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Greatest NHL Teams

Stanley Cup Champions 1990-1999

New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings each end historic droughts

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1990 saw the last gasp of the Edmonton Oilers' dynasty, as they won their fifth championship in seven years. Four years later, the captain of that team, Mark Messier, scored the goal that ended the New York Rangers' 54-year drought, the longest in League history. By the end of an eventful decade, a host of future Hall of Famers had led the Pittsburgh Penguins to two titles, the New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche announced their arrival among the NHL's elite teams with their first Stanley Cup wins and Detroit left the "Dead Things" era behind with consecutive championships, an accomplishment that has yet to be repeated.

 

1990 Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers captured their fifth Stanley Cup in seven years and first since trading Wayne Gretzky in 1988, defeating the Boston for their second Stanley Cup triumph over the Bruins in three seasons. The two teams battled for 55:13 of overtime in Game 1 at Boston Garden before Edmonton's Petr Klima ended the marathon encounter with the game-winner. It represented the longest overtime in Stanley Cup Final history, edging the previous mark of 53:50 set in Game 3 of the 1931 series between the Chicago Black Hawks and Montreal Canadiens. Goaltender Bill Ranford, who posted all 16 Oilers victories in the postseason, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Seven players - Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr, Randy Gregg, Charlie Huddy, Jari Kurri, Kevin Lowe and Mark Messier - won their fifth Stanley Cup as members of the Oilers.

Video: 1990 Cup Final, Gm1: Klima ends longest Cup game

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Mark Messier
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Bill Ranford
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Craig Simpson (9:31, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: John Muckler
General Manager: Glen Sather

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Jari Kurri RW
Mark Messier C
Craig Simpson  LW
Steve Smith  D
Bill Ranford G

ROAD TO THE CUP

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

 

1991 Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins survived an elimination game at New Jersey in their first-round series and went on to capture their first Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh center Mario Lemieux, despite missing one game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Minnesota North Stars due to a back injury, recorded 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in five games to lead all scorers. His overall playoff performance earned him Conn Smythe Trophy honors. Penguins defenseman Larry Murphy tallied 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in six games, the second highest total for a defenseman in Stanley Cup Final history. Four Pittsburgh players -- Bryan Trottier, Paul Coffey, Joe Mullen and Jiri Hrdina -- won a Stanley Cup championship with their second team. Trottier won four previous titles with the New York Islanders, Coffey captured three with Edmonton, while Mullen and Hrdina were members of the 1989 Stanley Cup-champion Calgary Flames.

Video: 1991 Cup Final, Gm2: Lemieux's brilliant goal

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Mario Lemieux
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Mario Lemieux
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Ulf Samuelsson (2:00, 1st Period, Game 6)
Head Coach: Bob Johnson
General Manager: Craig Patrick 

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Mario Lemieux  C
Mark Recchi RW
Kevin Stevens  LW
Larry Murphy  D
Tom Barrasso G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: New Jersey Devils (4-3)
Division Finals: Washington Capitals (4-1)
Conference Finals: Boston Bruins (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Minnesota North Stars (4-2)

 

1992 Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins won their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship with a sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks, who were making their first appearance in the Final since 1973. The Penguins and Blackhawks each had an 11-game winning streak in the 1992 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tied with the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens for the longest in one postseason in NHL history. Chicago's streak spanned the first three rounds; Pittsburgh won its last 11 games to repeat as champion. The Penguins ended the Blackhawks' streak with a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the Final. Mario Lemieux, who had 34 points (16 goals, 18 assists) in 15 games for Pittsburgh, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for the second straight year, becoming the second player in League history to accomplish the feat (Philadelphia Flyers goalie Bernie Parent, 1974 and 1975). The Penguins became the third team to win the Cup in back-to-back seasons with a different coach. Scotty Bowman guided them to the repeat victory after "Badger" Bob Johnson had won in 1991.

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Mario Lemieux
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Mario Lemieux
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Ron Francis (7:59, 3rd Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Scotty Bowman
General Manager: Craig Patrick

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Ron Francis  C
Mario Lemieux  C
Kevin Stevens  LW
Larry Murphy  D
Tom Barrasso G

ROAD TO THE CUP

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

 

1993 Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens claimed their 24th Stanley Cup title, defeating the Los Angeles Kings in an exciting five-game series. The Kings, led by playoff scoring leader Wayne Gretzky, were making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. After dropping the opening game of the series at home, Montreal responded with four straight wins, including three in overtime. The overtime wins capped a record-setting performance for Montreal in extra time. After losing their first overtime game of the playoffs at Quebec in Game 1 of the opening round, the club posted 10 straight wins in extra time, setting playoff records for most OT wins in one season and most consecutive OT wins. Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, posting a 16-4 record and 2.13 goals-against average in 20 games. Roy became the fifth two-time winner of the award, having previously won as a rookie in 1986.

