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1988-89 NHL season

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The 1988-89 NHL season was the 72nd season of the National Hockey League. Twenty-one teams each played 80 games. The Calgary Flames won an all Canadian Stanley Cup final against the Montreal Canadiens four games to two. To date, this is the last time two Canadian teams squared off for the Stanley Cup.

Regular seasonEdit

This season saw the Calgary Flames win their first Stanley Cup. They defeated the Montreal Canadiens four games to two in a rematch of the Cup finals from the 1985-86 NHL season. Calgary was only the second opposing team in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup at the Montreal Forum (the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Maroons in 1928) and the first to do so against the Canadiens. This was of particular significance for the proud Canadiens fans and the team's tradition of winning Stanley Cups on their home Forum ice. In fact, in what proved to be an extremely classy situation, when the Calgary Flames team and staff paraded the Stanley Cup around the ice in The Forum at the conclusion of the game, the majority of the Forum home fans stood and cheered and clapped for the Flames for an extended period. This clapping was extremely rare and virtually unheard of in The Forum for a visiting team – especially considering that the Flames were the victors on their ice. In 1986, when the Canadiens had won the Stanley Cup on Calgary's Olympic Saddledome, the majority of the hometown Flames fans also stood and cheered and clapped for the Canadiens as well. The Flames also won their second consecutive Presidents' Trophy as the top regular season team.

Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Art Ross Trophy for the second consecutive season, leading the league with 199 points. Lemieux remains the only person other than Wayne Gretzky to approach the 200 point plateau. Gretzky, who had crossed the 200 point mark four times in five years during the 1980s, won his ninth Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP.

New York Rangers rookie Brian Leetch broke the record for goals by a rookie defenseman with 23. He finished that season with 71 points and easily captured the Calder Trophy.

This year also featured the "new look Kings" as the Los Angeles Kings changed their uniform design and team colours after Wayne Gretzky was added to their line-up, ditching the purple and gold that was largely associated with their co-tenants at the Great Western Forum, the Los Angeles Lakers, to black and silver. Prior to Gretzky's arrival, the Kings had the fourth worst record in the NHL at 30 wins, 42 losses, and 8 ties. After Gretzky's first season with the Kings, they moved all the way up to fourth best in the NHL with a record of 42 wins, 31 losses, and 7 ties.

On March 22, a horrific incident took place in Buffalo during a game between the Buffalo Sabres and the St. Louis Blues. During a goalmouth collision between the Blues' Steve Tuttle and the Sabres' Uwe Krupp, Tuttle's skate blade slashed the throat of Buffalo goaltender Clint Malarchuk, severing the latter's carotid artery. Thanks to some timely action by Sabres trainer Jim Pizzutelli, Malarchuk was able to quickly receive treatment and was even released from the hospital the next day.

Final standingsEdit

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Prince of Wales ConferenceEdit

Adams Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Montreal Canadiens80 53 18 9 115 315 218 1537
Boston Bruins80 37 29 1488 289 256 1929
Buffalo Sabres 80 38 35 783 291 299 2034
Hartford Whalers 80 37 38 5 79 299 290 1672
Quebec Nordiques 80 27 46 761 269 342 2004
Patrick Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Washington Capitals 80 41 29 10 92 305 259 1836
Pittsburgh Penguins 80 40 33 7 87 347 349 2670
New York Rangers80 37 35 882 310 307 1891
Philadelphia Flyers80 36 36 8 80 307 285 2317
New Jersey Devils 80 27 41 1266 281 325 2499
New York Islanders80 28 47 561 265 325 1822

Clarence Campbell ConferenceEdit

Norris Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Detroit Red Wings80 34 34 12 80 313 316 2245
St. Louis Blues 80 33 35 1278 275 285 1675
Minnesota North Stars80 27 37 16 70 258 278 1972
Chicago Blackhawks80 27 41 1266 297 335 2496
Toronto Maple Leafs80 28 46 6 62 259 342 1740
Smythe Division GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Calgary Flames 80 54 17 9117 354 226 2444
Los Angeles Kings 80 42 31 791 376 335 2215
Edmonton Oilers 80 38 34 884 325 306 1931
Vancouver Canucks 80 33 39 874 251 253 1569
Winnipeg Jets 80 26 42 1264 300 355 1843

