|1940–41 Boston Bruins · NHL|
|Stanley Cup Champions|
|Prince of Wales Trophy Winners|
|Goals for||168 (1st)|
|Goals against||102 (2nd, tied)|
|General Manager||Art Ross|
|Goals||Roy Conacher (24)|
|Assists||Bill Cowley (45)|
|Points||Bill Cowley (62)|
|Penalties in minutes||Des Smith (61)|
|Wins||Frank Brimsek (27)|
|Goals against average||Frank Brimsek (2.01)|
|← Seasons →|
The 1940–41 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 17th season in the National Hockey League. Coming off of a successful season in 1939-40, they won their fourth straight (and 10th overall) Prince of Wales Trophy as regular-season champs. They returned to the Finals and were the first team in NHL history to sweep a seven game series by beating the Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 0 to win their third Stanley Cup. Bobby Bauer scored the Cup winning goal.
- 1 Pre-season
- 2 Regular Season
- 3 Playoffs
- 4 Player Stats
- 5 Awards and Records
- 6 Transactions
- 7 Farm Teams
- 8 1941 Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Champions
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Gallery
- 11 Video
- 12 References
The Bruins opened their training camp in Hershey, Pennsylvania on October 13, 1940. By October 23, the official roster sent to the NHL noted that the team had the same roster as the previous season with the additions of Robert "Red" Hamill and Terry Reardon. Flash Hollett was given Eddie Shore's #2 jersey.
On October 27, 1940, the Bruins moved training camp to Montreal, Quebec to prepare for their season opener against the Montreal Canadiens. Gordie Bruce and Pat McReavy remained in camp while three sponsored juniors from Regina, Saskatchewan, Grant Warwick, Frank Mario and Alf Kunkel, also made the trip to watch the Bruins play.
The Bruins played the following exhibition games:
- Saturday, October 19 - Bruins 2, Hershey Bears, AHL, 1 @ Hershey
- Wednesday, October 23 - Bruins 7, Hershey Bears 2 @ Hershey
- Saturday, October 26 - Bruins 6, Hershey Bears 4 @ Hershey
The Bruins made a change to the "number" jersey by making the numbers and the block "B" on each arm gold instead of black. This jersey would remain for the next eight years.
To compliment their white jerseys with gold numbers, on Christmas Day, 1940, the Bruins introduced a gold jersey with "Bruins" in black script trimmed in white on the front. Untrimmed black shoulder yolks and white trimmed black numbers completed the design.  After being used extensively in January 1941, their use declined significantly. Game action photos of the jersey are rare. They would be discontinued after the 1943-44 season.
The Bruins started the season with much the same line-up as the previous season. The Kraut Line of Woody Dumart, Milt Schmidt and Bobby Bauer formed the first line followed by Roy Conacher, Bill Cowley and Mel Hill. The third line was manned by Art Jackson, Herb Cain and Eddie Wiseman. Defense pairing were Dit Clapper-Jack Shewchuk and Jack Crawford-Des Smith with Flash Hollett as a spare. Frank Brimsek manned the nets for his third season.
Opening night was on November 3, 1940 against the Montreal Canadiens, a re-building club who had six freshmen in the line-up. The game was hard fought and after Toe Blake put the Habs up 1-0, Milt Schmidt rounded the Canadiens net and jammed a shot in off goalie Bert Gardiner's back to tie the score. Herb Cain hit the post in the last frame and the game ended 1-1. Eddie Wiseman missed the game with a charley horse and after Woody Dumart pulled a left knee ligament, Flash Hollett played on two lines. Habs coach Dick Irvin commented that he'd never seen a team in such good shape as the Bruins. In preparation for their home opener, the Bruins played an exhibition game against the Boston Olympics at Boston Arena on November 10.
The affair was lopsided as the "Rossmen" romped to an 11-1 win. On November 12, 1940, NHL President Frank Calder attended Boston's home opener against the Chicago Black Hawks and presented a pennant for finishing first in the league to captain Dit Clapper. Bobby Bauer then received the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy before each player was given a first place medal. Flash Hollett played in Woody Dumart's place on the Kraut Line in a wide-open affair in which Chicago carried a 3-1 lead into the third period. The final frame was wild, with the teams constantly trading goals every few minutes. The Bruins trailed 6-4 in the last minute when Eddie Wiseman scored with Frank Brimsek pulled for an extra attacker. However, the Bruins couldn't find the equalizer as the game ended in a 6-5 loss, giving Chicago its first victory in Boston since March 2, 1937. In an NHL first, the Boston Garden had a wire screen installed around the boards.
