1955-56 Bruins Team.jpg
1955–56 Boston Bruins · NHL
Division 5th NHL
1955–56 record 23–34–13
Goals for 147 (6th)
Goals against 185 (5th)
General Manager Lynn Patrick
Coach Milt Schmidt
Captain Fern Flaman
Arena Boston Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Vic Stasiuk (19)
Assists Don McKenney (24)
Points Vic Stasiuk (37)
Penalties in minutes Bob Armstrong (122)
Wins Terry Sawchuk (22)
Goals against average Claude Pronovost (0.00)
← Seasons →
1954–55 1956–57

The 1955–56 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 32nd season in the NHL. The Bruins finished 5th in the league and did not qualify for the playoffs.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

GM Lynn Patrick made a huge trade in June 1955 in which veteran Ed Sandford, Real Chevrefils, Warren Godfrey and two others were sent to the Detroit Red Wings for Terry Sawchuk, Vic Stasiuk, Marcel Bonin and Lorne Davis. Sawchuk was the reigning Vezina Trophy winner and was seen as the solution to the lack of an elite Bruins goaltender since Frank Brimsek was traded in 1949. Stasiuk would immediately blossom in Boston and become a member of the famed "Uke Line" with John Bucyk and Bronco Horvath two years later. Patrick would re-acquire Chevrefils in 1956 and Sandford would retire in 1956. Only Godfrey played significant time for the Red Wings. The trade was a major coup for the Bruins and led to another big trade two years later.

The 9th National Hockey League All-Star Game was held at Detroit on October 2, 1955. A team of all-stars that included three Bruins, Terry Sawchuk, Fern Flaman and Leo Labine played against the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. The Wings won 3-1 with no Bruins recording a point.

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Doug Mohns in the Bruins gold home uniform introduced in 1955.

The Bruins made major changes to their uniforms to begin the 1955-56 season. While retaining the white jersey with the "spoked B", the black jersey with the "block B" was given the "spoked B" and the stripes were changed. In addition, a new gold jersey with the "spoked B" was added and became the primary home jersey. Black pants and mainly gold socks rounded out the new uniforms. In doing so, the Bruins became the first team in NHL history to have three jerseys used in a season. The "spoked B", in one form or another, would be used on all Bruins jerseys for the next 40 years until the "Pooh Bear" logo was added to the gold jersey in 1996.

With Ed Sandford traded, Fern Flaman became the Bruins captain for the first of six years. Ellard O'Brien of the Hershey Bears was given a two game tryout for the October 9 and 12, 1955 games. A high-scoring defenseman, Lynn Patrick was impressed enough to offer O'Brien a contract to stay with the Bruins. O'Brien turned the contract down as he was making more money in Hershey. In order to prevent any more offers for O'Brien, the Bears gave the Bruins several of their prospects. O'Brien led the Bears to back-to-back Calder Cup championships a few seasons later while scoring 113 points.

Terry Sawchuk congratulated after his first win as a Bruin, October 12, 1955.

The Bruins started the season well, going 6-4-7 and holding down second place in the league. The trade looked to be going poorly for Detroit with a 3-7-7 record. The first head-to-head match of the season between Boston and Detroit occurred on October 22, 1955 at Detroit. Sawchuk bore bitterness towards the Wings for trading him and his replacement Glenn Hall, as well as all those traded, had something to prove. Four penalties were called 18 seconds into the game. But despite six more penalties, neither team could score. The game ended 0-0 with Sawchuk stopping 28 shots and Hall, 19.

The rematch happened on November 13, 1955 at Boston. Despite seven penalties through the first two periods, the game remained scoreless. At 10:41 of the third period, Hall held onto a Leo Boivin shot too long and was assessed a delay of game penalty. Wings captain Ted Lindsay protested, received a misconduct and as he continued to argue, a game misconduct. Despite losing Lindsay and Boston taking another penalty, the game again ended in a scoreless draw. Sawchuk earned first star of the game and his 4th shutout of the season in stopping 31 shots.

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 another five home games in St. Louis in 1955-56 but for the last time. The Bruins hadn't played Chicago in St. Louis in the previous two seasons but did play them there on October 25, 1955 in a 2-0 loss and again on December 9, 1955 in a 1-1 tie.

Jean Béliveau scores one of three goals on Terry Sawchuk in 44 seconds on the power play, November 5, 1955.

During the November 5, 1955 game versus the Montreal Canadiens, with the Bruins leading 2-0, Cal Gardner was assessed a penalty late in the first period. Early in the second period, Hal Laycoe was sent off for hooking. Montreal's Jean Béliveau scored 3 goals during the 5 on 3 Power play. As Montreal's power play continued to rack up multiple goals during penalties, this led the league to adopt a new rule that penalties would end once a goal was scored on the penalized team. Beliveau added another goal at even strength for a 4-2 Habs win.

