1954-55 NHL Regular Season Standings
|Detroit Red Wings||70||42||17||11||95||204||134|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||70||24||24||22||70||147||135|
|New York Rangers||70||17||35||18||52||150||210|
1954-55 National Hockey League Season
1954-55 in the National Hockey League was all about the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens. Detroit finished two points ahead of Montreal with the Canadiens 23 points ahead of the third place Toronto Maple Leafs.
In the Stanley Cup finals, the Red Wings and Habs met with the series going the full seven games. Montreal was without Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard due to a season ending suspension. The Red Wings came out on top to win the championship. It would be the last time for five years that the Canadiens wouldn’t hoist the cup.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Chicago Blackhawks mustered just 13 wins in 70 games. They were the only team left out of All-Star Team selections. The one bright light was Ed Litzenberger. Ed started his rookie NHL season with the Canadiens and had a modest eleven points after 29 games.
After moving to Chicago, Litzenberger ‘lit’ it up. In 44 games, he scored 16 and assisted on 24 for 40 points for the dismal Blackhawks. With the difference in schedules, Ed played in 73 games over the 70 game season. Litzenberger was honoured with the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. He remains just one of seven player to win the Calder Trophy in the NHL and play for a Calder Cup winning team in the AHL. More on that here: 7 to win the Calder and Calder.
The Hart Trophy went to Ted Kennedy of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was his last full season in the NHL, playing just 30 games in a short comeback in 1956-57 before his career ended. Kennedy scored ten and assisted on 42 for 52 points over the full 70 games for a Maple Leafs team that finished third and was swept by Detroit in the opening round of the playoffs.
Bernie Geoffrion of the Canadiens won his first of two Art Ross Trophies in a season that lacked a runaway offensive leader. Boom Boom totaled 75 points over 70 games, just one point ahead of teammate Rocket Richard and two points ahead of Jean Beliveau. He also tied Richard for first in goal scoring with 38.
Doug Harvey was just getting the ball rolling on his incredible career on the blue line. Harvey won the Norris Trophy as best defenseman for the first of seven times. His 49 points from the point were quite remarkable in those pre-Bobby Orr days.
Terry Sawchuk won the Vezina Trophy, appearing in 68 games for Detroit and posting a 1.94 goals against average with 12 shutouts. Harry Lumley of the Maple Leafs had slightly better numbers with a 1.93 GAA over 69 games, along with eight shutouts. However, the Vezina is based on team goals against and Detroit allowed one fewer goal that Toronto.
Dick Duff was the only member of the Hockey Hall of Fame to make his debut in 1954-55. Don Cherry played his only NHL game that season, a single match with the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. Hockey Hall of Fame members Milt Schmidt, Bill Mosienko and Edgar Laprade all appeared in their NHL finale.