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Stanley Cup Champions 1950-1959

Habs win five titles in eight appearances; Wings win four

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Canada's hold on the Stanley Cup ended in 1950 when the Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Rangers in a seven-game Final. Pete Babando's backhand goal at 8:31 of the second overtime was the first Cup-winner scored in sudden death of Game 7. The Cup moved back north a year later when the Toronto Maple Leafs won their fourth championship in five seasons, but the trophy returned to Hockeytown three times in the next four years. Following Detroit's 1955 title, its last until 1997, the Montreal Canadiens began their first great run of dominance, winning the Stanley Cup an unprecedented five consecutive times.

 

1950 Detroit Red Wings

Playing without Gordie Howe, who had suffered a serious head injury in the first game of the playoffs, the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup amid unprecedented drama: for the first time ever, an overtime goal decided Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Detroit Red Wings overcame the absence of star forward Gordie Howe to win the Stanley Cup. Howe was sidelined as a result of a serious head injury sustained in the first game of the playoffs. After sliding headfirst into the boards, Howe required surgery to repair a fractured nose and cheekbone. The Red Wings went on to raise the trophy amid unprecedented drama: for the first time in NHL history, an overtime goal decided Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. With Detroit and the New York Rangers tied 3-3 at the end of regulation time in Game 7, Red Wings forward Pete Babando scored the Cup-winning goal at 8:31 of double overtime. Howe was out of the hospital in time to join his teammates for the on-ice celebration after Babando's heroics. New York's Don Raleigh set a record when he scored two overtime goals in the Final, a feat unmatched for 43 years.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Sid Abel
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Pete Babando (28:31, OT, Game 7)
Head Coach: Tommy Ivan
General Manager: Jack Adams

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Sid Abel  C
Pete Babando    LW
Ted Lindsay  LW
Red Kelly  D
Harry Lumley  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3)
Stanley Cup Final: New York Rangers (4-3)

 

1951 Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in thrilling fashion: for the first and only time, every game of the Final went to overtime. Toronto defenseman Bill Barilko, who scored the series-winner against Montreal in Game 5, tragically died in a plane crash that summer.

Sid Smith, Ted Kennedy, Harry Watson and Bill Barilko notched the overtime winners in Toronto's 4-1 series triumph over the Montreal Canadiens, while Maurice 'Rocket' Richard scored in extra time for Montreal and had goals in all five contests. Richard's overtime tally was his second in a Final series and the fourth of his playoff career, breaking the record of three set by Boston's Mel Hill in 1939. Unfortunately, tragedy accompanied Toronto's triumph in 1951. Barilko, the rugged Maple Leafs defenseman who scored the series-winner against Montreal in Game 5, died in a plane crash that summer. The site of the crash was not discovered until 1962, the year of Toronto's next Stanley Cup win.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Ted Kennedy
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Bill Barilko (2:53, OT, Game 5)
Head Coach: Joe Primeau
General Manager: Conn Smythe

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Max Bentley  C
Ted Kennedy  C
Sid Smith  LW
Bill Barilko  D
Al Rollins  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: Boston Bruins (4-1) 
Stanley Cup Final: Montreal Canadiens (4-1)

 

1952 Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings captured the 1952 Stanley Cup and started a revered playoff tradition in the Motor City. The Red Wings became the first team to go 8-0 in the postseason, inspiring the first appearance of an octopus on Detroit ice. The eight tentacles represented the eight games a team needed to win the Stanley Cup.

Goaltender Terry Sawchuk, 22, was brilliant in his Stanley Cup Final debut, recording two shutouts. Sawchuk allowed only five goals in eight postseason games overall for a 0.62 goals-against average as the Red Wings swept the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Semifinals and Montreal Canadiens in the Final. He did not allow a single goal in any of the four games played on home ice at Olympia Stadium. At the other end of the ice, Gordie Howe scored the first two of his 18 career goals in the Stanley Cup Final.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Sid Abel
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a 
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Metro Prystai (6:50, 1st Period, Game 4) 
Head Coach: Tommy Ivan
General Manager: Jack Adams

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Gordie Howe RW
Ted Lindsay  LW
Metro Prystai  C
Red Kelly  D
Terry Sawchuk G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-0)
Stanley Cup Final: Montreal Canadiens (4-0)

 

1953 Montreal Canadiens

Goaltender Gerry McNeil blanked the Boston Bruins twice in the final three games of the Final as the Montreal Canadiens captured the Stanley Cup for the first time in seven years. Elmer Lach scored the Cup-winning goal at 1:22 of overtime in Game 5.

