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Greatest NHL Teams

Stanley Cup Champions 1930-1939

Canadiens and Red Wings each win consecutive championships for first time

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The NHL's winningest franchise began filling its trophy case in earnest at the start of the 1930; the Montreal Canadiens opened the decade with consecutive Stanley Cup championships. While the League wouldn't be pared down to its Original Six until 1942, each of those franchises won the Stanley Cup in the 1930s, with the Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks doing it twice. The Montreal Maroons won their second and last title in 1935 and disbanded in 1938; they remain the last defunct team to win the Stanley Cup. It would be 39 years before the Cup was won again by a team outside the Original Six.

 

 

1930 Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens pulled a stunning upset to win their second Stanley Cup since joining the NHL and the third in franchise history. The Canadiens dethroned the defending champion Boston Bruins, who had skated to the NHL's top regular-season record in 1929-30. The Bruins' 38-5-1 record translates into a .875 points percentage, still the best in NHL history. The team did not lose back-to-back games all season until being swept by the Canadiens in the best-of-3 Stanley Cup Final. The Canadiens, who had lost all four of their regular-season meetings with the Bruins, were led by captain Sylvio Mantha, who tallied a goal in both Final series games. The Canadiens' series-clinching win in Game 2 prompted the first Stanley Cup presentation to the club on Forum ice. In eliminating the Black Hawks, Rangers and Bruins, the club had not lost a single game in the postseason.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Sylvio Mantha
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Howie Morenz (1:00, 2nd Period, Game 2)
Head Coach: Cecil Hart
General Manager: Léo Dandurand

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Aurel Joliat   LW
Pit Lepine   C
Howie Morenz   C
Sylvio Mantha   D
George Hainsworth   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: Chicago Blackhawks (3-2; Total-Goals Series)
Semifinals: New York Rangers (2-0)
Stanley Cup Final: Boston Bruins (2-0)

 

1931 Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens became the second NHL team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, duplicating the feat accomplished by the Ottawa Senators in 1920 and 1921.

The Canadiens were propelled by superstar Howie Morenz, who scored 28 goals and 51 points in 39 games during the regular season to win the scoring race. Morenz became the first player in League history to post a 50-point season, won the Hart Trophy and was voted to a berth on the First All-Star Team. After eliminating the Boston Bruins in a deciding Game 5 of their best-of-5 Semifinal, the Canadiens faced the Chicago Black Hawks and head coach Dick Irvin, who was making his coaching debut in the Final against the team he would later lead to three Stanley Cup titles. The Canadiens prevailed in a fifth and deciding game, having rallied from a goal down with four minutes to play when facing elimination in Game 4.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Sylvio Mantha
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Johnny Gagnon (9:59, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Cecil Hart
General Manager: Léo Dandurand

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Johnny Gagnon RW
Aurel Joliat   LW
Howie Morenz  C
Sylvio Mantha   D
George Hainsworth   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: n/a
Semifinals: Boston Bruins (3-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Chicago Blackhawks (3-2)

 

1932 Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in their first season at Maple Leaf Gardens, which opened on Nov. 12, 1931. After winning Game 1 of the best-of-5 Stanley Cup Final at New York, Toronto received a break when the circus forced the Rangers out of Madison Square Garden for Game 2. Played at a neutral site in Boston, Game 2 also went to the Maple Leafs, as did the series-clinching Game 3 back home at Maple Leaf Gardens. Toronto's famed 'Kid Line' of Harvey "Busher" Jackson, Charlie Conacher and Joe Primeau made its Stanley Cup Final debut, combining for eight goals in the three-game sweep. Toronto head coach Dick Irvin, who had lost the Stanley Cup Final with the Chicago Black Hawks the previous season, earned his first title behind the bench. Defenseman King Clancy, who had joined the Leafs the previous season after nine seasons in Ottawa, captured his third and final championship as a player.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Hap Day
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Ace Bailey (15:07, 3rd Period, Game 3)
Head Coach: Dick Irvin
General Manager: Conn Smythe

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Charlie Conacher  RW
Busher Jackson  LW
Joe Primeau  C
Hap Day   D
Lorne Chabot   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: Chicago Blackhawks (6-2; Total-Goals Series)
Semifinals: Montreal Maroons (4-3; Total-Goals Series)
Stanley Cup Final: New York Rangers (3-0)