Scoring leadersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins 76 85 114 199 100
Wayne Gretzky Los Angeles Kings 78 54 114 168 26
Steve Yzerman Detroit Red Wings 80 65 90 155 61
Bernie Nicholls Los Angeles Kings 79 70 80 150 96
Rob Brown Pittsburgh Penguins 68 49 66 115 118
Paul Coffey Pittsburgh Penguins 75 30 83 113 193
Joe Mullen Calgary Flames 79 51 59 110 16
Jari Kurri Edmonton Oilers 76 44 58 102 69
Jimmy Carson Edmonton Oilers 80 49 51 100 36
Luc Robitaille Los Angeles Kings 78 46 52 98 65

Leading goaltendersEdit

Stanley Cup playoffsEdit

Hhof stanley cup

The Stanley Cup

The 1989 Stanley Cup featured two Canadian hockey teams, the Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Flames. Montreal finished the regular season with 115 points, only two behind the league leader Calgary. It was the second time in three years both teams faced each other, with Montreal winning a five-game series in 1986. The Flames also made history in the Forum by becoming the only visiting NHL team ever to win a Stanley Cup on Forum ice.

Flames defenseman Al MacInnis won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, while Lanny McDonald, who ended the regular season with exactly 500 goals, got his name on the Cup in his last ever NHL game.

On their way to the Finals, Montreal lost only three games while eliminating the Hartford Whalers, Boston Bruins, and Philadelphia Flyers. Calgary survived a seven-game series with the Vancouver Canucks before rolling by Los Angeles and eliminating the surprising Chicago Blackhawks in five to reach the Cup Finals.

One of the interesting stories of these playoffs, though, was Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings meeting the defending champion Oilers in the first round. The previous season saw the mighty Edmonton Oilers sweep the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals as Gretzky earned the Conn Smythe Trophy setting playoff records for playoff assists, assists in a finals series and points in a finals series.

On August 9, 1988 the Oilers traded Gretzky to the Kings. The Gretzky-led Kings and Oilers (with many veteran super-stars) met in the first round of the Smythe Division playoffs, which made for an exciting "return" of Gretzky to Edmonton. In a tough seven game series, Gretzky and the Kings took down the defending Stanley Cup champions after falling behind 3 games to 1. In the second round Gretzky and the Kings were no match for the Calgary Flames, who swept them in 4 games.

Events of note in the postseason, were that Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall became the first netminder to shoot and score a goal in the playoffs, a shorthanded, empty-net score in Game 5 of the Patrick Division semifinals against the Washington Capitals. One round later, Mario Lemieux torched the Flyers for an NHL-record five goals and eight points in a 10-7 Pittsburgh win in Game 5 of the Patrick Division Finals. Hextall then made headlines in the Wales Conference Finals, attacking Montreal's Chris Chelios in the late stages of Game 6 as retribution for Chelios' brutal and unpenalized hit on Flyers forward Brian Propp in Game 1. Hextall received a 12-game suspension at the start of the 1989-90 NHL season for his actions.

Also, former Flyers head coach Mike Keenan led Chicago to the Campbell Conference Finals in his first year behind the bench. The Hawks, with 66 points, had the fewest points of any playoff team that season (and tied in the overall standings with New Jersey, a fifth-place team in the Patrick) yet played a fierce defensive and energy game which saw them upset first-place Detroit and then St. Louis before bowing to Calgary.

Division semi-finalsEdit

Hartford Whalers vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5 Hartford Whalers 2 Montreal Canadiens 6
April 6 Hartford Whalers 2 Montreal Canadiens 3
April 8 Montreal Canadiens 5 Hartford Whalers 4 (OT)
April 9 Montreal Canadiens 4 Hartford Whalers 3

Montreal wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 0

Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5 Buffalo Sabres 6 Boston Bruins 0
April 6 Buffalo Sabres 3 Boston Bruins 5
April 8 Boston Bruins 4 Buffalo Sabres 2
April 9 Boston Bruins 3 Buffalo Sabres 2
April 11 Buffalo Sabres 1 Boston Bruins 4

