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56-57BosBru
1956–57 Boston Bruins · NHL
Division 3rd NHL
1956–57 record 34–24–12
Goals for 195 (3rd)
Goals against 174 (3rd)
General Manager Lynn Patrick
Coach Milt Schmidt
Captain Fern Flaman
Arena Boston Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Real Chevrefils (31)
Assists Don McKenney (39)
Points Don McKenney (60)
Penalties in minutes Leo Labine (128)
Wins Terry Sawchuk (18)
Goals against average Terry Sawchuk (2.38)
← Seasons →
1955–56 1957–58

The 1956–57 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 33rd season in the NHL. The Bruins finished 3rd in the league and lost to the Montreal Canadiens four games to one in the 1957 Stanley Cup Finals.

Off-seasonEdit

Hal Laycoe and Bill Quackenbush retired in the off-season. Both were excellent defensemen with Quackenbush selected to the First and Second All-Stars teams multiple times. GM Lynn Patrick purchased an excellent replacement from the Chicago Blackhawks, Allan Stanley. Stanley played two superlative seasons for the Bruins before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1958. This was a contributing factor in the Bruins decline during the early to mid 1960's as Stanley would go on to play a decade of excellent defense for the Leafs.

The 10th National Hockey League All-Star Game was held at Montreal on October 9, 1956. A team of all-stars that included three Bruins, Terry Sawchuk, Fern Flaman and Leo Labine (the same three were in the 9th All-Star Game) played against the Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens. The game ended in a 1-1 tie with no Bruins recording a point.

Regular SeasonEdit

Larry Regan-Calder

Larry Regan won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1956-57.

The Bruins started the season slowly with a 2-3-3 record in October. The offensive started to click in November led by Real Chevrefils, who'd finish with 31 goals and be voted a Second Team All-Star. Vic Stasiuk, Fleming Mackell and Don McKenney would all surpass the 20 goal mark but it was depth scoring provided by Johnny Peirson and rookie Larry Regan that often made the difference in Bruins wins. Regan would win the Calder Memorial Trophy. Terry Sawchuk was brilliant while the defense was led by captain Fern Flaman, who'd be voted a Second Team All-Star. This season saw Doug Mohns play mainly on defense though he'd occasionally play his old position at left wing. The Bruins had a seven game winning streak in November and only two losses, both by one goal.

1956-Sawchuk

Sawchuk's 1956-57 season ended to due nervous exhaustion.

The Bruins began December in first place and looked to be unstoppable until after the December 8, 1956 game against Detroit, Sawchuk was hospitalized with infectious mononucleosis. Initially, doctors believed he could be out months but after a recovery period, it was reported he'd be back in action by the end of December. Norm Defelice replaced Sawchuk in net and went 3-3-1. When Sawchuk returned on December 27, 1956, the Bruins were still in first place and he'd been voted to the mid-season All Star Team.

Sawchuk played eight more games for the Bruins but had come back from his illness too early. Weak and playing poorly, he announced his retirement, citing nervous exhaustion and not wanting to let the team down. This was a huge blow to the Bruins and after Defelice again stepped in for Sawchuk and went winless in three games, GM Patrick traded him, Floyd Smith and the loan of Jack Bionda to the New York Rangers for Don Simmons. Defelice would never play in the NHL again while Simmons played his first NHL game for the Bruins on January 26, 1957. Simmons play the remaining games in Boston's season and would be the starter for several years until traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1961. Simmons went 13-9-4 with 4 shutouts to lead the Bruins into the playoffs.

On January 26, 1957, the Bruins play in their first game which was televised across the United States. Broadcast by CBS, it was seen by an estimated 15 million people and was carried on 113 stations with Fred Cusick announcing.

1957March-Toppazzini on bike

Toppazzini rides an exercise bike in Detroit while recovering from facial surgery, March 1957.

During the February 7, 1957 game versus the Detroit Red Wings at Detroit, the Bruins were leading 1-0 with less than three minutes to play. Ted Lindsay and Jerry Toppazzini were pursing the puck when Lindsay hit Toppazzini in the face with his stick. Lindsay was given a high-sticking penalty and a misconduct but no suspension. Toppazzini suffered several broken bones in his face, a broken nose and broken teeth. He remained in Detroit for over a month where he had surgery to repair the broken bones and plastic surgery to fix the damaged flesh. He was the Bruins leading scorer when he was injured and returned to action in March. The injury affected his play during the playoffs, as he tallied only one assist but he recovered and had seven more effective seasons for the Bruins.

