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Stanley Cup Champions 1980-1989

New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers dominate decade with four Cups each

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The 1980s began with the emergence of a new League power; the New York Islanders won four straight Stanley Cup titles. New York won an NHL-record 19 consecutive playoff series before reluctantly passing the torch to another budding group of Hall of Famers when it lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the 1984 Final. Edmonton won the Stanley Cup five times in the next seven seasons. The only other franchises to drink from the Cup during the decade were the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames, who traded championships when they faced off in the Final in 1986 and 1989.

 

1980 New York Islanders

In their eighth NHL season, the New York Islanders became the second expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. A perennial contender, the Islanders advanced to the Final for the first time despite recording their lowest regular-season point total since 1974-75 (91).

Facing their Patrick Division rival Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Final, a team that had finished 25 points ahead of them in the standings, the Islanders made a major breakthrough in Game 1, when captain Denis Potvin recorded the first overtime power-play goal in Stanley Cup Final history. Bob Nystrom, who had been with the team since its inception in 1972, scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime of Game 6. Bryan Trottier, the only Islanders player to finish among the NHL's top 10 scorers that season, led all playoff performers with 12-17-29 and captured Conn Smythe Trophy honors.

Video: 1980 Cup Final, Gm 6: Nystrom leads Isles to 1st Cup

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Denis Potvin
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Bryan Trottier
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Bob Nystrom (7:11, OT, Game 6)
Head Coach: Al Arbour
General Manager: Bill Torrey

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Mike Bossy RW
Bob Nystrom RW
Bryan Trottier C
Denis Potvin D
Billy Smith G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Preliminary Round: Los Angeles Kings (3-1)
Quarterfinals: Boston Bruins (4-1)
Semifinals: Buffalo Sabres (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Philadelphia Flyers (4-2)

 

1981 New York Islanders

The New York Islanders captured a second consecutive Stanley Cup, needing five games to defeat the Minnesota North Stars. For Minnesota, it marked the club's first trip to the Final since joining the NHL in 1967-68. Gaining momentum from capturing their first championship the year before, the Islanders were dominant in the 1980-81 regular season, finishing with a League-high 110 points (48-18-14) and leading all teams in goals (355) as well as goal differential (+95).

They only lost three of their final 20 regular-season games, outscored the Toronto Maple Leafs 20-4 in a three-game sweep in the Preliminary Round and later swept the archrival New York Rangers 4-0 in the Semifinals. In all, the Islanders tallied at least five goals in 15 of 18 postseason games. With 17 goals and 18 assists, Mike Bossy established records for points (35) and power-play goals (nine) in one playoff year.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Denis Potvin
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Butch Goring
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Wayne Merrick (5:37, 1st Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Al Arbour
General Manager: Bill Torrey

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Mike Bossy RW
Butch Goring C
Bryan Trottier C
Denis Potvin D
Billy Smith G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Preliminary Round: Toronto Maple Leafs (3-0)
Quarterfinals: Edmonton Oilers (4-2)
Semifinals: New York Rangers (4-0)
Stanley Cup Final: Minnesota North Stars (4-1)

 

1982 New York Islanders

The New York Islanders became the first U.S.-based team to win three consecutive Stanley Cups with a sweep of the Vancouver Canucks in the Final. The Canucks, meanwhile, became the first Vancouver team since the 1922 Millionaires of the Western Canada Hockey League to appear in the Stanley Cup Final.

Mike Bossy captured the Conn Smythe Trophy after scoring seven goals in the four-game series, tying the modern record for most goals in the Final set by Jean Beliveau in 1956. Bryan Trottier tallied 23 assists in 19 games to set a new playoff record, while goaltender Billy Smith amassed a 15-4 mark to equal his own record for playoff wins. The Islanders' biggest scare of the postseason came from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who had finished with 43 fewer points in the regular-season standings. The Islanders escaped that first-round series thanks to a John Tonelli goal in overtime of the fifth and deciding game.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Denis Potvin
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Mike Bossy
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Mike Bossy (5:00, 2nd Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Al Arbour
General Manager: Bill Torrey

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Mike Bossy RW
John Tonelli LW
Bryan Trottier C
Denis Potvin D
Billy Smith

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2)
Division Finals: New York Rangers (4-2)
Conference Finals: Quebec Nordiques (4-0)
Stanley Cup Final: Vancouver Canucks (4-0)

 

1983 New York Islanders

The New York Islanders won their fourth straight Stanley Cup to become only the second franchise in NHL history to amass that many championships in a row. The Montreal Canadiens own the all-time record with five consecutive wins from 1956 to 1960. The Canadiens also won four in a row between 1976 and 1979. Since this dynastic streak by the Islanders, no NHL team has won more than two consecutive titles.

