|1945–46 Boston Bruins · NHL|
|O'Brien Trophy Winners|
|Goals for||167 (3rd)|
|Goals against||156 (2nd)|
|General Manager||Art Ross|
|Goals||Woody Dumart (22)|
|Assists||Don Gallinger (23)|
|Points||Don Gallinger (40)|
|Penalties in minutes||Bep Guidolin (62)|
|Wins||Frank Brimsek (16)|
|Goals against average||Paul Bibeault (2.81)|
|← Seasons →|
The 1945–46 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 22nd season in the NHL. With the return of star forwards Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart as well as star goalie Frank Brimsek from war service, the Bruins made it to the 1946 Stanley Cup Final only to lose to the rival Montreal Canadiens 4 games to 1.
Although official Bruins records list Dit Clapper as the team's captain for the season, Jack Crawford was appointed to lead the team as reported in the Boston Globe and a number of other newspapers.
The end of World War II saw the return of several key players for the Bruins including the "Kraut Line" and Terry Reardon. All four returned in time for the start of the season. Boston was part of a special home opener for the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 27, 1945. Six winners of the Victoria Cross were in attendance and the puck drop was conducted by "Smokey" Smith. Fittingly, the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Paul Bibeault played the first dozen games of the season in goal before Frank Brimsek, released from duty in the US Coast Guard, played his first game on December 9, 1945. After a shaky start in which he lost 8-3, Brimsek returned to his brilliant ways and finished as the Second All-Star Team goalie. He and Bibeault shared duties during December and early January 1946 until the Bruins were forced to return the loaned Bibeault to the Montreal Canadiens when Bill Durnan was injured.
The Bruins offense was blunted when on January 5, 1946, star forward Bill Cowley was injured. Scoring at a point a game pace when he was hurt, he missed 24 games and returned with four games left in the season. Twenty year old Don Gallinger, a three year NHL veteran, led the team in scoring while playing on the second line with 22 year old Bill Shill and 19 year old Bep Guidolin.
Former NHL Scoring Leader Herb Cain played his last NHL season. Behind the solid goaltending tandem of Bibeault and Brimsek, the Bruins lopped over 100 goals off their goals against from the previous season to finish in second place and return to the playoffs.
|Chicago Black Hawks||50||23||20||7||53||200||178||339|
|Detroit Red Wings||50||20||20||10||50||146||159||298|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||50||19||24||7||45||174||185||247|
|New York Rangers||50||13||28||9||35||144||191||285|
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||October 24, 1945||4–5||Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||0–1–0|
|2||T||October 27, 1945||1–1||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||0–1–1|
|3||L||October 28, 1945||0–7||@ Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||0–2–1|
|4||W||November 4, 1945||6–5||Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||1–2–1|
|5||W||November 7, 1945||4–3||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||2–2–1|
|6||L||November 10, 1945||3–5||@ Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||2–3–1|
|7||W||November 11, 1945||7–1||@ New York Rangers (1945–46)||3–3–1|
|8||W||November 21, 1945||3–0||Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||4–3–1|
|9||W||November 25, 1945||5–3||Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||5–3–1|
|10||W||November 28, 1945||5–1||New York Rangers (1945–46)||6–3–1|
|11||T||December 2, 1945||2–2||Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||6–3–2|
|12||W||December 5, 1945||6–3||Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||7–3–2|
|13||L||December 9, 1945||3–8||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||7–4–2|
|14||T||December 12, 1945||2–2||Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||7–4–3|
|15||T||December 15, 1945||3–3||@ Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||7–4–4|
|16||T||December 16, 1945||3–3||Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||7–4–5|
|17||W||December 19, 1945||8–7||New York Rangers (1945–46)||8–4–5|
|18||L||December 23, 1945||1–4||Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||8–5–5|
|19||W||December 29, 1945||4–3||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||9–5–5|
|20||T||December 30, 1945||3–3||@ Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||9–5–6|
|21||W||January 1, 1946||4–0||Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||10–5–6|
|22||L||January 5, 1946||2–4||@ Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||10–6–6|
|23||L||January 6, 1946||2–4||@ New York Rangers (1945–46)||10–7–6|
|24||L||January 10, 1946||1–2||@ Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||10–8–6|
|25||W||January 12, 1946||4–3||Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||11–8–6|