As the season went into March, the Bruins, Canadiens and Red Wings were all fighting for first place. After losing Sawchuk for the season and Toppazzini missing 25 games, Allan Stanley was injured during the March 10, 1957 game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stanley missed the rest of the season and the playoffs. Defensemen Dick Cherry and Floyd "Bud" Hillman were called up and played the remaining regular season games. Hillman (brother of Wayne and Larry Hillman) never played in the NHL again while it would take Cherry (brother of Don Cherry) another 11 years. Heading into their last game of the regular season, Boston and Montreal were tied for second but a Bruins loss to the New York Rangers saw them finish in third place.

Final StandingsEdit

National Hockey League GP W L T Pts GF GA
Detroit Red Wings 70 38 20 12 88 198 157
Montreal Canadiens 70 35 23 12 82 210 155
Boston Bruins 70 34 24 12 80 195 174
New York Rangers 70 26 30 14 66 184 227
Toronto Maple Leafs 70 21 34 15 57 174 192
Chicago Black Hawks 70 16 39 15 47 169 225

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 LogEdit

Regular Season Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1TOctober 11, 19564–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 0–0–1
2LOctober 13, 19560–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 0–1–1
3WOctober 14, 19563–1 Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 1–1–1
4LOctober 17, 19560–2 @ New York Rangers (1956–57) 1–2–1
5TOctober 20, 19562–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 1–2–2
6TOctober 21, 19563–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 1–2–3
7WOctober 27, 19561–0 @ Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 2–2–3
8LOctober 30, 19560–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 2–3–3
9WNovember 1, 19565–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 3–3–3
10WNovember 4, 19564–1 New York Rangers (1956–57) 4–3–3
11WNovember 7, 19564–2 @ New York Rangers (1956–57) 5–3–3
12WNovember 8, 19563–1 Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 6–3–3
13WNovember 10, 19563–1 @ Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 7–3–3
14WNovember 11, 19563–2 Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 8–3–3
15WNovember 15, 19565–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 9–3–3
16TNovember 17, 19564–4 @ New York Rangers (1956–57) 9–3–4
17WNovember 18, 19564–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 10–3–4
18LNovember 22, 19563–4 New York Rangers (1956–57) 10–4–4
19WNovember 24, 19563–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 11–4–4
20WNovember 25, 19563–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 12–4–4
21LNovember 28, 19561–2 @ New York Rangers (1956–57) 12–5–4
22WNovember 29, 19562–0 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 13–5–4
23WDecember 2, 19563–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 14–5–4
24LDecember 6, 19562–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 14–6–4
25WDecember 8, 19565–3 Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 15–6–4
26TDecember 9, 19561–1 Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 15–6–5
27WDecember 13, 19563–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 16–6–5
28LDecember 15, 19564–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 16–7–5
29WDecember 16, 19564–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 17–7–5
30TDecember 20, 19561–1 Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 17–7–6
31WDecember 22, 19563–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 18–7–6
32LDecember 23, 19561–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 18–8–6
33LDecember 25, 19562–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 18–9–6
34LDecember 27, 19563–5 Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 18–10–6
35WDecember 30, 19564–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 19–10–6
36WJanuary 1, 19575–3 New York Rangers (1956–57) 20–10–6
37LJanuary 5, 19572–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 20–11–6
38TJanuary 6, 19574–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 20–11–7
39WJanuary 10, 19572–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 21–11–7
40LJanuary 12, 19571–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 21–12–7
41LJanuary 13, 19571–3 Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 21–13–7
42TJanuary 17, 19572–2 Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 21–13–8
43LJanuary 19, 19571–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 21–14–8
44LJanuary 20, 19572–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 21–15–8
45LJanuary 26, 19573–5 New York Rangers (1956–57) 21–16–8
46WJanuary 27, 19575–2 Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 22–16–8
47WJanuary 31, 19572–0 Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 23–16–8
48WFebruary 2, 19572–1 @ Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 24–16–8
49WFebruary 3, 19574–1 New York Rangers (1956–57) 25–16–8
50LFebruary 6, 19572–3 @ New York Rangers (1956–57) 25–17–8
51WFebruary 7, 19571–0 @ Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 26–17–8
52TFebruary 9, 19572–2 Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 26–17–9
53WFebruary 10, 19575–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 27–17–9
54TFebruary 13, 19572–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 27–17–10
55LFebruary 16, 19575–6 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 27–18–10
56LFebruary 17, 19572–6 @ Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 27–19–10
57LFebruary 20, 19572–5 @ New York Rangers (1956–57) 27–20–10
58WFebruary 23, 19575–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 28–20–10
59LFebruary 24, 19573–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 28–21–10
60WFebruary 28, 19574–0 Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 29–21–10
61LMarch 2, 19572–3 New York Rangers (1956–57) 29–22–10
62WMarch 3, 19575–2 Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 30–22–10
63LMarch 7, 19572–4 Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 30–23–10
64WMarch 9, 19574–2 Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 31–23–10
65TMarch 10, 19573–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1956–57) 31–23–11
66WMarch 13, 19572–1 @ New York Rangers (1956–57) 32–23–11
67TMarch 16, 19572–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1956–57) 32–23–12
68WMarch 17, 19576–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1956–57) 33–23–12
69WMarch 21, 19572–0 @ Detroit Red Wings (1956–57) 34–23–12
70LMarch 23, 19572–4 New York Rangers (1956–57) 34–24–12

