1980–81 Hartford Whalers season

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1980–81 Hartford Whalers
Division 4th Norris
1980–81 record 21–41–18
Goals for 292
Goals against 372
Team information
General Manager Jack Kelley
Coach Don Blackburn
Captain Mike Rogers
Alternate captains None
Team leaders
<1979–80 1981–82>

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

October[edit]

The Whalers opened the 1980-81 season with a four game road trip, and on October 9, they lost 8-6 to the St. Louis Blues, followed by a 9-3 loss two nights later against the Minnesota North Stars. After a 2-2 tie against the Buffalo Sabres, the Whalers earned their first victory on October 15, with a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hartford played their first home game of the season on October 18 against the Detroit Red Wings in front of 10,287 fans. The Whalers Al Sims led the way with two goals, and John Garrett made 26 saves in the Whalers 4-2 victory. The team would post a 3-0-1 record on their opening four game home stand.

The Whalers would finish the month with a solid record of 5-4-2, earning 12 points, and second place in the Norris Division, three points behind the first place Los Angeles Kings.

November[edit]

The Whalers would slump to begin the month of November, as the club would go winless in their first eight games (0-6-2) of the month before earning a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on November 22. The Whalers would follow that game up with a huge 11-3 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks the next night.

Hartford would end November with two wins in their final three games, bringing their season record to 8-12-4 record with 20 points, sitting in third place in the Norris Division.

December[edit]

The Whalers opened December with a five game western road trip, in which the team put up a respectable 2-2-1 record, with wins over the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets.

The team returned home for two games, as Hartford tied the Los Angeles Kings 5-5 on December 13, followed by a 5-4 win over the Boston Bruins on December 17. The Whalers then headed out for a three game road trip before Christmas, in which the Whalers tied the Bruins 5-5, lost to the Quebec Nordiques 6-5, followed by a huge 7-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 23.

On December 26, the Whalers and Pittsburgh Penguins played a very high scoring game, as Hartford came out on top with a 9-7 victory. Hartford ended the month with a 5-5 tie against the defending Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders the next night.

Overall, the Whalers had a 5-3-4 record in 12 December games, and improved to 13-15-8, earning 34 points, for the season. The Whalers continued to stay into third place in the Norris Division, five points ahead of the fourth place Pittsburgh Penguins.

January[edit]

Hartford got off to a bad start in January, losing their first three games, snapping their losing streak with a 6-6 tie against the Edmonton Oilers on January 9. The Whalers earned their first win of the month the next night, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-3.

The Whalers losing ways would return though, as the club lost four games in a row, including three by one goal, before ending the streak with a tie against the St. Louis Blues on January 21. Hartford would then lose their next two games, extending their winless streak to seven games, before the team finally defeated the Colorado Rockies 6-3 on January 28. Hartford then went winless in their last two games (0-1-1) of the month.

The team managed a 2-10-3 record in 15 games for the month, and had a 15-25-11 record, getting 41 points at the end January. Hartford fell into fourth place in the Norris Division, one point behind the third place Pittsburgh Penguins, and four points ahead of the last place Detroit Red Wings.

February[edit]

The Whalers losing ways continued into February, as Hartford would go winless in their first nine games of the month (0-4-5), and extend their overall winless streak to 11 games.

After their 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 19, the Whalers fired head coach Don Blackburn, and replaced him with Larry Pleau.

In his first game as the head coach, Pleau ended the Whalers winless skid, as Hartford defeated the New York Rangers 6-5 on February 22. The club won their next game three nights later, defeating the Minnesota North Stars 3-2, however, their winning streak ended with a 5-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on February 27.

The Whalers had a 2-5-5 record in February, and had a 4-15-8 record since the start of January. The Whalers overall season record at the end of February was 17-30-16, as they earned 50 points, and remained in fourth place in the Norris Division, only two points ahead of the Detroit Red Wings.

