Top-seeded ’76-’77 Canadiens Comeback Multiple Times to Take Game 2, 6-5, and Open Up 2-0 Series Lead

Defenseman Larry Robinson (left) tallied three helpers meanwhile fellow Hall of Famer, Guy Lafleur (right), registered a goal and an assist. (via cbssports.com)

The 6th-seeded ’82-’83 Edmonton Oilers never really got going in Game 1. Well, they got going early here in Game 2. Jaroslav Pouzar scored just three minutes and 20 seconds into the game, his seventh of the tournament, to give Edmonton their first lead of the Ultimate NHL Playoff Final. Then, after just 42 seconds, defenseman Paul Coffey scored his fifth of the tourney to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead. Later in the first, with about four and a half minutes left in the period, Jari Kurri was called for cross-checking and sent the top-seeded ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens to the PP. It took less then 30 seconds for the Habs to capitalize when Steve Shutt scored his 17th to cut the lead down to 2-1. Montreal went back on the PP when Wayne Gretzky was sent off for cross-checking, as well, with just over two minutes remaining in the period. This time, it took almost the full PP before the Canadiens capitalized as Guy Lafleur potted his 13th to tie the game with just seven seconds left in the opening frame.

Early on in the second period, the Oilers were given their first PP of the game after defenseman Serge Savard was given a two-minute minor for high-sticking. Kurri made up for his earlier penalty by scoring just 41 seconds into their PP to give Edmonton the lead again. However, with just under three minutes left, the Canadiens were given another PP when defenseman Lee Fogolin Jr. was called for a cross-check. Again, Montreal took advantage as this time, Pete Mahovlich notched his sixth of the tourney. The game remained tied 3-3 going into the third period. The Habs took their first lead of the game a little over a minute into the third courtesy of Yvan Cournoyer, his 12th. However, five and a half minutes later, Mark Messier notted it back up for Edmonton with his 17th. Eight minutes later Rejean Houle scored his third of the Final and sixth of the tournament to give Montreal the lead again and they took their first multiple goal lead 30 seconds later when defenseman Guy Lapointe scored his 12th for a 6-4 lead. Just about a minute later, Gretzky scored his 28th to cut the lead down to one for Edmonton with just about three and a half minutes left. However, Ken Dryden, who did not have a good game, and the Canadiens’ defense were able to keep the Oilers at bay to hold on for a 6-5 win and a 2-0 series lead.  Continue reading

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Top-seeded ’76-’77 Canadiens Easily Take Game 1 Over 6th-seeded ’82-’83 Oilers w/6-2 Win

Guy Lapointe was named First Star in Game 1 for his goal and two assists in Montreal’s 6-2 win. (via rds.ca)

The top-seeded ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens continued their pattern of scoring early goals with a goal from defenseman Guy Lapointe, his 11th, just over three minutes into Game 1. The first period ended with that scoreline despite the Habs outshooting the 6th-seeded ’82-’83 Edmonton Oilers 16-4. Edmonton goalie Andy Moog was very busy, clearly, but was keeping the game close, but that would not last in the second period. Rejean Houle finally broke through Moog with his fourth of the tournament eleven minutes into the middle frame. That would be the start of the breaching of the floodgates. Exactly at the 12 minute mark, Mark Messier was sent off for high-sticking. Guy Lafleur responded for Montreal on the resulting PP with his 12 of the tournament to open up a 3-0 lead.

Edmonton got on the board with two and a half minutes remaining in the second period when Pat Hughes scored his sixth. However, about 30 seconds later, the Canadiens reinstated their three-goal lead when Mario Tremblay potted his fifth. That 4-1 scoreline carried over into the third period with Montreal holding a 34-13 shot advantage through those two periods. The Oilers got a big opportunity early in the third to cut the lead in half when Doug Risebrough was called for holding, but the Canadiens’ PK did not break. Then, almost nine minutes into the period, Houle potted his second goal of the game to make it 5-1 and thus ended the night for Andy Moog as he was pulled for backup Grant Fuhr. It was the first time this tournament that Moog was pulled from a game. Montreal added one more just two minutes later through Murray Wilson to make it 6-1 and Messier slammed home a rebound for his 16th of the tournament for the 6-2 final. Continue reading

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

Logos via sportslogos.net

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: Continue reading

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Skater and Goalie Stat Leaders after the Semifinal Round

Skater stat leaders after the Semifinal Round of the tournament:

Goals:

