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1987–88 New Jersey Devils season

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87-88NJDev
1987–88 New Jersey Devils · NHL
Division 4th Patrick
Conference #7 Prince of Wales
1987–88 record 38–36–6
Goals for 295
Goals against 296
General Manager Lou Lamoriello
Coach Doug Carpenter
Jim Schoenfeld
Captain Kirk Muller
Alternate captains Joe Cirella
Aaron Broten
Arena Brendan Byrne Arena
Team leaders
Goals Pat Verbeek (46)
Assists Kirk Muller and Aaron Broten (57)
Points Kirk Muller (94)
Penalties in minutes Ken Daneyko (239)
Wins Alain Chevrier (18)
Goals against average Sean Burke (3.05)

The 1987–88 New Jersey Devils season was the team's sixth season in the National Hockey League since the franchise relocated to New Jersey. The Devils finished fourth in the Patrick Division with a record of 38 wins, 36 losses, and 6 ties for 82 points, garnering the first winning record in the franchise's 14-year history.

On the final day of the regular season, the Devils were tied with their nemesis, the New York Rangers, for the final playoff spot in the Patrick Division. After New York defeated the Quebec Nordiques 3–0, all eyes were on the Devils, who were playing the Blackhawks in Chicago. The Devils trailed 3–2 midway through the third period, but John MacLean scored to tie the game, and with two minutes left in overtime, he added the winning goal. Although the Rangers and Devils both finished with 82 points, the Devils had one more win, sending them to the playoffs for the second time in franchise history, but the first time in New Jersey.[1]

The Devils rode the momentum of this victory into a surprisingly deep playoff run, ousting the New York Islanders in six games in the Division Semi-finals and the Washington Capitals in seven games in the Division Finals. They then met the Boston Bruins in the Wales Conference Finals and stretched the series to seven games, but finally fell short in the seventh game (see below).

OffseasonEdit

Hoping to light a spark under the team, team owner John McMullen hired Providence College coach and athletic director Lou Lamoriello as team president in April 1987. Lamoriello appointed himself general manager shortly before the 1987–88 season. This move came as a considerable surprise to NHL circles; although Lamoriello had been a college coach for 19 years, he had never played, coached, or managed in the NHL and was almost unknown outside the American college hockey community.

Regular seasonEdit

Season standingsEdit

Patrick Division
GP W L T GF GA Pts
New York Islanders 80 39 31 10 308 267 88
Philadelphia Flyers 80 38 33 9 292 292 85
Washington Capitals 80 38 33 9 281 249 85
New Jersey Devils 80 38 36 6 295 296 82
New York Rangers 80 36 34 10 300 283 82
Pittsburgh Penguins 80 36 35 9 319 316 81

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


Sean BurkeEdit

Sean Burke was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. He earned national attention from his international play. He backstopped Canada's junior team to a silver medal in the 1986 World Junior Championships and a fourth-place finish for the national men's team at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

Burke went from the Olympics to the Devils. He started 11 games for the Devils in the 1987–88 NHL season, including an overtime victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on the final night of the season that qualified the Devils for their first playoff series.

Dubbed a "rookie sensation", Burke helped the Devils go on a playoff roll, defeating the division-leader New York Islanders in the first round in six games and then the Washington Capitals in seven games. Burke was one game away from the Stanley Cup Finals but lost in Game 7 of the Wales Conference finals to the Boston Bruins.

