1965-66 NHL Regular Season Standings
|Toronto Maple Leafs||70||34||25||11||79||208||187|
|Detroit Red Wings||70||31||27||12||74||221||194|
|New York Rangers||70||18||41||11||47||195||261|
1965-66 National Hockey League Season
The Montreal Canadiens dominated the 1965-66 NHL season, finishing with 90 points, eight more than second place Chicago. Montreal would go on to win the Stanley Cup championship, taking out the fourth seed Detroit Red Wings in the finals.
The Conn Smythe Trophy winner came from the Red Wings. Netminder Roger Crozier became the first of five players from a team that did not win the championship, to date, that have won the playoff MVP. Just the year before, Crozier won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
Bobby Hull set a record with 54 goals, leading the league with 23 more goals than both Norm Ullman and Alex Delvecchio. He would break that record a few years later in 1968-69 with 58 goals. Hull won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer, 19 points ahead of Blackhawks teammate Stan Mikita. He also won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player and was named a First Team All-Star.
Montreal’s Gump Worsley and Charlie Hodge shared the Vezina Trophy. Worsley played in 51 games and posted a 2.36 goals against average with two shutouts. Hodge appeared in 26 with a 2.58 GAA ad one shutout. Toronto’s Johnny Bower was the best individual goalie with a 2.25 GAA and three shutouts over 35 games.
Brit Selby of the Toronto Maple Leafs was named the Calder Trophy winner. Selby scored 14 and assisted on 13 for 27 points over 61 games. Brit’s career didn’t quite pan out from there, playing in just 350 regular season games with the Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues.
The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins were left out of the First Team and Second Team All-Star selections. Both teams were rather dismal with Boston finishing fifth with 48 points and the Rangers ending their 1965-66 NHL season just a point behind in last place. Fourth place was a long way away with Detroit finishing with 74 points.
1965-66 marked the first year it was mandatory for National Hockey League teams to dress two goalies for each game. Gordie Howe became the first player to score 600 goals in a NHL career.
Future Hockey Hall of Fame goalies Bernie Parent and Eddie Giacomin played in their first NHL games. Parent played in 39 games for the Bruins, sharing duties with Eddie Johnston. Giacomin appeared in 36 games for the New York Rangers, sharing time with Cesare Maniago. HHOF member Bill Gadsby played his last NHL game in 1965-66.