  1. MDA – RW – Teemu Selanne – 27   (in 19 GP)
  2. EDM – C – Wayne Gretzky – 27   (in 20 GP)
  3. BUF – C – Gilbert Perreault – 19   (in 15 GP)
  4. EDM – RW – Glenn Anderson – 18   (in 20 GP)
  5. BUF – LW – Rick Martin – 17   (in 15 GP)

Assists:

  1. EDM – C – Wayne Gretzky – 35   (in 20 GP)
  2. MDA – C – Andy McDonald – 34   (in 19 GP)
  3. MDA – D – Scott Niedermayer – 30   (in 19 GP)
  4. EDM – RW – Glenn Anderson – 30   (in 20 GP)
  5. BUF – D – Jim Schoenfeld – 27   (in 15 GP)

Points:

  1. EDM – C – Wayne Gretzky – 62   (in 20 GP)
  2. MDA – C – Andy McDonald – 50   (in 19 GP)
  3. EDM – RW – Glenn Anderson – 48   (in 20 GP)
  4. MDA – RW – Teemu Selanne – 46   (in 19 GP)
  5. BUF – C – Gilbert Perreault – 41   (in 15 GP)

Plus/Minus:

  1. MTL – D – Guy Lapointe – +35   (in 17 GP)
  2. BUF – D – Jim Schoenfeld – +34   (in 15 GP)
  3. BUF – RW – Danny Gare/BUF – C – Gilbert Perreault/BUF – D – John Van Boxmeer – +31   (in 15 GP)
  4. MDA – C – Andy McDonald/MDA – RW – Teemu Selanne – +31   (in 19 GP)
  5. MTL – D – Larry Robinson – +30   (in 17 GP)

Shots:

  1. EDM – C – Wayne Gretzky – 163   (in 20 GP)
  2. COL – RW – Claude Lemieux – 146   (in 22 GP)
  3. MDA – RW – Teemu Selanne – 145   (in 19 GP)
  4. EDM – RW – Glenn Anderson – 137   (in 20 GP)
  5. EDM – C – Mark Messier – 135   (in 20 GP)

Game-winning goals:

  1. VAN – C – Ryan Kesler – 5   (in 14 GP)
  2. EDM – C – Mark Messier – 5   (in 20 GP)
  3. MTL – C – Pete Mahovlich – 4   (in 17 GP)
  4. SJS – LW – Dany Heatley – 4   (in 19 GP)
  5. EDM – C – Wayne Gretzky – 4   (in 20 GP)

Penalties in minutes:

  1. COL – LW – Chris Simon – 61   (in 22 GP; includes three ejections)
  2. PHI – D – Glen Cochrane – 60   (in 18 GP; includes four ejections)
  3. WSH – D – Scott Stevens – 50   (in 15 GP; includes two ejections)
  4. HAR – RW – Kevin Dineen – 33   (in 17 GP; includes one ejection)
  5. EDM – D – Ken Linseman – 33   (in 20 GP; includes one ejection)

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):

  1. EDM – C – Wayne Gretzky – 32   (in 20 GP)
  2. MDA – C – Andy McDonald/MDA – RW – Teemu Selanne – 26   (in 26 GP)
  3. PHX – G – Mike Smith – 21   (in 16 GP)
  4. PHI – LW – Brian Propp – 21   (in 22 GP)
  5. MTL – D – Guy Lapointe – 20   (in 17 GP)

Goalie stat leaders after the Semifinal Round of tournament:

Goals against average:

  1. LAK – Rogie Vachon – 1.67   (in 15 GP)
  2. MTL – Ken Dryden – 2.00   (in 17 GP)
  3. VAN – Roberto Luongo – 2.57   (in 14 GP)
  4. CHI – Corey Crawford – 2.58   (in 12 GP)
  5. BUF – Don Edwards – 2.60   (in 15 GP)

Save percentage:

  1. CLE – Gilles Meloche – .948%   (in 5 GP)
  2. LAK – Rogie Vachon – .936%   (in 15 GP)
  3. CAR – Cam Ward – .930%   (in 9 GP)
  4. SLE – Bill Beveridge – .929%   (in 4 GP)
  5. CBJ – Steve Mason – .928%   (in 6 GP)

Shutouts:

  1. LAK – Rogie Vachon – 3   (in 15 GP)
  2. MTL – Ken Dryden – 2   (in 13 GP)
  3. STL – Mike Liut – 1   (in 8 GP)
  4. MNS – Cesare Maniago/FLA – Mike Vernon – 1   (in 9 GP)
  5. CGY – Mike Vernon – 1   (in 10 GP)

Star Points among goalies only(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):

  1. PHX – Mike Smith – 21   (in 16 GP)
  2. LAK – Rogie Vachon – 15   (in 15 GP)
  3. PHI – Pelle Lindbergh – 14   (in 22 GP)
  4. HAR – Mike Liut – 13   (in 17 GP)
  5. CAR – Cam Ward – 12   (in 9 GP)

Up next will be a preview post for the Third Annual Ultimate NHL Playoff Final round and then after that, it’s time for Game 1!

