The NHL's so-called 'modern era' began with the addition of the red line, which was meant to increase offense by cutting down on offsides violations. Previously, a player couldn't enter the neutral zone ahead of the puck. Now it was permissible to make a pass to a teammate in the neutral zone, provided he was behind the red line. Offenses certainly improved. Three players scored more than 73 points, the previous NHL record. The leader was Herb Cain of the Boston Bruins, who had 82 points. The New York Rangers, who had lost many players to military service, allowed more than 6 goals a game and finished in last place, 26 points behind the fifth place Bruins. The Montreal Canadiens were unmistakably the class of the league. They finished in first place by 25 points, leading the league in both scoring and defense, and they had no problem in the playoffs, losing just one game in the semi-finals and then sweeping the Chicago Black Hawks in the Stanley Cup finals. Rocket Richard scored 12 goals and Toe Blake had 18 points in their nine playoff games.