After the Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup in the spring of 1984, NHL fans had one question for Wayne Gretzky and his high-scoring teammates entering the 1984-85 season: Can you do it again?
The Oilers seemed well on their way after rolling to a 6-3 win over the visiting Minnesota North Stars on Dec. 7. It was the club’s eighth straight victory and upped its record to a super impressive 20-3-3.
Gretzky and Co. reeled off another eight-game winning streak in late January/early February. At that point, the Oilers were full-steam ahead at a sensational 38-9-6.
Down the stretch, however, Edmonton stumbled a bit, finishing the regular season with a mediocre 6-7-4 mark in its last 17 games.
Once the Stanley Cup Playoffs started, however, the Oilers got their championship act together, losing three games en route to their second championship.
The '84-85 season also marked the arrival of a potential scoring rival for Gretzky. Pittsburgh Penguins rookie Mario Lemieux seemed to have the rare combination of super size and sensational skill to someday challenge the Great One’s lock on the Art Ross Trophy.
In our sixth installment of the NHL in the 1980s, I’ll examine the stories and topics that dominated the headlines during the '84-85 campaign.