1941-42 NHL Regular Season Standings
|New York Rangers||48||29||17||2||60||177||143|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||48||27||18||3||57||158||136|
|Detroit Red Wings||48||19||25||4||42||140||147|
1941-42 National Hockey League Season
1941-42 marked an end of an era in the National Hockey League. The Brooklyn Americans played their final season in the league, reducing the NHL to the ‘Original 6’ teams for 1942-43. This meant it would be the last year with a 48 game schedule, increasing to 50 games per team in 1942-43.
The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup championship over the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit held a three games to none lead in the series before Toronto came roaring back with four straight. Detroit was definitely the underdog, finishing the regular season with just 42 points in 48 games.
The Red Wings were honoured with the O’Brien Trophy as Stanley Cup runner-up. The trophy was retired after the 1949-50 season. It originally was given to the NHA and NHL champs in the days when the Stanley Cup was not inclusive to the league.
The Hart Trophy went to Tommy Anderson of the Brooklyn Americans. Anderson had switched from forward to defense for 1941-42 and he set the NHL record for most points by a blue liner with 41. He was also named a First Team All-Star. Anderson would be the last Hart Trophy winner from a non-Original 6 team until Bobby Clarke of the Philadelphia Flyers won the award in 1972-73.
The Art Ross Trophy was still six years away from being born. The NHL’s top scorer was Bryan Hextall of the New York Rangers with 56 points. His teammate Lynn Patrick led the National Hockey League with 32 goals while fellow Ranger Phil Watson led with 37 assists.
The Vezina Trophy went to Frank Brimsek of the Boston Bruins. Brimsek appeared in 47 of the team’s 48 games, posting a 2.35 goals against average with three shutouts. Interestingly, Nick Bamore played the one other game in net. Bamore, a long time player with the Hershey Bears allowed three goals in a Boston win. It would be Nick’s only NHL game.
Four Hockey Hall of Fame members made their debuts in 1941-42: Harry Watson with the Brooklyn Americans, Bill Mosienko with the Chicago Blackhawks, Buddy O’Connor with the Montreal Canadiens and Emile ‘Butch’ Bouchard of the Canadiens. Future HHOF inductee Art Coulter played his final game with the New York Rangers.
The Montreal Canadiens were the only team with no players selected to either the First or Second All-Star Teams. The New York Rangers finished first overall, something they would not do for another 50 years.