Sunday, May 30, 2010
On this date in 1985, the Edmonton Oilers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 8-3 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals to win their second consecutive championship in their third straight finals, the last time a team would make the finals three consecutive seasons to date.
In the game, Jari Kurri tied a Stanley Cup record that still stands with his 19 goal of the playoffs to tie the record set by Reggie Leach back in 1976.
Also during the game, Wayne Gretzky had a goal and and three assists to set single season records for both assists, with 30, and points, totaling 47, and was also named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
The Oilers had smoked the rest of the Campbell Conference, finishing the regular season with 109 points, 13 ahead of their next closest pursuers the Winnipeg Jets. By comparison, the St. Louis Blues won the Norris Division with just 86 points. Gretzky's 73 goals and 208 points and Kurri's 71 goals and 135 points gave them a 1-2 finish in the league scoring race, securing the Art Ross Trophy for Gretzky.
In the playoffs, Edmonton swept both the Los Angeles Kings in three straight and the Jets in four to reach the conference finals were they secured the right to defend their title by knocking out the Chicago Black Hawks 4-2.
Meanwhile, in the east, the Flyers earned the President's Trophy with a 53-10-7 mark for 113 points. They were led by Vezina Trophy winner Pelle Lindbergh in goal and offensively by Tim Kerr (98 points) and Brian Propp (97).
The Flyers route to the finals saw them knock out the New York Rangers 3-0, dispatch the fading New York Islanders 4-1 and then the Quebec Nordiques 4-2.
Game 1 played in Philadelphia went to the Flyers 4-1 before Edmonton struck back to take Game 2 by a 3-1 score on goals by Gretzky, Willy Lindstrom and Dave Hunter.
The series now shifted to Edmonton for three consecutive games, as was the format back then. Gretzky won Game 3 all by himself as he scored twice within the first minute and a half after the opening faceoff and completed a hat trick before the end of the first period as the Oilers held on to win 4-3.
The Flyers came back in Game 4 with a trio of goals, one even strength, one power play and one shorthanded, before the first period even ended. The Oilers demoralized the Flyers and electrified the home fans with four consecutive goals of their own, including a pair from Gretzky, to come from behind and win 5-3.
The Oilers then came out firing on all cylinders in Game 5, scoring four goals in the first period and went on to hammer Philadelphia 8-3 behind two goals by Paul Coffey and Mark Messier, as well as Kurri's record-tying 19th of the playoffs and Gretzky's four point night to set new records for playoff assists and points, which earned him Conn Smythe Trophy honors.
Today's featured jersey is a CCM 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky jersey. Interestingly, each of the four times the Oilers would win the cup with Gretzky as captain, it would be at home in their white jerseys.
This run of success was prior to teams wearing a special patch during the Stanley Cup Finals, which was not introduced until 1989, so this jersey carries no additional patches - a rarity for the Third String Goalie collection.
Here is Wayne appears in a TV commercial with his younger brother Keith.
Next, Wayne's time with the Oilers is documented in this profile of "The Great One".
Dasherboard: Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Pond Hockey Championships went to the Chicago Blackhawks as they outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers in a goal-fest no one anticipated. The Flyers, who shut out the Montreal Canadiens three times in five games nearly gave up as many goals last night as they did in the entire previous round (7-6).
The Blackhawks were no better defensively for the first 40 minutes as they allowed the Flyers three first period goals, including one with just 27 seconds remaining to take a lead into the first intermission. After fighting all second period to create a lead, Chicago again allowed a late goal, this time with just 1:11 remaining, to allow Philadelphia to enter the third period tied despite giving up three second period goals.
By this point, there should have been little doubt in either team's minds that they were not going to score again based on the opportunities that presented themselves so far, especially since Chicago's top line had yet to contribute anything offensively.
In the end, it was injury replacement Tomas Kopecky who got the storybook game winner, after having sat out the entire semifinals as a healthy scratch, as the Blackhawks line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien registered no points and were a -9 combined.
Other noteworthy events from Bizarro World included the rugged Flyers not taking a single penalty during the entire game.
Brian Boucher returned from injury and relieved Michael Leighton after Leighton allowed five goals on 20 shots and played well until being victimized by Kopecky when he committed too early and was caught down as Kopecky simply skated around him an easily shot the winning goal past him into a gaping net.
Antti Niemi played well enough in the third period to keep the Flyers off the board and protect the fragile Chicago lead to get the win in goal.
The Flyers Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were also surprisingly held without a point and totalled a -7.
Daniel Briere led the Flyers with 4 points including a goal and the disruptive Scott Hartnell had 3 points for Philadelphia. Troy Brouwer led the Blackhawks with 3 points, which included 2 goals, and Dave Bolland contributed a shorthanded goal.
The win was Chicago's first in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1973 and the series resumes on Monday night.