Goaltender Billy Smith earned the Conn Smythe Trophy after limiting the Edmonton Oilers to just six goals in four games in the Final and shutting out the Campbell Conference champions in seven of 12 periods of play. In doing so, Smith and the Islanders derailed a young Oilers juggernaut that had won 11 of its 12 playoff contests and averaged more than six goals per game in the process. In his first appearance in the Final, Wayne Gretzky tallied four assists on the Oilers' six goals.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Denis Potvin
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Billy Smith
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Mike Bossy (12:39, 1st Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Al Arbour
General Manager: Bill Torrey

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Mike Bossy RW
Bob Bourne C
Bryan Trottier C
Denis Potvin D
Billy Smith

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Washington Capitals (3-1)
Division Finals: New York Rangers (4-2)
Conference Finals: Boston Bruins (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Edmonton Oilers (4-0)

 

1984 Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers became the first of the four former World Hockey Association clubs to win the Stanley Cup. They did so by dethroning the four-time defending champion New York Islanders. Making his Stanley Cup Final debut, goaltender Grant Fuhr posted a shutout in Game 1 at Nassau Coliseum, handing the Islanders their first loss in 10 Final series games.

Four different Oilers -- Kevin McClelland, Glenn Anderson, Mark Messier and Ken Linseman -- scored game-winning goals. Messier tallied 8-18-26, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. "It's a really special group, we beat a really great hockey club, a dynasty team that taught us how to win from the previous year," Wayne Gretzky said. "I think the biggest goal in all of Oilers history was the one Kevin McClelland scored [in Game 1]. He got one all year and he got one in Game 1, which was big [in a 1-0 win]."

Video: 1984 Cup Final, Gm5: Oilers take the Cup from Isles

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Wayne Gretzky
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Mark Messier
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Ken Linseman (0:38, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Glen Sather
General Manager: Glen Sather

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Wayne Gretzky C
Jari Kurri RW
Mark Messier C
Paul Coffey D
Andy Moog G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Winnipeg Jets (3-0)
Division Finals: Calgary Flames (4-3)
Conference Finals: Minnesota North Stars (4-0)
Stanley Cup Final: New York Islanders (4-1)

 

1985 Edmonton Oilers

The run-and-gun Oilers hit their stride as Edmonton sailed past its opposition to claim a second consecutive Stanley Cup. Wayne Gretzky set records for assists (30) and points (47) in one playoff year. Gretzky also tied the modern record shared by Jean Beliveau (1956) and Mike Bossy (1982) for most goals in the Stanley Cup Final, with seven in five games.

Jari Kurri scored 19 goals in 18 games to tie the NHL record for goals in one playoff year. Kurri also broke teammate Mark Messier's record for most hat tricks in one playoff year with four, including one four-goal game. Paul Coffey, who registered 12 goals and 25 assists, shattered the one-year playoff records for goals, assists and points by a defenseman. Coffey broke Bobby Orr's records for goals (nine in 1970) and assists (19 in 1972), and Denis Potvin's record for points (25 in 1981).

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Wayne Gretzky
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Wayne Gretzky
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Paul Coffey (17:57, 1st Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Glen Sather
General Manager: Glen Sather

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Wayne Gretzky C
Jari Kurri RW
Mark Messier C
Paul Coffey D
Grant Fuhr G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Los Angeles Kings (3-0)
Division Finals: Winnipeg Jets (4-0)
Conference Finals: Chicago Blackhawks (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Philadelphia Flyers (4-1)

 

1986 Montreal Canadiens

Led by first-year NHL head coach Jean Perron and inspired by rookie heroics from goaltender Patrick Roy and forward Claude Lemieux, the Montreal Canadiens capped a surprising playoff run by defeating the Calgary Flames to capture the 23rd Stanley Cup in franchise history.