PlayoffsEdit

Boston Bruins 4, Detroit Red Wings 1Edit

The Bruins and Red Wings last met in the 1953 Semi-finals where Boston upset first place Detroit in six games. The Bruins would accomplish another upset in 1957, beating first place Detroit in five games. Rookie Don Simmons outplayed Glenn Hall while the Bruins line of Don McKenney, Real Chevrefils and Larry Regan held the league's two top scorers, Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay, to 2 goals each.

Game 1 at the Detroit Olympia saw the Wings jump out to an early lead on a goal by Ted Lindsay 50 seconds in. Bruins fourth liner Jack Caffery scored the only playoff goal of his career late in the first period to tie the game. Lindsay took a boarding penalty at the end of the first period that would prove costly as Bruins defenseman Doug Mohns scored what would be the winner on the Power play 38 seconds into the second period. Real Chevrefils added another early in the third period as the Bruins stunned the Red Wings 3-1.

Game 2 at Detroit saw the Red Wings special teams capitalize in a rough game where 20 penalties were called. After Red Kelly put Detroit up 1-0 in the first period, Lindsay won a face-off back to Gordie Howe whose one-timer beat Bruins goalie Don Simmons low to the stick side. After Norm Ullman went off for cross-checking, Metro Prystai scored a Shorthanded goal for a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period. Alex Delvecchio and Billy Dea added power play goals in the second period to make it 5-0. With Fern Flaman in the box, Lorne Ferguson smacked in a rebound to make it 6-0 Detroit. The Bruins got on the board when Fleming Mackell tipped in a backhand shot by Bob Armstrong. Ullman countered with his first career playoff goal. With a little over two minutes to play, Leo Boivin scored on a give-and-go with Don McKenney which made little difference as the Wings trounced the Bruins 7-2.

Game 3 at the Boston Garden saw the Bruins never trail. First period goals by Vic Stasiuk and Leo Boivin was countered by a power play goal by Alex Delvecchio for a 2-1 Bruins lead. Leo Labine potted one late in the second period but Gordie Howe and Billy Dea tied it up three minutes into the third period. Veteran Cal Gardner was the hero with the winner at 13:28 for a 4-3 Bruins win.

Game 4 at Boston was a clean game with relatively few penalties called. Don Simmons shutout the Red Wings and goals by Real Chevrefils and Vic Stasiuk saw the Bruins take a stranglehold on the series with a 2-0 victory.

Game 5 at Detroit saw Delvecchio stake the Red Wings to a 1-0 first period lead. Bruins fourth liner Carl "Buddy" Boone scored his first career playoff goal in the second period to tie it up 1-1. The Wings kept pressing and early in the third period, Ted Lindsay put them up 2-1. However, the Bruins exploded for three straight goals by Labine, Mohns and Gardner for a 4-2 lead. Metro Prystai made it 4-3 with two minutes to go but despite pulling Glenn Hall, the Red Wings couldn't tie it up. Though registering only 15 shots on the goal, the Bruins won 4-3 and took the series in five games.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 March 26 Boston Bruins 3-1 Detroit Red Wings 1-0
2 March 28 Boston Bruins 2-7 Detroit Red Wings 1-1
3 March 31 Detroit Red Wings 3-4 Boston Bruins 1-2
4 April 2 Detroit Red Wings 0-2 Boston Bruins 1-3
5 April 4 Boston Bruins 4-3 Detroit Red Wings 4-1

