1961–62 Chicago Black Hawks season

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1961–62 Chicago Black Hawks
Division 3rd NHL
1961–62 record 31–26–13
Home record 20–10–5
Road record 11–16–8
Goals for 217
Goals against 186
Team information
General Manager Tommy Ivan
Coach Rudy Pilous
Captain Pierre Pilote
Arena Chicago Stadium
Team leaders
Goals Bobby Hull (50)
Assists Stan Mikita and Bill Hay (52)
Points Bobby Hull (84)
Penalties in minutes Eric Nesterenko, Pierre Pilote and Stan Mikita (97)
Wins Glenn Hall (31)
Goals against average Glenn Hall (2.63)
<1960–61 1962–63>

The 1961–62 Chicago Black Hawks season was the Hawks' 36th season in the NHL, and the club was coming off of a third-place finish in 1960–61, as they finished with a 29–24–17 record, earning 75 points, which was a franchise record, and the first time since 1946 that the Hawks had an over .500 record. Chicago upset the heavily favored Montreal Canadiens in the NHL semi-finals, then defeated the Detroit Red Wings in the 1961 Stanley Cup Finals to win their third Stanley Cup in team history, and the first one since 1938.[1]

During the off-season, the Black Hawks traded away team captain Ed Litzenberger to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Gerry Melnyk and Brian Smith. Chicago also had some problems signing some of their players, as Stan Mikita, Reg Fleming, and Dollard St. Laurent all refused to sign their contracts, however, they all eventually came to terms. With Litzenberger traded away, the team named defenseman Pierre Pilote as the new captain.

The defending champions started off the season slow, earning only one win in their first eleven games, as they had a record of 1–5–5, however, the team rebounded, and put together a 16–12–8 record in the next 36 games to get to the .500 level. The Black Hawks then got hot, as they then won six games in a row, followed shortly by a four-game winning streak, as the team managed to finish the season with a 31–26–13 record, tying a club record with 75 points, and setting a team record for wins in a season at 31, which was two more than the previous high of 29 set the previous season.[2]

Offensively, Chicago was led by Bobby Hull, who set a team record with 50 goals and 84 points. He became the third player in NHL history, Maurice Richard and Bernie Geoffrion were the others, to score 50 goals in a season.[3] Hull's 84 points tied him with Andy Bathgate of the New York Rangers for the league lead, however, since Hull scored more goals, he was awarded the Art Ross Memorial Trophy. Stan Mikita emerged as an offensive force, breaking out with a team high 52 assists and 77 points, while Bill Hay also recorded 52 assists en route to a 63-point season. Pierre Pilote led the Hawks blueline, scoring 7 goals and 42 points, while tying Mikita and Eric Nesterenko for the most penalty minutes on the team, with 97.

In goal, Glenn Hall once again played in all 70 games, setting a team record for wins with 31, and posting a 2.63 GAA, along with 9 shutouts. [4]

Chicago would face the Montreal Canadiens in the best of seven NHL semi-final for the fourth consecutive season. The Canadiens were once again heavily favored to defeat the Hawks, as they had an NHL best 98 points, which was 23 more than Chicago. Montreal opened the series off by winning the opening two games at the Montreal Forum by scores of 2–1 and 4–3 to take an early 2–0 series lead, however, as the series shifted over to Chicago Stadium, the Black Hawks took advantage, winning the next two games by scores of 4–1 and 5–3 to even up the series. The fifth game was back in Montreal, however, Chicago stayed hot, and narrowly defeated the Canadiens 4–3 to return home with a 3–2 series lead. The Hawks again took advantage of their home ice, shutting out the Canadiens 2–0, and eliminating Montreal for the second straight season, and earning a spot in the finals.

Chicago would face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1962 Stanley Cup Finals. The Leafs had a strong regular season, earning 85 points, and had defeated the fourth place New York Rangers to clinch a spot in the finals. The series opened at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, and much like their previous series against the Canadiens, the Black Hawks quickly found themselves down 2–0, as Toronto won the first two games by scores of 4–1 and 3–2. The next two games were held in Chicago, and the Black Hawks continued their home ice winning streak, taking the two games by scores of 3–0 and 4–1 to pull even. The clubs were back in Toronto for the fifth game, and it was the Maple Leafs easily beating Chicago 8–4 to take a 3–2 series lead. Toronto ended Chicago's five game home winning streak in the sixth game, holding off Chicago for a 2–1 win, and ending the Hawks chance of a second straight championship.[5]

Season standings

National Hockey League[6]
1 Montreal Canadiens 70 42 14 14 259 166 +93 98
2 Toronto Maple Leafs 70 37 22 11 232 180 +52 85
3 Chicago Black Hawks 70 31 26 13 217 186 +31 75
4 New York Rangers 70 26 32 12 195 207 −12 64
5 Detroit Red Wings 70 23 33 14 184 219 −35 60
6 Boston Bruins 70 15 47 8 177 306 −129 38

Game log

Regular Season

1961–62 Game Log


1962 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Season stats

Scoring leaders

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Bobby Hull 70 50 34 84 35
Stan Mikita 70 25 52 77 97
Bill Hay 60 11 52 63 34
Bronco Horvath 68 17 29 46 21
Pierre Pilote 59 7 35 42 97


Glenn Hall 70 4200 31 26 13 184 9 2.63

Playoff stats

Scoring leaders

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Stan Mikita 12 6 15 21 19
Bobby Hull 12 8 6 14 12
Ab McDonald 12 6 6 12 0
Bill Hay 12 3 7 10 18
Kenny Wharram 12 3 4 7 8


Glenn Hall 12 720 6 6 31 2 2.58


# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
8 Canada Balfour, MurrayMurray Balfour RW R 25 1959 Regina, Saskatchewan
5 United Kingdom Evans, JackJack Evans D L 34 1958 Morriston, United Kingdom
6 Canada Fleming, ReggieReggie Fleming W/D L 26 1960 Montreal, Quebec
1 Canada Hall, GlennGlenn Hall G L 30 1957 Humboldt, Saskatchewan
7 Canada Hall, MurrayMurray Hall RW R 21 1961 Kirkland Lake, Ontario
11 Canada Hay, BillBill Hay C L 26 1959 Lumsden, Saskatchewan
20 Canada Hillman, WayneWayne Hillman D R 23 1961 Kirkland Lake, Ontario
9 Canada Horvath, BroncoBronco Horvath C L 32 1961 Port Colborne, Ontario
7 Canada Hull, BobbyBobby Hull LW L 23 1957 Point Anne, Ontario
18 Canada Maki, ChicoChico Maki RW R 22 1961 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
14 Canada McDonald, AbAb McDonald LW L 26 1960 Winnipeg, Manitoba
12 Canada Melnyk, GerryGerry Melnyk C R 27 1961 Edmonton, Alberta
21 Czechoslovakia Mikita, StanStan Mikita RW R 21 1958 Sokolce, Czechoslovakia
10 Canada Murphy, RonRon Murphy LW L 29 1957 Hamilton, Ontario
15 Canada Nesterenko, EricEric Nesterenko C R 28 1956 Flin Flon, Manitoba
3 Canada Pilote, PierrePierre Pilote (C) D L 30 1955 Kenogami, Quebec
19 Canada St. Laurent, DollardDollard St. Laurent D L 32 1958 Verdun, Quebec
2 Canada Turner, BobBob Turner D L 28 1961 Regina, Saskatchewan
4 Canada Vasko, MooseMoose Vasko D L 26 1956 Duparquet, Quebec
17 Canada Wharram, KennyKenny Wharram RW R 28 1951 North Bay, Ontario