|BACK IN TIME
|JULY 19, 1954
Nineteen-year-old Elvis Presley released his first record on the Sun Record label with "That's All Right Mama".
|JANUARY 19, 1955
President Dwight D. Eisenhower held the first televised Presidential news conference.
|MAY 18, 1955
The Warsaw Pact, militarily unifying the Eastern European Bloc, was signed to abstain from the use of force in resolving international issues.
|LEAGUE FINAL STANDINGS
||RED WINGS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
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1954-55 SEASON IN REVIEW
He was new to the NHL, but Skinner knew his personnel. "We should win it all again," he announced. "We've got the best players, haven't we?" After battling to a 2-2 tie with the NHL All-Stars, Detroit opened the campaign 5-1, but then went 4-5-1 in the next 10 games.
To say the Wings struggled this season would be untrue, but things clearly weren't coming together as easily as in past years. Gordie Howe relinquished his four-year hold on the NHL scoring crown, finishing second on the team in scoring with 62 points, four fewer than teammate Earl (Dutch) Reibel. Howe endured one of the worst slumps of his career, scoring just four goals in a 17-game span.
Meanwhile, Ted Lindsay sat out a 10-day suspension after striking a Toronto fan with his stick and slumped to 38 points, his lowest totals since 1945-46.
Goalie Terry Sawchuk was stellar, winning the Vezina Trophy and earning an NHL Second Team All-Star berth along with defenseman Bob Goldham. Defenseman Red Kelly was Detroit's lone First Team selection.
Detroit trailed Montreal for first place most of the season, but Skinner never lost faith. "This team of ours can win anytime it wants to," he said. "It's all in their minds."
A 5-0 home-ice loss Dec. 19 to the Canadiens was symbolic, because it marked the last time Detroit would taste defeat on home ice the rest of the season. Closing out the regular season 13-0-5 at the Olympia, they tied the team record for the longest home unbeaten streak, then went 5-0 at home in the playoffs. A club-record nine-game winning streak to conclude the regular campaign left Detroit in first for the seventh straight season, but not before surviving a scary situation.
Canadiens star Rocket Richard was suspended for the rest of the season after assaulting an official and the first game following the suspension saw the Wings visit Montreal on March 17.
With Detroit up 4-1, fans rioted during the first intermission and the game was forfeited to Detroit.
The infamous Richard Riot spilled into the streets, but it was all news to the Wings, who were ushered out a back exit and hurriedly taken to the train station.
"We missed the whole thing," defenseman Marcel Pronovost said. "We didn't know about the riot until the next day."
The Wings swept Toronto in the semifinal, then edged Montreal in a seven-game final to retain the Cup and prove Skinner prophetic.
|20||Marcel Bonin||2||Bob Goldham|
|10||Alex Delvecchio||18||Jim Hay|
|17||Bill Dineen||15||Larry Hillman|
|9||Gordie Howe||4||Red Kelly|
|8||Tony Leswick||3||Marcel Pronovost|
|7||Ted Lindsay "C"||GOALIES|
|11||Marty Pavelich||27||Terry Sawchuk
|12||Glen Skov|| Jack adams (manager)
jimmy skinner (Coach)
|WINGS ROAD TO THE CUP
||STANLEY CUP finals
|det won series 4-0||4/10||MONTREAL||1||-||5||DETROIT|
|det won series 4-3|
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FEATURED ARTICLE: WINGS win seventh STANLEY CUP
They also established several post-season benchmarks. During a 7-1 rout of the Habs in Game 2, Ted Lindsay collected club records with four goals in the game and four points in one period. Gordie Howe posted his first Stanley Cup hat trick in Game 5 of the final and the line of Lindsay, Howe and Earl (Dutch) Reibel established a Detroit mark by combining for 51 post-season points. Howe's 20 points were a new Stanley Cup record and Lindsay's 12 assists tied the mark set by Montreal's Elmer Lach in the 1945-46 playoffs.
Combined with their nine-game win streak to conclude the regular season, Detroit won 15 consecutive games before succumbing 4-2 at Montreal in Game 3 of the finals.
FEATURED ARTICLE: rookie coach wins the cup
Arriving from Hamilton of the Ontario Hockey Association without any pro coaching experience or NHL playing time, Skinner fell into a difficult position. The Wings were a complacent club who had won the Stanley Cup the spring before and trailed Montreal for first place for much of the season, until closing the campaign with a nine-game winning streak to nip the Habs for top spot.
Skinner showed he wasn't going to take any guff when, during a brawl with Montreal, he exchanged punches with Canadiens captain Butch Bouchard. Later in the season, he told off NHL president Clarence Campbell when Campbell approached the Detroit bench during a game to complain about the players using foul language.
Detroit jelled in the playoffs and after retaining the Cup, the rookie bench boss declined to accept the credit.
"It scares me to think of all the mistakes I made, right up to the end," Skinner said. "I've been plain lucky."
FEATURED ARTICLE: ASSEMBLY LINE
The biggest change in Detroit was behind the bench. Tommy Ivan left to become GM in Chicago and Jimmy Skinner was promoted from Detroit's Hamilton junior affiliate. On-ice changes were few. Center Metro Prystai was dealt November 9 to Chicago for right-winger Lorne Davis, while rookie defenseman Larry Hillman was recalled from the minors in time to play three playoff games and get his name on the Stanley Cup.
FEATURED ARTICLE: 1954 - 55 FINAL
In game two of the Final, Detroit’s Ted Lindsay scored four tomes to set a modern record for goals in a championship game, and the Red Wings won their 15th consecutive contest (including the regular season) to establish another NHL record. Lindsay then tallied one assist, his last of the series, in game four to tie Elmer Lach’s record of 12 playoff assists set in 1946.
Gordie Howe set two records in the series. He amassed 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the Final to establish a new mark, and snapped Toe Blake’s overall playoff record with 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 11 games.
For the first time in a best-of-seven final, the home team won all seven games.
|STANLEY CUP||DETROIT RED WINGS||1ST TEAM ALL-STAR
|PRINCE OF WALES TROPHY
||DETROIT RED WINGS||2ND TEAM ALL-STAR||BOB GOLDHAM
||2ND TEAM ALL-STAR||TERRY SAWCHUK