The 1965 season of the National Hockey league was the 49th season in the history of the league. The league at that time featured just 6 teams. These teams faced off many times throughout the 70 game season.
The teams that took part in the NHL during that year were the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Black Hawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. The previous season the league belonged to the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal had played great in the regular season the previous year and managed to find a tremendous amount of success in the playoffs, winning the Stanley Cup.
With the Canadiens taking the championship the previous year everyone was aiming to knock them down from the top of the league. The Canadiens looked like a tough team however, and they would not be an easy team to beat in the 1965-66 season.
This season featured some new awards for NHL participants. There was an award called the Lester Patrick Trophy and another called the Conn Smythe Trophy. The first trophy was to be awarded to Jack Adams that season because of his contribution to the growth of hockey in the United States. The second trophy would be a coveted trophy, given to the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Although it did not affect the teams during the 1965 season, there was a huge change to the NHL that was coming. During the season there were 6 more cities that were awarded franchises. These franchises were slated to begin play in the 1967 season.
Just like the year before, the Canadiens took the regular season by storm. The Canadiens were the only team in all of the NHL that managed to win at least 40 games. The Canadiens were solid and most people picked them as the favorites to win it all after their great play in the regular season.
The next best team in the league was the team from Chicago, the Black Hawks. They managed to win 37 games on the year. The Black Hawks were led by the dynamic duo of Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. These two players were the two leading scorers in the NHL. Bobby Hull had 54 goals and 43 assists on the year. The 54 goals were by far the highest total of any player in the league. Mikita chipped in another 30 goals and 48 assists on the year, tying Bobby Rousseau of Montreal for 2nd in the NHL in scoring.
The 4 teams that would ultimately make the playoffs were the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Black Hawks and Red Wings. The Canadiens and Maple Leafs would square off and the Black Hawks and Red Wings would play against each other in the first round.
The Canadiens dominated the first round, sweeping the Maple Leafs in the series. Meanwhile, the Black Hawks were upset by the Red Wings, losing the series 4-2. The Red Wings and Canadiens would ultimately square off for the Stanley Cup.
In the end, the favorites entering the season came out on top, as the Canadiens beat the Red Wings in 6 games. The Canadiens would be the 1965-66 Stanley Cup champs.