To celebrate their 25th year in the NHL, the Bruins retired the "number" jerseys they'd worn since 1936 for a white jersey with the "spoked B" logo for the first time. On the horizontal spokes to the left and right of the "B" was "24" and "49", marking the year the Bruins entered the NHL and the 25th anniversary year. Also introduced was a black jersey with a gold block "B". The Bruins had worn jerseys with a brown and then black "B" from 1932-36. Although Milt Schmidt wore the "C" and Jack Crawford an "A", Crawford was designated the team captain with Murray Henderson wearing the other "A."
Don Gallinger, hopeful he could win an appeal of his suspension in the gambing scandal, finally admitted to gambling and was expelled from the NHL for life in September.
On October 8, 1948, the New York Rangers were due to start their season against the Montreal Canadiens, when the team suffered a bad misfortune. Buddy O'Connor, Frank Eddolls, Edgar Laprade, Bill Moe and Tony Leswick were travelling by car from Montreal to Saranac Lake, when it was struck by a truck near Rouse's Point, New York. O'Connor suffered several broken ribs, Eddolls suffered a severed tendon in his knee, Laprade suffered a broken nose, Moe had a cut on the head requiring stitches and Leswick escaped with only a few bruises. This had a major impact on the Rangers season as they only scored 133 goals and finished last.
A league record of ten major penalties was set November 25, 1948 when 11,000 fans at the Montreal Forum witnessed a donnybrook. It started when the Habs' Ken Mosdell elbowed Maple Leaf Gus Mortson. Mortson retaliated by knocking Elliot de Grey down with his stick. Montreal's Maurice Richard then sprang onto Mortson's back, they fought and then all hands joined in. Mortson, Richard, Toronto's Howie Meeker and Mosdell were assessed major penalties. Play had scarcely resumed when the Habs Ken Reardon and the Leafs Joe Klukay began fencing. Bill Barilko went at Reardon, while Klukay got into it with Billy Reay, and in another fight, Hal Laycoe got into it with Garth Boesch. Turk Broda quietly picked up his first shutout of the year as the Leafs beat the Canadiens 2-0.
Both Detroit and Montreal lost key players to injury this year. Montreal lost Elmer Lach with a fractured jaw when he collided with Toronto defenceman Bob Goldham, and Butch Bouchard injured a knee. Detroit lost Gordie Howe, who underwent knee surgery.
Bill Durnan got hot in the second half of the season and recorded four consecutive shutouts, going 309 minutes and 21 seconds without giving up a goal. In all, Durnan had 10 shutouts and won his fifth Vezina Trophy in six years.
|Detroit Red Wings||60||34||19||7||75||195||145|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||60||22||25||13||57||147||161|
|Chicago Black Hawks||60||21||31||8||50||173||211|
|New York Rangers||60||18||31||11||47||133||172|
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.
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|Roy Conacher||Chicago Black Hawks||60||26||42||68||8|
|Doug Bentley||Chicago Black Hawks||60||23||43||66||38|
|Ted Lindsay||Detroit Red Wings||50||26||28||54||97|
|Sid Abel||Detroit Red Wings||60||28||26||54||49|
|Jim Conacher||Chicago Black Hawks / Detroit Red Wings||59||26||23||49||43|
|Paul Ronty||Boston Bruins||60||20||29||49||11|
Note: GP = Games played; Mins – Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts
|Bill Durnan||Montreal Canadiens||60||3600||126||2.10||28||23||9||10|
|Harry Lumley||Detroit Red Wings||60||3600||145||2.42||34||19||7||6|
|Turk Broda||Toronto Maple Leafs||60||3600||161||2.68||22||25||13||5|
|Frank Brimsek||Boston Bruins||54||3240||147||2.72||26||20||8||1|
|Chuck Rayner||New York Rangers||58||3480||168||2.90||16||31||11||7|
|Jim Henry||Chicago Black Hawks||60||3600||211||3.52||21||31||8||0|
Stanley Cup Playoffs
|1||Detroit Red Wings||4|
|1||Detroit Red Wings||0|
|4||Toronto Maple Leafs||4|
|4||Toronto Maple Leafs||4|
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Boston Bruins 1
Having met the year before in the 1948 Semi-finals, the Leafs dispatched the Bruins again by the same 4-1 series score.
Game 1 at Maple Leaf Gardens saw Turk Broda earn a shutout. A Power play goal by the Leafs Harry Watson at 5:15 of the first with the Bruins Pat Egan in the box opened the scoring. Watson potted his second goal in the second frame while Max Bentley completed the 3-0 win with his goal in the third period.
Game 2 in Toronto was a closer match with the Leafs Ray Timgren scoring on the power play at 3:36 of the first with the Bruins Pat Egan again in the box. Woody Dumart scored a Shorthanded goal on the same Leafs PP to even the score. Late in the second period, the Bruins Paul Ronty scored his first playoff goal to put the Bruins up 2-1. Harry Watson was once again the hero, scoring twice in the third period to win it 3-2 for the Leafs.
Game 3 at the Boston Garden saw the Leafs open the scoring for the third consecutive game when Ted Kennedy scored at 8:46. The Bruins Grant Warwick tied it up and Dumart's 2nd of the playoffs had the Bruins up 2-1 at the end of the first period. The Leafs Bill Barilko took a tripping penalty in the second and Johnny Peirson extended the Bruins lead on the power play. However, the Leafs Gus Mortson scored a shorthanded goal on the same PP and then Joe Klukay tied it at 3-3 with 3 seconds left in the second period. Ed Sandford and Fleming Mackell traded goals in the third and the game went into overtime. Just after 17:00, a face-off in the Leafs zone saw Sandford win it against Ted Kennedy and get the puck to Dumart whose one-timer beat Broda for a 5-4 win for home team. Bruins all-star defenseman Jack Crawford had to leave the game with a rib injury and would miss game 4.
