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1954–55 Boston Bruins · NHL
Division 4th NHL
1954–55 record 23-26-21
Goals for 169 (3rd)
Goals against 188 (4th)
General Manager Lynn Patrick
Coach Lynn Patrick
Milt Schmidt
Captain Milt Schmidt
Ed Sandford
Arena Boston Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Leo Labine (24)
Assists Fleming Mackell (24)
Points Don McKenney
Leo Labine (42)
Penalties in minutes Fern Flaman (150)
Wins John Henderson (15)
Goals against average John Henderson (2.49)
← Seasons →
1953–54 1955–56

The 1954–55 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 31st season in the NHL. The Bruins finished 4th in the league and lost in the Semi-finals to the Montreal Canadiens 4 games to 1.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

Woody Dumart retired during the 1954-55 season.

After managing the Bruins since their first season in 1924-25, Art Ross announced his retirement and was replaced by Lynn Patrick who began the season as both coach and GM.

GM Lynn Patrick made two significant acquisitions during the summer. He brought Fern Flaman back to the Bruins and traded for goalie John Henderson.

Woody Dumart started the season playing for the Bruins farm team, the Providence Reds, and then retired having played nearly 20 years for the club. A superb two-way player, he played until he was 38 years old and had modified his game in the 1950's from a playmaker to a checking forward. He was largely responsible for Boston's playoff upset in the 1953 Semi-finals over the Detroit Red Wings when he held Gordie Howe, who'd scored 49 goals in the regular season, to 2 goals in the series.

In addition, Bruins spark plug forward Johnny Peirson retired in the off-season.

The 8th National Hockey League All-Star Game was held at Detroit on October 2, 1954. A team of all-stars that included four Bruins, Bill Quackenbush, Fleming Mackell, Doug Mohns and Ed Sandford played against the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. The game ended in a 2-2 tie with Mohns scoring the tying goal.

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Schmidt feted as the 1951 Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP.

Having suffered injuries to both his knees over the years which caused him to miss a significant part of the 1947-48 season, Milt Schmidt played 20 games to start the 1954-55 season. After the November 28, 1954 game in which the Bruins beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-3, he told coach/GM Lynn Patrick that he needed time off to rest his knees and was considering retiring. While recovering for several weeks, Schmidt helped coach the team. He returned to action on December 16, 1954, played three games, his last on December 19, 1954 versus the Chicago Black Hawks, after which he retired. Schmidt was named co-coach for the season and would take over the job full-time the next season. Ed Sandford became team captain.

The Bruins had a miserable start to the season, going 2-8-4 in their first 14 games. Lynn Patrick called up off-season acquisition John Henderson to replace Jim Henry in the net. This stabilized the situation somewhat and Henderson would have a 15-14-15 record, played most of the remaining games and led the Bruins into the playoffs. He'd only play one more game in his NHL career after 1954-55. Beginning in December, Henry would be used to spell Henderson out for a few games each month.

Don McKenney was runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1954-55.

Patrick also re-acquired Leo Boivin from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Combined with the off-season trade for Fern Flaman, the Bruins defense was set for the rest of the 1950's. Flaman would play 7 more years for the Bruins (having played 4 seasons for them previously), captain the team for six seasons and be voted to the Second All-Star Team in 1954-55 (and twice more). Boivin would play a dozen seasons for the Bruins and captain them for three. Bob Armstrong came into his prime, having played two years for the Bruins and would play seven more. These three defensemen would form the core of the Bruins defense for the next 7 years, with Doug Mohns changing from left wing to defense in 1957.

With the retirement of Schmidt, Peirson, Dumart and Ed Sandford playing his last year for the Bruins, the forwards changed significantly in 1954-55. Leo Labine led the team in scoring and would have several more productive years as would Fleming Mackell. Real Chevrefils and Cal Gardner provided depth scoring but by far the biggest addition was rookie Don McKenney. McKenney finished second in team scoring, would accumulate the most points of any Bruin over the next seven seasons and finish in the top 10 of league scoring three times. He'd also captain the Bruins for two seasons.

Fleming Mackell scores the game winner, November 10, 1954.

With poor attendance at home and having played three home games in Indianapolis during the 1953–54 season, and six home games in St. Louis in the 1954–55 season, the Chicago Black Hawks played a home game against the Bruins in St. Paul, Minnesota on February 23, 1955 which ended in a 3-3 tie.

Hal Laycoe on the far left with Bert Olmstead while Jean Béliveau restrains #8 Fleming Mackell. Richard is behind Beliveau with linesman Cliff Thompson.