|26||W||January 16, 1946||3–2||New York Rangers (1945–46)||12–8–6|
|27||W||January 17, 1946||4–2||@ New York Rangers (1945–46)||13–8–6|
|28||L||January 19, 1946||1–3||@ Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||13–9–6|
|29||W||January 20, 1946||3–0||Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||14–9–6|
|30||W||January 23, 1946||7–1||Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||15–9–6|
|31||W||January 26, 1946||4–2||@ Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||16–9–6|
|32||L||January 27, 1946||1–4||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||16–10–6|
|33||W||January 30, 1946||4–3||Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||17–10–6|
|34||W||February 2, 1946||5–3||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||18–10–6|
|35||L||February 3, 1946||1–3||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||18–11–6|
|36||T||February 6, 1946||3–3||Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||18–11–7|
|37||L||February 10, 1946||0–2||Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||18–12–7|
|38||W||February 13, 1946||3–0||Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||19–12–7|
|39||T||February 14, 1946||2–2||@ New York Rangers (1945–46)||19–12–8|
|40||L||February 16, 1946||2–6||New York Rangers (1945–46)||19–13–8|
|41||L||February 20, 1946||3–4||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||19–14–8|
|42||L||February 23, 1946||2–7||@ Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||19–15–8|
|43||L||February 24, 1946||3–4||@ Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||19–16–8|
|44||W||February 27, 1946||5–3||@ Montreal Canadiens (1945–46)||20–16–8|
|45||L||March 3, 1946||3–5||@ Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||20–17–8|
|46||W||March 6, 1946||4–2||Detroit Red Wings (1945–46)||21–17–8|
|47||W||March 10, 1946||7–3||Toronto Maple Leafs (1945–46)||22–17–8|
|48||W||March 12, 1946||3–2||@ New York Rangers (1945–46)||23–17–8|
|49||L||March 13, 1946||3–5||New York Rangers (1945–46)||23–18–8|
|50||W||March 17, 1946||5–3||Chicago Black Hawks (1945–46)||24–18–8|
Boston Bruins 4, Detroit Red Wings 1
Meeting for the 5th time in the last six years in the playoffs, the Bruins would overcome the Wings in five games to avenge losing the previous three series. The return of the Kraut Line from war service saw them score half the Bruins goals in the series and Frank Brimsek out dueled Wings goalie Harry Lumley.
Game 1 saw the home town Bruins jump out to a 2-0 first period lead on a Shorthanded goal by defenseman Pat Egan and rookie Bill Shill. Harry Watson responded for the Wings in the second but Brimsek shut the door and Bep Guidolin sealed a 3-1 win for the Bruins.
Game 2 featured shutout play by Wings goalie Lumley. Pat Lundy opened the scoring at 7:32 of the first period on a breakaway. However, he crashed into the crossbar after scoring, separated his shoulder and was lost for the rest of the playoffs. Jim Conacher scored nearly six minutes after Lundy and and Watson's second of the series late in the third period led the Wings to a 3-0 win, tying the series 1-1.
Game 3 shifted the series to the Detroit Olympia where the Kraut Line dominated with a pair of goals each by Milt Schmidt and Woody Dumart plus a marker by Egan. Two late third period goals by the Wings Fern Gauthier and Carl Liscombe weren't enough as the Bruins won 5-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.
Game 4 was a very clean game with only one penalty in which the Kraut Line continued to produce on first period goals by Dumart and Bobby Bauer. After a scoreless second period, Bep Guidolin's 2nd of the series saw the Bruins up 3-0. Fern Gauthier responded but a goal by the Bruins Terry Reardon sank any hopes of a comeback. The Bruins outshot the Wings 35-19, won 4-1 and took a 3-1 stranglehold on the series.
Game 5 saw the series back in the Boston Garden where first period goals by Bauer and Guidolin put the Bruins up 2-0. Gauthier responded in the second period but Reardon tallied early in the third. The Wings mounted a furious comeback with a goal by Adam Brown and then Ed Bruneteau tied it up in the last minute, sending the game into overtime. The Bruins survived a penalty in OT by Egan and Don Gallinger was the hero with the winner at 9:51 on a solo rush that began behind the Bruins net and ended when he split the Wings defense and fired a shot home.
|1||March 19||Detroit Red Wings||1-3||Boston Bruins||0-1|
|2||March 21||Detroit Red Wings||3-0||Boston Bruins||1-1|
|3||March 24||Boston Bruins||5-2||Detroit Red Wings||2-1|
|4||March 26||Boston Bruins||4-1||Detroit Red Wings||3-1|
|5||March 28||Detroit Red Wings||3-4 (OT)||Boston Bruins||1-4|
Montreal Canadiens 4, Boston Bruins 1
Having last met in the 1943 Semi-finals where the Bruins defeated the Habs 4 games to 1, the 1946 series would see three games go to overtime. The Canadiens won two of the OT games and defeated the Bruins 4 games to 1. Brothers Terry Reardon (Boston) and Ken Reardon (Montreal) faced each other in the series.