November 17, 1940 saw the Bruins extend their winless slide to three games in a 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto had played the night before and traveled while Boston hadn't played in five days. The rust showed as the Leafs defense thwarted the "B's" attacks and showed greater finish on the offense. Bill Cowley scored the Bruins only goal. The slide continued against the Detroit Red Wings on November 19. Leading 4-2 in the third period, Frank Brimsek let in two bad goals, with the tying goal shot from 50 feet away by Syd Howe. Bobby Bauer was tripped up on a breakaway late in the final frame and on the ensuing penalty shot, Roy Conacher hit the crossbar. The match ended in a 4-4 tie with Detroit goalie Johnny Mowers making 33 saves to Brimsek's 9.
Thanksgiving in Chicago cured the Bruins winless skid. Still without Woody Dumart, Herb Cain and Mel Hill scored while Frank Brimsek had his confidence restored in a 2-0 win. A pair of goals by Roy Conacher led the Bruins to a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers on November 23 before a 1-1 tie against Detroit on November 24. The last game of month was on November 26 against Montreal and was a hard-played affair in which Herb Cain and Jack Adams left the game after a major collision. Woody Dumart was back in the line-up but the restored Kraut Line couldn't get on track. Habs rookie Johnny Quilty had a great game and scored (on his way to winning the Calder Memorial Trophy) but it was former Bruin and seldom scorer Jack Portland who potted the winner as the Bruins lost 3-2. A disappointing start to the season had the Bruins with a 2-3-3 record.
Coach Cooney Weiland swapped the defense pairs, making them Clapper-Smith and Crawford-Shewchuk while Eddie Wiseman moved to Bill Cowley's line and Mel Hill to Herb Cain's. The adjustments bore immediate fruit against the New York Americans on December 1, 1940. Eddie Wiseman took it to his old team and had a natural hat trick to start the game, all assisted by Bill Cowley. The Americans tied it up 3-3 going into the third period before the Bruins had one of the best periods in their history. A seven goal explosion, led by Cowley's pair and an assist as well as Woody Dumart's first two goals of the season saw the Bruins thump the Americans 10-3. It was the first six point game for a player in Bruins history. In the rematch two nights later, Cowley moved into first place in the league scoring race with 2 goals and an assist as the Bruins beat the Americans 6-2.
A two game road trip began in Toronto on December 7, 1940. Holding a 2-1 lead on goals by Woody Dumart and Jack Shewchuk, Leafs Gordie Drillon tied it up in the third period. With minutes left, Flash Hollett missed on a breakaway and Hank Goldup won the game 3-2 for Toronto on the next rush. Another hotly contested match in Chicago on December 8 ensued. With the scored tied 2-2 in the third period, noted gentleman veteran Dit Clapper was assessed a tripping penalty by referee Mickey Ion which he protested furiously. Black Hawk Johnny Gottselig was stopped by Frank Brimsek on a breakaway and several minutes later, the two tussled again and exchanged punches. A melee ensued which Ion broke up and didn't call any infractions on. Cully Dahlstrom won it for the Hawks in overtime on a goal mouth scramble. After a threat of demotion to the minors from Art Ross if play didn't improve, the Bruins responded with a convincing 6-2 win over the defending Cup champion Rangers on December 10 led by Milt Schmidt's three points.
With a week until their next game, Art Ross called up Terry Reardon and Gordie Bruce. Reardon played in the December 17, 1940 match against Toronto, replacing Herb Cain on the third line. By all accounts Reardon had a strong debut but it was Bill Cowley who paced the Bruins to a convincing 5-2 win, extending his hold on the scoring lead. This ended the Leafs eight game winning streak. The inconsistent play continued two days later in a 5-3 loss to the Rangers, who scored four goals in the third period and then in a 3-1 loss in Montreal on December 21 in which Terry Reardon played against his brother Ken. A 5-3 win over Detroit on December 22 followed.
Mired in third place, on December 23, 1940, Bruins owner Weston Adams made an announcement that "A big surprise" was in store for fans of the team, to be revealed on Christmas. The media speculated the return of Eddie Shore, that King Clancy could give up refereeing to play defense for Boston, more minor league recalls or the purchase of Toe Blake from Montreal. The latter was deemed most likely and it was also announced that children could attend the December 25 game against the Americans by just paying the tax on a ticket. Also noted was that a new faceoff rule was to go into effect where the puck was placed on the ice with those taking the draw to have their sticks blades a foot away.
