1955-56 NHL Season
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1955%E2%80%9356 NHL Season
1955-56 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 6, 1955 - April 10, 1956
Number of games70
Number of teams6
TV partner(s)CBC, SRC (Canada)
None (United States)
Regular season
Season championMontreal Canadiens
Season MVPJean Beliveau (Canadiens)
Top scorerJean Beliveau (Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsMontreal Canadiens
  Runners-upDetroit Red Wings
NHL seasons

The 1955-56 NHL season was the 39th season of the National Hockey League. Six teams each played 70 games. The Montreal Canadiens were the Stanley Cup champions as they beat the Detroit Red Wings four games to one in the best-of-seven final series.

League business

At a governors' meeting in December, a discussion took place concerning the uniforms worn by officials. It was contended that the present orange and black uniforms were confusing to players and fans, particularly when red uniforms are worn by either of the participating teams. Furthermore, it was pointed out that the existing uniforms showed up black on television. It was unanimously agreed that officials' uniforms should be changed to black and white vertical stripes. The black and white uniforms were first worn on December 29, 1955.

With Montreal frequently racking up two or three goals on any one power play, NHL President Clarence Campbell said he'd like the penalty rule revised to a penalized player returning to the ice when a power play goal is scored on a minor penalty. The Canadiens were the lone club to vote against the new legislation.

Regular season

The streak of seven straight seasons at the top of the NHL held by the Detroit Red Wings' dynasty came to an end as the Montreal Canadiens were tops. The Canadiens set a new record for wins in a season with 45. The Canadiens had a new coach, their one-time great former All-Star left-winger, Hector "Toe" Blake.

Dick Irvin, formerly the coach in Montreal, whom Habs' GM Frank Selke Sr. found a little truculent, took over as coach in Chicago, but could not get them out of the cellar, though they did improve. It was sort of a homecoming for Irvin as he started his coaching career with Chicago in 1930.

Highlights

When the Hawks went to the Montreal Forum on October 22, Irvin was presented with a set of silver flatware by William Northey, representing the Canadian Arena Company. In the game itself, rookie Henri Richard scored two goals as Montreal shut out Chicago 6-0.

On November 5, Jean Beliveau scored three goals in 44 seconds as Montreal beat Boston 4-3. The record for fastest hat trick still was held by Bill Mosienko with three goals in 21 seconds.

On December 29, officials debut the new "zebra" outfits in a game between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs.[1]

On January 11, a crowd of 15,570 delighted fans at Madison Square Garden watched the Rangers trounce the Canadiens 6-1. Pete Conacher was a star for the Rangers with two goals. Lou Fontinato and Maurice Richard had a gala fight and Fontinato knocked out Richard with a punch that required several stitches above Richard's eye.

Montreal routed the Rangers 9-4 on February 18 as Beliveau had the hat trick and Richard two. The Rocket was incensed when referee Louis Maschio gave his brother a misconduct penalty and his teammates had to cool him off.

Beliveau set a record for goals by a center when he scored his 45th goal on March 15. Maurice Richard was hurt in this game when he fell over Hawk defenceman Pierre Pilote's skate and went headlong into the goal. He required stitches and was taken to hospital for X-rays. The Rocket was back in the lineup on St. Patrick's Day as the Canadiens trounced the Rangers 7-2 and Richard had the hat trick.

Rookie Glenn Hall had a fabulous year with 12 shutouts and a 2.11 goals against average for the ever-powerful Detroit Red Wings. He received the Calder Memorial Trophy over Henri "Pocket Rocket" Richard.

Final standings

National Hockey League[2]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1 Montreal Canadiens 70 45 15 10 222 131 +91 100
2 Detroit Red Wings 70 30 24 16 183 148 +35 76
3 New York Rangers 70 32 28 10 204 203 +1 74
4 Toronto Maple Leafs 70 24 33 13 153 181 -28 61
5 Boston Bruins 70 23 34 13 147 185 -38 59
6 Chicago Black Hawks 70 19 39 12 155 216 -61 50


