.jpg
1938–39 New York Rangers · NHL
Division 2nd NHL
1938–39 record 26–16–6
Goals for 149
Goals against 105
General Manager Lester Patrick
Coach Lester Patrick
Captain Art Coulter
Arena Madison Square Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Alex Shibicky (24)
Assists Ott Heller (23)
Points Clint Smith (41)
Penalties in minutes Muzz Patrick (64)
Wins Dave Kerr (26)
Goals against average Dave Kerr (2.12)
← Seasons →
1937–38 1939–40

The 1938–39 New York Rangers season was the 13th season for the team in the National Hockey League (NHL). New York finished 2nd in the league with 58 points and lost in the Semi-finals to the Boston Bruins 4 games to 3.

Pre-season[edit | edit source]

The Rangers played a four game series against the New York Americans in Western Canada:

  • Thursday, October 20 Rangers 2 Americans 1 @ Winnipeg
  • Saturday, October 22 Rangers 3 Americans 2 @ Saskatoon
  • Tuesday, October 25 Rangers 7 Americans 0 @ Saskatoon
  • Thursday, October 27 Rangers 8 Americans 4 @ Edmonton

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

National Hockey League
GP W L T GF GA Pts
Boston Bruins 48 36 10 2 156 76 74
New York Rangers 48 26 16 6 149 105 58
Toronto Maple Leafs 48 19 20 9 114 107 47
New York Americans 48 17 21 10 119 157 44
Detroit Red Wings 48 18 24 6 107 128 42
Montreal Canadiens 48 15 24 9 115 146 39
Chicago Black Hawks 48 12 28 8 91 132 32

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[edit | edit source]

Regular Season Results
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W November 13, 1938 4–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1938–39) 1–0–0
2 W November 15, 1938 2–0 Detroit Red Wings (1938–39) 2–0–0
3 W November 17, 1938 1–0 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1938–39) 3–0–0
4 W November 20, 1938 2–1 Montreal Canadiens (1938–39) 4–0–0
5 L November 22, 1938 2–4 @ Boston Bruins (1938–39) 4–1–0
6 W November 24, 1938 6–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1938–39) 5–1–0
7 L November 27, 1938 0–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1938–39) 5–2–0
8 W December 4, 1938 6–1 @ New York Americans (1938–39) 6–2–0
9 W December 8, 1938 6–5 @ Montreal Canadiens (1938–39) 7–2–0
10 L December 11, 1938 0–3 Boston Bruins (1938–39) 7–3–0
11 T December 15, 1938 1–1 OT New York Americans (1938–39) 7–3–1
12 W December 17, 1938 3–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1938–39) 8–3–1
13 L December 18, 1938 0–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1938–39) 8–4–1
14 W December 20, 1938 6–2 Detroit Red Wings (1938–39) 9–4–1
15 W December 22, 1938 5–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1938–39) 10–4–1
16 W December 25, 1938 1–0 @ Boston Bruins (1938–39) 11–4–1
17 L December 26, 1938 0–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1938–39) 11–5–1
18 W December 31, 1938 2–1 OT Boston Bruins (1938–39) 12–5–1
19 W January 2, 1939 3–0 Detroit Red Wings (1938–39) 13–5–1
20 T January 5, 1939 2–2 OT @ Montreal Canadiens (1938–39) 13–5–2
21 W January 8, 1939 5–2 New York Americans (1938–39) 14–5–2
22 L January 10, 1939 0–1 OT @ New York Americans (1938–39) 14–6–2
23 W January 12, 1939 6–0 Chicago Black Hawks (1938–39) 15–6–2
24 T January 15, 1939 1–1 OT @ Chicago Black Hawks (1938–39) 15–6–3
25 L January 19, 1939 3–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1938–39) 15–7–3
26 W January 22, 1939 7–3 Montreal Canadiens (1938–39) 16–7–3
27 L January 26, 1939 0–1 New York Americans (1938–39) 16–8–3
28 W January 31, 1939 3–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1938–39) 17–8–3
29 W February 2, 1939 7–0 @ New York Americans (1938–39) 18–8–3
30 W February 4, 1939 4–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1938–39) 19–8–3
31 T February 5, 1939 5–5 OT Toronto Maple Leafs (1938–39) 19–8–4
32 L February 9, 1939 2–4 Boston Bruins (1938–39) 19–9–4
33 W February 12, 1939 3–2 @ Boston Bruins (1938–39) 20–9–4
34 W February 16, 1939 2–1 New York Americans (1938–39) 21–9–4
35 L February 18, 1939 1–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1938–39) 21–10–4
36 W February 21, 1939 7–3 Detroit Red Wings (1938–39) 22–10–4
37 W February 23, 1939 4–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1938–39) 23–10–4
38 T February 25, 1939 1–1 OT @ Montreal Canadiens (1938–39) 23–10–5
39 L February 26, 1939 0–3 Montreal Canadiens (1938–39) 23–11–5
40 L March 2, 1939 1–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1938–39) 23–12–5
41 L March 5, 1939 3–5 OT @ Boston Bruins (1938–39) 23–13–5
42 T March 7, 1939 2–2 OT Montreal Canadiens (1938–39) 23–13–6
43 W March 9, 1939 8–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1938–39) 24–13–6
44 L March 12, 1939 2–4 Boston Bruins (1938–39) 24–14–6
45 L March 14, 1939 2–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1938–39) 24–15–6
46 W March 16, 1939 11–5 @ New York Americans (1938–39) 25–15–6
47 L March 18, 1939 1–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1938–39) 25–16–6
48 W March 19, 1939 6–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1938–39) 26–16–6