After the November 18, 1955 game against Detroit, the Bruins went on a nine game winless streak. Sawchuk was certainly not to blame as the Bruins scored only 6 goals during the drought. To help alleviate the lack of scoring, Johnny Peirson was coaxed out of retirement, having last played in the 1954 playoffs. He returned to the line-up on December 15, 1955 and showed he hadn't lost his touch, notching a goal and assist. Despite only playing 33 games, Peirson would put up 25 points and finish 5th in team scoring.

Bruins coach Milt Schmidt congratulates Claude Pronovost after shutting out his own team, January 14, 1956.

Vic Stasiuk required emergency surgery after the December 18, 1955 game versus Chicago for a blood clot in his leg. Despite missing 11 games, he'd still lead the Bruins in scoring. The Bruins were without Sawchuk for the January 14, 1956 in Montreal and planned to start John Henderson in the nets. However, Henderson had equipment problems, leaving Boston without a goalie. Canadiens practice goalie Claude Pronovost (brother of Wings Marcel Pronovost) was loaned to the Bruins and he proceeded to shut his own team out, 2-0. Pronovost made 31 saves and also took a delay of game penalty.

With only two wins in December and one in the first half of January, Lynn Patrick traded under-performing forwards Lorne Ferguson and Murray Costello to Detroit for Real Chevrefils (who was part of the Sawchuk trade) and Jerry Toppazzini. Both had played for the Bruins before, would have an immediate impact and the Bruins began winning with more regularity after their arrival. Chevrefils scored at a point a game pace, would score 31 goals in 1956-57 and make the Second All-Star team. Toppazzini would become a solid offensive contributor for the next decade.

The Bruins went into the last game of the season tied in points with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last playoff spot. Both teams had an identical 23-33-13 record. The Leafs last game was against the second place Red Wings while the Bruins faced last placed Chicago. The Black Hawks were spoilers, beating the Bruins 3-2, while the Leafs shutout the Red Wings 2-0 and made the playoffs over the Bruins.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA
Montreal Canadiens 70 45 15 10 100 222 131
Detroit Red Wings 70 30 24 16 76 183 148
New York Rangers 70 32 28 10 74 204 203
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 24 33 13 61 153 181
Boston Bruins 70 23 34 13 59 147 185
Chicago Black Hawks 70 19 39 12 50 155 216

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Teams that qualify for the playoffs are indicated in bold.

Game Log[edit | edit source]

Regular Season Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 L October 8, 1955 0–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 0–1–0
2 L October 9, 1955 2–5 Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 0–2–0
3 W October 12, 1955 2–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 1–2–0
4 T October 15, 1955 2–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 1–2–1
5 W October 16, 1955 4–1 New York Rangers (1955–56) 2–2–1
6 W October 20, 1955 3–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 3–2–1
7 T October 22, 1955 0–0 @ Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 3–2–2
8 L October 25, 1955 0–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 3–3–2
9 W October 29, 1955 1–0 @ New York Rangers (1955–56) 4–3–2
10 T November 3, 1955 3–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 4–3–3
11 L November 5, 1955 2–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 4–4–3
12 T November 6, 1955 3–3 Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 4–4–4
13 W November 10, 1955 5–1 New York Rangers (1955–56) 5–4–4
14 W November 12, 1955 3–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 6–4–4
15 T November 13, 1955 0–0 Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 6–4–5
16 L November 18, 1955 1–6 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 6–5–5
17 L November 19, 1955 2–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 6–6–5
18 T November 20, 1955 1–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 6–6–6
19 L November 23, 1955 0–4 @ New York Rangers (1955–56) 6–7–6
20 L November 24, 1955 0–5 New York Rangers (1955–56) 6–8–6
21 L November 26, 1955 1–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 6–9–6
22 L November 27, 1955 0–6 Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 6–10–6
23 L December 1, 1955 1–2 Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 6–11–6
24 L December 3, 1955 0–5 Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 6–12–6
25 W December 4, 1955 5–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 7–12–6
26 T December 8, 1955 2–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 7–12–7
27 T December 9, 1955 1–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 7–12–8
28 L December 11, 1955 2–4 Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 7–13–8
29 W December 15, 1955 4–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 8–13–8
30 L December 17, 1955 1–5 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 8–14–8
31 L December 18, 1955 1–7 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 8–15–8
32 T December 21, 1955 3–3 @ New York Rangers (1955–56) 8–15–9
33 L December 22, 1955 2–3 Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 8–16–9
34 L December 25, 1955 2–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 8–17–9
35 L December 29, 1955 3–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 8–18–9
36 L December 31, 1955 2–6 @ New York Rangers (1955–56) 8–19–9
37 L January 1, 1956 2–4 New York Rangers (1955–56) 8–20–9
38 L January 7, 1956 2–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 8–21–9
39 L January 8, 1956 3–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 8–22–9
40 L January 12, 1956 0–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 8–23–9
41 W January 14, 1956 2–0 @ Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 9–23–9
42 L January 15, 1956 1–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 9–24–9
43 L January 19, 1956 2–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 9–25–9
44 W January 20, 1956 3–0 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 10–25–9
45 W January 22, 1956 3–1 New York Rangers (1955–56) 11–25–9
46 W January 26, 1956 5–1 Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 12–25–9
47 L January 28, 1956 1–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 12–26–9
48 W January 29, 1956 3–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 13–26–9
49 T February 2, 1956 2–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 13–26–10
50 W February 4, 1956 7–1 New York Rangers (1955–56) 14–26–10
51 W February 5, 1956 3–1 Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 15–26–10
52 T February 8, 1956 3–3 @ New York Rangers (1955–56) 15–26–11
53 T February 9, 1956 1–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 15–26–12
54 W February 11, 1956 3–2 Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 16–26–12
55 L February 12, 1956 1–7 Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 16–27–12
56 L February 15, 1956 0–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 16–28–12
57 W February 17, 1956 4–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 17–28–12
58 W February 19, 1956 3–0 @ New York Rangers (1955–56) 18–28–12
59 L February 21, 1956 1–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 18–29–12
60 W February 25, 1956 3–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 19–29–12
61 L February 26, 1956 1–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 19–30–12
62 L February 29, 1956 2–4 @ New York Rangers (1955–56) 19–31–12
63 L March 1, 1956 0–2 Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 19–32–12
64 W March 3, 1956 5–2 New York Rangers (1955–56) 20–32–12
65 T March 4, 1956 2–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1955–56) 20–32–13
66 L March 8, 1956 2–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 20–33–13
67 W March 10, 1956 4–0 @ Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 21–33–13
68 W March 11, 1956 3–1 Montreal Canadiens (1955–56) 22–33–13
69 W March 13, 1956 4–0 Detroit Red Wings (1955–56) 23–33–13
70 L March 18, 1956 2–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1955–56) 23–34–13

