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The 2003 Stanley Cup Final matched the Eastern Conference champion, the second-seeded New Jersey Devils, against the Western Conference champion, the seventh-seeded Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. It was New Jersey's first appearance since 2001 and third in four years. It was Anaheim's first-ever appearance. The Devils defeated the Mighty Ducks in seven games to win their third Stanley Cup in less than a decade. Over 20 years earlier, in the Devils' first season in New Jersey, the Devils were defeated by Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers, after which Gretzky called the New Jersey Devils a "Mickey Mouse organization". In this Final the Mighty Ducks were owned by the Disney Company.
The Devils win was the last in a series of wins established by the Devils, Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings in the era from 1995 to 2003, as the three teams won a combined eight Stanley Cups during that time. The Devils won in 1995, followed by the Avalanche in 1996, then the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. After the Dallas Stars won in 1999, the four-year cycle repeated as the Devils started it again in 2000, followed by Colorado in 2001 and Detroit in 2002. This is the last Finals that would have the home team wearing white jerseys and the visitors wearing colored jerseys.
Paths to the FinalEdit
- See also: 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs, 2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim season, and 2002–03 New Jersey Devils season
The New Jersey Devils were in the finals for their fourth time after defeating the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning in five games, and beating the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games. Strong goaltending from Martin Brodeur, and strong defense from captain Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer led the way.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim entered their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history after upsetting two heavily favored teams: sweeping the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Detroit Red Wings, defeating the Dallas Stars in six games, plus sweeping the upstart Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference Finals thanks to the stellar goaltending of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, only allowing one goal during the entire series. Backing up Giguere were players such as Paul Kariya, Petr Sykora, Adam Oates, plus Rob Niedermayer, brother of then-Devils star defenceman Scott Niedermayer. This series was memorable for two brothers on different teams competing for the same prize.
This was the third coast-to-coast Stanley Cup Final, after 1982 and 1994. Both times, the Vancouver Canucks had runs halted by New York teams: in 1982 by the Islanders, being swept, and in 1994 by the Rangers, losing in 7, though they overcame a 3-1 series deficit in that series. However, this was the first coast-to-coast final played entirely in the United States.
|Tuesday, May 27||New Jersey Devils||3 – 0||Anaheim Mighty Ducks||Continental Airlines Arena|
Martin Brodeur kept the Ducks off the score board while the Devils players continually dominated the Ducks. The Devils shut out Anaheim 3-0.
|Thursday, May 29||New Jersey Devils||3 – 0||Anaheim Mighty Ducks||Continental Airlines Arena|
Like in Game one, Brodeur kept the Ducks off the scoreboard and shut out the Ducks 3-0.
|Saturday, May 31||Anaheim Mighty Ducks||3 – 2||OT||New Jersey Devils||Arrowhead Pond|
Game three was remembered for the clumsy mistake from Martin Brodeur when he accidentally dropped his stick when the puck came to him, the puck deflected off his fallen stick and into the net to give the Ducks a lucky break and a 2–1 lead. The Devils would later tie the game, but lose in overtime. Over the mistake with his stick, Brodeur later claimed, "It was just one of those once in a lifetime things."
|Monday, June 2||Anaheim Mighty Ducks||1 – 0||OT||New Jersey Devils||Arrowhead Pond|
Game four had no scoring throughout regulation and was a battle between goaltenders Brodeur and Giguere. But Anaheim again came out on top in overtime, winning 1–0 and tying the series.
|Thursday, June 5||New Jersey Devils||6 – 3||Anaheim Mighty Ducks||Continental Airlines Arena|
Game five, at the Meadowlands saw a continual battle for the first half the game. With the game tied 3–3 in the second period, the Devils took the lead with a deflection goal by Jay Pandolfo that was initially waved off by referees due to a kicking motion dispute with the skates, but replays showed there was no distinct kicking motion from the skates, thus the goal counted. This would prove to deflate the Ducks for the rest of the game, as Jamie Langenbrunner scored two more goals for the Devils to give New Jersey a 6–3 win and a 3–2 series lead.