On March 13, 1955, the Bruins became involved in the most controversial event of the season. In their third last game, playing at home against the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins' Hal Laycoe high-sticked Maurice Richard in the head during a Montreal power play, cutting him. When the play ended, Richard skated up to Laycoe, who had dropped his stick and gloves in anticipation of a fight, and struck him in the face and shoulders with his stick. The linesmen attempted to restrain Richard, who repeatedly broke away from them to continue his attack on Laycoe, eventually breaking a stick over his opponent's body before linesman Cliff Thompson corralled him. Richard broke loose again and punched Thompson twice in the face, knocking him unconscious. Richard then left the ice. Richard was given a match penalty and an automatic $100 fine, and Laycoe a five-minute major penalty plus a ten-minute misconduct for the high stick.

Another view of the melee with Richard and Laycoe marked with arrows.

Boston police attempted to arrest Richard in the dressing room after the game ended, but were turned back by Canadiens players who barred the door, preventing any arrest. Bruins management finally persuaded the officers to leave with a promise that the NHL would handle the issue. The Laycoe incident was Richard's second altercation with an official that season, after having slapped a linesman in the face in Toronto in December, for which he was fined $250.

NHL president Clarence Campbell suspended Richard for the remaining three games of the regular season and the 1955 playoffs. This sparked outrage amongst the Canadiens' fans which spilled over during Montreal's next home game versus the Detroit Red Wings, which Campbell attended. Campbell was attacked, a tear gas bomb went off, halting the game which was forfeited to Detroit. Fans took to the streets, starting the "Richard Riot", causing massive amounts of damage and nearly 100 arrests. Richard lost the scoring title to teammate Bernie Geoffrion, who was booed when he recorded a point to pass Richard, during Montreal's last game of the regular season.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA
Detroit Red Wings 70 42 17 11 95 204 134
Montreal Canadiens 70 41 18 11 93 228 157
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 24 24 22 70 147 135
Boston Bruins 70 23 26 21 67 169 188
New York Rangers 70 17 35 18 52 150 210
Chicago Black Hawks 70 13 40 17 43 161 235

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 L October 9, 1954 1–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 0–1–0
2 T October 11, 1954 2–2 Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 0–1–1
3 W October 14, 1954 5–3 New York Rangers (1954–55) 1–1–1
4 T October 17, 1954 1–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 1–1–2
5 L October 20, 1954 2–6 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 1–2–2
6 L October 21, 1954 3–5 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 1–3–2
7 T October 23, 1954 3–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 1–3–3
8 L October 30, 1954 0–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 1–4–3
9 L November 4, 1954 2–3 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 1–5–3
10 L November 7, 1954 3–4 Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 1–6–3
11 W November 10, 1954 4–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 2–6–3
12 L November 13, 1954 1–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 2–7–3
13 L November 14, 1954 1–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 2–8–3
14 T November 17, 1954 2–2 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 2–8–4
15 W November 18, 1954 5–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 3–8–4
16 W November 20, 1954 1–0 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 4–8–4
17 W November 21, 1954 2–0 Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 5–8–4
18 L November 24, 1954 1–3 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 5–9–4
19 T November 25, 1954 2–2 New York Rangers (1954–55) 5–9–5
20 W November 28, 1954 6–2 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 6–9–5
21 L December 1, 1954 0–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 6–10–5
22 W December 2, 1954 3–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 7–10–5
23 W December 4, 1954 6–3 New York Rangers (1954–55) 8–10–5
24 L December 5, 1954 2–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 8–11–5
25 W December 9, 1954 2–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 9–11–5
26 W December 11, 1954 3–0 @ Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 10–11–5
27 T December 12, 1954 2–2 Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 10–11–6
28 L December 16, 1954 2–4 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 10–12–6
29 L December 18, 1954 1–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 10–13–6
30 L December 19, 1954 1–6 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 10–14–6
31 T December 25, 1954 3–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 10–14–7
32 L December 30, 1954 1–6 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 10–15–7
33 W January 1, 1955 4–0 New York Rangers (1954–55) 11–15–7
34 T January 2, 1955 3–3 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 11–15–8
35 W January 5, 1955 2–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 12–15–8
36 T January 6, 1955 3–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 12–15–9
37 T January 8, 1955 1–1 @ Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 12–15–10
38 T January 9, 1955 1–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 12–15–11
39 T January 12, 1955 1–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 12–15–12
40 L January 13, 1955 0–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 12–16–12
41 L January 15, 1955 2–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 12–17–12
42 W January 16, 1955 6–0 Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 13–17–12
43 W January 20, 1955 3–2 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 14–17–12
44 W January 22, 1955 3–1 New York Rangers (1954–55) 15–17–12
45 L January 23, 1955 0–2 New York Rangers (1954–55) 15–18–12
46 W January 27, 1955 5–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 16–18–12
47 L January 29, 1955 0–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 16–19–12
48 W January 30, 1955 3–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 17–19–12
49 W February 2, 1955 3–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 18–19–12
50 T February 3, 1955 1–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 18–19–13
51 W February 5, 1955 8–4 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 19–19–13
52 T February 6, 1955 2–2 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 19–19–14
53 W February 10, 1955 4–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 20–19–14
54 T February 12, 1955 5–5 New York Rangers (1954–55) 20–19–15
55 T February 13, 1955 3–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 20–19–16
56 T February 16, 1955 2–2 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 20–19–17
57 L February 17, 1955 2–10 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 20–20–17
58 T February 19, 1955 1–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 20–20–18
59 T February 21, 1955 2–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 20–20–19
60 T February 23, 1955 3–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 20–20–20
61 L February 26, 1955 1–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 20–21–20
62 W March 2, 1955 2–1 @ New York Rangers (1954–55) 21–21–20
63 L March 3, 1955 1–4 Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 21–22–20
64 T March 5, 1955 2–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 21–22–21
65 W March 6, 1955 3–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1954–55) 22–22–21
66 L March 10, 1955 2–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 22–23–21
67 L March 12, 1955 1–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 22–24–21
68 W March 13, 1955 4–2 Montreal Canadiens (1954–55) 23–24–21
69 L March 16, 1955 4–5 Detroit Red Wings (1954–55) 23–25–21
70 L March 20, 1955 3–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1954–55) 23–26–21

