Team Recap: 27th-Seeded ’79-’80 Minnesota North Stars

The #27 seed in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the '79-'80 Minnesota North Stars.

The #27 seed in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the ’79-’80 Minnesota North Stars.

  • Kent-Erik Andersson (RW)
    • 10 GP   3 G   1 A   4 P   Even   17 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Fred Barrett (D)
    • 10 GP   0 G   2 A   2 P   Even   12 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Per-Olov Brasar (LW)
    • 10 GP   1 G   2 A   3 P   +3   16 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Steve Christoff (C)
    • 10 GP   2 G   1 A   3 P   -3  16 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Mike Fidler (LW)
    • 10 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   3 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Dave Hanson (D)
    • 10 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   1 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Craig Hartsburg (D)
    • 10 GP   1 G   5 A   6 P   +4   32 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Al MacAdam (RW)
    • 10 GP   6 G   7 A   13 P   +8   36 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   2 Stars
  • Brad Maxwell (D)
    • 10 GP   3 G   9 A   12 P   +2   26 S   1 GWG   12 PIM   3 Stars
  • Tom McCarthy (LW)
    • 10 GP   6 G   4 A   10 P   -4   37 S   1 GWG   0 PIM   3 Stars
  • Gilles Meloche (G)
    • 10 GP   4-5-1   3.40 GAA   .903 SV%   1 SO   5 Stars
  • Steve Payne (LW)
    • 10 GP   5 G   6 A   11 P   +8   31 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   4 Stars
  • Gary Sargent (D)
    • 10 GP   1 G   3 A   4 P   +4   22 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Glen Sharpley (C)
    • 10 GP   3 G   5 A   8 P   Even   28 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   1 Stars
  • Paul Shmyr (D)
    • 10 GP   1 G   2 A   3 P   +3   16 S   1 GWG   4 PIM   0 Stars
  • Bobby Smith (C)
    • 10 GP   4 G   12 A   16 P   +8   38 S   1 GWG   0 PIM   5 Stars
  • Greg Smith (D)
    • 10 GP   1 G   4 A   5 P   +1   21 S   0 GWG   12 PIM   0 Stars
  • Tim Young (C)
    • 10 GP   5 G   4 A   9 P   +2   36 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   1 Stars
  • Tom Younghans (RW)
    • 6 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   0 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Ron Zanussi (RW)
    • 10 GP   0 G   9 A   9 P   -2   37 S   0 GWG   14 PIM   2 Stars

Bold – Team Best

Team Stats:

  • Record: 4-5-1
  • Goals Scored: 42
  • Goals/Game: 4.20
  • Goals Allowed: 34
  • Goals Allowed/Game: 3.40
  • Shots: 425
  • Shots Allowed: 356
  • Shots/Game: 42.5
  • Shots Allowed/Game: 35.6
  • # of PP’s: 10
  • PPG’s: 3
  • PP%: 30.0%
  • TSH: 22
  • PPGA: 2
  • PK%: 90.9%
  • Penalties in minutes: 40

Honestly, I didn’t know much about this franchises time spent in Minnesota. After all, they relocated to Dallas only a little over a year after I was born. However, I knew they were facing a weak opponent in the first round, but would face stiffer competition in the 2nd round.

1st Round:

Defeated 38th-seeded ’75-’76 California Golden Seals, 4-2

2nd Round:

Swept by 6th-seeded ’12-’13 Chicago Blackhawks, 4-0

Under head coach Glen Sonmor, the ’79-’80 Minnesota North Stars posted a record of 36-28-16 in the regular season, which is good for 88 points and 3rd in the Adams Division, behind the Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins. However, they got off to an incredible start by losing only seven games before Christmas. They were ranked fourth out of 21 teams in goals for with 311 and were ranked sixth in goals against with 253. Hockey Reference ranked Minnesota’s strength of schedule at 17th in the league, but their SRS rating system had Minnesota as the fifth best team in the league that year. They began the playoffs by sweeping the Toronto Maple Leafs in three games in the preliminary round. Next, in the Quarterfinals, they defeated the Montreal Canadiens in seven games. Anyone who beats the Canadiens in the playoffs during this era has to be good. The North Stars were making their third appearance in the Semifinals, looking for their first trip to the Final. However, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated them in five games to end their playoff run. They would, however, advance to their first appearance in the Final the following season.

They were a relatively young team with most of their top offensive performers being in their early-to-mid 20s. Al MacAdam led the team in points with 93 in 80 games played. 21-year-olds Steve Payne and Bobby Smith were second and third on the team in points with 85 and 83 points, respectively, with Smith accomplishing it in just 61 games played. MacAdam and Payne were also tied for the team lead in goals with 42 a piece. Center Tim Young was third on the team in goals with 31. They had very good scoring depth, though, with five players reaching at least 20 goals and 12 players reaching double digits in goals. Smith was the teams leader in assists with 56 and MacAdam was second with 51. Payne and Young were tied for third on the team in assists with 43. Payne and MacAdam were first and second on the team in plus/minus with ratings of +37 and +36, respectively. Defenseman Paul Shmyr was third on the team in plus/minus with a rating of +25. Gilles Meloche was the starting goaltender for the North Stars and he posted a 3.06 goals against average over his 54 appearances with just a single shutout. However, goaltending was almost split between Meloche and back up Gary Edwards during their playoff run.

Up next is the #28 seed, the ’09-’10 San Jose Sharks!

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