Video: 1993 Cup Final, Gm4: Confident Roy winks at Sandstrom

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Guy Carbonneau
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Patrick Roy
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Kirk Muller (3:51, 2nd Period, Game 5)
Head Coach: Jacques Demers
General Manager: Serge Savard 

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Vincent Damphousse  C
John LeClair  LW
Kirk Muller LW
Eric Desjardins  D
Patrick Roy G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Division Semifinals: Quebec Nordiques (4-2)
Division Finals: Buffalo Sabres (4-0)
Conference Finals: New York Islanders (4-1)
Stanley Cup Final: Los Angeles Kings (4-1)

 

1994 New York Rangers

Stretched to the limit, the New York Rangers ended their 54-year Stanley Cup drought by edging the Vancouver Canucks in a stirring Stanley Cup Final. The Rangers jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, only to see the Canucks storm back with two wins, forcing Game 7 in New York. The Rangers earned a 3-2 win and the Stanley Cup. In the Eastern Conference Final, the Rangers prevailed over the New Jersey Devils 4-3, with three games in the series decided in double overtime. Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch became the first U.S.-born player to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Leetch led all players in scoring during the postseason with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 23 games. Head coach Mike Keenan, in his first season behind the Rangers bench, captured his first Stanley Cup. He had previously made championship series appearances with the Philadelphia Flyers (twice) and Chicago Blackhawks.

Video: 1994 Cup Final, Gm7: Rangers end 54-year Cup drought

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Mark Messier 
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Brian Leetch
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Mark Messier (13:29, 2nd Period, Game 7)
Head Coach: Mike Keenan
General Manager: Neil Smith 

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Adam Graves  LW
Alex Kovalev RW
Mark Messier  C
Brian Leetch  D
Mike Richter G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Conference Quarterfinals: New York Islanders (4-0)
Conference Semifinals: Washington Capitals (4-1)
Conference Finals: New Jersey Devils (4-3)
Stanley Cup Final: Vancouver Canucks (4-3)

 

1995 New Jersey Devils

Bouncing back from a heartbreaking playoff elimination by the rival New York Rangers in the Conference Finals the year before, the New Jersey Devils captured their first Stanley Cup behind the stellar goaltending of Martin Brodeur and the timely scoring of Claude Lemieux. New Jersey dropped just four games in the opening three rounds, including a pair to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Final, and upset the favored Detroit Red Wings in four straight games in the Final. Lemieux, who scored only six times in the regular season, erupted for 13 goals in the playoffs and also won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Neal Broten, a 14-year veteran acquired by New Jersey late in the season from Dallas, notched four game-winning goals for the champions. Devils coach Jacques Lemaire, who won eight Stanley Cup rings as a player, became the fourth individual to score a Stanley Cup-winning goal and coach a Cup-winning team.

Video: 1995 Cup Final, Gm2: Niedermayer goes end-to-end

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Scott Stevens
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Claude Lemieux
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Neal Broten (7:56, 2nd Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Jacques Lemaire
General Manager: Lou Lamoriello

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Neal Broten C
Claude Lemieux  RW
Stephane Richer  RW
Scott Niedermayer  D
Martin Brodeur G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Conference Quarterfinals: Boston Bruins (4-1)
Conference Semifinals: Pittsburgh Penguins (4-1)
Conference Finals: Philadelphia Flyers (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Detroit Red Wings (4-0)

 

1996 Colorado Avalanche

Led by the scoring flash of Joe Sakic, Valeri Kamensky and Peter Forsberg, backed up by a solid defense and the stellar goaltending of Patrick Roy, the Colorado Avalanche became Stanley Cup champions in their first season in the Mile High City after moving west from Quebec. The Stanley Cup-winning goal came from an unlikely source, defenseman Uwe Krupp, whose goal at 4:31 of the third overtime period capped a four-game sweep over the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final. Colorado had reached the Final with victories over Vancouver and Chicago before defeating a Detroit Red Wings team that had posted 131 points during the regular season -- the second-highest total in NHL history -- in the Western Conference Final. Sakic led all playoff scorers with 18 goals and 34 points and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, while Roy posted a 16-6 record and 2.10 goals-against average.

