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1976–77 Colorado Rockies season

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76-77ColRoc
1976–77 Colorado Rockies (NHL) · NHL
Division 5th Smythe
Conference 9th Clarence Campbell
1976–77 record 20–46–14
Goals for 226
Goals against 307
General Manager Ray Miron
Coach John Wilson
Captain Simon Nolet
Team leaders
Goals Wilf Paiement (40)
Assists Wilf Paiement (41)
Points Wilf Paiement (81)
Penalties in minutes Steve Durbano
Wins Michel Plasse (12)
Goals against average Bill McKenzie (2.40)

The 1976–77 Colorado Rockies season was the Rockies' first season. The former Kansas City Scouts relocated in the off-season to Denver.[1] With the World Hockey Association's Denver Spurs leaving Denver in a midnight move to Ottawa, Ontario just about 10 months earlier, Denver would get a franchise and the team would be anointed the Colorado Rockies.[2] The team moved from Kansas City, which was a two-year NHL franchise that struggled from the beginning.[3]

The team took to the ice for their first regular season against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 6, 1976.[3] Rockies goalie Doug Favell played extremely well stopping 39 of the Toronto 41 shots on net. Wilf Paiement notching one goal, two assists and a fight. Rookie Larry Skinner scored the first NHL regular season goal for the franchise.[4] The final score was 4–2.

The team was competitive in the Smythe Division for a major portion of the season. Early in the season, the Rockies picked up wins by either the goon tactics of Steve Durbano, or through the heroic feats of their goalies, Doug Favell and Michel Plasse. Bill McKenzie was also a goalie for the Rockies but only got into five games.[4]

OffseasonEdit

NHL draftEdit

• The draft was held while the franchise was in Kansas City.

Round # Player Nationality College/junior/club team
1 11 Paul Gardner (C) Flag of Canada.svg Canada Oshawa Generals (OHA)

Regular seasonEdit

On some nights, the Rockies could come back from two and three goal deficits to get ties or the occasional win, but then the next night the team would be overmatched by one of the elite teams in the league.

Steve DurbanoEdit

Goonery was a big part of hockey in 1976 and the Rockies goon was Steve Durbano. After losing three in a row, Durbano tried to get the Rockies going with goon tactics. One particular incident included one game against the Blackhawks.

Durbano took out Blackhawk star Stan Mikita behind the Colorado net. Jim Harrison of the Blackhawks came off the bench to get after Durbano, who was already at the Rockies bench. A fight began, and Durbano began to drop the mitts. Harrison was kicked out of the game. Rockies coach Johnny Wilson was quick to point out that the Durbano fight inspired the team and a late-game fight between legendary Bobby Orr and Rockie Roger Lemelin helped secure the victory.[4]

The Rockies really gelled as a team after the scrap. Winger Colin Campbell beat Blackhawk goalie Tony Esposito less than one-and-one-half minutes later to cut the Blackhawk lead to 2–1. The next goal was off the stick of Wilf Paiement, his second of the season, to tie the game. Then Gary Croteau scored to stake the Rockies to a 3–2 lead at the end of the second period.[4]

Despite the goonery, Durbano did not last long with the franchise. One of Durbano's last games with the Rockies was against the St. Louis Blues. Again the Rockies were down 2–0 when Durbano tried to change the course of the game. Blues player Bob Plager was involved with interference. This drew an immediate response by Durbano, who retaliated by spearing Plager. Blues player Pierre Plante immediately went after Durbano. The two were eventually separated. As Durbano was being taken to the penalty box by linesman Malcolm Ashford he broke free, grabbed his helmet and fired it at Plager as he was in the penalty box.[4] Durbano was ejected from the game. Reacting to the incident, Paiement scored shorthanded on the resulting Blues power play to cut the Blues lead to 2–1. This would be the final score as the Rockies effort fell just short.

