Saturday, May 30, 2009

1984-85 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky Jersey

Following on the footsteps of their championship season in 1983-84, the Edmonton Oilers made clear their intent to defend their crown right from the beginning, setting a league record by going unbeaten in their opening 15 games with a record of 12-0-3. They would eventually win their fourth straight division title, once more scoring over 400 goals.

Wayne Gretzky would win the Art Ross Trophy for the 5th straight time, once again scoring over 200 points, finishing with 208 (73 goals and 135 assists), the third highest total of his career. He would also be awarded his 6th straight Hart Trophy. The Oilers would also add other individual hardware to their haul, with Jari Kurri taking the Lady Byng Trophy while scoring a career high 71 goals and 135 points, and Paul Coffey winning the Norris Trophy while totaling 121 points on defense.

The Oilers would start their jog to the title with sweeps of both the Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Chicago Blackhawks proved more of an obstacle, eventually falling in six.

The Philadelphia Flyers would take Game 1 of the finals, but, having received the wake-up call, the Oilers would go onto to win the next four in a row to take their second championship in a row, with the final game coming on this date in 1985 and seeing the Oilers win by a decisive 8-3 score. Gretzky would add to his personal trophy case by being named winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy for the first time.

Today's jersey is a 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky jersey. Each of the four times the Oilers would win the cup with Gretzky as captain, it would be at home in their white jerseys. Since the special patch customarily worn during the Stanley Cup Finals was not introduced until 1989, this jersey carries no additional patches.

Edmonton Oilers W 83-88 F
Edmonton Oilers W 83-88 B
The Oilers Stanley Cup run would be interrupted the next season by the Montreal Canadiens, but they would return with a vengeance in 1987 as the dynasty would continue.

Still awake after that bizarre selection of background music? Is the end of hockey season really that sad of an occasion in Canada? We feel like our dog just died.

Dasherboard: The Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight with the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Joe Louis Arena to take on the defending champions, the Detroit Red Wings in the first of two back-to-back games. Detroit is 8-1 at home during this year's playoffs and the Pittsburgh/Detroit matchup will be the first finals rematch in 25 years.

The Wings odds of defending their title will be enhanced by the return of captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk, who missed three games in the previous round because of a foot injury and Kris Draper.

We personally consider the goaltending matchup in favor of Chris Osgood due to his experience level. Both teams have high quality forwards, with an edge to Detroit as far as depth is concerned, but with Crosby and Malkin both on top of their games, we consider those two factors offsetting.

Defensively, we'd favor the Red Wings, assuming the return of Lidstrom.

The X factor of this matchup is the defection of Marian Hossa from Pittsburgh last year to Detroit this year, a move we instantly felt would win Detroit the cup the minute we heard it last spring. The Penguins are clearly on a roll, and a year more mature and experienced, and will be looking to prove Hossa wrong in his decision not to stay in Pittsburgh.

It should be a great series with some fantastic end to end hockey. We'd be very surprised if it didn't go at least six games.

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