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Boston Bruins 4, New York Rangers 3[edit | edit source]

This series is best remembered for Mel Hill scoring three OT goals, still an NHL record for OT goals in a series. Game 4 was one of the most violent in NHL history with six major penalties, stick swinging and a battered and concussed Eddie Shore insisting on playing and returning to game action with a broken nose.

Mel Hill's triple OT winner, Game 1 of the 1939 Semi-finals, March 21, 1939.

Game 1 opened at Madison Square Garden in New York. A clean, hard-checking game in which goalies Dave Kerr and Frank Brimsek dominated, the Rangers Alex Shibicky broke the ice late in the second period. Bill Cowley was hurt but continued to play and Bobby Bauer scored but the goal was disallowed. Cowley tied the game up at 4:40 of the third, on a great deflection of a Dit Clapper shot to send the game in overtime. In the third OT, Cowley drifted into the left corner by the Rangers net and zipped a pass out front to Mel Hill who whacked it in for a 2-1 win for the Bruins.

Game 2 moved to the Boston Garden, where another clean, hard-fought game ensued. The Rangers received bad news that their goalie Dave Kerr was out for the series with a separated shoulder. Bert Gardiner manned the net for the Rangers. The Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead on late first period goals by Conacher and Cowley. Shibicky cut the lead to 2-1 in the second before Dutch Hiller tied it up with less than four minutes left in the game. Hill scored his second overtime goal at the 8:24 mark of the first OT, on a drop pass by Cowley. Hill's 40 foot shot beat Gardiner and the Bruins were up in the series 2-0.

Game 3 in Boston saw the Rangers keep Cowley's line off the scoresheet but the Bruins depth was too much. Gord Pettinger scored in the first and the first playoff goal for Milt Schmidt early in the second had the Bruins up 2-0. Babe Pratt cut the lead to 2-1 in the second before Schmidt got his second of the game halfway through the third. Cowley potted a goal two minutes later as the Bruins cruised to a 4-1 win and a 3-0 series lead.

Violence from Game 4 of 1939 Semis. #2 Eddie Shore battles Muzz Patrick with #8 Jack Portland and #16 Red Hamill.

Game 4 at MSG saw the Rangers facing elimination which looked likely after Milt Schmidt scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs less than a minute into the game. Mac Colville tied it up at 8:58 but the game got progressively chippy. Phil Watson when charging after Jack Portland behind the Bruins net, resulting in some high sticking. Bryan Hextall jumped Portland from behind resulting in Eddie Shore wading in after Hextall. Rangers defensemen Muzz Patrick went after Shore and a brawl ensued. Patrick, who'd been a Canadian boxing champion and outweighed Shore by 30 pounds, broke Shore's nose during a fight with him. Shore left the game for repairs but came back in the second period and played with plaster over his broken nose. The Rangers Dutch Hiller, Babe Pratt, Patrick and Watson received major penalties as did the Bruins Jack Crawford, Gord Pettinger, Shore and Portland. Referee Mickey Ion handled out 60 minutes in penalties during the game. Having served his penalty time, in the second period, Muzz Patrick scored a Shorthanded goal at the 10:02 mark which proved to be the game winner. The series shifted back to Boston with the Bruins leading 3-1.

Game 5 was in Boston and was a much cleaner affair than Game 4. Art Coulter put the Rangers up 1-0 in the first but a little over a minute later, Bobby Bauer scored his first playoff goal to knot the score. The score stayed 1-1 through regulation, requiring the third overtime game of the series. The Rangers Clint Smith was the hero, beating Brimsek with a long shot at the 17:19 mark of the first OT. The Rangers were back in the series, trailing 3-2.