There were actually two surprises revealed on Christmas. The first was the Bruins new gold jerseys and the second was a field kitchen for Boston, England. The game had only one penalty and plenty of shots on beleaguered Amerks goalie Earl Robertson. The Kraut Line combined for 11 points and Bill Cowley had two goals, including a spectacular solo rush in which he split the defense, in an 8-1 thrashing. The two game winning streak would turn into a (then) record 23 game unbeaten streak, with a 15-0-8 record. The Bruins would lose only once the rest of the regular season. Ties against the Amerks and Rangers ended 1940, with Bill Cowley and Roy Conacher missing the latter game due to an ankle and knee injury respectively. Boston was still in third place behind Toronto and Detroit.
The Bruins started 1941 with a game against the Black Hawks on January 5. The teams fought to a 2-2 tie as Terry Reardon scored his first NHL goal and Chicago goalie Sam LoPresti played his first NHL game. Milt Schmidt was injured in this game. Against Detroit on January 7, Roy Conacher returned from his knee injury but with Bill Cowley still nursing an ankle injury, Pat McReavy and Gordie Bruce made their NHL debuts. They teamed up with fellow rookie Reardon to form the "Koko Line" and Reardon scored the Bruins only goal of the game in a 1-1 tie. Mel Hill and Flash Hollett were demoted to the Hershey Bears. A home and home series against Montreal saw Art Jackson score the winner on January 11. Cowley and Schmidt returned to the line-up for the January 12 game. The "B's" trailed 5-2 and the home crowd starting yelling for Hollett's return. Jack Crawford's first of the season turned the game around and four more followed in the Bruins 7-5 triumph.
With four days until their next game and flu hitting the team, no practices were held. A three game road trip started on January 16 with a 2-2 tie against the Rangers and featured a Woody Dumart penalty shot which was saved by Dave Kerr. However, Kerr couldn't stop Terry Reardon's third goal of the season, assisted by Pat McReavy and Gordie Bruce, their first NHL points. Dit Clapper's 200th career goal was the only marker in a 1-0 win over Toronto on January 18. The trip ended in Chicago with a 4-4 tie in which Roy Conacher scored twice, his first goals since returning from injury. After a one game demotion to the minors, Herb Cain was recalled.
Woody Dumart missed the January 21 game against the Rangers and Herb Cain was recalled. The stint in the minors lit a fire under Cain and playing on the Kraut Line he scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Bruins beat the Rangers 4-3. The victory moved the Bruins into second place. Pat McReavy and Gordie Bruce were sent to the minors while Mel Hill and Flash Hollett were recalled for the January 26 game against the Americans. Hollett scored but it was league leader Bill Cowley's four assists that propelled the Bruins to a 6-1 win. Boston ended the month with a 3-2 win over Chicago on January 28. Though the Bruins went undefeated in the month, they still trailed the Maple Leafs by eight points for first place.
Flash Hollett cemented his place in the line-up with another goal during the Bruins 4-1 win over the Americans on February 2, 1941. Prior to the February 4 game against Montreal, Dit Clapper was presented with the puck (silver plated) used to score his 200th career goal. The Habs were fighting to stay out of last place and the Bruins didn't help their cause, scoring twice in overtime for a 5-3 win. The game was extremely rough with Mel Hill knocked out and Elmer Lach and Murph Chamberlain received deep head gashes. There was a delay in the Canadiens fielding a full team after Chamberlain's injury and finally losing patience, referee Bill Stewart ordered the puck dropped, resulting in the Habs playing with only three players on the ice. Goals by Hollett, Roy Conacher and Terry Reardon paced the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs on February 8, leaving Boston two points behind Toronto for first place. The Bruins clawed out a 2-2 tie against Detroit on February 9, after trailing 2-0. The unbeaten streak sat at 18 games, one shy of the record.
