1976–77 NHL season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1976–77 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 5, 1976 – May 14, 1977
Number of games 80
Number of teams 18
Regular season
Season champions Montreal Canadiens
Season MVP Guy Lafleur, (Montreal Canadiens)
Top scorer Guy Lafleur, (Montreal Canadiens)
Playoffs
Playoffs MVP Guy Lafleur, (Montreal Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup champions Montreal Canadiens
  Runners-up Boston Bruins
NHL seasons

The 1976–77 NHL season was the 60th season of the National Hockey League. The Kansas City Scouts moved to Denver, Colorado, and became the Colorado Rockies and the California Golden Seals moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and became the Cleveland Barons. The Montreal Canadiens once again dominated the playoffs as, for the second straight year, they swept their opponent four games to none in the final series for the Stanley Cup.

League business[edit]

Not since the Ottawa Senators had relocated in 1934, becoming the St. Louis Eagles, had an NHL team moved. This year saw not one, but two teams relocate. The Kansas City Scouts moved to Denver, Colorado, and became the Colorado Rockies and the California Golden Seals moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and became the Cleveland Barons. The instability, along with the poor performances of the Washington Capitals and the Scouts since the 1974 expansion, caused the league to shelve an expansion to Denver and Seattle that had been proposed for this season.

This season was Clarence Campbell's last as NHL President. He would be succeeded by John Ziegler.

Regular season[edit]

The previous season saw the Montreal Canadiens set new records in wins and points. Both of those records were broken again by the Canadiens this season as, with the highest points percentage in post-expansion NHL history (.825), they had 60 wins and 132 points. Their home record was an impressive 33 wins, 1 loss, and 6 ties. Scoring a remarkable two hundred goals more than they allowed, the Canadiens were a full 20 points ahead of the second-place Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers, however, were swept in four straight games by the third-place Boston Bruins in the semi-finals. The Bruins were in turn swept by the Canadiens in four straight in the finals.

On February 2, 1977, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Ian Turnbull became the first player in NHL history to score five goals on five shots.[1]

Final standings[edit]

Prince of Wales Conference
Adams Division
  GP W L T GF GA PTS
Boston Bruins 80 49 23 8 312 240 106
Buffalo Sabres 80 48 24 8 301 220 104
Toronto Maple Leafs 80 33 32 15 301 285 81
Cleveland Barons 80 25 42 13 240 292 63

[2]

Norris Division
GP W L T GF GA Pts
Montreal Canadiens 80 60 8 12 387 171 132
Los Angeles Kings 80 34 31 15 271 241 83
Pittsburgh Penguins 80 34 33 13 240 252 81
Washington Capitals 80 24 42 14 221 307 62
Detroit Red Wings 80 16 55 9 183 309 41

[2]

Clarence Campbell Conference
Patrick Division
  GP W L T GF GA Pts
Philadelphia Flyers 80 48 16 16 323 213 112
New York Islanders 80 47 21 12 288 193 106
Atlanta Flames 80 34 34 12 264 265 80
New York Rangers 80 29 37 14 272 310 72

[2]

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

[2]

Playoffs[edit]

The New York Islanders won six consecutive games before the semi-final and were the only team from the preliminary round to make it to the semi-finals, where they lost to the first-ranked, defending champion and eventual champion Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens swept the St. Louis Blues, dispatched the Islanders in six to reach the final. The losses to the Islanders were the Canadiens' only losses of their playoff run. Second-ranked Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in the quarter-final, before being swept by the third-ranked Boston Bruins in the semi-final.

Playoff structure[edit]

For the 1976-77 Stanley Cup playoff tournament, the top three teams in each division were awarded playoff berths. These twelve teams were then ranked 1 through 12 according to their regular season records, irrespective of divisional affiliation. The four division winners automatically qualified for the quarter-finals, while the remaining eight teams (2nd and 3rd place teams in each division) played a preliminary round. For the preliminary round, the top-ranked non-division winner played the twelfth-ranked team, the second top ranked non-division winner played the eleventh-ranked team, the third ranked non-division winner played the third-lowest ranked non-division winner. (This did not necessarily have to be the tenth-ranked team, as it was possible for a tenth-ranked team to win its division. In fact, St. Louis did win the Smythe Division as the tenth-ranked playoff team.) The remaining two non-division winners formed the fourth preliminary round pairing. The preliminary round consisted of a best-of-three series with the first game played on the home ice of the higher-ranked team, and the second game on the home ice of the lower-ranked team. If a third and deciding game was necessary, it was played on the home ice of the higher-ranked team.

For the quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds, each series was a best-of-seven, with home-ice advantage in games 1, 2, 5 and 7 going to the team with the better regular season record. The other team hosted games 3 and 4, and game 6 if it was necessary.

The four preliminary round winners joined the four division winners for a quarter-final round consisting of best-of-seven series. The matchups were determined according to regular season records without regard to divisional affiliations. Of the eight remaining teams, the top-ranked team played the lowest-ranked remaining team, the second-highest-ranked remaining team played the second-lowest-ranked remaining team, etc.

