43-44BosBru.jpg
1943–44 Boston Bruins · NHL
Division 5th NHL
1943–44 record 19–26–5
Goals for 223 (2nd)
Goals against 268 (5th)
Coach Art Ross
Captain Dit Clapper
Arena Boston Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Herb Cain (36)
Assists Herb Cain (46)
Points Herb Cain (82)
Penalties in minutes Bep Guidolin (58)
Wins Bert Gardiner (17)
Goals against average Bert Gardiner (5.17)
← Seasons →
1942–43 1944–45

The 1943–44 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 20th season in the NHL. The Bruins were a high scoring team but the loss of star goalie Frank Brimsek to war service contributed to a steep increase in goals against. The Bruins finished 5th and out of the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Bill Cowley's 1.97 points per game in 1943-44 was a record for nearly 40 years.

Bill Cowley had a huge lead in the scoring race and was scoring at a 2 points a game clip heading into Christmas. The press began to talk of a 100 point season until his shoulder was separated on a hit by Jack McLean of the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 8, 1944. He missed 11 games, returned briefly, then missed 3 more to a knee injury. He picked up his torrid scoring pace for the remainder of the season but limited to 36 (of 50) games, he finished 7th in league scoring with 71 points. He finished second in voting for the Hart Memorial Trophy by a very narrow margin. His 1.97 points per game was an NHL record until broken by Wayne Gretzky in 1980-81.

The Art Ross Trophy was taken by teammate Herb Cain whose 82 points was, at the time, a league record. Cain finished as the runner-up for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. Art Jackson also finished in the top 10 of league scoring with 69 points. The loss of Frank Brimsek to war service saw the Bruins acquire Bert Gardiner to tend the net. Gardiner would struggle mightily and have the worst goal against average of any starting goalie in Bruins history, 5.17. He retired from pro hockey after the season ended. Gardiner did record an assist on February 29, 1944 versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bert Gardiner's 5.17 GAA was the worst in Bruins history for a starting goalie.

Gardiner was ill for the November 27, 1943 game at Toronto, requiring an emergency substitute. Reverend George Abbott suited up for his only NHL game, faced 52 shots and a one point, was knocked unconscious by a shot from Babe Pratt. Despite his efforts, the Bruins lost 7-4. With Gardiner still unable to play, Maurice Courteau played the next two games. He'd play four more for the Bruins in his only NHL season, sporting a 5.50 GAA.

In a home and home series, Gardiner was injured again during the January 25, 1944 game against the Detroit Red Wings at Boston. The Bruins were forced to employ the Wings Jimmy Franks for the return game in Detroit, which they lost 6-1. The last game of the season saw the Bruins use only 9 skaters and the loan of Leafs goalie Benny Grant in a 10-2 loss to Toronto.

Due to the weakening of talent, especially in goaltending, and lack of parity in the league, the Bruins experienced a boon of hat tricks and 4 goal games (see Trivia). The 10-9 win over the New York Rangers on March 4, 1944 and the 10-9 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on March 16, 1944 were the highest scoring games in Bruins history.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Montreal Canadiens 50 38 5 7 83 234 109 557
Detroit Red Wings 50 26 18 6 58 214 177 374
Toronto Maple Leafs 50 23 23 4 50 214 174 303
Chicago Black Hawks 50 22 23 5 49 178 187 240
Boston Bruins 50 19 26 5 43 223 268 207
New York Rangers 50 6 39 5 17 162 310 253

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 Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 T October 30, 1943 2–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 0–0–1
2 W November 6, 1943 5–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 1–0–1
3 L November 7, 1943 4–6 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 1–1–1
4 L November 11, 1943 4–6 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 1–2–1
5 W November 13, 1943 6–2 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 2–2–1
6 T November 16, 1943 2–2 Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 2–2–2
7 L November 18, 1943 3–7 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 2–3–2
8 L November 21, 1943 4–13 @ Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 2–4–2
9 W November 23, 1943 8–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 3–4–2
10 W November 25, 1943 6–2 New York Rangers (1943–44) 4–4–2
11 L November 27, 1943 4–7 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 4–5–2
12 L November 28, 1943 4–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 4–6–2
13 W November 30, 1943 6–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 5–6–2
14 W December 5, 1943 5–4 Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 6–6–2
15 T December 7, 1943 6–6 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 6–6–3
16 W December 11, 1943 9–6 New York Rangers (1943–44) 7–6–3
17 L December 12, 1943 4–6 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 7–7–3
18 W December 14, 1943 4–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 8–7–3
19 L December 19, 1943 1–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 8–8–3
20 W December 21, 1943 8–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 9–8–3
21 T December 26, 1943 4–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 9–8–4
22 W December 28, 1943 5–2 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 10–8–4
23 L January 1, 1944 2–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 10–9–4
24 W January 2, 1944 13–3 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 11–9–4
25 W January 4, 1944 6–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 12–9–4
26 L January 8, 1944 3–12 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 12–10–4
27 W January 15, 1944 7–5 New York Rangers (1943–44) 13–10–4
28 L January 16, 1944 6–8 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 13–11–4
29 L January 18, 1944 2–7 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 13–12–4
30 L January 22, 1944 2–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 13–13–4
31 L January 23, 1944 1–4 Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 13–14–4
32 L January 25, 1944 3–6 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 13–15–4
33 L January 29, 1944 1–6 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 13–16–4
34 L February 1, 1944 0–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 13–17–4
35 W February 5, 1944 7–2 New York Rangers (1943–44) 14–17–4
36 W February 8, 1944 3–0 Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 15–17–4
37 W February 10, 1944 5–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 16–17–4
38 L February 13, 1944 1–4 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 16–18–4
39 L February 19, 1944 4–10 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 16–19–4
40 L February 20, 1944 5–6 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 16–20–4
41 L February 26, 1944 2–10 @ Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 16–21–4
42 L February 29, 1944 3–7 Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 16–22–4
43 L March 2, 1944 2–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 16–23–4
44 W March 4, 1944 10–9 New York Rangers (1943–44) 17–23–4
45 T March 5, 1944 4–4 @ New York Rangers (1943–44) 17–23–5
46 L March 7, 1944 4–8 Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 17–24–5
47 W March 12, 1944 6–5 Montreal Canadiens (1943–44) 18–24–5
48 W March 14, 1944 6–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1943–44) 19–24–5
49 L March 16, 1944 9–10 @ Detroit Red Wings (1943–44) 19–25–5
50 L March 18, 1944 2–10 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1943–44) 19–26–5