GoaltendingEdit

Teams were launching over 40 and 50 shots on net against Plasse and Favell. After a November game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens, Plasse was noticeably hurt.[4] The Canadiens were blasting the puck towards Plasse all game. One shot off the stick of Canadiens player Murray Wilson put Plasse down in the second period with an arm injury, but the goalie was able to get up and finish the game. The Rockies' forwards were able to come back twice from two-goal deficits to finally tie the game at three a piece with just about nine minutes left in the third. However it was Plasse preserved the tie stand by stopping 47 of 50 shots, 20 in the third period.[4]

Ray MironEdit

A November 2–1 loss to the Cleveland Barons raised the ire of General Manager Ray Miron. During the second intermission, Miron burst into the locker room and said that if the Rockies didn't pull the game out, he was going to call up three minor leaguers and send down three Rockies. Miron kept his word after the 2–1 Rockies loss and called up Mike Kitchen, Paul Gardner and Jim McElmury. Gardner made a quick impact, tallying five goals in his first four NHL games. Kitchen helped shore up the defense. Despite a 5–3 loss to the Bruins, Bruin coach Don Cherry raved that he was "impressed" with the Rockies.[4]

Playoff contentionEdit

The Rockies would be successful in upending divisional rivals the Minnesota North Stars. It took three goals in the third period, including two in the final two minutes, to win the game 4-2. After the game, coach Johnny Wilson was raving for his team. The Rockies had taken over sole possession of third place in the Smythe Division with the win.[4] By February 1, the Rockies had a two-point third-place lead over Minnesota and Vancouver. The Rockies would face the New York Rangers on February 1, and the goaltender Plasse would stop 48 of 50 Ranger shots. His performance would help the Rockies to a 5-2 win. The win extended their third place lead to four points.[4] A February 6 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins saw the Rockies score four unanswered third period goals to win the game 5-2. The Rockies had a former member of the WHA’s Denver Spurs on the club. Ron Delorme, the former Spur, would score the game winner in his first stint with the team. He had been playing with Baltimore in the Southern Hockey League.[4] The Rockies continued to be successful. The club enjoyed an 8-6 win against Minnesota, as it extended their third place margin to five points ahead of them. The Rockies were only five points behind second-place Chicago. On February 16, the Rockies won their fourth game of the season against the Detroit Red Wings. A February 20 triumph against the North Stars would be the last highlight of the season for the club.[4] By March 27, the Rockies were officially out of the playoff hunt. This was attributed to an 18-game winless streak that began on February 22. The goaltending of Doug Favell and Plasse kept the team in contention during many games. A typical night saw the goaltenders facing 50 shots. When the Rockies were based in Kansas City, the Scouts had finished their tenure in Kansas City by only winning one game in their final 44. The winless streak finally stopped in a 6-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks. This was the second-to-the-last game of the season. The Rockies season ended with a loss to the LA Kings.[4]

Final standingsEdit

Smythe Division
GP W L T GF GA PTS
St. Louis Blues 80 32 39 9 239 276 73
Minnesota North Stars 80 23 39 18 240 310 64
Chicago Black Hawks 80 26 43 11 240 298 63
Vancouver Canucks 80 25 42 13 235 294 63
Colorado Rockies 80 20 46 14 226 307 54

