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12-03-2012, 12:15 PM
Rob Scuderi
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Coach, Frank Boucher

527 Games Coached, 181-263-83 record (1940-1949, 1954)
27 Playoff Games Coached, 13-14 record, winner of 1939-40 Stanley Cup

Coach All-Star Team Voting: 1st (1942), 2nd (1940)

We shouldn't take Boucher's record at face-value. He coached the Rangers through World War 2 who were hit especially hard.

Boucher's 1st place Rangers in 1942 had 15 players play at least 30 games with only 5 playing through the war years. Grant Warwick and Ott Heller played all three years with the Rangers, Clint Smith joined the Hawks as a free agent in '43, Babe Pratt was traded to the Leafs three games into the '43 season, and Phil Watson played all but the '44 season with the Rangers as he was loaned for 4 players.

Lost the following players before the 1943 season to the war: Mac Colville, Neil Colville, Alex Shibicky, Art Coulter, Bill Juzda, Sugar Jim Henry, and Alan Kuntz
Lost before 1944 season: Lynn Patrick and Alf Pike
Lost before 1945 season: Bryan Hextall

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The Rangers asked the NHL for permission to fold until the end of the war because of their best players' service in the armed forces overseas...The Dutton-controlled NHL did not honor the Rangers' request, and so they finished well back of the other five teams that year, with career minor-league goaltender Ken McAuley giving up 310 goals in the team's 50 games, a league record for worst goals-against-average that has stood ever since. The closest any goalie since has come to equalling this record is Greg Millen, whose 4.70 GAA came from allowing 282 goals in 60 games for the Hartford Whalers forty seasons later.
The Rangers goaltender situation was particularly ugly after Henry joined the war and the season described above came in 1944. McAuley also played the majority of games in 1945. 1943 wasn't much better with Jimmy Franks and Bill Beveridge starting most of the games, while Steve Buzinski famously played 8 games.

Originally Posted by The New York Rangers: Broadway's Longest Running Hit
The 1939-40 Season
This Ranger group was a dynamite team, one of the best teams ever to skate on Broadway...From November 28 until January 14, the Blueshirts went undefeated, winning 14 games (10 of them in a row) and tying three. After the streak was snapped with a 2-1 loss in Chicago, the Rangers won their next five for a 19-1-3 string. Under rookie coach Frank Boucher, the team also became innovative. They pulled Kerr in the last minute of the Chicago loss, but GM Lester Patrick didn't know about it beforehand, and his yells alerted both the Blackhawks and the referee, who blew the play dead. Boucher was also the creator of the "box defense" while the team was short-handed. There were 13 players who appeared in at least 43 games and hit double figures in points.

Boucher was the first coach to pull his goaltender for an extra skater late in the game, and he developed the box defense for killing penalties. He also taught his teams to attack when short-handed; in 1939-40, when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup, they scored almost twice as many goals on opponents' power plays as the opposition did.

In 1942, Boucher proposed adding the red line to the hockey to speed up play. He later explained, "My thought was that hockey had become a see-saw affair. Defending teams were jammed in their own end for minutes because they couldn't pass their way out against the new five-man attack." At that time, teams weren't allowed to pass the puck out of the defensive zone; when the red line was added for the 1943-44 season, the rule was changed to allow passing from behind the blue line up to the red line.

Boucher made a brief comeback as a player in 1944, but gave it up after fifteen games. He was replaced as the Rangers' coach during the 1948-49 season, returned to the job in 1953, and retired for good before the season was over.

Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 12-03-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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