Boston wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 1

Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5 Philadelphia Flyers 2 Washington Capitals 3
April 6 Philadelphia Flyers 3 Washington Capitals 2
April 8 Washington Capitals 4 Philadelphia Flyers 3 (OT)
April 9 Washington Capitals 2 Philadelphia Flyers 5
April 11 Philadelphia Flyers 8 Washington Capitals 5
April 13 Washington Capitals 3 Philadelphia Flyers 4

Philadelphia wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 2

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5 New York Rangers 1 Pittsburgh Penguins 3
April 6 New York Rangers 4 Pittsburgh Penguins 7
April 8 Pittsburgh Penguins 5 New York Rangers 4 (OT)
April 9 Pittsburgh Penguins 4 New York Rangers 3

Pittsburgh wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 0

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5 Chicago Blackhawks 2 Detroit Red Wings 3
April 6 Chicago Blackhawks 5 Detroit Red Wings 4 (OT)
April 8 Detroit Red Wings 2 Chicago Blackhawks 4
April 9 Detroit Red Wings 2 Chicago Blackhawks 3
April 11 Chicago Blackhawks 4 Detroit Red Wings 6
April 13 Detroit Red Wings 1 Chicago Blackhawks 7

Chicago wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 2

Minnesota North Stars vs. St. Louis Blues

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5 Minnesota North Stars 3 St. Louis Blues 4 (OT)
April 6 Minnesota North Stars 3 St. Louis Blues 4 (OT)
April 8 St. Louis Blues 5 Minnesota North Stars 3
April 9 St. Louis Blues 4 Minnesota North Stars 5
April 11 Minnesota North Stars 1 St. Louis Blues 6

St. Louis wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 1

Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames

Coming into this series, many people expected that the mighty Flames would defeat the Canucks in 4 or 5 games, due to Calgary having a 43 point edge in the regular season. Instead, Vancouver would take Calgary to a thrilling seven game classic. The seventh game would go into overtime, both teams having great chances, the best being a breakaway chance for Vancouver Canuck's captain Stan Smyl, only for Mike Vernon to make the unbelieveable save. Unfortunately, Vancouver couldn't pull off the upset, as Joel Otto scored the winner (via a deflection from his skate) with :39 seconds left in the first overtime to send the Calgary Flames into the Smythe Division Final.

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5 Vancouver Canucks 4 Calgary Flames 3 (OT)
April 6 Vancouver Canucks 2 Calgary Flames 5
April 8 Calgary Flames 4 Vancouver Canucks 0
April 9 Calgary Flames 3 Vancouver Canucks 5
April 11 Vancouver Canucks 0 Calgary Flames 4
April 13 Calgary Flames 3 Vancouver Canucks 6
April 15 Vancouver Canucks 3 Calgary Flames 4 (OT)

Calgary wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 3

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 5 Edmonton Oilers 4 Los Angeles Kings 3
April 6 Edmonton Oilers 2 Los Angeles Kings 5
April 8 Los Angeles Kings 0 Edmonton Oilers 4
April 9 Los Angeles Kings 3 Edmonton Oilers 4
April 11 Edmonton Oilers 2 Los Angeles Kings 4
April 13 Los Angeles Kings 4 Edmonton Oilers 1
April 15 Edmonton Oilers 3 Los Angeles Kings 6

Los Angeles wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 3

Division finalsEdit

Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 17 Boston Bruins 2 Montreal Canadiens 3
April 19 Boston Bruins 2 Montreal Canadiens 3 (OT)
April 21 Montreal Canadiens 5 Boston Bruins 4
April 23 Montreal Canadiens 2 Boston Bruins 3
April 25 Boston Bruins 2 Montreal Canadiens 3

Montreal wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 1

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 17 Philadelphia Flyers 3 Pittsburgh Penguins 4
April 19 Philadelphia Flyers 4 Pittsburgh Penguins 2
April 21 Pittsburgh Penguins 4 Philadelphia Flyers 3 (OT)
April 23 Pittsburgh Penguins 1 Philadelphia Flyers 4
April 25 Philadelphia Flyers 7 Pittsburgh Penguins 10
April 27 Pittsburgh Penguins 2 Philadelphia Flyers 6
April 29 Philadelphia Flyers 4 Pittsburgh Penguins 1