Game 4 in Boston saw Fleming Mackell opening the scoring for the Leafs for the 4th consecutive game. Johnny Peirson tied it up on the power play and the already playing without Crawford, the Bruins lost Jimmy Peters with an injured shoulder after he took a check from Bill Juzda. In the second period, after the Bruins Milt Schmidt left the game with an injury, the shorthanded Bruins couldn't hold off the Leafs who took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Sid Smith. In the third period, a slashing penalty to the Bruins Murray Henderson with 5 minutes left resulted in Smith scoring on the PP for a 3-1 Leafs win and a 3-1 stranglehold in the series.
Game 5 in Toronto again saw the Leafs score first when Cal Gardner scored on the PP. Playing without Crawford, Peters and Schmidt, the Bruins Grant Warwick tied it up, also on the PP, until Ray Timgren's trickler made it past Frank Brimsek to put the Leafs up 2-1 at the end of the first period. Six minor penalties were called in the second period but Max Bentley's second of the series was the only goal, putting the Leafs up 3-1. Desperate, the Bruins poured it on in the third but when Fern Flaman was called for boarding at 9:29, the fans littered the ice, causing a 15 minute delay before play started again. Johnny Peirson made it close with less than a minute left but the Leafs held on for a 3-2 win to take the series in 5 games.
|1||March 22||Boston Bruins||0-3||Toronto Maple Leafs||0-1|
|2||March 24||Boston Bruins||2-3||Toronto Maple Leafs||0-2|
|3||March 26||Toronto Maple Leafs||4-5 (OT)||Boston Bruins||2-1|
|4||March 29||Toronto Maple Leafs||3-1||Boston Bruins||3-1|
|5||March 30||Boston Bruins||2-3||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-4|
Detroit Red Wings 4, Montreal Canadiens 3
|March 22||Montreal Canadiens||1||Detroit Red Wings||2||OT|
|March 24||Montreal Canadiens||4||Detroit Red Wings||3||OT|
|March 26||Detroit Red Wings||2||Montreal Canadiens||3|
|March 29||Detroit Red Wings||3||Montreal Canadiens||1|
|March 31||Montreal Canadiens||1||Detroit Red Wings||3|
|April 2||Detroit Red Wings||1||Montreal Canadiens||3|
|April 5||Montreal Canadiens||1||Detroit Red Wings||3|
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Detroit Red Wings 0
|April 8||Toronto Maple Leafs||3||Detroit Red Wings||2|
|April 10||Toronto Maple Leafs||3||Detroit Red Wings||1|
|April 13||Detroit Red Wings||1||Toronto Maple Leafs||3|
|April 16||Detroit Red Wings||1||Toronto Maple Leafs||3|
|O'Brien Trophy:||Detroit Red Wings|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:||Detroit Red Wings|
|Art Ross Memorial Trophy:||Roy Conacher, Chicago Black Hawks|
|Calder Memorial Trophy:||Pentti Lund, New York Rangers|
|Hart Memorial Trophy:||Sid Abel, Detroit Red Wings|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:||Bill Quackenbush, Detroit Red Wings|
|Vezina Trophy:||Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens|
|First Team||Position||Second Team|
|Bill Durnan, Montreal Canadiens||G||Chuck Rayner, New York Rangers|
|Bill Quackenbush, Detroit Red Wings||D||Glen Harmon, Montreal Canadiens|
|Jack Stewart, Detroit Red Wings||D||Ken Reardon, Montreal Canadiens|
|Sid Abel, Detroit Red Wings||C||Doug Bentley, Chicago Black Hawks|
|Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens||RW||Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings|
|Roy Conacher, Chicago Black Hawks||LW||Ted Lindsay, Detroit Red Wings|
Regular Season Attendance
- Chicago: 491,494
- Toronto: 417,409
- Boston: 406,227
- Detroit: 402,153
- New York: 366,278
- Montreal: 326,204
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1948-49 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1948-49 (listed with their last team):
- Neil Colville, New York Rangers
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 2nd National Hockey League All-Star Game
- National Hockey League All-Star Game
|National Hockey League|
|Structure||Playoffs (Streaks • Droughts • All-time playoff series) • Conference Finals • Finals|
|Annual events||Seasons • Stanley Cup (Champions • Winning players • Traditions and anecdotes) • Presidents' Trophy • All-Star Game • Draft • Awards • All-Star Teams|
|Players||List of players • Association • Retired jersey numbers • Captains|
|History||Lore • Organizational changes :: • Defunct teams • NHA • Original Six • 1967 Expansion • WHA Merger • Lockouts|
|Others||Outdoor games (Winter Classic • Heritage Classic • Stadium Series) • Potential expansion • Hall of Fame (Members) • Rivalries • Arenas • Rules • Fighting • Violence : International games • Kraft Hockeyville • Collective bargaining agreement • Television and radio coverage|
|Category • 2020–21 Season • 2021–22 Season • 2022–23 Season|
|1948–49 NHL season by team|
|Teams||Boston • Chicago • Detroit • Montreal • New York • Toronto|
|See also||All-Star Game • 1949 Stanley Cup Finals|