Video: 1996 Cup Final, Gm4: Krupp's 3OT goal sweeps Panthers

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Joe Sakic
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Joe Sakic
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Uwe Krupp (4:31, 3OT, Game 4)
Head Coach: Marc Crawford
General Manager: Pierre Lacroix 

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Peter Forsberg C
Valeri Kamensky LW
Joe Sakic C
Sandis Ozolinsh  D
Patrick Roy G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Conference Quarterfinals: Vancouver Canucks (4-2)
Conference Semifinals: Chicago Blackhawks (4-2)
Conference Finals: Detroit Red Wings (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Florida Panthers (4-0)

 

1997 Detroit Red Wings

Launching a celebration 42 years in the making, Darren McCarty scored the highlight-reel, Stanley Cup-winning goal as the Detroit Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup title since 1955 with a four-game final series sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers. Guided behind the bench by all-time coaching wins leader Scotty Bowman and featuring more than a half dozen future Hockey Hall of Famers, the Red Wings had fallen short in previous years on the short list as Cup favorites. As Brendan Shanahan told the Detroit Free Press years later, "People would ask me about the 2002 Cup winner, whether that's the best team. I always say, 'That might be the most talented team I've been on, but if they play a playoff series against the '97 Wings, they better beat them in four (games) because the '97 Wings would have beaten them up.' We were younger. We were meaner. We were a big, tough, mean team."

Video: 1997 Cup Final, Gm4: Wings end 42-year Cup drought

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Steve Yzerman 
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Mike Vernon
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Darren McCarty (13:02, 2nd Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Scotty Bowman
General Manager: Jim Devellano (Senior Vice President, Hockey Operations)

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Sergei Fedorov C
Brendan Shanahan  LW
Steve Yzerman C
Nicklas Lidstrom  D
Mike Vernon G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Conference Quarterfinals: St. Louis Blues (4-2)
Conference Semifinals: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (4-0)
Conference Finals: Colorado Avalanche (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Philadelphia Flyers (4-0)

 

1998 Detroit Red Wings

With a four-game sweep of the Washington Capitals, the Detroit Red Wings became the first team since the Pittsburgh Penguins (1991 and 1992) -- and the most recent -- to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. The Red Wings were led by Steve Yzerman, who became just the fifth player to receive the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs while captain of his team. Scotty Bowman equaled Toe Blake's NHL record of eight Stanley Cup coaching victories. Despite the four-game sweep in the Final, Detroit did not have a smooth road to the Cup, as they played six games in each of the three series leading up to the Stanley Cup Final. Overall, the team had equal success at home and on the road, posting identical 8-3 records. A total of 10 Red Wing players contributed the 16 game-winning goals scored en route to the Stanley Cup.

Video: 1998 Cup Final, Gm4: Red Wings go back-to-back Cups

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Steve Yzerman 
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Steve Yzerman
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Martin Lapointe (2:26, 2nd Period, Game 4)
Head Coach: Scotty Bowman
General Manager: Ken Holland 

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Sergei Fedorov C
Tomas Holmstrom LW
Steve Yzerman C
Nicklas Lidstrom D
Chris Osgood  G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Conference Quarterfinals: Phoenix Coyotes (4-2)
Conference Semifinals: St. Louis Blues (4-2)
Conference Finals: Dallas Stars (4-2)
Stanley Cup Final: Washington Capitals (4-0)

 

1999 Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup after winning the Presidents' Trophy as the top regular-season club for the second year in a row. The Stars won the first Cup title in franchise history by beating the Buffalo Sabres in a hard-fought series that marked the first time since 1994 that the Stanley Cup Final had not ended in a sweep. Dallas took the series in six games, with Brett Hull scoring the winning goal at 14:51 of the third overtime session. The second-longest game in the history of the Stanley Cup Final ended at 1:30 a.m. local time in Buffalo. The Stars were led by Joe Nieuwendyk, who paced all playoff performers with 11 goals and also won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Mike Modano's 18 assists were tops in the playoffs, while goaltender Ed Belfour outperformed Buffalo's Dominik Hasek in the Stanley Cup Final after besting Colorado's Patrick Roy in the Western Conference Final.

Video: 1999 Cup Final, Gm6: Brett Hull's triple OT GWG

KEY COMPONENTS

Captain: Derian Hatcher
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Joe Nieuwendyk
Stanley Cup-Winning Goal: Brett Hull (14:51, 3OT, Game 6)
Head Coach: Ken Hitchcock
General Manager: Bob Gainey 

NOTABLE PLAYERS

Brett Hull RW
Mike Modano C
Joe Nieuwendyk C
Sergei Zubov D
Ed Belfour G

ROAD TO THE CUP

Conference Quarterfinals: Edmonton Oilers (4-0)
Conference Semifinals: St. Louis Blues (4-2)
Conference Finals: Colorado Avalanche (4-3)
Stanley Cup Final: Buffalo Sabres (4-2)

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