After flying back from Detroit, the Bruins met the Red Wings again on February 11, 1941. Despite a badly swollen knee, Milt Schmidt played and set up the first goal. Three more followed as the "Rossmen" skunked Detroit 4-0 to move into first place and tie the unbeaten streak record of 19 games. The Rangers, who co-held the record, were the Bruins next opponent and the two teams clashed on February 13, 1941 in New York without Schmidt in the line-up. Down 2-0, Bobby Bauer scored on a wrap-around before Bill Cowley finished a passing play with a tap-in. In the third period, the Rangers pressed to stop the Bruins from breaking the record and left themselves open to counterattacks. Woody Dumart fired a 35-footer into the top corner and he added one more after Cowley had his second of the game. A goal with 13 second left by Rangers Lynn Patrick made no difference as the Bruins won 5-3 and set a new record with their 20th consecutive game without a defeat.
Despite a prediction from Tommy Gorman that the Canadiens would end the Bruins streak, Boston went into Montreal with Milt Schmidt back in the line-up and skunked them 5-0. Trailing the Bruins by one point, the Maple Leafs were doubly motivated to triumph during the February 18 game in Boston. The goalies were the stars of the game as Frank Brimsek made 38 saves while Turk Broda turned aside 49 as the teams tied 2-2. Syl Apps and Art Jackson each scored twice and a scuffle between Schmidt and Wally Stanowski resulted in a major penalty to the latter for clubbing Schmidt over the head. Brimsek made an incredible save on Gordie Drillon in overtime while Bill Cowley was in the penalty box to keep the streak alive.
With the Bruins idle for the next five days, Toronto took advantage and passed them for first place with two wins. During the game on February 23, 1941 versus the Americans, after receiving a legal check from the Bruins Dit Clapper, defenseman Pat Egan slid into the boards, fractured his ankle and missed the remainder of the season. The Amerks checked the Bruins very tightly but goals in the third period by Bobby Bauer and Terry Reardon led them to a 3-1 win. With the streak now at 23 games, the Rangers were the visitors on February 25. Before the game, the Gallery Gods presented watches and framed pictures to the Kraut Line.
Determined to end the Bruins streak, the Rangers played defensive hockey. This turned the game into "one of the drabbest of the season" witnessed by New York having only four shots on goal in each of the first two periods. In the third period, Dit Clapper was whistled off for a questionable interference penalty and Bryan Hextall scored on a rebound. A few minutes later, Clapper was again penalized for interference which brought protests from the entire Bruins bench to referee Mickey Ion. Dutch Hiller scored on the power play and soon after, Ion called two weak "make-up" penalties on the Rangers. The Bruins couldn't convert and lost 2-0, ending the amazing unbeaten streak at 23 games. This record stood until broken by the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers.
After a 0-0 tie in Toronto on March 1, 1941, Roy Conacher had a hat trick in Chicago on March 3, despite receiving stitches for a head gash, as the Bruins won 4-2. Frank Brimsek was brilliant during the game as the Black Hawks dominated play. The next night at Boston, the Bruins returned the favour, and peppered Black Hawks goalie Sam LoPresti with an NHL record 83 shots in a 3-2 victory. For the first time in Gardens history, announcer Eddie Cummings broadcast the shots, 27 in the first period, then 31 and 22 to which the crowd gave LoPresti a huge ovation. As of 2020, this is still an NHL record for most shots by one team in a game. Overshadowed by this was Bill Cowley's two helpers, breaking the record for assists in a season. No one retrieved the recording setting puck and when play resumed, it was shot into the stands. Four boys who caught the puck later sought Cowley out and presented it to him. The Bruins moved back into first place with the win.
The banged-up Habs rolled into Boston for the March 9, 1941 game, their third game in four nights. With Elmer Lach, Charlie Sands and goalie Bert Gardiner all injured, goalie Paul Bibeault played his first NHL game. Predictably, it didn't go well for Montreal and the Bruins steamrolled them 8-0. Bill Cowley added to his scoring lead with three assists while Art Jackson and Dit Clapper also had three points. Conn Smythe's Leafs were the next visitors on March 11, with a last chance to catch the Bruins for first place. Bemoaning that Syl Apps wasn't in the line-up, Smythe insisted the Bruins were a good, not a great team. Further, he opined that Frank Brimsek was carrying the "Rossmen" and that Woody Dumart was the best player on the Kraut Line. Dumart showed that Smythe knew what he was talking about as he scored the first goal and kept Leafs star Gordie Drillon bottled up all night. Bill Cowley set up the next two Bruin goals as they won 3-2. "Why can't I keep my mouth shut?" Smythe cried after the game.