The joyous midair embrace between Lach and his longtime linemate Maurice Richard is among the most iconic images in League history. The 1952-53 season marked the NHL debut of Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Jacques Plante, who made two regular-season and four playoff appearances, and a career milestone for Richard, who became the NHL's all-time goal-scoring leader. On Nov. 8, 1952, 10 years to the day after notching his first NHL goal, Richard beat Chicago netminder Al Rollins for his 325th career tally, passing Nels Stewart. Retiring with 544 career goals, Richard held the all-time goals mark until November 1963, when he was passed by Red Wings legend Gordie Howe.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Emile Bouchard
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Elmer Lach (1:22, OT, Game 5)
Head Coach: Dick Irvin
General Manager: Frank J. Selke

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Bernie Geoffrion  RW
Elmer Lach  C
Maurice Richard RW
Doug Harvey  D
Gerry McNeil  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: Chicago Blackhawks (4-3)
Stanley Cup Final: Boston Bruins (4-1)

 

1954 Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings won the first of back-to-back Stanley Cups on Tony Leswick's overtime goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against Montreal. Just the second such goal in NHL history at the time, Leswick's feat has not been repeated since.

The Detroit Red Wings won the first of back-to-back Stanley Cups, edging the Montreal Canadiens on Tony Leswick's overtime goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. The iconic feat has not been repeated since. The heroics of Leswick, who notched the winner at 4:29 of the first extra period, came four years after Red Wings forward Pete Babando made history with the first such goal in League history that lifted Detroit to a dramatic victory over the New York Rangers in 1950. Red Wings President Marguerite Norris was presented with the Stanley Cup by NHL President Clarence Campbell at the conclusion of the series. She became the first woman to have her name engraved on the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings' top four scorers during the postseason, Alex Delvecchio (2-7-9), Gordie Howe (4-5-9), Ted Lindsay (4-4-8) and Red Kelly (5-1-6) all are enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Ted Lindsay
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Tony Leswick (4:20, OT, Game 7)
Head Coach: Tommy Ivan
General Manager: Jack Adams

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Alex Delvecchio C
Gordie Howe RW
Ted Lindsay  LW
Red Kelly  D
Terry Sawchuk  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1) 
Stanley Cup Final: Montreal Canadiens (4-3)

 

1955 Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings won their second consecutive Stanley Cup, edging a determined Montreal Canadiens team playing without star Maurice Richard, who had been suspended for the entire postseason. For the first time in a best-of-7 Final, the home team won all seven games.

The Detroit Red Wings won their second consecutive Stanley Cup in Jimmy Skinner's first season behind the Detroit bench. The Red Wings edged a determined Montreal Canadiens team playing without star Maurice Richard, who had been suspended for the entire postseason stemming from a regular-season incident. In Game 2 of the Final, Detroit's Ted Lindsay scored four times to set an NHL record for goals in a Stanley Cup Final game, and the Red Wings won their 15th consecutive contest (including the regular season) to establish another NHL record. Lindsay later tallied an assist in Game 4 to tie Elmer Lach's record of 12 playoff assists set in 1946. Detroit's Gordie Howe set two records of his own, for most points in the Stanley Cup Final (5-7-12) and most points in one playoff year (9-11-20). For the first time in a best-of-7 final, the home team won all seven games.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Ted Lindsay
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Gordie Howe (19:49, 2nd Period, Game 7)
Head Coach: Jimmy Skinner
General Manager: Jack Adams

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Alex Delvecchio  C
Gordie Howe  RW
Ted Lindsay  LW
Red Kelly  D
Terry Sawchuk  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-0) 
Stanley Cup Final: Montreal Canadiens (4-3)

 

1956 Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens won the first of five consecutive Stanley Cups. Former playing star Toe Blake took over for Dick Irvin behind the Canadiens bench as coach, while rookie center Henri Richard joined his famous brother Maurice on the ice.

Two rookies played integral roles on the first of five consecutive Stanley Cup teams for the Montreal Canadiens. Former playing star Toe Blake took over for Dick Irvin behind the bench as coach, while rookie center Henri Richard joined his famous brother Maurice on the ice. Blake guided the Canadiens to a runaway regular-season title, losing only 15 of the 70 games on the schedule. The Canadiens finished the season with a 24-point lead on second-place Detroit, dethroned as regular-season champs after a record seven-year run. The Canadiens also topped Detroit, 4-1, in the Stanley Cup Final, turning the tables on a Red Wings team that had beaten them in 1954 and 1955. Henri Richard earned a spot on the Canadiens' second line, centering Bernie Geoffrion and Dickie Moore, while top line featured Jean Beliveau between Maurice Richard and Bert Olmstead. All six went on to enshrinement in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Emile Bouchard
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Maurice Richard (15:08, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Toe Blake
General Manager: Frank J. Selke