Game logEdit

# R Date Score Opponent Record
1WOctober 9, 19876–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (season) 1–0–0
2LOctober 10, 19872–5 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (season) 1–1–0
3WOctober 14, 19873–1 Hartford Whalers (season) 2–1–0
4WOctober 16, 19874–3 Montreal Canadiens (season) 3–1–0
5LOctober 17, 19873–4 OT @ Hartford Whalers (season) 3–2–0
6WOctober 21, 19875–4 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (season) 4–2–0
7WOctober 23, 19875–3 New York Islanders (season) 5–2–0
8LOctober 24, 19871–2 @ New York Islanders (season) 5–3–0
9WOctober 27, 19874–0 Philadelphia Flyers (season) 6–3–0
10WOctober 31, 19876–5 Edmonton Oilers (season) 7–3–0
11LNovember 3, 19873–6 @ New York Islanders (season) 7–4–0
12WNovember 5, 19875–3 St. Louis Blues (season) 8–4–0
13WNovember 7, 19874–1 Washington Capitals (season) 9–4–0
14TNovember 8, 19873–3 OT @ Philadelphia Flyers (season) 9–4–1
15WNovember 10, 19873–2 @ New York Rangers (season) 10–4–1
16TNovember 12, 19871–1 OT Winnipeg Jets (season) 10–4–2
17LNovember 14, 19874–6 Detroit Red Wings (season) 10–5–2
18WNovember 18, 19874–3 Philadelphia Flyers (season) 11–5–2
19WNovember 20, 19875–2 Chicago Blackhawks (season) 12–5–2
20LNovember 21, 19871–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (season) 12–6–2
21LNovember 23, 19872–9 @ Calgary Flames (season) 12–7–2
22WNovember 25, 19878–7 OT @ Edmonton Oilers (season) 13–7–2
23LNovember 27, 19872–4 @ Vancouver Canucks (season) 13–8–2
24TNovember 29, 19872–2 OT @ Los Angeles Kings (season) 13–8–3
25WDecember 3, 19874–2 St. Louis Blues (season) 14–8–3
26LDecember 5, 19872–3 @ Quebec Nordiques (season) 14–9–3
27TDecember 6, 19871–1 OT @ Philadelphia Flyers (season) 14–9–4
28WDecember 9, 19872–1 Los Angeles Kings (season) 15–9–4
29LDecember 11, 19871–5 Calgary Flames (season) 15–10–4
30LDecember 12, 19873–5 @ New York Islanders (season) 15–11–4
31LDecember 16, 19873–9 @ New York Rangers (season) 15–12–4
32LDecember 17, 19874–7 Pittsburgh Penguins (season) 15–13–4
33WDecember 19, 19873–1 @ Minnesota North Stars (season) 16–13–4
34LDecember 20, 19871–4 @ Winnipeg Jets (season) 16–14–4
35WDecember 23, 19876–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (season) 17–14–4
36LDecember 26, 19873–5 New York Rangers (season) 17–15–4
37WDecember 28, 19876–4 New York Islanders (season) 18–15–4
38LDecember 30, 19873–4 Washington Capitals (season) 18–16–4
39TJanuary 2, 19881–1 OT @ Hartford Whalers (season) 18–16–5
40LJanuary 4, 19883–6 Los Angeles Kings (season) 18–17–5
41LJanuary 7, 19883–6 Vancouver Canucks (season) 18–18–5
42WJanuary 9, 19884–3 @ Minnesota North Stars (season) 19–18–5
43WJanuary 10, 19887–5 @ Philadelphia Flyers (season) 20–18–5
44LJanuary 13, 19883–5 Quebec Nordiques (season) 20–19–5
45WJanuary 15, 19887–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (season) 21–19–5
46LJanuary 16, 19882–4 @ New York Islanders (season) 21–20–5
47LJanuary 19, 19884–6 @ Washington Capitals (season) 21–21–5
48LJanuary 21, 19882–3 OT Detroit Red Wings (season) 21–22–5
49LJanuary 22, 19883–7 @ Buffalo Sabres (season) 21–23–5
50LJanuary 25, 19882–5 Buffalo Sabres (season) 21–24–5
51WJanuary 28, 19886–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (season) 22–24–5
52WJanuary 29, 19883–2 OT Chicago Blackhawks (season) 23–24–5
53WFebruary 1, 19885–4 @ Calgary Flames (season) 24–24–5
54LFebruary 3, 19885–8 @ Edmonton Oilers (season) 24–25–5
55LFebruary 5, 19881–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (season) 24–26–5
56LFebruary 7, 19883–6 @ Boston Bruins (season) 24–27–5
57WFebruary 11, 19884–2 Montreal Canadiens (season) 25–27–5
58LFebruary 12, 19883–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (season) 25–28–5
59WFebruary 14, 19887–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (season) 26–28–5
60LFebruary 17, 19883–4 Washington Capitals (season) 26–29–5
61WFebruary 19, 19886–3 New York Rangers (season) 27–29–5
62LFebruary 21, 19881–4 Boston Bruins (season) 27–30–5
63LFebruary 24, 19881–3 Winnipeg Jets (season) 27–31–5
64LFebruary 26, 19881–2 New York Rangers (season) 27–32–5
65WFebruary 28, 19888–6 Minnesota North Stars (season) 28–32–5
66LMarch 1, 19883–5 @ Washington Capitals (season) 28–33–5
67LMarch 2, 19881–6 Washington Capitals (season) 28–34–5
68WMarch 5, 19887–6 OT @ Boston Bruins (season) 29–34–5
69WMarch 6, 19884–2 Philadelphia Flyers (season) 30–34–5
70LMarch 8, 19884–7 @ New York Rangers (season) 30–35–5
71WMarch 12, 19886–5 @ Philadelphia Flyers (season) 31–35–5
72LMarch 17, 19883–4 Quebec Nordiques (season) 31–36–5
73WMarch 20, 19884–2 @ Washington Capitals (season) 32–36–5
74WMarch 24, 19888–2 @ St. Louis Blues (season) 33–36–5
75TMarch 25, 19882–2 OT @ Buffalo Sabres (season) 33–36–6
76WMarch 27, 19887–2 New York Rangers (season) 34–36–6
77WMarch 29, 19884–0 Pittsburgh Penguins (season) 35–36–6
78WMarch 31, 19887–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (season) 36–36–6
79WApril 2, 19885–2 New York Islanders (season) 37–36–6
80WApril 3, 19884–3 OT @ Chicago Blackhawks (season) 38–36–6