Playoffs

Playoff bracket

Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
      
1 Montreal 4
3 New York 1
1 Montreal 4
2 Detroit 1
2 Detroit 4
4 Toronto 1

Semifinals

(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (3) New York Rangers

March 20 New York Rangers 1-7 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoring First period 13:29 - Bernie Geoffrion (1)
Jack Evans (1) - 06:45 Second period 04:17 - Maurice Richard (1)
17:48 - pp - Bernie Geoffrion (2)
18:30 - pp - Maurice Richard (2)
No scoring Third period 01:55 - Maurice Richard (3)
14:33 - Dickie Moore (1)
15:32 - Jean Beliveau (1)
Gump Worsley Goalie stats Jacques Plante
March 22 New York Rangers 4-2 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
Andy Hebenton (1) - 03:45
Jean-Guy Gendron (1) pp - 14:41
First period 07:38 - Jean Beliveau (2)
No scoring Second period 11:20 - pp - Claude Provost (1)
Bronco Horvath (1) - pp - 00:42
Dean Prentice (1) - 14:10
Third period No scoring
Gordie Bell Goalie stats Jacques Plante
March 24 Montreal Canadiens 3-1 New York Rangers Madison Square Garden III Recap  
Ken Mosdell (1) - 14:42 First period 16:02 - Jean-Guy Gendron (2)
Bert Olmstead (1) - 16:24 Second period No scoring
Bert Olmstead (2) - 19:48 Third period No scoring
Jacques Plante Goalie stats Gump Worsley
March 25 Montreal Canadiens 5-3 New York Rangers Madison Square Garden III Recap  
Bert Olmstead (3) - pp - 02:11
Bert Olmstead (4) - 13:33
First period 16:26 - Wally Hergesheimer (1)
18:57 - pp - Bill Gadsby (1)
Jean Beliveau (3) - pp - 02:22
Claude Provost (2) - 03:22
Second period No scoring
Jean Beliveau (4) - 08:16 Third period 15:04 - Andy Bathgate (1)
Jacques Plante Goalie stats Gump Worsley
March 27 New York Rangers 0-7 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoring First period 08:24 - pp - Doug Harvey (1)
No scoring Second period 03:11 - Dickie Moore (2)
06:10 - Henri Richard (1)
13:00 - pp - Doug Harvey (2)
15:35 - Jean Beliveau (5)
No scoring Third period 08:49 - Henri Richard (2)
13:28 - Dickie Moore (3)
Gordie Bell Goalie stats Jacques Plante
Montreal won series 4-1


(2) Detroit Red Wings vs. (4) Toronto Maple Leafs

March 20 Toronto Maple Leafs 2-3 Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
George Armstrong (1) - pp - 11:57 First period No scoring
Ron Stewart (1) - 11:31 Second period No scoring
No scoring Third period 00:58 - Gordie Howe (1)
05:12 - Johnny Bucyk (1)
05:56 - Alex Delvecchio (1)
Harry Lumley Goalie stats Glenn Hall
March 22 Toronto Maple Leafs 1-3 Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
George Armstrong (2) - 05:09 First period No scoring
No scoring Second period 05:40 - Alex Delvecchio (2)
19:05 - Ted Lindsay (1)
No scoring Third period 14:39 - Lorne Ferguson (1)
Harry Lumley Goalie stats Glenn Hall
March 24 Detroit Red Wings 5-4 OT Toronto Maple Leafs Maple Leaf Gardens Recap  
Red Kelly (1) - 12:27 First period 00:29 - George Armstrong (3)
16:33 - pp - Brian Cullen (1)
No scoring Second period 13:20 - sh - Gerry James (1)
Metro Prystai (1) - 02:46
Gordie Howe (2) - 09:11
Ted Lindsay (2) - 14:25
Third period 07:40 - pp - George Armstrong (4)
Ted Lindsay (3) - 04:22 First overtime period No scoring
Glenn Hall Goalie stats Harry Lumley
March 27 Detroit Red Wings 0-2 Toronto Maple Leafs Maple Leaf Gardens Recap  
No scoring First period No scoring
No scoring Second period 10:58 - Billy Harris (1)
No scoring Third period 03:15 - Sid Smith (1)
Glenn Hall Goalie stats Harry Lumley
March 29 Toronto Maple Leafs 1-3 Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
Dick Duff (1) - pp - 05:34 First period 08:38 - pp - Alex Delvecchio (3)
14:49 - Alex Delvecchio (4)
No scoring Second period No scoring
No scoring Third period 19:35 - Ted Lindsay (4)
Harry Lumley Goalie stats Glenn Hall
Detroit won series 4-1