Heading to New York, a Boston victory over the Americans on March 11, 1941 would clinch first place for the "B's." The Amerks were already eliminated from the post season but put up a fight and the game was tied 2-2 in the second period. The Bruins poured it on, led by Woody Dumart's four points and the Kraut Line's ten, and won 8-3. Defenseman Flash Hollett had two goals, one on a spectacular solo rush, while Mel Hill played wearing glasses with no special protection. The Bruins ended the season with a home and home series against the Red Wings and garnered a win and a tie. Given a bye from the first round, they'd met Toronto in the Semi-finals.
Bill Cowley led the NHL in scoring with 62 points, as he recorded 17 goals and 45 assists (an NHL record at the time), and won the Hart Memorial Trophy. Roy Conacher led the Bruins in goals with 24, and added 14 assists for a career high 38 points. Eddie Wiseman and Bobby Bauer had productive seasons, earning 40 and 39 points respectively, while Milt Schmidt finished with 38. Team captain Dit Clapper led the Boston blueline with 26 points and was runner-up for the Hart Trophy. In goal, Frank Brimsek had another outstanding season, winning 27 games, while earning 6 shutouts and posting a 2.01 GAA. Six Bruins were voted First or Second Team All-Stars.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||48||28||14||6||62||145||99|
|Detroit Red Wings||48||21||16||11||53||112||102|
|New York Rangers||48||21||19||8||50||143||125|
|Chicago Black Hawks||48||16||25||7||39||112||139|
|New York Americans||48||8||29||11||27||99||186|
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||T||November 3, 1940||1-1 (OT)||@ Montreal Canadiens (1940–41)||0–0–1|
|2||L||November 12, 1940||5-6||Chicago Black Hawks (1940–41)||0–1–1|
|3||L||November 17, 1940||1-4||Toronto Maple Leafs (1940–41)||0–2–1|
|4||T||November 19, 1940||4-4||Detroit Red Wings (1940–41)||0–2–2|
|5||W||November 21, 1940||2-0||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1940–41)||1–2–2|
|6||W||November 23, 1940||2-1||@ New York Rangers (1940–41)||2–2–2|
|7||T||November 24, 1940||1-1 (OT)||@ Detroit Red Wings (1940–41)||2–2–3|
|8||L||November 26, 1940||2-3||Montreal Canadiens (1940–41)||2–3–3|
|9||W||December 1, 1940||10-3||@ New York Americans (1940–41)||3–3–3|
|10||W||December 3, 1940||6-2||New York Americans (1940–41)||4–3–3|
|11||L||December 7, 1940||2-3||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1940–41)||4–4–3|
|12||L||December 8, 1940||2-3 (OT)||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1940–41)||4–5–3|
|13||W||December 10, 1940||6-2||New York Rangers (1940–41)||5–5–3|
|14||W||December 17, 1940||5-2||Toronto Maple Leafs (1940–41)||6–5–3|
|15||L||December 19, 1940||3-5||@ New York Rangers (1940–41)||6–6–3|
|16||L||December 21, 1940||1-3||@ Montreal Canadiens (1940–41)||6–7–3|
|17||W||December 22, 1940||5-3||@ Detroit Red Wings (1940–41)||7–7–3|
|18||W||December 25, 1940||8-1||New York Americans (1940–41)||8–7–3|
|19||T||December 27, 1940||3-3 (OT)||@ New York Americans (1940–41)||8–7–4|
|20||T||December 31, 1940||2-2 (OT)||New York Rangers (1940–41)||8–7–5|
|21||T||January 5, 1941||2-2 (OT)||Chicago Black Hawks (1940–41)||8–7–6|
|22||T||January 7, 1941||1-1 (OT)||Detroit Red Wings (1940–41)||8–7–7|
|23||W||January 11, 1941||2-1||@ Montreal Canadiens (1940–41)||9–7–7|
|24||W||January 12, 1941||7-5||Montreal Canadiens (1940–41)||10–7–7|
|25||T||January 16, 1941||2-2 (OT)||@ New York Rangers (1940–41)||10–7–8|
|26||W||January 18, 1941||1-0||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1940–41)||11–7–8|
|27||T||January 19, 1941||4-4 (OT)||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1940–41)||11–7–9|
|28||W||January 21, 1941||4-3 (OT)||New York Rangers (1940–41)||12–7–9|
|29||W||January 26, 1941||6-1||@ New York Americans (1940–41)||13–7–9|
|30||W||January 28, 1941||3-2||Chicago Black Hawks (1940–41)||14–7–9|
|31||W||February 2, 1941||4-1||New York Americans (1940–41)||15–7–9|
|32||W||February 4, 1941||5-3 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens (1940–41)||16–7–9|
