April 28, 2008

1949: Leafs Three-Peat, Thanks To Broda

The year is 1949. The Toronto Maple Leafs become the first team in NHL history to win three consecutive Stanley Cup championships.

They weren't expected to win the Cup this year. They had a poor regular season (22-25-13). But the battle tested Leafs, experimenting with oxygen tanks on the bench, found their game in the playoffs!

The Leafs definitely owe Turk Broda a big thank you for this championship. The star goaltender was at his big-game career best in winning eight of his nine games, his only loss coming in overtime to Boston in the semi-finals. Detroit led the league in goals during the season, but could only slip five past the veteran in four games in the Stanley Cup finals. Broda saved over 93% of the shots he faced and was heroic in game 3 against Detroit when he held the team in for two periods until they came back to win.

Ted Kennedy, Toronto's newly ordained team captain following the retirement of Syl Apps, had another great playoffs, finishing only behind Gordie Howe in the scoring derby.

The Leafs were not done yet, either.

That gives a look back at two full decades of Stanley Cup play. Here's an index of the Stanley Cup capsules to help you better navigate the site:

1930 1940
1931 1941
1932 1942
1933 1943
1934 1944
1935 1945
1936 1946
1937 1947
1938 1948
1939 1949

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