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Semifinal Round Recap and Team Stat Leaders after Five Rounds

Let’s do the sweep first. The top-seeded ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens clinched yet another trip to the Ultimate NHL Playoff Final and this time by sweeping the 12th-seeded ’84-’85 Philadelphia Flyers. Game 1 was decided in overtime with Pete Mahovlich scoring the OT-winner. The rest of the series went off without a hitch for Les Habs. The closest margin of victory of the next three games was three (twice). The two Guy’s led the way offensively for Montreal in the series, Guy Lafleur and Guy Lapointe. Meanwhile, there weren’t too many PP opportunities in the four games, but both team’s were very good with the man advantage. The Flyers went 2-for-4 while the Canadiens went 6-for-7.

Meanwhile, the other Semifinal went the distance. The 6th-seeded ’82-’83 Edmonton Oilers were finally able to dispatch the 15th-seeded ’95-’96 Colorado Avalanche with an 8-5 win in Game 7. In terms of shots and chances, the two sides were not that far off as Edmonton only out shot Colorado on average by three shots per game. However, it was goaltending that was the Avalanche’s downfall. Goalie Patrick Roy has struggled in this tournament as a whole, which is surprising, but had an especially hard time in this series. Granted the opposition that kind of explains it, but his .868 save percentage over the seven games is dreadful. When Edmonton won in this series, it was by at least three goals every time, but whenever Colorado won, it was one-goal margin each time.

Now, here are the team stat leaders through the Semifinal Round:

Goals per game:

  1. ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres – 5.60   (84 in 15 GP)
  2. ’82-’83 Edmonton Oilers – 5.40   (108 in 20 GP)
  3. ’05-’06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim – 5.21   (99 in 19 GP)
  4. ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens – 5.12   (87 in 17 GP)
  5. ’80-’81 St. Louis Blues – 4.88   (39 in 8 GP)

Goals allowed per game:

  1. ’74-’75 Los Angeles Kings – 1.67   (25 in 15 GP)
  2. ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens – 2.00   (34 in 17 GP)
  3. ’12-’13 Chicago Blackhawks – 2.50   (30 in 12 GP)
  4. ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres – 2.60   (39 in 15 GP)
  5. ’02-’03 Dallas Stars – 2.73   (30 in 11 GP)

Shots per game:

  1. ’80-’81 St. Louis Blues – 49.6   (397 in 8 GP)
  2. ’07-’08 Detroit Red Wings – 48.3   (290 in 6 GP)
  3. ’05-’06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim – 47.7   (906 in 19 GP)
  4. ’88-’89 Calgary Flames – 47.2   (472 in 10 GP)
  5. ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres – 46.1   (691 in 15 GP)

Shots allowed per game:

  1. ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens – 23.1   (393 in 13 GP)
  2. ’74-’75 Los Angeles Kings – 25.9   (389 in 15 GP)
  3. ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres – 27.6   (414 in 15 GP)
  4. ’71-’72 New York Rangers – 30.9   (495 in 16 GP)
  5. ’70-’71 Boston Bruins – 31.2   (187 in 6 GP)

Power play efficiency:

  1. ’05-’06 Ottawa Senators – 50.0%   (9-for-18 in 11 GP)
  2. ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens – 44.0%   (11-for-25 in 17 GP)
  3. ’82-’83 Edmonton Oilers – 40.5%   (17-for-42 in 20 GP)
  4. ’05-’06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim – 33.3%   (13-for-39 in 19 GP)
  5. ’75-’76 California Golden Seals – 33.3%   (4-for-12 in 5 GP)

Penalty kill efficiency:

  1. ’12-’13 Chicago Blackhawks – 100.0%   (9-for-9 in 12 GP)
  2. ’83-’84 Quebec Nordiques – 94.4%   (17-for-18 in 7 GP)
  3. ’02-’03 Dallas Stars – 92.9%   (13-for-14 in 11 GP)
  4. ’82-’83 Edmonton Oilers – 90.9%   (40-for-44 in 20 GP)
  5. ’95-’96 Colorado Avalanche – 88.6%   (39-for-44 in 22 GP)

There you have it as far as the stat leaders among overall teams. I’m now gonna work on a post for skater and goalie stat leaders and have that posted shortly.

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