PlayoffsEdit

The team made it all the way to the conference finals, but lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games. In that series, head coach Jim Schoenfeld verbally abused referee Don Koharski, screaming obscenties and hollering, "Have another doughnut, you fat pig!" The incident resulted in a suspension for Schoenfeld, which the franchise appealed to the New Jersey Superior Court. This unprecedented appeal to authority outside the NHL gave the Devils a preliminary stay of the coach's suspension. In protest, referee Dave Newell and the assigned linesmen boycotted the next game. After more than an hour's delay, amateur officials were tracked down in the stands and worked the game wearing yellow practice sweaters. To resolve the incident, the NHL suspended Schoenfeld for the next game. Schoenfeld later admitted he regretted his comments.[2]

Patrick Division semi-finals vs. New York IslandersEdit

Date Away Score Home Score OT
April 6 New Jersey 3 New York 4 (OT)
April 7 New Jersey 3 New York 2
April 9 New York 0 New Jersey 3
April 10 New York 5 New Jersey 4 (OT)
April 12 New Jersey 4 New York 2
April 14 New York 5 New Jersey 6

Patrick Division finals vs. Washington CapitalsEdit

Date Away Score Home Score
April 18 New Jersey 1 Washington 3
April 20 New Jersey 5 Washington 2
April 22 Washington 4 New Jersey 10
April 24 Washington 4 New Jersey 1
April 26 New Jersey 3 Washington 1
April 28 Washington 7 New Jersey 2
April 30 New Jersey 3 Washington 2

