With the end of World War II, a host of stars returned from service, though many of them were dimming somewhat after two or more years out of hockey.
The Bruins regained goalie Frank Brimsek and their high-scoring 'Kraut Line' of Bobby Bauer, Woody Dumart, and Milt Schmidt and moved up from fourth to second place. But the Montreal Canadiens again finished in first, despite a decline in scoring by their 'Punch Line,' made up of Toe Blake, Elmer Lach, and Rocket Richard.
The line regained its punch in the playoffs. After sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks, The Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins in a five-game Stanley Cup final. Three of the games went to overtime and Montreal won two of them.