Game logEdit

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1WOctober 54–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 1–0–0
2LOctober 83–5 New York Rangers (1976–77) 1–1–0
3LOctober 91–4 @ Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 1–2–0
4LOctober 132–3 St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 1–3–0
5WOctober 155–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 2–3–0
6LOctober 173–4 @ New York Rangers (1976–77) 2–4–0
7LOctober 201–2 Boston Bruins (1976–77) 2–5–0
8TOctober 223–3 Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 2–5–1
9LOctober 243–5 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 2–6–1
10WOctober 274–2 Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 3–6–1
11LOctober 291–2 Washington Capitals (1976–77) 3–7–1
12LOctober 301–3 @ St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 3–8–1
13LNovember 21–5 New York Islanders (1976–77) 3–9–1
14LNovember 51–4 Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 3–10–1
15WNovember 73–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 4–10–1
16LNovember 101–2 Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 4–11–1
17TNovember 133–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 4–11–2
18LNovember 143–5 @ Boston Bruins (1976–77) 4–12–2
19LNovember 173–6 @ Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 4–13–2
20WNovember 205–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 5–13–2
21LNovember 211–3 @ Washington Capitals (1976–77) 5–14–2
22LNovember 262–4 Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 5–15–2
23TNovember 286–6 Los Angeles Kings (1976–77) 5–15–3
24WNovember 305–3 @ St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 6–15–3
25WDecember 15–3 Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 7–15–3
26WDecember 33–2 Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 8–15–3
27LDecember 53–5 @ Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 8–16–3
28TDecember 83–3 @ Los Angeles Kings (1976–77) 8–16–4
29TDecember 114–4 @ Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 8–16–5
30LDecember 152–8 Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 8–17–5
31LDecember 182–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 8–18–5
32LDecember 193–4 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 8–19–5
33LDecember 221–2 St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 8–20–5
34LDecember 263–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 8–21–5
35LDecember 272–6 @ Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 8–22–5
36WDecember 293–1 Washington Capitals (1976–77) 9–22–5
37TDecember 312–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 9–22–6
38WJanuary 26–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 10–22–6
39LJanuary 54–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 10–23–6
40TJanuary 74–4 New York Rangers (1976–77) 10–23–7
41LJanuary 110–6 Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 10–24–7
42WJanuary 134–2 Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 11–24–7
43LJanuary 152–5 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 11–25–7
44LJanuary 160–3 @ Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 11–26–7
45TJanuary 187–7 Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 11–26–8
46WJanuary 203–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 12–26–8
47LJanuary 221–2 @ St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 12–27–8
48LJanuary 231–7 New York Islanders (1976–77) 12–28–8
49WJanuary 276–4 @ Boston Bruins (1976–77) 13–28–8
50TJanuary 283–3 @ Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 13–28–9
51WJanuary 304–2 Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 14–28–9
52WFebruary 15–2 New York Rangers (1976–77) 15–28–9
53LFebruary 34–6 Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 15–29–9
54WFebruary 65–2 Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 16–29–9
55WFebruary 98–6 @ Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 17–29–9
56LFebruary 110–3 @ Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 17–30–9
57LFebruary 122–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 17–31–9
58WFebruary 156–2 Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 18–31–9
59TFebruary 183–3 @ Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 18–31–10
60WFebruary 203–2 Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 19–31–10
61LFebruary 221–2 @ New York Islanders (1976–77) 19–32–10
62LFebruary 252–5 Boston Bruins (1976–77) 19–33–10
63LFebruary 273–4 Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 19–34–10
64TMarch 22–2 St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 19–34–11
65LMarch 53–6 @ Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 19–35–11
66LMarch 60–5 New York Islanders (1976–77) 19–36–11
67LMarch 90–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 19–37–11
68LMarch 101–7 @ Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 19–38–11
69TMarch 122–2 @ Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 19–38–12
70LMarch 132–6 Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 19–39–12
71TMarch 164–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 19–39–13
72LMarch 180–5 @ Washington Capitals (1976–77) 19–40–13
73LMarch 201–4 Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 19–41–13
74LMarch 222–9 @ New York Islanders (1976–77) 19–42–13
75LMarch 233–5 @ New York Rangers (1976–77) 19–43–13
76TMarch 252–2 Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 19–43–14
77LMarch 261–2 Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 19–44–14
78LMarch 315–7 @ Los Angeles Kings (1976–77) 19–45–14
79WApril 16–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 20–45–14
80LApril 34–6 Los Angeles Kings (1976–77) 20–46–14