The four quarter-final winners advanced to the semi-finals, with the match-ups again determined by regular season records. The highest-ranked remaining team played the lowest-ranked remaining team, and the other two teams formed the second match-up.

The two semi-final winners played each other in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Playoff bracket[edit]

  Preliminary Round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Stanley Cup Finals
                                     
        
  1  Montreal 4  
    10  St. Louis 0  
      
        
  1  Montreal 4  
  4  NY Islanders 2  
4  NY Islanders 2  
12  Chicago 0  
  4  NY Islanders 4
    5  Buffalo 0  
5  Buffalo 2
11  Minnesota 0  
  1  Montreal 4
  3  Boston 0
        
        
  2  Philadelphia 4
    8  Toronto 2  
7  Pittsburgh 1
8  Toronto 2  
  2  Philadelphia 0
  3  Boston 4  
        
        
  3  Boston 4
    6  Los Angeles 0  
6  Los Angeles 2
9  Atlanta 1  

Preliminary[edit]

(4) New York Islanders vs. (12) Chicago Black Hawks[edit]

New York wins 2-0


(5) Buffalo Sabres vs. (11) Minnesota North Stars[edit]

Buffalo wins series 2–0


Semifinals[edit]

(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (4) New York Islanders[edit]

Montreal won series 4-2


(2) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (3) Boston Bruins[edit]

Boston won series 4-0


Final[edit]

The defending champion Montreal Canadiens took on the "Original Six" rival, the third-ranked Boston Bruins in the Final. Both teams had swept a series and had lost only two games in the earlier rounds. The Canadiens swept the series in four games to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup.


Montreal won series 4-0


Awards[edit]

1977 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Wales Conference regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:
(Campbell Conference regular season champion)
Philadelphia Flyers
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer, regular season)
Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:
(Perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication)
Ed Westfall, New York Islanders
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Top first-year player)
Willi Plett, Atlanta Flames
Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens
Jack Adams Award:
(Best coach)
Scotty Bowman, Montreal Canadiens
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Larry Robinson, Montreal Canadiens
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Marcel Dionne, Los Angeles Kings
Lester B. Pearson Award:
(Outstanding player, regular season)
Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team(s) with best goaltending record)
Ken Dryden & Michel Larocque, Montreal Canadiens
Lester Patrick Trophy:
(Service to hockey in the U.S.)
John Bucyk, Murray A. Armstrong, John Mariucci

All-Star teams[edit]

First Team   Position   Second Team
Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens G Rogie Vachon, Los Angeles Kings
Larry Robinson, Montreal Canadiens D Denis Potvin, New York Islanders
Borje Salming, Toronto Maple Leafs D Guy Lapointe, Montreal Canadiens
Marcel Dionne, Los Angeles Kings C Gilbert Perreault, Buffalo Sabres
Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens RW Lanny McDonald, Toronto Maple Leafs
Steve Shutt, Montreal Canadiens LW Rick Martin, Buffalo Sabres

Player statistics[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties In Minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Guy Lafleur Montreal Canadiens 80 56 80 136 20
Marcel Dionne Los Angeles Kings 80 53 69 122 12
Steve Shutt Montreal Canadiens 80 60 45 105 28
Rick MacLeish Philadelphia Flyers 79 49 48 97 42
Gilbert Perreault Buffalo Sabres 80 39 56 95 30
Tim Young Minnesota North Stars 80 29 66 95 58
Jean Ratelle Boston Bruins 78 33 61 94 22
Lanny McDonald Toronto Maple Leafs 80 46 44 90 77
Darryl Sittler Toronto Maple Leafs 73 38 52 90 89
Bobby Clarke Philadelphia Flyers 80 27 63 90 71

Source: NHL.[3]

Leading goaltenders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; Min - Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Michel Larocque Montreal Canadiens 26 1525 53 2.09 19 2 4 4
Ken Dryden Montreal Canadiens 56 3275 117 2.14 41 6 8 10
Chico Resch N.Y. Islanders 46 2711 103 2.28 26 13 6 4
Billy Smith N.Y. Islanders 36 2089 98 2.50 21 8 6 2
Don Edwards Buffalo Sabres 25 1480 62 2.51 16 7 2 2
Gerry Desjardins Buffalo Sabres 49 2871 126 2.63 31 12 6 3
Bernie Parent Philadelphia Flyers 61 3525 159 2.71 35 13 12 5
Rogatien Vachon L.A. Kings 68 4059 184 2.72 33 23 12 8
Denis Herron Pittsburgh Penguins 34 1920 94 2.94 15 11 5 1
Dunc Wilson Pittsburgh Penguins 45 2627 129 2.95 18 19 8 5

Debuts[edit]

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1976–77 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games[edit]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1976–77 (listed with their last team):

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X. 
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5. 
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9. 
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1. 
Notes
  1. ^ Hockey’s Book of Firsts, p.27, James Duplacey, JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
  2. ^ a b c d Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 151. ISBN 9781894801225. 
  3. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 150.

External links[edit]