Stanley Cup Finals


March 31 Detroit Red Wings 4-6 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
Alex Delvecchio (5) - pp - 08:17 First period No scoring
Bill Dineen (1) - 03:45
Ted Lindsay (5) - 08:11
Alex Delvecchio (6) - pp - 11:20
Second period 03:00 - pp - Jean Beliveau (6)
06:40 - Henri Richard (3)
No scoring Third period 05:20 - Jack LeClair (1)
06:20 - Bernie Geoffrion (3)
07:31 - Jean Beliveau (7)
10:49 - Claude Provost (3)
Glenn Hall Goalie stats Jacques Plante
April 3 Detroit Red Wings 1-5 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoring First period 07:23 - pp - Donnie Marshall (1)
No scoring Second period 11:37 - Henri Richard (4)
14:38 - Bernie Geoffrion (4)
Norm Ullman (1) - 00:31 Third period 02:48 - Jean Beliveau (8)
19:21 - Maurice Richard (4)
Glenn Hall Goalie stats Jacques Plante
April 5 Montreal Canadiens 1-3 Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
Jean Beliveau (9) - 19:20 First period 14:27 - pp - Red Kelly (2)
No scoring Second period No scoring
No scoring Third period 11:36 - Ted Lindsay (6)
18:12 - Gordie Howe (3)
Jacques Plante Goalie stats Glenn Hall
April 8 Montreal Canadiens 3-0 Detroit Red Wings Olympia Stadium Recap  
Jean Beliveau (10) - 15:52 First period No scoring
Jean Beliveau (11) - 11:39 Second period No scoring
Floyd Curry (1) - 11:34 Third period No scoring
Jacques Plante Goalie stats Glenn Hall
April 10 Detroit Red Wings 1-3 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Forum Recap  
No scoring First period No scoring
No scoring Second period 14:16 - pp - Jean Beliveau (12)
15:08 - pp - Maurice Richard (5)
Alex Delvecchio (7) - 00:35 Third period 00:13 - Bernie Geoffrion (5)
Glenn Hall Goalie stats Jacques Plante
Montreal won series 4-1


Awards

Award winners
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer)
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Glenn Hall, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Trophy:
(Most valuable player)
Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Doug Harvey, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Earl Reibel, Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender of team with the best goals-against average)
Jacques Plante, Montreal Canadiens

All-Star teams

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player Team GP G A PTS PIM
Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens 70 47 41 88 143
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 70 38 41 79 100
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 70 38 33 71 89
Bert Olmstead Montreal Canadiens 70 14 56 70 94
Tod Sloan Toronto Maple Leafs 70 37 29 66 100
Andy Bathgate New York Rangers 70 19 47 66 59
Bernie Geoffrion Montreal Canadiens 59 29 33 62 66
Earl Reibel Detroit Red Wings 68 17 39 56 10
Alex Delvecchio Detroit Red Wings 70 25 26 51 24
Dave Creighton New York Rangers 70 20 31 51 43

Source: NHL[3]

Leading goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Jacques Plante Montreal Canadiens 64 3840 119 1.86 42 12 10 7
Glenn Hall Detroit Red Wings 70 4200 147 2.10 30 24 16 12
Terry Sawchuk Boston Bruins 68 4080 177 2.60 22 33 13 9
Harry Lumley Toronto Maple Leafs 59 3527 159 2.70 21 28 10 3
Lorne Worsley New York Rangers 70 4200 199 2.84 32 28 10 4
Al Rollins Chicago Black Hawks 58 3480 172 2.97 17 30 11 3

Coaches

Debuts

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1955-56 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1955-56 (listed with their last team):

See also

References

  • Coleman, Charles L. (1976), Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol III, Sherbrooke, QC: Progressive Publications
  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (1994). Years of glory, 1942-1967: the National Hockey League's official book of the six-team era. Toronto, ON: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-2817-2.
  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
  • Duplacey, James (2008), Hockey's Book of Firsts, North Dighton, MA: JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
  • McFarlane, Brian (1969), 50 Years Of Hockey, Winnipeg, MAN: Greywood Publishing, ASIN B000GW45S0
  • McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press. ISBN 0-684-13424-1.
Notes
  1. ^ Finger, Scott. "This Day In Hockey History - December 29". hookedonhockeymagazine.com. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ "1955-1956 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
  3. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 149.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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