Game 6 was in New York and saw no goals in the first period. The Bruins took the lead on Mel Hill's 3rd of the playoffs before Phil Watson tied it up in the second. Bruins penalties in the third would be costly as Bill Carse and Alex Shibicky capitalized to lead the Rangers to a 3-1 win and tie the series.

Game 7 in Boston was a tense affair with the Bruins close to becoming the first team to blow a 3-0 series lead. After a scoreless first, Ray Getliffe put the Bruins up only to see the Rangers Muzz Patrick tie it up less than two minutes later. The third period solved nothing and the series headed into its fourth overtime game. Bobby Bauer came close to ending the series in the 1st OT with a backhander that beat Gardiner but hit the post. In the 3rd OT, Mel Hill and Muzz Patrick took matching minor penalties at the 5:00 mark. Exiting the box, Hill rushed into the Rangers zone. Conacher took a heavy shot on Gardiner who steered it behind the net. Cowley beat the Rangers' defensemen to the puck, slid it out front to Hill who potted the series winner. "Sudden Death" Hill was born with all three of his record goals assisted by Bill Cowley.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 21 Boston Bruins 2–1 (3OT) New York Rangers 1–0
2 March 23 New York Rangers 2–3 (OT) Boston Bruins 2–0
3 March 26 New York Rangers 1–4 Boston Bruins 3–0
4 March 28 Boston Bruins 1–2 New York Rangers 3–1
5 March 30 New York Rangers 2–1 (OT) Boston Bruins 3–2
6 April 1 Boston Bruins 1–3 New York Rangers 3–3
7 April 2 New York Rangers 1–2 (3OT) Boston Bruins 4–3

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
Smith, ClintClint Smith C 48 21 20 41 2
Colville, NeilNeil Colville C/D 47 18 19 37 12
Watson, PhilPhil Watson RW/C 48 15 22 37 42
Hextall, BryanBryan Hextall RW 48 20 15 35 18
Shibicky, AlexAlex Shibicky RW 48 24 9 33 24
Hiller, DutchDutch Hiller LW 48 10 19 29 22
Patrick, LynnLynn Patrick C/LW 35 8 21 29 25
Colville, MacMac Colville RW/D 48 7 21 28 24
Dillon, CecilCecil Dillon RW 48 12 15 27 6
Heller, OttOtt Heller D 48 0 23 23 42
Pratt, BabeBabe Pratt D 48 2 19 21 20
Allen, GeorgeGeorge Allen LW/D 19 6 6 12 10
Coulter, ArtArt Coulter D 44 4 8 12 58
Patrick, MuzzMuzz Patrick D 48 1 10 11 64
Krol, JoeJoe Krol LW 1 1 1 2 0
Carse, BillBill Carse C 1 0 1 1 0
Molyneaux, LarryLarry Molyneaux D 43 0 1 1 18
Kerr, DaveDave Kerr G 48 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Kerr, DaveDave Kerr 2970 48 26 16 6 105 2.12 6
Team: 2970 48 26 16 6 105 2.12 6

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
Shibicky, AlexAlex Shibicky RW 7 3 1 4 2
Colville, MacMac Colville RW/D 7 1 2 3 4
Pratt, BabeBabe Pratt D 7 1 2 3 9
Smith, ClintClint Smith C 7 1 2 3 0
Carse, BillBill Carse C 6 1 1 2 0
Coulter, ArtArt Coulter D 7 1 1 2 6
Patrick, LynnLynn Patrick C/LW 7 1 1 2 0
Watson, PhilPhil Watson RW/C 7 1 1 2 7
Colville, NeilNeil Colville C/D 7 0 2 2 2
Hiller, DutchDutch Hiller LW 7 1 0 1 9
Patrick, MuzzMuzz Patrick D 7 1 0 1 17
Heller, OttOtt Heller D 7 0 1 1 10
Hextall, BryanBryan Hextall RW 7 0 1 1 4
Dillon, CecilCecil Dillon RW 1 0 0 0 0
Allen, GeorgeGeorge Allen LW/D 7 0 0 0 4
Molyneaux, LarryLarry Molyneaux D 7 0 0 0 0
Kerr, DaveDave Kerr G 1 0 0 0 0
Gardiner, BertBert Gardiner G 6 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Gardiner, BertBert Gardiner 433 6 3 3 12 1.66 0
Kerr, DaveDave Kerr 119 1 0 1 2 1.01 0
Team: 552 7 3 4 14 1.52 0

[1]

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[edit | edit source]

Farm Teams[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1938-39 New York Rangers Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-04.

External Links[edit | edit source]

New York Rangers
Team FranchisePlayersCoachesGMsSeasonsRecordsDraft PicksHistory
Madison Square Garden
Stanley Cups 1928, 1933, 1940, 1994
Affiliates Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL), Maine Mariners (ECHL)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.