March/April[edit]

The Whalers began March with two straight losses before earning a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on March 6. Hartford then went on a five game winless skid (0-4-1) before earning another victory, which was a huge 9-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Hartford would continue to struggle for the rest of the regular season, as they posted a 2-5-1 record in their final eight games after the 9-3 win over the Canadiens.

The team finished their second season with a 21-41-18 record, earning 60 points, and fourth place in the Norris Division, four points ahead of the Detroit Red Wings. The Whalers failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in team history.

Final standings[edit]

Norris Division
GP W L T GF GA Pts
Montreal Canadiens 80 45 22 13 332 232 103
Los Angeles Kings 80 43 24 13 337 290 99
Pittsburgh Penguins 80 30 37 13 302 345 73
Hartford Whalers 80 21 41 18 292 372 60
Detroit Red Wings 80 19 43 18 252 339 56

[1]Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.

Schedule and results[edit]

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 L October 9, 1980 6–8 @ St. Louis Blues (1980–81) 0–1–0
2 L October 11, 1980 3–9 @ Minnesota North Stars (1980–81) 0–2–0
3 T October 12, 1980 3–3 @ Buffalo Sabres (1980–81) 0–2–1
4 W October 15, 1980 5–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1980–81) 1–2–1
5 W October 18, 1980 4–2 Detroit Red Wings (1980–81) 2–2–1
6 T October 19, 1980 3–3 New York Islanders (1980–81) 2–2–2
7 W October 22, 1980 3–0 Colorado Rockies (1980–81) 3–2–2
8 W October 25, 1980 4–2 Quebec Nordiques (1980–81) 4–2–2
9 L October 26, 1980 1–6 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1980–81) 4–3–2
10 W October 29, 1980 5–3 Detroit Red Wings (1980–81) 5–3–2
11 L October 30, 1980 2–8 @ Montreal Canadiens (1980–81) 5–4–2
12 T November 1, 1980 4–4 Vancouver Canucks (1980–81) 5–4–3
13 L November 5, 1980 1–6 @ St. Louis Blues (1980–81) 5–5–3
14 T November 6, 1980 3–3 @ Colorado Rockies (1980–81) 5–5–4
15 L November 8, 1980 4–5 Philadelphia Flyers (1980–81) 5–6–4
16 L November 12, 1980 1–5 Minnesota North Stars (1980–81) 5–7–4
17 L November 15, 1980 4–8 Washington Capitals (1980–81) 5–8–4
18 L November 16, 1980 3–7 @ New York Rangers (1980–81) 5–9–4
19 L November 20, 1980 0–5 @ New York Islanders (1980–81) 5–10–4
20 W November 22, 1980 4–3 Vancouver Canucks (1980–81) 6–10–4
21 L November 23, 1980 3–11 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1980–81) 6–11–4
22 W November 26, 1980 8–4 Winnipeg Jets (1980–81) 7–11–4
23 W November 28, 1980 6–4 Edmonton Oilers (1980–81) 8–11–4
24 L November 29, 1980 2–5 Buffalo Sabres (1980–81) 8–12–4
25 L December 2, 1980 2–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1980–81) 8–13–4
26 T December 3, 1980 4–4 @ Vancouver Canucks (1980–81) 8–13–5
27 W December 6, 1980 5–3 @ Calgary Flames (1980–81) 9–13–5
28 L December 7, 1980 4–6 @ Edmonton Oilers (1980–81) 9–14–5
29 W December 10, 1980 8–5 @ Winnipeg Jets (1980–81) 10–14–5
30 T December 13, 1980 5–5 Los Angeles Kings (1980–81) 10–14–6
31 W December 17, 1980 5–4 Boston Bruins (1980–81) 11–14–6
32 T December 20, 1980 4–4 @ Boston Bruins (1980–81) 11–14–7
33 L December 21, 1980 5–6 @ Quebec Nordiques (1980–81) 11–15–7
34 W December 23, 1980 7–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1980–81) 12–15–7
35 W December 26, 1980 9–7 Pittsburgh Penguins (1980–81) 13–15–7