Montreal Canadiens 4, Boston Bruins 1Edit

The teams last met in the 1955 Semi-finals where Montreal defeated Boston 4 games to 1. The Canadiens again won in five games with goalie Jacques Plante limiting the Bruins to 6 goals, 4 of which were scored by Fleming Mackell. Except for Game 1, Boston's line of Mackell, Jerry Toppazzini and Larry Regan held the Richards off the board but Montreal's second line of Jean Béliveau, Bernie Geoffrion and Bert Olmstead out played Boston's line of Don McKenney, Real Chevrefils and Leo Labine. The Canadiens also had depth scoring from their third and fourth lines while the Bruins had none.

Game 1 at the Montreal Forum saw the Canadiens out shoot the Bruins 39-23. After a scoreless first period, with Phil Goyette in the box for hooking, Boston's Fleming Mackell opened the scoring with a Power play goal. A pass from Doug Mohns at the point to Mackell at the side of the net saw him slip the puck past Plante. Maurice Richard then took over the game. A backhander from the slot and then a power play goal in which he was sent in on a breakaway by Doug Harvey staked Montreal to a 2-1 lead. A backhand shot from Bernie Geoffrion on the power play and a Maurice Richard wrister past Don Simmons on a drop pass from brother Henri Richard had Montreal leading 4-1 going into the third period. With less than two minutes to go in the game, Maurice smacked a shot in low on Simmon's stick side for a convincing 5-1 Montreal win.

Game 2 at Montreal was the closest match of the series. Shots were nearly even and despite seven power plays, no special team goals were scored. After a scoreless first period in which Vic Stasiuk and Doug Harvey engaged in some nasty spearing, Jean Béliveau scored the only goal of the game on a breakaway at 2:27 of the second period for a 1-0 Montreal win.

Game 3 at the Boston Garden saw Montreal dash Boston's hopes with three goals in the first period. Bernie Geoffrion's shot to the low left corner, a Floyd Curry shot, also to the low left corner and a Geoffrion shot on the power play, also to the low left corner had the Habs in front 3-0 going into the second period. Boston's Don McKenney raced down the right wing and fired a backhander past Plante (into the low left corner) to cut the lead to 3-1. However, 7:31 into the third period, Phil Goyette scored on a rebound to make it 4-1. Fleming Mackell scored a consolation goal in the last minute, slipping a shot past Plante from the side of the net for a 4-2 Canadiens win and a stranglehold on the series.

Game 4 at Boston saw the Bruins play their best game of the series. Although outshot 28-21, Don Simmons held Montreal off the scoresheet in recording his first career playoff shutout. Fleming Mackell opened the scoring on the power play 2:56 into the game, scoring from his favorite spot, beside the net. In the game's last minute, Mackell scored an empty netter past Maurice Richard who tried to stop Mackell's shot. Boston's 2-0 win set the series at 3 game to 1.

Game 5 at Montreal was a penalty-filled match as the desperate Bruins fought to avoid elimination. After five penalties, André Pronovost opened the scoring at 18:11 of the first period. As Don Marshall broke into the slot, he was taken out by two Bruins defenders causing Don Simmons lost sight of the puck and Pronovost tapped it in. A melee broke out a minute later with Leo Labine and Bert Olmstead the main combatants resulting in a Montreal power play to begin the second period. Dickie Moore broke around Bob Armstrong 14 seconds in and scored on Simmons. Armstrong crashed into Simmons on the play and was hurt, missing the remainder of the game. Later in the period, a low Geoffrion slap shot beat Simmons between the legs for his playoff leading 11th goal. The Bruins launched a furious assault in the third period in which Leo Labine scored on a Leo Boivin rebound, cutting the lead to 3-1. Don Marshall stopped the come back with a backhand goal with less than three minutes remaining. Floyd Curry scored a minute later to complete a 5-1 Montreal win.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 6 Boston Bruins 1-5 Montreal Canadiens 0-1
2 April 9 Boston Bruins 0-1 Montreal Canadiens 0-2
3 April 11 Montreal Canadiens 2-4 Boston Bruins 3-0
4 April 14 Montreal Canadiens 0-2 Boston Bruins 1-3
5 April 16 Boston Bruins 1-5 Montreal Canadiens 1-4

See also 1957 Stanley Cup Finals.