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

  • The Bruins did not qualify for the post season.

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
4 Cain, HerbHerb Cain LW 48 36 46 82 4
10 Cowley, BillBill Cowley C 36 30 41 71 12
16 Jackson, ArtArt Jackson C 49 28 41 69 8
14 Boll, BuzzBuzz Boll LW 39 19 25 44 2
7 Calladine, NormNorm Calladine C 49 16 27 43 8
12 Guidolin, BepBep Guidolin LW 47 17 25 42 58
18 Jackson, BusherBusher Jackson LW 42 11 21 32 25
5 Clapper, DitDit Clapper RW/D 50 6 25 31 13
2 Egan, PatPat Egan D 25 11 13 24 55
6 Crawford, JackJack Crawford D 34 4 16 20 8
11 Gallinger, DonDon Gallinger C 23 13 5 18 6
2 Hollett, FlashFlash Hollett D 25 9 7 16 4
8, 11, 19 Kopak, RussRuss Kopak C 24 7 9 16 0
9, 17 Rittinger, AlanAlan Rittinger W 19 3 7 10 0
9 Palazzari, AldoAldo Palazzari RW 24 6 3 9 4
8, 15 Labrie, GuyGuy Labrie D 15 2 7 9 2
15, 17 Brennan, TomTom Brennan RW 11 2 1 3 2
9 Scherza, ChuckChuck Scherza LW/C 9 1 1 2 6
9, 15, 19 Schmidt, ClarenceClarence Schmidt RW 7 1 0 1 2
15 Aubuchon, OssieOssie Aubuchon LW 9 1 0 1 0
19 Boyd, IrwinIrwin Boyd RW 5 0 1 1 0
1 Gardiner, BertBert Gardiner G 41 0 1 1 0
15 Schmidt, OttoOtto Schmidt D 2 0 0 0 0
17 DeMarco, AbAb DeMarco C 3 0 0 0 0
8 Wilkinson, JohnJohn Wilkinson D 9 0 0 0 6
1 Abbott, GeorgeGeorge Abbott G 1 0 0 0 0
1 Franks, JimmyJimmy Franks G 1 0 0 0 0
1 Grant, BennyBenny Grant G 1 0 0 0 0
1 Courteau, MauriceMaurice Courteau G 6 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Gardiner, BertBert Gardiner 2460 41 17 19 5 212 5.17 1
Courteau, MauriceMaurice Courteau 360 6 2 4 0 33 5.50 0
Abbott, GeorgeGeorge Abbott 60 1 0 1 0 7 7.00 0
Franks, JimmyJimmy Franks 60 1 0 1 0 6 6.00 0
Grant, BennyBenny Grant 60 1 0 1 0 10 10.00 0
Team: 3000 50 19 26 5 268 5.36 1

[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]

Transactions[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Chuck Scherza scored in his first NHL game versus the Montreal Canadiens on October 30, 1943 as did Russ Kopak versus the Detroit Red Wings on December 7, 1943.
  • The Bruins played a charity game in Ottawa on February 24, 1944 versus the Kiwanis All-Stars to raise money for War Bonds.
  • Goalie Bert Gardiner recorded an assist on a goal by Bill Cowley during the 7-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 29, 1944.
  • A confusing development saw Joe "Otto" Schmidt wear Milt Schmidt's #15 jersey for 2 games. Then Clarence Schmidt played 2 games also wearing #15.
  • Bill Cowley had a 6 point game during the 10-9 win over the New York Rangers on March 4, 1944.
  • Bruins who recorded a Hat trick this season include:
    • Buzz Boll had a 4 goal game during the 6-2 win over New York on November 25, 1943.
    • Bill Cowley during the 8-5 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 21, 1943.
    • Herb Cain during the 13-3 win over New York on January 2, 1944.
    • Art Jackson during the 7-5 win over New York on January 15, 1944.
    • Bill Cowley had a 4 goal game during the 10-9 win over New York on March 4, 1944.
    • Herb Cain during the 4-4 tie with New York on March 5, 1944.
    • Bill Cowley during the 10-9 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on March 16, 1944.
    • Busher Jackson during the 10-9 loss to Detroit on March 16, 1944.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1943-44 Boston Bruins Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
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