Prince of Wales Conference Finals vs. Boston BruinsEdit

Date Away Score Home Score OT
May 2 New Jersey 3 Boston 5
May 4 New Jersey 3 Boston 2 (OT)
May 6 Boston 6 New Jersey 1
May 8 Boston 1 New Jersey 3
May 10 New Jersey 1 Boston 7
May 12 Boston 3 New Jersey 6
May 14 New Jersey 2 Boston 6

Player statsEdit

ForwardsEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Kirk Muller 80 37 57 94 114
Aaron Broten 80 26 57 83 80
Pat Verbeek 73 46 31 77 227
Patrik Sundström 78 15 36 51 42
John MacLean 76 23 16 39 147
Claude Loiselle 68 17 18 35 121
Mark Johnson 54 14 19 33 14
Doug Sulliman 59 16 14 30 22
Brendan Shanahan 65 7 19 26 131
Doug Brown 70 14 11 25 20
Andy Brickley 45 8 14 22 14

DefensemenEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Bruce Driver 74 15 40 55 68
Joe Cirella 80 8 31 39 191
Tom Kurvers 56 5 29 34 46
Craig Wolanin 78 6 25 31 170
Jack O'Callahan 50 7 19 26 97
Jim Korn 52 8 13 21 140
Randy Velischek 51 3 9 12 66
Ken Daneyko 80 5 7 12 239

GoaltendingEdit

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average

Player GP W L T SO GAA
Alain Chevrier 45 18 19 3 1 3.77
Bob Sauvé 34 10 16 3 2 3.56
Sean Burke 13 10 1 0 1 3.05

Draft picksEdit

See also: 1987 NHL Entry Draft
Rd # Pick # Player Nat Pos Team (League) Notes
1 2 Brendan Shanahan Flag of Canada.svg Canada LW London Knights (OHL)
2 23 Ricard Persson Flag of Sweden Sweden D Leksands IF (Elitserien)
3 44 No third-round pick[3]
4 65 Brian Sullivan Flag of the United States United States RW Springfield Olympics (NEJHL)
5 86 Kevin Dean Flag of the United States United States D Culver Military Academy (Indiana)
6 107 Ben Hankinson Flag of the United States United States RW Edina H.S. (Minnesota)
7 128 Tom Neziol Flag of Canada.svg Canada LW Miami University (CCHA)
8 149 Jim Dowd Flag of the United States United States C Brick Township H.S. (New Jersey) [4]
9 170 John Blessman Flag of Canada.svg Canada D Toronto Marlboros (OHL)
10 191 Pete Fry Flag of Canada.svg Canada G Victoria Cougars (WHL)
11 212 Alain Charland Flag of Canada.svg Canada C Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
12 233 No twelfth-round pick[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. New Jersey Devils on SportsEcyclopedia
  2. Jim Schoenfeld: The Koharski Incident. HockeyDraftCentral.com.
  3. The Devils traded their 1987 third-round pick (used on Mathieu Schneider) to Montreal for David Maley on June 13, 1987.
  4. First New Jersey native to play for the Devils; scored game-winning goal in Game 2 of the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals against Detroit. Jim Dowd's profile on the official New Jersey Devils site
  5. The Devils traded their 1987 12th-round pick (used on Neil Eisenhut) to Vancouver for Shane Doyle on June 1, 1987. Shane Doyle's career statistics at the Internet Hockey Database.
New Jersey Devils
Team Kansas City ScoutsColorado RockiesPlayersAward WinnersSeasonsRecordsDraft picks • • Continental Airlines ArenaPrudential Center
New Jersey Devils coaches MacMillanMcVieCarpenterSchoenfeldCunniffBrooksLemaireFtorekRobinsonConstantineBurnsLamorielloJulienSutter
Division titles 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2005-06, 2006-07
Conference Championships 1994-95, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03
Stanley Cups 1994-95, 1999-00, 2002-03
Affiliates Lowell Devils (AHL), Trenton Devils (ECHL)


This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at 1987–88 New Jersey Devils season. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


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