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Jean Beliveau C
Bernie Geoffrion  RW
Maurice Richard  RW
Doug Harvey  D
Jacques Plante  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: New York Rangers (4-1) 
Stanley Cup Final: Detroit Red Wings (4-1)

 

1957 Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens repeated as champions for just the second time in franchise history by winning the Stanley Cup Final over the Boston Bruins, who had upset the Detroit Red Wings and prevented a Montreal-Detroit championship series for a fourth consecutive year.

The Montreal Canadiens repeated as champions for just the second time in franchise history and first time since 1931 by winning the Stanley Cup Final in five games over the Boston Bruins, who had upset the Detroit Red Wings and prevented a Montreal-Detroit championship series for a fourth consecutive year. The Bruins had no answer for the wave of future Hockey Hall of Famers coming at them from the Canadiens bench. Maurice Richard scored a Final record-tying four goals in Game 1, Jean Beliveau notched the lone tally of the game in a 1-0 win in Game 2, Bernie Geoffrion tallied a pair of goals in a 4-2 win in Game 3 and Dickie Moore scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in a 5-1 win in Game 5. The Canadiens had ranked first overall in both offense and defense during the regular season but finished second to the Red Wings in the standings.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Maurice Richard
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Dickie Moore (0:14, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Toe Blake
General Manager: Frank J. Selke

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Jean Beliveau  C
Bernie Geoffrion  RW
Maurice Richard  RW
Doug Harvey  D
Jacques Plante  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: New York Rangers (4-1)
Stanley Cup Final: Boston Bruins (4-1)

 

1958 Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens won their third consecutive Stanley Cup, equaling the NHL record set by the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1947 to 1949. Maurice 'Rocket' Richard led all playoff goal-scorers with 11 in 10 games, including his then-record sixth overtime tally.

The Montreal Canadiens won their third consecutive Stanley Cup, equaling the NHL record set by the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1947 to 1949. The Canadiens and Boston Bruins met for a second consecutive year in the Stanley Cup Final. Maurice 'Rocket' Richard, who led all playoff goal-scorers with 11 in 10 games, again delivered in the clutch. With the Final tied 2-2 and the score tied 2-2 in overtime of Game 5, Richard's extra-time goal gave the Canadiens the lead in the series, which they went on to clinch in Game 6 at Boston. Richard upped his career overtime goal total to six, an NHL record that stood for nearly a half century until Colorado's Joe Sakic notched his seventh in 2006. The Canadiens had finished as the NHL's top regular-season club (43-17-10) despite stars Jean Beliveau, Bernie Geoffrion and Maurice Richard missing a collective 85 games due to injury.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Maurice Richard
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Bernie Geoffrion (19:26, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Toe Blake
General Manager: Frank J. Selke

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Jean Beliveau  C
Bernie Geoffrion  RW
Maurice Richard  RW
Doug Harvey  D
Jacques Plante  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semifinals: Detroit Red Wings (4-0)
Stanley Cup Final: Boston Bruins (4-2)

 

1959 Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens skated to a fourth consecutive championship, breaking the record of three they had shared with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1947 to 1949). The Canadiens did so despite injuries that limited superstars Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau to seven postseason appearances between them.

The Montreal Canadiens skated to a fourth consecutive championship, breaking the record of three they had shared with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1947 to 1949). The Canadiens did so despite injuries that limited superstars Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau to seven postseason appearances between them. Unheralded forward Marcel Bonin stepped up in their absence and led all playoff scorers with 10 goals, reportedly wearing the injured Richard's gloves for most of the playoff run. In defeating Toronto in five games to win the Cup, Montreal reversed the scoreline from the previous Montreal-Toronto Final matchup in 1951. The Canadiens were the League's best team during the regular season for the third time in four campaigns (39-18-13, 91 points), finishing 18 points ahead of second-place Boston and scoring a then-League record 258 goals. Canadiens forward Dickie Moore tallied an NHL-record 96 points while Jean Beliveau surpassed his own mark for points by a center (91).

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Maurice Richard
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: n/a
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Marcel Bonin (9:55, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Toe Blake
General Manager: Frank J. Selke

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Marcel Bonin  LW
Bernie Geoffrion  RW
Dickie Moore  RW
Doug Harvey  D
Jacques Plante  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Semfinals: Chicago Blackhawks (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1)

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