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Montreal Canadiens 4, Boston Bruins 1[edit | edit source]

Plante subs in for Hodge, Semi-finals Game 2, March 24, 1955.

For the fourth year in a row Montreal met Boston in the post season. The Canadiens would defeat the Bruins 4 games to 1. In the first three games of the series, Montreal goalies Jacques Plante and Charlie Hodge were continually swapped in and out of goal.

Game 1 at the Montreal Forum had NHL president Clarence Campbell in attendance and security was provided by nearly 300 policemen. Though John Henderson played most of the Bruins regular season games, Jim Henry started in net while Jacques Plante manned the pipes for the Habs. After a scoreless first period, Montreal scored two goals on the Power play in the second period, Bernie Geoffrion and then Jean Béliveau. In a surprising move, Canadiens coach Dick Irvin kept swapping Charlie Hodge and Plante in goal. Neither surrendered a goal and Montreal won 2-0.

Game 2 at the Montreal had John Henderson start in goal for the Bruins while Plante started again for the Canadiens. All goals were scored in the second period. Montreal's Floyd Curry marked first then Irvin again swapped out Plante for Hodge. Montreal made it 3-0 on goals by Calum MacKay and Beliveau before Real Chevrefils scored for Boston. The game ended 3-1 with Montreal taking a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3 at the Boston Garden saw the Bruins bounce back and roar ahead 3-0 on first period goals by Leo Labine, Fern Flaman and Chevrefils. Hal Laycoe added one late in the second period to make it 4-0 Boston. Irvin kept swapping Jacques Plante out for Charlie Hodge and each gave up two goals. Ken Mosdell scored early in the third and Jack LeClair added a Shorthanded goal with a little over a minute left to make it 4-2 Boston.

Game 4 at Boston saw Plante in net for the entire game and Jim Henry for the Bruins. After a scoreless first period, Tom Johnson and Don McKenney swapped goals in the second period, followed by Leo Labine and Floyd Curry. Ed Sandford put the Bruins up 3-2 at 8:52 of the third period until Bernie Geoffrion tied it and sent the game into overtime. A minute into OT, Butch Bouchard took a high-sticking penalty. However, Dickie Moore intercepted a Bruins pass and sent Don Marshall in on a breakaway. Marshall fired the puck into the bottom left corner past Henry for his first career playoff goal and a 4-3 Montreal win.