 

1933 New York Rangers

Another chapter in the incredible story of the New York Rangers' success in the early years of the franchise was written when the club won its second Stanley Cup in just seven years of existence. After the Rangers had won the title in their sophomore NHL campaign in 1928 - no other NHL team has ever won the Cup that quickly - the club had remained a contender. After leading the NHL with 28 goals and 50 points during the 48-game regular season, New York's Bill Cook became the first NHL player to register a Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime. Cook snapped a scoreless tie at 7:34 in extra time of Game 4 at Toronto, giving the Rangers a 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs in the best-of-5 series. In a tribute to the Rangers' defensive efforts, Toronto's celebrated 'Kid Line' of Joe Primeau, Charlie Conacher and Busher Jackson did not score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Bill Cook
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Bill Cook (7:34, OT, Game 4)
Head Coach: Lester Patrick
General Manager: Lester Patrick

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Bill Cook RW
Bun Cook  LW
Cecil Dillon  RW
Ching Johnson   D
Andy Aitkenhead   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: Montreal Canadiens (8-5; Total-Goals Series)
Semifinals: Detroit Red Wings (6-3; Total-Goals Series)
Stanley Cup Final: Toronto Maple Leafs (3-1)

 

1934 Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Black Hawks captured their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. When Chicago's Harold "Mush" March netted the series-winner at 30:05 of overtime of Game 4 against the Detroit Red Wings, it marked the second consecutive year that the Stanley Cup-winning goal had been scored in extra time. Chicago goaltender Charlie Gardiner limited Detroit to two goals in his club's three victories, while Detroit goaltender Wilf Cude led the Red Wings to their only win of the series in Game 3 despite suffering a broken nose midway through the contest. Cude stopped 52 of 53 Chicago shots in the deciding game, while Gardiner turned aside all 40 Red Wings attempts. Gardiner, who also had won his second Vezina Trophy with a 1.73 goals-against average during the regular season, suffered a brain hemorrhage and died at age 29 due to brain surgery complications just eight weeks after his team had won the Stanley Cup.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Charlie Gardiner
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Mush March (10:05, 2OT, Game 4)
Head Coach: Tommy Gorman
General Manager: Tommy Gorman

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Johnny Gottselig  RW
Doc Romnes   LW
Paul Thompson   LW
Lionel Conacher   D
Charlie Gardiner   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: Montreal Canadiens (4-3; Total-Goals Series)
Semifinals: Montreal Maroons (6-2; Total-Goals Series)
Stanley Cup Final: Detroit Red Wings (3-1)

 

1935 Montreal Maroons

In the first all-Canadian Stanley Cup Final since they defeated the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League in 1926, the Montreal Maroons won their second Stanley Cup with a three-game sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Winning head coach Tommy Gorman became the first and only coach to win successive Stanley Cup titles with two different teams. He had directed the Chicago Black Hawks to the championship a year earlier. Gorman is one of three NHL coaches (Dick Irvin and Scotty Bowman are the others) to have led more than one team to the Stanley Cup. Among Gorman's key offseason pickups was netminder Alec Connell, who had won the Stanley Cup in 1927 sandwiched between a pair of 15-shutout seasons with the Ottawa Senators. Connell allowed just four goals in the three Stanley Cup Final games.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Hooley Smith
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Baldy Northcott (16:18, 2nd Period, Game 3)
Head Coach: Tommy Gorman
General Manager: Tommy Gorman

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Russ Blinco  C
Earl Robinson   RW
Dave Trottier  LW
Cy Wentworth   D
Alec Connell   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: Chicago Blackhawks (1-0; Total-Goals Series)
Semifinals: New York Rangers (5-4; Total-Goals Series)
Stanley Cup Final: Toronto Maple Leafs (3-0)

 

1936 Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings, who had slumped to a sub-.500 record and missed the playoffs in 1934-35, produced a bounce-back season and won their first Stanley Cup. Led behind the bench by Jack Adams, the Red Wings' inaugural championship came in their 10th season since joining the League in 1926-27. One of the most memorable moments in NHL history came in Game 1 of the first-round series against the Montreal Maroons. In what is still the longest game in NHL history, the Red Wings defeated the Maroons 1-0 on rookie Mud Bruneteau's goal at 16:30 into the sixth overtime period. After his shutout in the series-opening marathon, Detroit goaltender Normie Smith held the Maroons to one goal over the final two games, concluding the series with 0.25 GAA (1 GA in 226:30). The Red Wings completed their Cup run with a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the best-of-5 Stanley Cup Final.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Doug Young
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Pete Kelly (9:45, 3rd Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Jack Adams
General Manager: Jack Adams