Game 1 in Montreal saw a scoreless first period yield to an early second period Power play goal by Butch Bouchard of the Canadiens. Bob Fillion made it 2-0 before the Bruins scored a pair by Bep Guidolin and Woody Dumart. Tied going into the third, the Bruins Jack Crawford scored his only goal of the playoffs with less than 6 minutes left. An accurate pass from Maurice Richard to Murph Chamberlain tied the game with less than four minutes in the period, sending the game into overtime. The Bruins line of Kenny Smith, Bill Cowley and Terry Reardon had stopped the Habs "Punch Line" from scoring all game. In OT, Cowley had a breakaway that was stopped by Bill Durnan. At 9:08, Frank Brimsek kicked out a point shot by Butch Bouchard. Maurice Richard scored on the rebound, his 5th of the playoffs.
Game 2 in Montreal saw the Habs Toe Blake barely play, having hurt his back in Game 1. The teams traded first period goals by Pat Egan and Elmer Lach. As in game 1, the Bruins took the lead on a goal by Bobby Bauer in the second but the Habs again tied it up on Butch Bouchard's long point shot. Jimmy Peters was the OT hero as his backhand shot deflected off Terry Reardon and into the net. Montreal held a 2-0 series lead going to Boston.
Game 3 in Boston again saw Montreal pull the game out in the third period. After the Bruins Guidolin and Terry Reardon tallied, the Habs responded with goals by Elmer Lach and Glen Harmon, it was 2-2 at the end of the second. Third period goals by Ken Mosdell and Dutch Hiller and stout goaltending by the Habs Bill Durnan led Montreal to a 4-3 win and a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.
Game 4 in Boston saw Dit Clapper take to the ice for the first time in the series while Art Ross manned the bench. After a scoreless first period in which the Bruins were badly outshot (it took 18 minutes to record their first shot on net), the Bruins Murray Henderson broke the ice in the second, responded to by Richard. In the third, Don Gallinger put the Bruins up at 3:01 but Richard responded again a minute later, sending the game into overtime. Terry Reardon's 4th of the playoffs at 15:13 won it for the Bruins, despite being outshot 39-20. The teams travelled back to Montreal with the Habs having a 3-1 series lead.
Game 5 in Montreal saw the Kraut Line finally break out. After Bill Cowley opened the scoring at 5:42 on the power play, the Habs Fillion tied it up at 9:55. Durnan couldn't control a Woody Dumart shot and Bobby Bauer backhanded the rebound through Durnan's legs for a 2-1 lead. However, Lach and Mosdell responded and the Habs led 3-2 at the end of the first. The first goal of the series for Milt Schmidt was the only goal of the second period. Tied 3-3 going into the third, the Habs again demonstrated a strong final frame and once Toe Blake scored the winner, his first of the series, at 11:06 (playing with an injured back), Chamberlain and Hiller piled on and Montreal took the Cup in 5 games.
|1||March 30||Boston Bruins||3-4 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||0-1|
|2||April 2||Boston Bruins||2-3 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||0-2|
|3||April 4||Montreal Canadiens||4-2||Boston Bruins||3-0|
|4||April 7||Montreal Canadiens||2-3 (OT)||Boston Bruins||3-1|
|5||April 9||Boston Bruins||3-6||Montreal Canadiens||1-4|
|9, 16||Bill Shill||RW||45||15||12||27||12|
|18, 19||Jack McGill||C||46||6||14||20||21|
|18, 19||Jack Church||D||43||2||6||8||28|
|5, 21||Mike McMahon||D||2||0||0||0||2|
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
- O'Brien Trophy: Boston Bruins
- Jack Crawford, Defence, NHL First Team All-Star
- Frank Brimsek, Goaltender, NHL Second Team All-Star
- Sell Joe Cooper to the Chicago Black Hawks on October 1, 1945.
- Return Paul Bibeault (who was on loan) to the Montreal Canadiens on January 7, 1946 due to the injury of Bill Durnan.
- Trade Bill Jennings to Chicago for Norm McAtee on February 25, 1946.
- Bruins who recorded a Hat trick this season include:
- 1945-46 Boston Bruins Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
|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|
|1945–46 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||1946 Stanley Cup Finals|