|33||W||February 8, 1941||3-2||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1940–41)||17–7–9|
|34||T||February 9, 1941||2-2 (OT)||@ Detroit Red Wings (1940–41)||17–7–10|
|35||W||February 11, 1941||4-0||Detroit Red Wings (1940–41)||18–7–10|
|36||W||February 13, 1941||5-3||New York Rangers (1940–41)||19–7–10|
|37||W||February 15, 1941||5-0||@ Montreal Canadiens (1940–41)||20–7–10|
|38||T||February 18, 1941||2-2 (OT)||Toronto Maple Leafs (1940–41)||20–7–11|
|39||W||February 23, 1941||3-1||New York Americans (1940–41)||21–7–11|
|40||L||February 25, 1941||0-2||New York Rangers (1940–41)||21–8–11|
|41||T||March 1, 1941||0-0 (OT)||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1940–41)||21–8–12|
|42||W||March 2, 1941||4-3||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1940–41)||22–8–12|
|43||W||March 4, 1941||3-2||Chicago Black Hawks (1940–41)||23–8–12|
|44||W||March 9, 1941||8-0||Montreal Canadiens (1940–41)||24–8–12|
|45||W||March 11, 1941||3-2||Toronto Maple Leafs (1940–41)||25–8–12|
|46||W||March 13, 1941||8-3||@ New York Americans (1940–41)||26–8–12|
|47||T||March 16, 1941||2-2 (OT)||@ Detroit Red Wings (1940–41)||26–8–13|
|48||W||March 18, 1941||4-1||Detroit Red Wings (1940–41)||27–8–13|
In the playoffs, Boston would have a first-round bye, advancing straight to the NHL Semi-finals, where they would face the second place Toronto Maple Leafs in a best of seven series.
Boston Bruins 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3
The Bruins finished 5 points ahead of the Leafs during the regular season. Despite effectively losing league leading scorer Bill Cowley for the playoffs in game 1, the Bruins prevailed in seven games.
Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw a scoreless first period and the ice broken at 15:33 of the second on a goal by the Bruins Flash Hollett. In the third period, Bobby Bauer was knocked out of the game when his hip was cut by the skate of line mate Milt Schmidt. Bill Cowley was knocked out of the series after a knee on knee collision with Sweeney Schriner. Brimsek held the Leafs off and late goals by Terry Reardon and Eddie Wiseman sealed a 3-0 Bruins win.
Game 2 in Boston was a clean game and saw the Bruins jump out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Eddie Wiseman and Milt Schmidt. However, a four goal second period by the Leafs Gordie Drillon, Reg Hamilton and two by Nick Metz put Toronto in a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Third period goals by the Leafs Don Metz and Wiseman's second of the game resulted in a 5-3 Leafs win and tied the series 1-1.
Game 3 at Maple Leaf Gardens saw the Leafs dominate the Bruins in a 7-2 win. Schmidt and Schriner traded goals in the first. Herb Cain put the Bruins up 2-1 at 5:07 of the second after which the Leafs exploded with 3 goals by Syl Apps, Bucko McDonald on the power play and Apps again, on the power play. The Leafs added 3 more in the third by Schriner, Apps completing his Hat trick and Nick Metz. After the game in the Bruins dressing room, Terry Reardon gave a rallying speech that was later heralded in the Boston papers as a major reason for the Bruins' eventual triumph.
Game 4 in Toronto saw Bill Cowley try to return to action with a heavily bandaged knee. But after playing a few shifts, he couldn't continue and didn't play another game in the 1941 playoffs. The game was tie and scoreless heading into the second period until Woody Dumart scored his first of the playoffs. Gordie Drillon responded three minutes later. In the third period, Leafs goalie Turk Broda couldn't control a shot by Herb Cain who slammed home the rebound for a 2-1 Bruins victory, tying the series 2-2.
Game 5 in Boston saw the Leafs Lex Chisholm score the only playoff goal of his career and the Bruins Pat McReavy respond with the first of his. Brimsek and Broda barred the nets, sending the game into overtime. At 17:37 of the first OT, the Leafs Pete Langelle scored the winner. The Leafs had a 3-2 stranglehold on the series.
