The Montreal Maroons dropped out of the NHL before the season began. With just seven teams, the league went back to a single division and adopted a new playoff format. The third- and fourth-place teams met in one best-of-three quarterfinal, with the fifth- and sixth-place teams meeting in the other.
The winners then went on to a three-game semifinal to determine which would enter the Stanley Cup finals. Meanwhile, the first- and second-place teams played a best-of-seven semifinal. For the first time, the final series was also best-of-seven.
The Boston Bruins shocked their fans by selling goalie Tiny Thompson to the Detroit Red Wings. Thompson had won the Vezina Trophy for a record fourth time the previous season. But rookie Frankie Brimsek, who replaced him, became the first player to win the Calder and Vezina Trophies. He won the nickname 'Mr. Zero' by racking up three straight shutouts on two different occasions.
The Bruins had the league's best record, winning 10 more games than the second-place New York Rangers. They got past the Rangers in a tough seven-game series. Three of the Boston victories came in overtime and rookie Mel Hill scored the winning goal in all three to become known as 'Mr. Sudden Death.'
The Bruins then beat the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs in five games to win the Stanley Cup for the second time.