36 T December 27, 1980 5–5 New York Islanders (1980–81) 13–15–8
37 L January 2, 1981 1–3 Montreal Canadiens (1980–81) 13–16–8
38 L January 3, 1981 1–8 @ New York Islanders (1980–81) 13–17–8
39 L January 7, 1981 3–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1980–81) 13–18–8
40 T January 9, 1981 6–6 @ Edmonton Oilers (1980–81) 13–18–9
41 W January 10, 1981 5–3 @ Winnipeg Jets (1980–81) 14–18–9
42 L January 12, 1981 2–5 St. Louis Blues (1980–81) 14–19–9
43 L January 14, 1981 4–5 Los Angeles Kings (1980–81) 14–20–9
44 L January 17, 1981 2–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1980–81) 14–21–9
45 L January 18, 1981 2–3 @ Washington Capitals (1980–81) 14–22–9
46 T January 21, 1981 6–6 St. Louis Blues (1980–81) 14–22–10
47 L January 23, 1981 2–4 Calgary Flames (1980–81) 14–23–10
48 L January 24, 1981 4–7 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1980–81) 14–24–10
49 W January 28, 1981 6–3 Colorado Rockies (1980–81) 15–24–10
50 T January 30, 1981 5–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1980–81) 15–24–11
51 L January 31, 1981 3–5 Buffalo Sabres (1980–81) 15–25–11
52 L February 2, 1981 2–4 @ Quebec Nordiques (1980–81) 15–26–11
53 T February 4, 1981 3–3 Boston Bruins (1980–81) 15–26–12
54 L February 7, 1981 2–6 Chicago Black Hawks (1980–81) 15–27–12
55 T February 8, 1981 6–6 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1980–81) 15–27–13
56 T February 12, 1981 2–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1980–81) 15–27–14
57 L February 14, 1981 4–7 @ Minnesota North Stars (1980–81) 15–28–14
58 T February 15, 1981 4–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1980–81) 15–28–15
59 T February 18, 1981 3–3 Winnipeg Jets (1980–81) 15–28–16
60 L February 19, 1981 2–6 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1980–81) 15–29–16
61 W February 22, 1981 6–5 New York Rangers (1980–81) 16–29–16
62 W February 25, 1981 3–2 Minnesota North Stars (1980–81) 17–29–16
63 L February 27, 1981 1–5 @ Calgary Flames (1980–81) 17–30–16
64 L March 1, 1981 0–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1980–81) 17–31–16
65 L March 3, 1981 4–5 @ Colorado Rockies (1980–81) 17–32–16
66 W March 6, 1981 5–3 @ Buffalo Sabres (1980–81) 18–32–16
67 L March 8, 1981 4–5 Calgary Flames (1980–81) 18–33–16
68 T March 10, 1981 4–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1980–81) 18–33–17
69 L March 11, 1981 2–5 Washington Capitals (1980–81) 18–34–17
70 L March 14, 1981 2–6 @ New York Rangers (1980–81) 18–35–17
71 L March 15, 1981 2–4 @ Boston Bruins (1980–81) 18–36–17
72 W March 18, 1981 9–3 Montreal Canadiens (1980–81) 19–36–17
73 L March 21, 1981 4–6 New York Rangers (1980–81) 19–37–17
74 T March 22, 1981 3–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1980–81) 19–37–18
75 L March 25, 1981 2–7 Edmonton Oilers (1980–81) 19–38–18
76 W March 27, 1981 5–3 @ Washington Capitals (1980–81) 20–38–18
77 L March 29, 1981 1–4 Philadelphia Flyers (1980–81) 20–39–18
78 W April 1, 1981 5–4 Quebec Nordiques (1980–81) 21–39–18
79 L April 3, 1981 1–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1980–81) 21–40–18
80 L April 5, 1981 4–5 Pittsburgh Penguins (1980–81) 21–41–18

Playoffs[edit]

Player statistics[edit]

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1980-81 Hartford Whalers
Goaltenders

Defensemen

Wingers

Centers

Draft picks[edit]

Farm teams[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 152. ISBN 9781894801225. 

External links[edit]