Preview of the Third Annual Ultimate NHL Playoff Final: Top-seeded ’76-’77 Canadiens vs. 6th-seeded ’82-’83 Oilers

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Last year, the ’78-’79 Montreal Canadiens dropped the ’84-’85 Edmonton Oilers in a dramatic seven-game series. Now the two franchises meet again in the Ultimate NHL Playoff Final as the top-seeded ’76-’77 Canadiens face the 6th-seeded ’82-’83 Oilers. Let’s take a look at how these two teams got here:

Montreal normally has a fairly easy time getting to the Final. That was certainly the case this year as they lost only one game in this tournament so far. That was back in the Third Round when they eliminated the 16th-seeded ’02-’03 Dallas Stars in five games. They have swept every other series. Their tournament began with a sweep pf the 32nd-seeded ’84-’85 Winnipeg Jets. Then, after dispatching of the Stars, they faced the 25th-seeded ’09-’10 San Jose Sharks in the Quarterfinal, which, of course, was a sweep. That set up their second consecutive Semifinal matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers franchise. This time it was the 12th-seeded ’84-’85 Flyers, who fared worse than the previous year’s representative. Now, the Habs are here again. The Montreal franchise have won the first two UNP’s and are the favorite to win the third.

The Oilers had a little more difficult of a run to the Final. However, they also began their tournament with a sweep. They faced the 27th-seeded ’99-’00 Florida Panthers in the Second Round and dispatched them in four games. Then, in the Second Round, Edmonton faced a UNP debutant in the 22nd-seeded ’09-’10 Vancouver Canucks. Game 1 of that series was a blowout with a margin of victory of 10, but the rest of the games were much closer. However, the Oilers eliminated the Canucks in only five games. They continued their run with a sweep of the 19th-seeded ’05-’06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the Quarterfinal. That series also featured a dominant Game 1 win by Edmonton, but much closer outcomes in Game’s 2, 3 and 4. The Oilers then faced the same franchise, the Colorado Avalanche, in the Semifinal as they did last year. This year it was the ’95-’96 Avalanche. The home team won every game of that series and the Oilers finally clinched their spot here with an 8-5 win in Game 7.

Here are how the two teams stack up stat-wise:

#1 ‘76-’77 Canadiens

#6 ‘82-’83 Oilers

17

Games Played

20

87

Goals

108

5.12

Goals/Game

5.40

34

Goals Allowed

64

2.00

Goals Allowed/Game

3.20

718

Shots

893

393

Shots Allowed

727

42.2

Shots/Game

44.7

23.1

Shots Allowed/Game

36.4

25

PP’s

42

11

PPG’s

17

44.0%

PP%

40.5%

20

TSH

44

7

PPG Allowed

4

65.0%

PK%

90.9%

54

PIM

133

Now let’s take a look at the stat leaders for each team:

Montreal:

  • Goals – Steve Shutt (16)
  • Assists – Larry Robinson (27)
  • Points – Guy Lapointe (35)
  • +/- – Guy Lapointe (+35)
  • Shots – Guy Lapointe (126)
  • GWG – Pete Mahovlich (4)
  • PIM – Pierre Bouchard (10)
  • Star Points (3 points for being 1st star of a game, 2 points for being 2nd star of a game, 1 point for being 3rd star of a game) – Guy Lapointe (20)
  • G – Ken Dryden – 16-0-1   2.00 GAA   .913 SV%   2 SO

Edmonton:

  • Goals – Wayne Gretzky (27)
  • Assists – Wayne Gretzky (35)
  • Points – Wayne Gretzky (62)
  • +/- – Wayne Gretzky (+24)
  • Shots – Wayne Gretzky (163)
  • GWG – Mark Messier (5)
  • PIM – Ken Linseman (33)
  • Star Points (3 points for being 1st star of a game, 2 points for being 2nd star of a game, 1 point for being 3rd star of a game) – Wayne Gretzky (32)
  • G – Andy Moog – 16-4-0   3.20 GAA   .913 SV%   0 SO

Game 1 takes place Monday night!

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