Player statsEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Paiement, WilfWilf Paiement RW 78 41 40 81 101-13952
Gardner, PaulPaul Gardner C 60 30 29 59 25-281100
Croteau, GaryGary Croteau LW 78 24 27 51 14-18502
Pyatt, NelsonNelson Pyatt C 77 23 22 45 20-17204
Dean, BarryBarry Dean LW 79 14 25 39 92-26200
Hudson, DaveDave Hudson C 73 15 21 36 14-3102
Edur, TomTom Edur D 80 7 25 32 3914301
Nolet, SimonSimon Nolet RW 52 12 19 31 100112
McElmury, JimJim McElmury D 55 7 23 30 16-15101
Arnason, ChuckChuck Arnason RW 61 13 10 23 10-23301
Andruff, RonRon Andruff C 66 4 18 22 21-18000
Gruen, DannyDanny Gruen LW 29 8 10 18 12-6201
Dupere, DenisDenis Dupere LW 57 7 11 18 43132
Van Boxmeer, JohnJohn Van Boxmeer D 41 2 11 13 32-20000
Campbell, ColinColin Campbell D 54 3 8 11 67-22000
Pratt, TracyTracy Pratt D 66 1 10 11 110-27000
Delorme, RonRon Delorme C 29 6 4 10 23-11002
Skinner, LarryLarry Skinner C 19 4 5 9 6-13300
Delparte, GuyGuy Delparte LW 48 1 8 9 18-10000
Kitchen, MikeMike Kitchen D 60 1 8 9 36-2000
Roberto, PhilPhil Roberto RW 22 1 5 6 23-11000
Lefley, BryanBryan Lefley D/LW 58 0 6 6 27-15000
Shanahan, SeanSean Shanahan C/RW 30 1 3 4 40-11000
Johnston, LarryLarry Johnston D 25 0 3 3 35-25000
Lemelin, RogerRoger Lemelin D 14 1 1 2 21-6000
Boucha, HenryHenry Boucha C 9 0 2 2 40000
Durbano, SteveSteve Durbano D 19 0 2 2 129-6000
Cairns, DonDon Cairns LW 2 0 1 1 21000
Plasse, MichelMichel Plasse G 54 0 1 1 00000
Favell, DougDoug Favell G 30 0 0 0 150000
McKenzie, BillBill McKenzie G 5 0 0 0 00000
Rota, RandyRandy Rota C/LW 1 0 0 0 00000
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Plasse, MichelMichel Plasse 2986 54 12 29 10 190 3.82 0
Favell, DougDoug Favell 1614 30 8 15 3 105 3.90 0
McKenzie, BillBill McKenzie 200 5 0 2 1 8 2.40 0
Team: 4800 80 20 46 14 303 3.79 0

[5]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = Plus/Minus; PIM = Penalty Minutes; PPG=Power-play goals; SHG=Short-handed goals; GWG=Game-winning goals
      MIN=Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; SO = Shutouts;

Awards and recordsEdit

TransactionsEdit

RosterEdit

Colorado Rockies
Goaltenders

Defensemen

  • {{{no}}} Colin Campbell 
  • {{{no}}} Guy Delparte 
  • {{{no}}} Steve Durbano 
  • {{{no}}} Tom Edur 
  • {{{no}}} Larry Johnston 
  • {{{no}}} Mike Kitchen 
  • {{{no}}} Roger Lemelin 
  • {{{no}}} Bryan Lefley 
  • {{{no}}} Jim McElmury 
  • {{{no}}} John Van Boxmeer 

Wingers

Centers


  • GM: Ray Miron
  • Coach: John Wilson

Farm teamsEdit

In 1976–77, the Rockies had affiliations with three different teams, including: the Flint Generals, the Greensboro Generals, and the Rhode Island Reds.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. HickokSports.com - History - NHL 1976-77 Season
  2. Colorado Rockies (1976-1982)
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Colorado Rockies 1976/77
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 The Colorado Rockies 1976/77
  5. 1976-77 Colorado Rockies Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
  6. A to Z Encyclopaedia of Ice Hockey - Co

</div>

Relocated and defunct NHL teams
Relocated
(still active)
Atlanta Flames · Colorado Rockies · Hartford Whalers · Kansas City Scouts · Minnesota North Stars · Quebec Nordiques · Winnipeg Jets
Defunct California/Oakland (Golden) Seals · Cleveland Barons · Hamilton Tigers · Montreal Maroons · Montreal Wanderers · New York/Brooklyn Americans · Ottawa Senators (original) · Philadelphia Quakers · Pittsburgh Pirates · Quebec Bulldogs · St. Louis Eagles



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