The Canadiens emerged from a tough first-round test when Lemieux scored one of his many clutch tallies that spring in overtime of Game 7 in the Adams Division Final. The Montreal-Calgary matchup marked the first all-Canadian Final since Montreal and Toronto faced each other in 1967. Brian Skrudland scored nine seconds into overtime in Game 2 to establish a record for the fastest overtime goal in NHL postseason history, eclipsing the old mark of 11 seconds set by J.P. Parise of the New York Islanders on April 11, 1975. Montreal prevailed in five games, with Roy, 20, becoming the youngest winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Bob Gainey
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Patrick Roy
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Bobby Smith (10:30, 3rd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Jean Perron
General Manager: Serge Savard

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Claude Lemieux RW
Mats Naslund LW
Bobby Smith C
Chris Chelios D
Patrick Roy G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Boston Bruins (3-0)
Division Finals: Hartford Whalers (4-3)
Conference Finals: New York Rangers (4-1)
Stanley Cup Final: Calgary Flames (4-1)

 

1987 Edmonton Oilers

After a year's absence, the Edmonton Oilers returned to the Final and captured their third Stanley Cup in four seasons. Meeting for the second time in three years, Edmonton and the Philadelphia Flyers carried the championship series to seven games for the first time since the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Black Hawks in 1971.

After a shocking home loss to the Los Angeles Kings on the opening night of the postseason, the Oilers scored a team-record 13 goals in a 13-3 romp in Game 2 of the series, the first of an eight-game winning streak that carried them to series wins over the Kings and Winnipeg Jets. A five-game series win over the Detroit Red Wings in the Conference Finals set the stage for an exciting finale against the Flyers that wasn't settled until Glenn Anderson's insurance goal late in Game 7. Wayne Gretzky led all playoff scorers in assists and points with 5-29-34 in 21 games.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Wayne Gretzky
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: N/A
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Jari Kurri (14:59, 2nd Period, Game 7)
Head Coach: Glen Sather
General Manager: Glen Sather

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Glenn Anderson RW
Wayne Gretzky C
Mark Messier C
Paul Coffey D
Grant FuhrG

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Los Angeles Kings (4-1)
Division Finals: Winnipeg Jets (4-0)
Conference Finals: Detroit Red Wings (4-1)
Stanley Cup Final: Philadelphia Flyers (4-3)

 

1988 Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers won their fourth Stanley Cup title in five years with a 4-0 series victory over the Boston Bruins, who were making their first appearance in the Final in 10 years. For the first time since 1927, a Stanley Cup Final game failed to determine a winner.

During the fourth game of the series, a power failure at Boston Garden halted play at 16:37 of the second period with the teams tied 3-3. Under NHL by-laws, the match was suspended, to be made up in its entirety only if a Game 7 was necessary. Thus the series shifted back to Edmonton, where the Oilers, still holding a 3-0 series lead, recorded a 6-3 victory to win the Cup. Wayne Gretzky captured the Conn Smythe Trophy for the second time, setting a Stanley Cup Final series record of 13 points on three goals and 10 assists.

Video: 1988 Cup Final, Gm5: Wayne Gretzky starts team pic

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Wayne Gretzky
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Wayne Gretzky
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Wayne Gretzky (9:44, 2nd Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Glen Sather
General Manager: Glen Sather

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Wayne Gretzky C
Jari Kurri RW
Mark Messier C
Randy Gregg D
Grant Fuhr G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Winnipeg Jets (4-1)
Division Finals: Calgary Flames (4-0)
Conference Finals: Detroit Red Wings (4-1)
Stanley Cup Final: Boston Bruins (4-0)

 

1989 Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames won their first Stanley Cup with a 4-2 series victory over the Montreal Canadiens, who had defeated Calgary for the trophy in 1986. The Flames wrapped up the series with a 4-2 triumph in Game 6, becoming the first visiting team to beat the Canadiens for the Stanley Cup on Montreal Forum ice. 

Goaltender Mike Vernon tied an NHL playoff record by registering 16 wins, equaling the mark set by Edmonton's Grant Fuhr the previous year. Al MacInnis became the fourth defenseman to win the Conn Smythe Trophy since the award was instituted in 1965. MacInnis joined Serge Savard (1969), Bobby Orr (1970 and 1972) and Larry Robinson (1978). MacInnis led the League in playoff scoring with 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) and amassed a 17-game point streak, tying the second-longest in NHL playoff history and the longest ever by a defenseman.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Lanny McDonald / Jim Peplinski (Co-Captains)
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Al MacInnis
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Doug Gilmour (11:02, 3rd Period, Game 6)
Head Coach: Terry Crisp
General Manager: Cliff Fletcher

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Doug Gilmour C
Joe Mullen RW
Joe Nieuwendyk C
Al MacInnis D
Mike Vernon G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Vancouver Canucks (4-3)
Division Finals: Los Angeles Kings (4-0)
Conference Finals: Chicago Blackhawks (4-1)
Stanley Cup Final: Montreal Canadiens (4-2)

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