Philadelphia wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 3

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 18 Chicago Blackhawks 3 St. Louis Blues 1
April 20 Chicago Blackhawks 4 St. Louis Blues 5
April 22 St. Louis Blues 2 Chicago Blackhawks 5
April 24 St. Louis Blues 2 Chicago Blackhawks 3
April 26 Chicago Blackhawks 4 St. Louis Blues 2

Chicago wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 1

Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
April 18 Los Angeles Kings 3 Calgary Flames 4 (OT)
April 20 Los Angeles Kings 3 Calgary Flames 8
April 22 Calgary Flames 5 Los Angeles Kings 2
April 24 Calgary Flames 5 Los Angeles Kings 3

Calgary wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 0

Conference finalsEdit

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
May 1 Philadelphia Flyers 3 Montreal Canadiens 1
May 3 Philadelphia Flyers 0 Montreal Canadiens 3
May 5 Montreal Canadiens 5 Philadelphia Flyers 1
May 7 Montreal Canadiens 3 Philadelphia Flyers 0
May 9 Philadelphia Flyers 2 Montreal Canadiens 1 (OT)
May 11 Montreal Canadiens 4 Philadelphia Flyers 2

Montreal wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 2

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Calgary Flames

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
May 2 Chicago Blackhawks 0 Calgary Flames 3
May 4 Chicago Blackhawks 4 Calgary Flames 2
May 6 Calgary Flames 5 Chicago Blackhawks 2
May 8 Calgary Flames 2 Chicago Blackhawks 1 (OT)
May 10 Chicago Blackhawks 1 Calgary Flames 3

Calgary wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 1

FinalsEdit

Montreal Canadiens vs. Calgary Flames

The Stanley Cup Finals was decided between the top two teams during the 1988-89 NHL regular season. Captain Lanny McDonald scored the second Flames goal in Game 6. This turned out to be the last goal in his NHL Hall of Fame career because he retired during the following off-season. Doug Gilmour scored two goals in the third period, including the eventual game and Cup winner to cement the victory for the Flames.

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
May 14 Montreal 2 Calgary 3
May 17 Montreal 4 Calgary 2
May 19 Calgary 3 Montreal 4 (2nd OT)
May 21 Calgary 4 Montreal 2
May 23 Montreal 2 Calgary 3
May 25 Calgary 4 Montreal 2

Calgary wins best-of-seven series 4 games to 2

Playoff scoring leadersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Al MacInnis Calgary Flames 22 7 24 31

NHL awardsEdit

Presidents' Trophy: Calgary Flames
Prince of Wales Trophy: Montreal Canadiens
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl: Calgary Flames
Art Ross Memorial Trophy: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Tim Kerr, Philadelphia Flyers
Calder Memorial Trophy: Brian Leetch, New York Rangers
Conn Smythe Trophy: Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Guy Carbonneau, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Memorial Trophy: Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings
Jack Adams Award: Pat Burns, Montreal Canadiens
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Chris Chelios, Montreal Canadiens
King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Joe Mullen, Calgary Flames
Lester B. Pearson Award: Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings
NHL Plus/Minus Award: Joe Mullen, Calgary Flames,
William M. Jennings Trophy: Patrick Roy/Brian Hayward, Montreal Canadiens
Vezina Trophy: Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens
Lester Patrick Trophy: Dan Kelly, Lou Nanne, Lynn Patrick, Bud Poile

All-Star teamsEdit

First Team   Position   Second Team
Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens G Mike Vernon, Calgary Flames
Chris Chelios, Montreal Canadiens D Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames
Paul Coffey, Pittsburgh Penguins D Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins
Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins C Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings
Joe Mullen, Calgary Flames RW Jari Kurri, Edmonton Oilers
Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings LW Gerard Gallant, Detroit Red Wings

DebutsEdit

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1988-89 (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 1988-89 (listed with their last team):

See alsoEdit


ReferencesEdit

NHL seasons

1984-85 | 1985-86 | 1986-87 | 1987-88 | 1988-89 | 1989-90 | 1990-91 | 1991-92 | 1992-93

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