Game 5 at the Montreal saw Henderson replace Henry in the net for Boston as Henry suffered a broken jaw in Game 4. Fern Flaman (foot injury) and Warren Godfrey (hand injury) also missed the game resulting in the call-up of defenseman Don Cherry for his only NHL game. Cherry acquitted himself well but the Bruins were outmatched and Montreal never trailed in the game. Two goals by Jack LeClair and markers by Dickie Moore and Floyd Curry had the Habs up 4-0 before Lorne Ferguson scored on the power play late in the second period to make it 4-1. Beliveau added his third of the playoffs in the third period and Montreal won 5-1 and took the series 4 games to 1.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 22 Boston Bruins 0-2 Montreal Canadiens 0-1
2 March 24 Boston Bruins 1-3 Montreal Canadiens 0-2
3 March 27 Montreal Canadiens 2-4 Boston Bruins 2-1
4 March 29 Montreal Canadiens 4-3 (OT) Boston Bruins 3-1
5 March 31 Boston Bruins 1-5 Montreal Canadiens 1-4

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
16 Labine, LeoLeo Labine RW 67 24 18 42 75
17 McKenney, DonDon McKenney C 69 22 20 42 34
12 Chevrefils, RealReal Chevrefils LW 64 18 22 40 30
9 Gardner, CalCal Gardner RW 70 16 22 38 40
8 Mackell, FlemingFleming Mackell C 60 11 24 35 76
23 Ferguson, LorneLorne Ferguson C 69 20 14 34 24
7 Sandford, EdEd Sandford LW 60 14 20 34 38
19 Mohns, DougDoug Mohns LW 70 14 18 32 82
11 Quackenbush, BillBill Quackenbush D 68 2 20 22 8
14 Flaman, FernFern Flaman D 70 4 14 18 150
6 Godfrey, WarrenWarren Godfrey D 62 1 17 18 58
20 Boivin, LeoLeo Boivin D 59 6 11 17 105
10 Laycoe, HalHal Laycoe D 70 4 13 17 34
21 Costello, MurrayMurray Costello C 54 4 11 15 25
15 Schmidt, MiltMilt Schmidt C 23 4 8 12 26
18 Bodnar, GusGus Bodnar C 67 4 4 8 14
4 Armstrong, BobBob Armstrong D 57 1 3 4 38
24 Smith, FloydFloyd Smith C 3 0 1 1 0
24 Teal, SkipSkip Teal C 1 0 0 0 0
24 Corcoran, NormNorm Corcoran C 2 0 0 0 2
22 Klukay, JoeJoe Klukay LW 10 0 0 0 4
0, 1 Henry, JimJim Henry G 27 0 0 0 0
0, 1 Henderson, JohnJohn Henderson G 45 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Henderson, JohnJohn Henderson 2652 45 15 14 15 109 2.47 5
Henry, JimJim Henry 1548 27 8 12 6 79 3.06 1
Team: 4200 70 23 26 21 188 2.77 6

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
11 Quackenbush, BillBill Quackenbush D 5 0 5 5 0
12 Chevrefils, RealReal Chevrefils LW 5 2 1 3 4
16 Labine, LeoLeo Labine RW 5 2 1 3 11
17 McKenney, DonDon McKenney C 5 1 2 3 4
7 Sandford, EdEd Sandford LW 5 1 1 2 6
23 Ferguson, LorneLorne Ferguson C 4 1 0 1 2
14 Flaman, FernFern Flaman D 4 1 0 1 2
10 Laycoe, HalHal Laycoe D 5 1 0 1 0
8 Mackell, FlemingFleming Mackell C 4 0 1 1 0
18 Bodnar, GusGus Bodnar C 5 0 1 1 4
20 Boivin, LeoLeo Boivin D 5 0 1 1 4
24 Cherry, DonDon Cherry D 1 0 0 0 0
21 Costello, MurrayMurray Costello C 1 0 0 0 2
25 Wilson, GordGord Wilson LW 2 0 0 0 0
6 Godfrey, WarrenWarren Godfrey D 3 0 0 0 0
22 Corcoran, NormNorm Corcoran C 4 0 0 0 6
9 Gardner, CalCal Gardner C 5 0 0 0 4
19 Mohns, DougDoug Mohns LW/D 5 0 0 0 4
4 Armstrong, BobBob Armstrong D 5 0 0 0 2
1 Henderson, JohnJohn Henderson G 2 0 0 0 0
1 Henry, JimJim Henry G 3 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Henry, JimJim Henry 183 3 1 2 8 2.68 0
Henderson, JohnJohn Henderson 120 2 0 2 8 4.00 0
Team: 303 5 1 4 16 3.21 0

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]

  • Skip Teal played his only NHL game on December 12, 1954 in a 2-2 tie with the Montreal Canadiens. He wore jersey #24.
  • Don Cherry played his only NHL game on March 31, 1955 in a 5-1 loss to Montreal in Game 5 of the Semi-finals. He wore jersey #24.
  • Gord Wilson played the only two games of his NHL career in Games 2 and 3 of the Semi-finals versus Montreal. He wore jersey #25.
  • Bruins who recorded a Hat trick this season include:

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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