It didn't seem likely that the Toronto Maple Leafs would win the Stanley Cup for the third straight time. Dogged by injuries, they barely managed to make the playoffs by finishing fourth.
Led their 'Production Line' of Sid Abel, Gordie Howe, and Ted Lindsay, the Detroit Red Wings had the NHL's highest scoring offense. Abel won the Hart Trophy and Detroit finished atop the league, 9 points ahead of the Boston Bruins.
But the Maple Leafs were all healthy entering the playoffs, and they did exactly what they had done the previous year, eliminating the Bruins in five games and then sweeping the Red Wings in the final series.