Skip to main content

1941 Stanley Cup: Boston Bruins

The year is 1941. The Boston Bruins are determined to finish the season as Stanley Cup champions. The Detroit Red Wings are the opposition. Despite keeping all the games within a goal, the Wings are swept 4 games to 0.

The Bruins iced essentially the same team that had won the title in 1939. With a better showing in 1940 this Bruins team may have been held in better esteem in the eyes of history. Even as it is they should rank among the best ever.

Milt Schmidt was easily the Bruins MVP in the spring of '41. The Bruins lost NHL scoring leader and MVP Bill Cowley to a knee injury in the very first game of the playoffs. Schmidt came through with his hard-checking, Bryan Trottier-like style, earning him mention as a game star in four of the semifinal games against Toronto. In the finals he registered points in all four games, registering 3 goals and 7 points in the final 4 games of the season. He led all playoff performers with 5-6-11 totals.

Here's how Milt Schmidt remembered the series:

"Winning that series in four straight was no surprise to us. We had a great hockey club at that stage, no doubt about it. It was a great hockey club at that stage, no doubt about it. It was a wide-open series against Detroit, and that favored us, because we had a good skating club and a good scoring club. We had guys like Bill Cowley and Roy Conacher and Herbie Cain and myself and Bobby Bauer on our line. If it had been a hitting series, a heavy body-checking series, it would have taken a little away from our greatest assets - skating and moving the puck around. But we had "Big Dit" (Clapper), and after 20 years Dit was well respected around the league. They used to say he could have been the heavy-weight champion of Canada if he'd wanted to. We had the muscle in Clapper - he was what they call a 'policeman' today - and I guess maybe that was the reason Detroit left us alone.

Missing from this Bruins team was the great Eddie Shore. Shore was traded to the New York Americans in exchange for forward Eddie Wiseman. Wiseman may be long forgotten in NHL history, but the trade paid off nicely in the spring of 1941. Wiseman led all NHL players with 6 goals in the playoffs, including 3 in the low scoring finals against Detroit.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M