Player StatsEdit

Regular SeasonEdit

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
17 McKenney, DonDon McKenney C 69 21 39 60 31
12 Chevrefils, RealReal Chevrefils LW 70 31 17 48 38
16 Labine, LeoLeo Labine RW 67 18 29 47 128
7 Stasiuk, VicVic Stasiuk LW 64 24 16 40 69
19 Mohns, DougDoug Mohns LW/D 68 6 34 40 89
8 Mackell, FlemingFleming Mackell C 65 22 17 39 73
23 Peirson, JohnnyJohnny Peirson RW 68 13 26 39 41
21 Toppazzini, JerryJerry Toppazzini RW 55 15 23 38 26
24 Regan, LarryLarry Regan RW 69 14 19 33 29
9 Gardner, CalCal Gardner C 70 12 20 32 66
14 Flaman, FernFern Flaman D 68 6 25 31 108
10 Stanley, AllanAllan Stanley D 60 6 25 31 45
4 Armstrong, BobBob Armstrong D 57 1 15 16 79
20 Boivin, LeoLeo Boivin D 55 2 8 10 55
11 Bionda, JackJack Bionda D 35 2 3 5 43
18, 25 Caffery, JackJack Caffery C 47 2 2 4 20
6 Beckett, BobBob Beckett C 18 0 3 3 2
25 Nicholson, AlAl Nicholson LW 5 0 1 1 0
22 Panagabko, EdEd Panagabko C 1 0 0 0 0
25 Ranieri, GeorgeGeorge Ranieri LW 2 0 0 0 0
19, 25 Hillman, FloydFloyd Hillman D 6 0 0 0 10
22, 25 Cherry, DickDick Cherry D 6 0 0 0 4
22 Smith, FloydFloyd Smith RW 23 0 0 0 6
1 Defelice, NormNorm Defelice G 10 0 0 0 2
1 Simmons, DonDon Simmons G 26 0 0 0 0
1 Sawchuk, TerryTerry Sawchuk G 34 0 0 0 14
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Sawchuk, TerryTerry Sawchuk 2040 34 18 10 6 81 2.38 2
Simmons, DonDon Simmons 1560 26 13 9 4 63 2.42 4
Defelice, NormNorm Defelice 600 10 3 5 2 30 3.00 0
Team: 4200 70 34 24 12 174 2.49 6

PlayoffsEdit

Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM
8 Mackell, FlemingFleming Mackell C 10 5 3 8 4
17 McKenney, DonDon McKenney C 10 1 5 6 4
16 Labine, LeoLeo Labine RW 10 3 2 5 14
20 Boivin, LeoLeo Boivin D 10 2 3 5 12
19 Mohns, DougDoug Mohns LW/D 10 2 3 5 2
12 Chevrefils, RealReal Chevrefils LW 10 2 1 3 4
9 Gardner, CalCal Gardner C 10 2 1 3 2
7 Stasiuk, VicVic Stasiuk LW 10 2 1 3 2
4 Armstrong, BobBob Armstrong D 10 0 3 3 10
14 Flaman, FernFern Flaman D 10 0 3 3 19
23 Peirson, JohnnyJohnny Peirson RW 10 0 3 3 12
24 Regan, LarryLarry Regan RW 8 0 2 2 10
6 Boone, BuddyBuddy Boone RW 10 1 0 1 12
18 Caffery, JackJack Caffery C 10 1 0 1 4
11 Bionda, JackJack Bionda D 10 0 1 1 14
21 Toppazzini, JerryJerry Toppazzini RW 10 0 1 1 2
1 Simmons, DonDon Simmons G 10 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Simmons, DonDon Simmons 600 10 5 5 29 2.90 2
Team: 600 10 5 5 29 2.90 2

[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 RecordsEdit

TransactionsEdit

TriviaEdit

GalleryEdit

VideoEdit

Three minutes of highlights from Game 2 of the Bruins-Red Wings 1957 Semi-finals with French commentary. Goals by Gordie Howe, Lorne Ferguson, Fleming Mackell and Leo Boivin are shown.

Highlights with English commentary of all goals in the 1957 Stanley Cup Finals and the Cup presentation.

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1956-57 Boston Bruins Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-09.
  2. The Official NHL 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book, p.133.
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