|Toronto Maple Leafs
The NHL was comprised of seven teams in 1941-42 for the final time until expansion swelled the number to 12 in 1967-68. The woeful Brooklyn Americans, renamed from the New York Americans, finished last and as a result, were ineligible for playoff competition. In the semi-finals, the first place New York Rangers faced the second place Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto won the best of seven series four games to two, earning a bye into the finals. Meantime, third place Boston faced fourth place Chicago, with Boston winning the best of three two games to one. And fifth place Detroit beat sixth place Montreal two games to one in the best of three series. Boston then met Detroit in a match-up to earn a pass to the final, but the Red Wings won the best of three in two games. That set the stage for the Stanley Cup final -- Toronto against Detroit. The Red Wings won the first three games -- 3-2, 4-2 and 5-2. But Toronto coach Hap Day benched regulars Gordie Drillon and Bucko McDonald, inserting Don Metz and Hank Goldup in their place. The replacements didn't impact on the team directly, but the Leafs as a team reversed their fortunes. They won the next three games by scores of 4-3, 9-3, and 3-0 to even the series. Game seven completed the most remarkable comeback in NHL history. The Maple Leafs won 3-1 to win game seven, and as a result, the Stanley Cup!
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