Game 6 in Toronto saw no goals in the first two periods. Halfway through the third, Drillon put the Leafs up 1-0, who looked posed to take the series. But the Bruins Bobby Bauer responded less than a minute later. Less than two minutes after Bauer's goal, Flash Hollett sent Herb Cain in on Broda who deked him for the game winner. The series was tied 3-3 going back to Boston.
Game 7 in Boston saw the Leafs Bucko McDonald score on a point shot at 13:28. A minute later, the Bruins Flash Hollett tied it up on a similar play. In the second period, the Bruins Jack Crawford high-sticked Pete Langelle, drawing the ire of Leafs GM Conn Smythe, who jumped on the ice and ran after referee Mickey Ion. Crawford received a major penalty, Smythe was fined $100 and was ejected from the game but watched from the stands. With less than six minutes left in the third period, Mel "Sudden Death Hill picked the puck out of a scrum along the boards, skated towards the slot in front of the Leafs net and beat Broda with a shot that went under his arm. The Leafs frantically tried for the tying goal but Brimsek turned aside excellent chances by Apps and Drillon to preserve the 2-1 win and the series victory.
|1||March 20||Toronto Maple Leafs||0–3||Boston Bruins||0-1|
|2||March 22||Toronto Maple Leafs||5–3||Boston Bruins||1–1|
|3||March 25||Boston Bruins||2–7||Toronto Maple Leafs||1–2|
|4||March 27||Boston Bruins||2–1||Toronto Maple Leafs||2–2|
|5||March 29||Toronto Maple Leafs||2–1 (OT)||Boston Bruins||3-2|
|6||April 1||Boston Bruins||2–1||Toronto Maple Leafs||3–3|
|7||April 3||Toronto Maple Leafs||1–2||Boston Bruins||3-4|
Boston Bruins 4, Detroit Red Wings 0
The Bruins opponent was the Detroit Red Wings, who finished the regular season with 53 points, 14 less than Boston. Detroit had defeated the New York Rangers and Chicago Black Hawks to earn a spot in the Final. Despite playing without league scoring leader Bill Cowley, the Bruins swept the Wings 4-0, becoming the first team in NHL history to sweep a 7 game series. Bobby Bauer scored the Cup winning goal, Milt Schmidt led the league in playoff scoring while Eddie Wiseman scored 6 goals in the playoffs, most in the league.
Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw the rusty Wings play its first game in a week. The Bruins had played 3 days before and were sharper with a goal by Eddie Wiseman in the first and Milt Schmidt in the second. The Bruins Pat McReavy scored at 9:16 of the third after Schmidt deked Wings goalie Johnny Mowers to the ice and fed McReavy a pass which he tapped into the open net. The Wings woke up and Carl Liscombe potted his 3rd of the playoffs. Syd Howe cut the Bruins lead to 3-2 with his first of the playoffs with less than 3 minutes remaining but the Bruins held on for a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 in Boston saw no goals in the first two periods. The Wings Mud Bruneteau broke the ice at 2:41 of the third. Mowers held the Bruins off until the 13:35 mark when Terry Reardon took a pass on the left boards from Herb Cain and tied the score. Right after the goal, Cain and Wings Harold Jackson got into a fight at center ice. Both received 5 minute majors and the teams played 4 on 4. This benefited the Bruins as Schmidt rushed into the Wings zone and drew several players to him. Roy Conacher was about to head for the bench but seeing an opening, headed into the Wings zone and was sent in alone on Mowers after receiving a pass from Schmidt. He beat Mowers for the game winner and the Bruins led the series 2-0.
Game 3 at the Detroit Olympia saw the teams trade goals twice in the first. The Wings Bill Jennings open the score only to have Wiseman counter less than a minute later. Sid Abel netted one at 7:45 but Schmidt countered with his 5th of the playoffs at 14:07. Less than a minute into the second period, Woody Dumart was behind the Wings net and sent a pass to Schmidt in the slot who scored. The Wings couldn't solve Brimsek and a late third period Power play goal by Art Jackson sealed a 4-2 Bruins win and sent the Wings to the brink of elimination.