|Saturday, June 7||Anaheim Mighty Ducks||5 – 2||New Jersey Devils||Arrowhead Pond|
With New Jersey looking to clinch the series, game six at Anaheim saw the Mighty Ducks return the favor of game five to the Devils with complete dominance throughout the game. Quite possibly the most remembered moment of the entire series came when the Ducks were winning 3–1 in the second period. Ducks captain Paul Kariya didn't see Scott Stevens coming after he passed the puck and was leveled by the Devils captain in a hit similar to the check that knocked out Eric Lindros during the 2000 playoffs and caused Lindros to miss the next season. Kariya was lying motionless for a few minutes, then was escorted to the locker room. Kariya unexpectedly returned to the bench minutes later. When he did, CBC broadcaster Bob Cole said, "Paul Kariya is back!" About eleven minutes after the hit, fired a slap shot that found the back of the net. The crowd at the Arrowhead Pond erupted as ABC broadcaster Gary Thorne said, "Off the floor, on the board!" This helped the Ducks win the game 5–2 and now put the Ducks within one game of clinching.
|Monday, June 9||New Jersey Devils||3 – 0||Anaheim Mighty Ducks||Continental Airlines Arena|
Game seven on New Jersey home ice saw the Devils once more completely dominate the Ducks. The game winning goal was scored by Michael Rupp. Rupp become the first player in Stanley Cup history to have his first playoff goal be the Stanley Cup winning goal. Jeff Friesen dominated his former teammates with two goals. The 3–0 win gave the Devils their third Stanley Cup victory as Anaheim could not complete their Cinderella run. However, the Mighty Ducks wouldn't leave empty handed; for his stellar play throughout the playoffs and finals, Jean-Sebastien Giguere for the Ducks was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs. He became only the fifth player, and fourth goaltender, in NHL history to have won the trophy as a member of the losing team. Many were surprised by the Conn Smythe trophy being awarded to the losing team. However, many experts felt that the Devils votes were distributed among many players who had played well in the series.
This was the first time since 1965 that all the games in the finals were won by the home team.
The New Jersey Nets were in the 2003 NBA Finals for the second year in a row at the same time the Devils won the Stanley Cup, but lost to the San Antonio Spurs in 6.
New Jersey Devils 2003 Stanley Cup champions Edit
- Ray Chambers (Owner/Governor), Lewis Katz (Owner), Peter Simon (Chairman),
- Lou Lamoriello (Chief Executive Officer/President/General Manager)
- Pat Burns (Head Coach), Bobby Carpenter Jr., John MacLean (Ass’t Coach), Jacques Caron (Goaltending Coach),
- Larry Robinson (Special Assignment Coach)
- David Conte (Director-Scouting), Claude Carrier (Ass’t Director-Scouting), Chris Lamoirello (Scout/AHL GM), Milt Fisher, Dan Labraaten(Scouts)
- Marcel Pronovost, Bob Heffmeyer, Jan Ludvig (Scouts), Dr. Barry Fisher (Head Team Physician),
- Chris Modrzynski, Terry Farmer (Vice Presidents), Vladimir Bure (Fitness Consultant), *Taran Singleton (Director-Hockey Operations/Video Coordinator),
- Bill Murray (Medical Trainer), Michael Vasalani (Strength-Conditioning Coordinator),
- Rich Matthews (Equipment Manager), Juergen Merz (Massage Therapists), Alex Abasto (Ass’t Equipment)
Stanley Cup engravings Edit
- Marcel Pronovost won his 8 Stanley Cups - 5 as Player with Detroit in 1950, 1952, 1954–55, and Toronto in 1967, as well as 3 championships as a scout for New Jersey in 1995, 2000, and 2003. He set the record for years between first and last Stanley Cup wins with 53 years.
- Christian Berglund† played 38 games for New Jersey. His name was left off the cup, because he did not play in at least 41 regular season games or a Finals game.
- Jeff Friesen was first player engaved on the Stanley Cup with full middle name JEFF DARYL FRIESEN. Some players in the past had their middle initial included along with their first name on the Stanley cup. 2003 New Jersey included 9 other players who were listed with a middle initial.
Won all three Stanley Cups with New Jersey Edit
Martin Brodeur, Sergei Brylin, Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens (5 players), Bobby Carpenter Jr. (1 player-non player), Lou Lamoriello, Larry Robinson, Jacques Caron, Claude Carrie, David Conte, Milt Fisher, Dan Labraaten, Marcel Provonost, Mike Vasalani, Peter McMullen (left cup in 2003) (10 Non-players).
- ↑ Cole, Stephen, p. 137
- Cole, Stephen (2004). The Best of Hockey Night in Canada. Toronto: McArthur & Company. ISBN 1-55278-408-8.
- Diamond, Dan (2008). Total Stanley Cup. Dan Diamond & Associates, Inc..
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books, 12, 50. ISBN 1–55168–261–3.
Detroit Red Wings
|New Jersey Devils|
Stanley Cup Champions
| Succeeded by|
Tampa Bay Lightning
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