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
7 Stasiuk, VicVic Stasiuk LW 59 19 18 37 118
9 Gardner, CalCal Gardner C 70 15 21 36 57
16 Labine, LeoLeo Labine RW 68 16 18 34 104
17 McKenney, DonDon McKenney C 65 10 24 34 20
23 Peirson, JohnnyJohnny Peirson RW 33 11 14 25 10
11 Quackenbush, BillBill Quackenbush D 70 3 22 25 4
14 Flaman, FernFern Flaman D 62 4 17 21 70
20 Boivin, LeoLeo Boivin D 68 4 16 20 80
12 Chevrefils, RealReal Chevrefils LW 25 11 8 19 10
19 Mohns, DougDoug Mohns LW 64 10 8 18 48
18, 23 Bonin, MarcelMarcel Bonin W 67 9 9 18 49
8 Mackell, FlemingFleming Mackell C 52 7 9 16 59
21 Toppazzini, JerryJerry Toppazzini RW 28 7 7 14 22
12 Ferguson, LorneLorne Ferguson LW 32 7 5 12 18
21 Costello, MurrayMurray Costello C 41 6 6 12 19
4 Armstrong, BobBob Armstrong D 68 0 12 12 122
10 Laycoe, HalHal Laycoe D 65 5 5 10 16
18 Tessier, OrvalOrval Tessier C 23 2 3 5 6
22 Panagabko, EdEd Panagabko C 28 0 3 3 38
6 Heinrich, LionelLionel Heinrich LW 35 1 1 2 33
24 Davis, LorneLorne Davis RW 15 0 1 1 0
25 O'Brien, EllardEllard O'Brien D 2 0 0 0 0
25 Nicholson, AlAl Nicholson LW 14 0 0 0 4
1 Henderson, JohnJohn Henderson G 1 0 0 0 0
1 Pronovost, ClaudeClaude Pronovost G 1 0 0 0 2
1 Sawchuk, TerryTerry Sawchuk G 68 0 0 0 20
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Sawchuk, TerryTerry Sawchuk 4080 68 22 33 13 177 2.60 9
Pronovost, ClaudeClaude Pronovost 60 1 1 0 0 0 0.00 1
Henderson, JohnJohn Henderson 60 1 0 1 0 4 4.00 0
Team: 4200 70 23 34 13 181 2.59 10

[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

April 1956 Tour of Newfoundland[edit | edit source]

Bruins team for the April 1956 Exhibition tour of Newfoundland.

In April 1956, the Bruins travelled across the island of Newfoundland, on an exhibition good-will tour playing in five arenas. Some Bruins played for the opposing team, including Terry Sawchuk playing goal for a team from Corner Brook. During the tour, the Bruins made hockey history by playing on an outdoor rink with artificial ice in the town of Bay Roberts on April 9, 1956. This would be just the second recorded outdoor game by an NHL team. [2]

Awards and Records[edit | edit source]

  • The Bruins did not receive any awards this season.

Transactions[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Bruins became the first team in NHL history to use three different jerseys in a season.
  • 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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