1945-46 Hockey Season Roster
- Conquering Heroes: Habs begin post-WWII dominance
- Legendary Lines: The Punch, the Pony and the Kraut line star
- Hall call: Six teams produced 37 Hall of Famers
The NHL celebrated the end of World War II by showcasing a star-studded league that included 37 eventual Hall of Fame players, including give starting goalies. Montreal, with Maurice “Rocket” Richard, top goalie Bill Duran (league-best 24 wins and 2.60 goals-against average) and other greats won the 50-game regular season with 61 points, then went 8-1 in the playoffs to dust off third-place Chicago, then second-place Boston.
On Montreal’s famous Punch Line, Richard (27 goals) was outscored by linemate Toe Blake (29), both set up often by centerman Elmer Lach. Chicago led the league in goals and Hart Trophy winner Max Bentley (31-30-61) led in points as part of the Pony Line with brother Doug Bentley and Bill Mosienko. The Kraut Line of Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer starred for Boston.
The teams denied the playoffs had their starts, too. Gaye Stewart led the league with 37 goals for fifth-place Toronto and Edgar Laprade won the Calder Trophy for last-place New York.
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