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1968-69 NHL season

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The 1968-69 NHL season was the 52nd season of the National Hockey League. Twelve teams each played 76 games (two more than in 1967-68). For the second time in a row, the Montreal Canadiens faced the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup finals. Montreal won for their second Stanley Cup in a row as they swept the Blues in four, which was the exact same result of the previous season.

Regular seasonEdit

Prior to this season no player had ever achieved 100 points in a season. This season saw not just one player reach 100, but three. The Boston Bruins' Phil Esposito led the way with 49 goals, 77 assists for an astounding new record of 126 points. Bobby Hull of Chicago set a new record for goals with 58 and came in second in overall scoring with 107. Forty-one year old Gordie Howe came in third with 103 points.

Red Berenson of St. Louis tied an NHL record, scoring six goals for the Blues in an 8-0 conquest of the Philadelphia Flyers November 7th. Doug Favell was the victim of the goals.

Despite finishing last in the West Division, Minnesota came up with a fine rookie left wing in Danny Grant, who tied Nels Stewart's record for most goals by a rookie with 34. Norm Ferguson of Oakland also tied the mark with 34.

On December 21st, with Gump Worsley out because of a nervous breakdown and Rogie Vachon out with a broken hand, rookie goaltender Tony Esposito of the Canadiens and Gerry Cheevers of the Bruins hooked up in a classic scoreless tie. Esposito made 41 saves, many of the stellar variety, against Johnny McKenzie, Fred Stanfield, Ron Murphy and big brother Phil. Cheevers made 34 saves, including breakaways by Henri Richard and Bobby Rousseau, and a labeled backhand by Jean Beliveau on a three on one break.

Los Angeles introduced a fine rookie goaltender named Gerry Desjardins who did a fine job for the ailing Wayne Rutledge, who was bothered by a groin injuries most of the season. Desjardins recorded 4 shutouts during the season in helping the Kings make the playoffs and win their first round series over Oakland.

On March 2nd, Phil Esposito became the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season in a 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In March 20th's Boston-Chicago game, two milestones were accomplished. Bobby Hull broke his own record for goals with his 55th goal, and Bobby Orr broke Flash Hollett's record for goals by a defenceman with his 21rst goal. The game ended in a 5-5 tie.

Final standingsEdit

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold

East Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Montreal Canadiens 76 46 19 11 103 271 202 780
Boston Bruins 76 42 18 16 100 303 221 1297
New York Rangers 76 41 26 9 91 231 196 806
Toronto Maple Leafs 76 35 26 15 85 234 217 961
Detroit Red Wings 76 33 31 12 78 239 221 885
Chicago Black Hawks 76 34 33 9 77 280 246 842
West Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
St. Louis Blues 76 37 25 14 88 204 157 838
Oakland Seals 76 29 36 11 69 219 251 811
Philadelphia Flyers 76 20 35 21 61 174 225 964
Los Angeles Kings 76 24 42 10 58 185 260 698
Pittsburgh Penguins 76 20 45 11 51 189 252 677
Minnesota North Stars 76 18 43 15 51 189 270 862

Scoring leadersEdit

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player Team GP G A PTS PIM
Phil Esposito Boston Bruins 74 49 77 126 79
Bobby Hull Chicago Black Hawks 74 58 49 107 48
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 76 44 59 103 58
Stan Mikita Chicago Black Hawks 74 30 67 97 52
Ken Hodge Boston Bruins 75 45 45 90 75
Yvan Cournoyer Montreal Canadiens 76 43 44 87 31
Alex Delvecchio Detroit Red Wings 72 25 58 83 8
Red Berenson St. Louis Blues 76 35 47 82 43
Frank Mahovlich Detroit Red Wings 76 49 29 78 38
Jean Ratelle New York Rangers 76 32 46 78 26

Leading goaltendersEdit

Stanley Cup playoffsEdit

Playoff bracketEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  1  Montreal Canadiens 4  
3  New York Rangers 0  
  1  Montreal Canadiens 4  
East Division
  2  Boston Bruins 2  
2  Boston Bruins 4
  4  Toronto Maple Leafs 0  
    E1  Montreal Canadiens 4
  W1  St. Louis Blues 0
  1  St. Louis Blues 4  
3  Philadelphia Flyers 0  
1  St. Louis Blues 4
West Division
  4  Los Angeles Kings 0  
2  Oakland Seals 3
  4  Los Angeles Kings 4  

NHL awardsEdit

Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl: St. Louis Blues
Art Ross Memorial Trophy: Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Ted Hampson, Oakland Seals
Calder Memorial Trophy: Danny Grant, Minnesota North Stars
Conn Smythe Trophy: Serge Savard, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Memorial Trophy: Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Alex Delvecchio, Detroit Red Wings
NHL Plus/Minus Award: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy: Glenn Hall & Jacques Plante, St. Louis Blues
Lester Patrick Trophy: Robert M. Hull

All-Star teamsEdit

First Team   Position   Second Team
Glenn Hall, St. Louis Blues G Ed Giacomin, New York Rangers
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins D Ted Green, Boston Bruins
Tim Horton, Toronto Maple Leafs D Ted Harris, Montreal Canadiens
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins C Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings RW Yvan Cournoyer, Montreal Canadiens
Bobby Hull, Chicago Blackhawks LW Frank Mahovlich, Detroit Red Wings


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1968-69 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last gamesEdit

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1968-69 (listed with their last team):

See also Edit


NHL seasons

1964-65 | 1965-66 | 1966-67 | 1967-68 | 1968-69 | 1969-70 | 1970-71 | 1971-72 | 1972-73

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