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Marty Barry  C
Syd Howe   C
John Sorrell  LW
Bucko McDonald   D
Normie Smith   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: n/a
Semifinals: Montreal Maroons (3-0)
Stanley Cup Final: Toronto Maple Leafs (3-1)

 

1937 Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings won their second consecutive Stanley Cup, becoming the first U.S.-based squad to repeat as champions, with a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in the best-of-5 Final. The Red Wings caught a break entering the Final when the Rangers, forced out of Madison Square Garden by the incoming circus after Game 1, agreed to play the remainder of the series in Detroit. Goaltender Earl Robertson, who would never play a regular-season game for the Red Wings, became the first rookie netminder to post two shutouts in the Final, blanking the Rangers in Games 4 and 5. The Red Wings also triumphed in the absence of star forward Larry Aurie, who had held the NHL goal-scoring lead when he suffered a season-ending leg injury late in the regular season. Linemate Marty Barry picked up the slack, leading all playoff performers in assists and points (4-7-11).

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Doug Young
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Marty Barry (19:22, 1st Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Jack Adams
General Manager: Jack Adams

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Marty Barry C
Syd Howe  C
Herbie Lewis  LW
Bucko McDonald   D
Earl Robertson   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: n/a
Semifinals: Montreal Canadiens (3-2)
Stanley Cup Final: New York Rangers (3-2)

 

1938 Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks won the second Stanley Cup in franchise history, capping an improbable postseason run. The Blackhawks had finished with an unimpressive 14-25-9 record during the regular season but went 7-3 in the playoffs. Due to injury and eligibility issues, the Blackhawks used three goaltenders in four games during their Stanley Cup Final win over Toronto (3-1). Starter Mike Karakas, who broke his toe before Game 1, was unavailable. The club signed journeyman Alfie Moore, who played Game 1 and posted a win in his only Blackhawks appearance. The NHL ruled Moore ineligible for further play and Chicago recalled Paul Goodman, who lost his first NHL start in Game 2. Karakas returned with a steel-capped boot and won Games 3 and 4. Eight U.S.-born players - Karakas, Doc Romnes, Alex Levinsky, Carl Voss, Cully Dahlstrom, Roger Jenkins, Lou Trudel and Virgil Johnson - skated for the Black Hawks, the most U.S. talent on a Cup winner for nearly 60 years.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Johnny Gottselig
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Carl Voss (16:45, 2nd Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Bill Stewart
General Manager: Bill Tobin

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Johnny Gottselig LW
Mush March  RW
Paul Thompson  LW
Earl Seibert   D
Mike Karakas   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: Montreal Canadiens (2-1)
Semifinals: New York Americans (2-1)
Stanley Cup Final: Toronto Maple Leafs (3-1)

 

1939 Boston Bruins

The NHL expanded the Final series to a best-of-7 format, though it took the Boston Bruins only five games to defeat Toronto and win their first Stanley Cup in 10 seasons and second in franchise history.

The Bruins dominated the League from start to finish, finishing 16 points ahead of their nearest competition playing a 48-game regular-season schedule. Rookie goaltender Frank Brimsek, 23, was a sensation from the first day of training camp, posting a League-leading 33 wins (33-9-1), 1.56 goals-against average and 10 shutouts in 43 regular-season appearances en route to winning the Calder and Vezina Trophies as well as First Team All-Star honors. Boston's Mel Hill, who set an NHL record with three overtime goals in the Semifinals against the New York Rangers, scored twice in the Final, and Bill Cowley led all playoff scorers with 11 assists and 14 points, setting modern-era playoff records in both categories.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Cooney Weiland
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Roy Conacher (17:54, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Art Ross
General Manager: Art Ross

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Roy Conacher LW
Bill Cowley  C
Mel Hill  RW
Eddie Shore   D
Frank Brimsek   G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Quarterfinals: n/a
Semifinals: New York Rangers (4-3)
Stanley Cup Final: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1)

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