Game 4 in Detroit saw the Wings go up 1-0 in the first period on a goal by Carl Liscombe, his 4th of the playoffs. The Wings held the Bruins off until Jimmy Orlando took a penalty in the second penalty. Hollett and Bauer both scored on the power play, Bauer's goal a rebound his slid under Mowers after he couldn't control a Schmidt shot. With a minute left in the second period, Wiseman raced down the left wing and fired a shot over Mower's shoulder to make the Bruins lead 3-1. Neither team scored in the third period and the Bruins took the Cup. Players from both teams milled around center ice, shaking hands until the presentation was made. This was the Bruins second Stanley Cup in three seasons and third in franchise history. Eddie Wiseman led the playoffs in goals with 6 while Milt Schmidt was the scoring leader with 14 points.
|1||April 6||Detroit Red Wings||2–3||Boston Bruins||0-1|
|2||April 8||Detroit Red Wings||1–2||Boston Bruins||0-2|
|3||April 10||Boston Bruins||4–2||Detroit Red Wings||3–0|
|4||April 12||Boston Bruins||3–1||Detroit Red Wings||4–0|
|11, 12||Pat McReavy||C||7||0||1||1||2|
Note: There is no record on official NHL game sheets of Gordie Bruce playing for the Bruins in any 1941 playoff games.
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
- Longest consecutive game unbeaten streak: 23 (currently third all time)
- Set an NHL record of 83 shots in the 3-2 victory over the Chicago Black Hawks on March 4, 1941. In this game, also set an NHL record for most shots in a period (37), in the first.
- Bill Cowley sets the then NHL record for most assists in a season with 45.
- Prince of Wales Trophy: Boston Bruins (10th win, first team to finish in first place three consecutive seasons)
- Hart Memorial Trophy: Bill Cowley
- Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Bobby Bauer (2nd win)
- NHL Scoring Leader: Bill Cowley
- Bill Cowley, Centre, NHL First Team All-Star
- Dit Clapper, Defence, NHL First Team All-Star
- Cooney Weiland, Coach, NHL First Team All-Star
- Bobby Bauer, Right Wing, NHL Second Team All-Star
- Woody Dumart, Left Wing, NHL Second Team All-Star
- Frank Brimsek, Goaltender, NHL Second Team All-Star
- The Bruins made no trades nor purchases during the season.
1941 Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Champions
Bill Cowley, Des Smith, Dit Clapper, Frank Brimsek, Flash Hollett, John Crawford, Bobby Bauer, Pat McReavy, Herb Cain, Mel Hill, Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart, Roy Conacher, Terry Reardon, Art Jackson, Eddie Wiseman, Art Ross (manager), Cooney Weiland (coach), Win Green (trainer)
- From January through March 1941, the Bruins only lost once and had a record 23 game unbeaten streak.
- Though the #2 jersey worn by Eddie Shore was to be retired by the Bruins, Flash Hollett wore it for nearly four years, beginning in the 1940-41 season.
- Bill Cowley has the first 6 point game in Bruins history during the 10-3 win over the New York Americans on December 1, 1940.
- Eddie Wiseman led the playoffs in goals with 6 while Milt Schmidt was the scoring leader with 14 points.
- Bruins who recorded a hat trick this season include:
A minute worth of video of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals which the Bruins won 3-1, sweeping Detroit and winning the Cup. This was the first sweep in a 7 game series in NHL history. The Cup winning goal by Bobby Bauer which put the Bruins ahead 2-1 at 8:43 of the second period and the Bruins third goal by Eddie Wiseman are shown. The game end with the players shaking hands concludes the video.
- Boston Globe, p.28, October 23, 1940.
- Boston Globe, p.4, October 26, 1940.
- Boston Globe, p.6, December 26, 1940.
- Montreal Gazette, p.18, November 4, 1940.
- Boston Globe, p.24, November 13, 1940.
- Vancouver Sun, p.27, December 11, 1940.
- Boston Globe, p.16, December 23, 1940.
- Boston Globe, p.11 January 13, 1941.
- Boston Globe, p.20 February 4, 1941.
- Boston Globe, p.9 February 5, 1941.
- Boston Globe, p.7 February 15, 1941.
- Boston Globe, p.8 February 26, 1941.
- Boston Globe, p.19 March 5, 1941.
- Boston Globe, p.21 March 11, 1941.
- Boston Globe, p.21 March 12, 1941.
- Boston Globe, p.27 March 14, 1941.
- The Internet Hockey Database
- National Hockey League Guide & Record Book 2007
|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|
|1940–41 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal Canadiens • NY Americans • NY Rangers • Toronto|
|See also||1941 Stanley Cup Finals|