25/09/2023

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1962-63 NHL Team Leaders

1962-63 NHL Team Leaders

The 1962-63 National Hockey League season had one of the tightest finishes of the ‘Original 6’ era, at least for the top four teams. Just five points separated the first place Toronto Maple Leafs and the fourth place Detroit Red Wings. Toronto edged the Chicago Black Hawks for first place by just one point.

However, beyond Detroit, the NHL dropped off into a deep abyss. The New York Rangers finished with 56 points, 21 less than the Red Wings. The Boston Bruins ended up with just 45, 32 points out of the final playoff position.

Detroit Red Wings – Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe led the Red Wings and the entire league with 86 points. Howe received his sixth and final Art Ross Trophy for the effort. Detroit showed a lack of diversity with Gordie’s point total playing a role in 43% of all the team’s scoring. Still, the Red Wings knocked off the second place Black Hawks in the opening round to earn a shot at the Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup finals.

New York Rangers – Andy Bathgate

For the eighth straight year, Andy Bathgate led the New York Rangers in scoring with 81 points. The team leader since his second year in the league, 1955-56, would not lead again. The following season, the Rangers traded Bathgate to the Toronto Maple Leafs midway through the season. Andy finished second to Howe in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.

Chicago Black Hawks – Stan Mikita

Bobby Hull’s Art Ross winning 84 points from the year before were definitely a distant memory as he finished 1962-63 with just 62 points. That paved the way for Stan Mikita to lead the club for his first time with 76 points. He placed third in the league behind Bathgate and Howe.

Toronto Maple Leafs – Frank Mahovlich

Frank Mahovlich led the Maple Leafs for the second straight season with 73 points, tying him for fourth in the NHL with Henri Richard of the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs were regular season champs and lost just two games over the two series required to win the Stanley Cup. Mahovlich was silenced in the playoffs with just two assists in nine games. The Leafs were led by Dave Keon with 12 points, playing in all Toronto’s ten games.

Montreal Canadiens – Henri Richard

Henri Richard led the third place Canadiens with 73 points. Montreal had the least wins of all six teams with just 19. However, the Habs tied 23 of 70 games to bring their point total down. Montreal met Toronto in the opening round of the playoffs and lost in five games.

Boston Bruins – Johnny Bucyk

Johnny Bucyk led the hapless Boston Bruins with 66 points, four points more than teammate Murray Oliver. Boston won just 14 games but it was an improvement over the previous season when they recorded their worst winning percentage in team history in a season with 44 games or more. That mark of futility stands today.