The Detroit Red Wings finished in first place for the fifth straight year, though they came back a little bit. After two seasons of 100 or more points, they accumulated only 90, but that was still 15 more than the second-place Montreal Canadiens had.
Gordie Howe's long-time center, Sid Abel, had left to become player-coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, but Alex Delvecchio stepped right in. Howe led the league in both goals and assists, setting an NHL record with 95 points, to win the Hart Trophy for the second straight year. Terry Sawchuk won the Vezina as the league's best goaltender, also for the second year in a row.
Rocket Richard became the league's all-time leader by scoring his 325th goal during the season. The Canadiens also got good goaltending from Gerry McNeil, who finished second to Sawchuk in Vezina voting.
The third-place Boston Bruins upset the Red Wings in a six-game semifinal series, while the Canadiens had problems against the Chicago Blackhawks.