Team Recap: 29th-Seeded ’85-’86 Hartford Whalers

The #29 seed in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the '85-'86 Hartford Whalers!

The #29 seed in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the ’85-’86 Hartford Whalers!

Yeah, that’s one of the best damn logos the NHL has ever seen.

  • John Anderson (RW)
    • 7 GP   6 G   4 A   10 P   +1   40 S   1 GWG   0 PIM   2 Stars
  • Dave Babych (D)
    • 7 GP   6 G   6 A   12 P   +9   44 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   4 Stars
  • Tim Bothwell (D)
    • 7 GP   0 G   1 A   1 P   +4   9 S   0 GWG   6 PIM   0 Stars
  • Bob Crawford (RW)
    • 1 GP   0 G   1 A   1 P   +1   2 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Kevin Dineen (RW)
    • 7 GP   1 G   8 A   9 P   +13   22 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   0 Stars
  • Dean Evason (C)
    • 7 GP   4 G   8 A   12 P   +5   36 S   2 GWG   10 PIM   5 Stars
  • Ray Ferraro (C)
    • 7 GP   6 G   7 A   13 P   +12   21 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   4 Stars
  • Ron Francis (C)
    • 7 GP   1 G   4 A   5 P   +1   16 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Stew Gavin (LW)
    • 7 GP   6 G   5 A   11 P   +12   25 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   4 Stars
  • Scot Kleinendorst (D)
    • 7 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   +10   8 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Paul Lawless (LW)
    • 7 GP   0 G   2 A   2 P   -1   19 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Mike Liut (G)
    • 7 GP   3-4-0   3.57 GAA   .916 SV%   0 SO   3 Stars
  • Greg Malone (C)
    • 6 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   1 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Dana Murzyn (D)
    • 7 GP   0 G   5 A   5 P   +4   8 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Ray Neufeld (RW)
    • 7 GP   3 G   4 A   7 P   +3   44 S   0 GWG   23 PIM   0 Stars
  • Joel Quenneville (D)
    • 7 GP   1 G   7 A   8 P   +4   10 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   1 Stars
  • Torrie Robertson (LW)
    • 7 GP   5 G   2 A   7 P   +7   15 S   0 GWG   15 PIM   0 Stars
  • Ulf Samuelsson (D)
    • 7 GP   0 G   4 A   4 P   +5   10 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Risto Siltanen (D)
    • 6 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   2 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Sylvain Turgeon (LW)
    • 7 GP   3 G   4 A   7 P   Even   37 S   0 GWG   10 PIM   0 Stars

Bold – Team Best

Team Stats:

  • Record: 3-3-1
  • Goals Scored: 35
  • Goals/Game: 5.00*
  • Goals Allowed: 26
  • Goals Allowed/Game: 3.71
  • Shots: 334
  • Shots Allowed: 300
  • Shots/Game: 47.7
  • Shots Allowed/Game: 42.9
  • # of PP’s: 10
  • PPG’s: 1
  • PP%: 10.0%
  • TSH: 18
  • PPGA: 5
  • PK%: 72.2%
  • Penalties in minutes: 85

* – Tournament Best

This is arguably the best team in Hartford Whalers history. They had an interesting matchup in their first round and I thought they would take it. However, that was not the case and if there was a team that deserved to win a series the most that did not it would probably be this Whalers team.

1st Round:

Defeated by 36th-seeded ’12-’13 Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-3 after leading 3-2

The ’85-’86 Hartford Whalers finished with a record of 40-36-4, which was good for 84 points and 4th in the Adams Division, behind the Quebec Nordiques, the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. Under head coach Jack Evans, they were ranked fifth in the league out of 21 teams in goals for with 332 and were 10th in the league in goals against with 302. Hockey Reference ranked Hartford’s strength of schedule at 4th toughest in the league, but their SRS rating system had Hartford as the seventh best team in the league that year. The Whalers swept the regular season division champs, Quebec Nordiques, in the Division Semifinals, but lost in seven games to the Montreal Canadiens in the Division Finals.

This was a very young team. Out of the top ten point scorers on the team, the oldest player was 26 years old. Sylvain Turgeon led the team in points with 79 in 76 games played at the tender age of 21. Fellow 21-year-old Ray Ferraro and 22-year-old Ron Francis were tied for second on the team in points with 77. Kevin Dineen, also 22-years-old, was third on the team in points with 68. Turgeon also led the team in goals with 45. Dineen was second in goals with 33 and Ferraro was third with 30. Francis posted a team high 53 assists and Ferraro was second with 47. Defenseman Dave Babych was third on the team in assists with 43. Current head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel Quenneville, posted a team-best +21 plus/minus rating. John Anderson was second on the team in plus/minus with a +18 and Dineen was third with a +16. Mike Liut was the team’s starting goaltender. He appeared in 57 games and posted a 3.62 goals against average and a .874 save percentage with two shutouts. Liut really stepped up his play in the playoffs and posted a 1.90 GAA and a .938 SV% in eight playoff games.

Up next is the #30 seed, the ’11-’12 Phoenix Coyotes!

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