1987–88 NHL season

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1987–88 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 8, 1987 – May 26, 1988
Number of games 80
Number of teams 21
Regular season
Presidents' Trophy Calgary Flames
Season MVP Mario Lemieux, (Pittsburgh)
Top scorer Mario Lemieux, (Pittsburgh)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Boston Bruins
  Eastern runners-up New Jersey Devils
Western champions Edmonton Oilers
  Western runners-up Detroit Red Wings
Playoffs MVP Wayne Gretzky, (Edmonton)
Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup champions Edmonton Oilers
  Runners-up Boston Bruins
NHL seasons

The 1987–88 NHL season was the 71st season of the National Hockey League. It was an 80 game season with the top four teams in each division advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This season would see the Edmonton Oilers win their fourth Stanley Cup in five years by sweeping the Boston Bruins 4–0 (plus one cancelled game) in the Stanley Cup Final. In the process of their cup win, Edmonton lost only two games, a record for the "16 wins" playoff format.

League business[edit]

The NHL introduced a new trophy, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which was to be awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution in his community.

Regular season[edit]

This was Wayne Gretzky's final season with the Edmonton Oilers and, as injuries held him out of 20% of the season, this would be the only season of the decade in which he was not the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy and the first season since 1979-80 that he didn't hold or share the league lead in points. Mario Lemieux would capture his first Hart Trophy and lead the league in scoring.

On 19 December, the St Louis Blues and Boston Bruins combined to score two goals in two seconds. The Bruins were trailing 6-4 in the third period when Ken Linseman scored with 10 seconds remaining, followed by Blues center Doug Gilmour scored off the resulting faceoff into an open net.[1]

Final standings[edit]

Prince of Wales Conference[edit]

Adams Division
GP W L T GF GA Pts
Montreal Canadiens 80 45 22 13 298 238 103
Boston Bruins 80 44 30 6 300 251 94
Buffalo Sabres 80 37 32 11 283 305 85
Hartford Whalers 80 35 38 7 249 267 77
Quebec Nordiques 80 32 43 5 271 306 69
[2]
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
[2]

Clarence Campbell Conference[edit]

Norris Division
GP W L T GF GA Pts
Detroit Red Wings 80 41 28 11 322 269 93
St. Louis Blues 80 34 38 8 278 294 76
Chicago Blackhawks 80 30 41 9 284 328 69
Toronto Maple Leafs 80 21 49 10 273 345 52
Minnesota North Stars 80 19 48 13 242 349 51
[2]
Smythe Division
GP W L T GF GA Pts
Calgary Flames 80 48 23 9 397 305 105
Edmonton Oilers 80 44 25 11 363 288 99
Winnipeg Jets 80 33 36 11 292 310 77
Los Angeles Kings 80 30 42 8 318 359 68
Vancouver Canucks 80 25 46 9 272 320 59
[2]

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.

Playoffs[edit]

Note: all dates in 1988

The playoffs started on April 6, and ended on May 26. The Presidents' Trophy winning Calgary Flames had home ice during the playoffs thanks in part to Edmonton's struggles without Gretzky. The Oilers, who had won the Cup in three of the previous four seasons, were still thought to have a good chance at repeating with Gretzky's return. The clash between the Flames and Oilers in the Smythe Division Final was highly anticipated.

  • In spite of Lemieux's prolific offence, the Penguins missed the playoffs.
  • Five of the North Stars' final six games were on the road. Minnesota went 1–4–1 in that stretch allowing Toronto survive their 1–8 finish.
  • On March 18, Québec was three points ahead of the Whalers (68–65). The Nordiques went winless in their final eight games (0–7–1), costing themselves a chance to fend off Hartford who finished 6–3.
  • The New Jersey Devils made the playoffs for the first time in their history, winning in overtime at Chicago Stadium on the season's final day to edge the New York Rangers for the Patrick Division's fourth spot. This was only the second time they made the playoffs including their Colorado days.

Final[edit]

The series pitted the Oilers' offensive juggernaut against the Bruins' more balanced team. The Oilers showed their defensive prowess, surrendering just 9 goals in the four completed games. Game 4 is well known for fog that interfered with the game and a power outage that caused its cancellation before a faceoff. This would allow the Oilers to win the Cup at home in the Northlands Coliseum and complete the "sweep" in a rescheduled Game 4.

Ray Bourque was physical in defending against Gretzky, but that would not ground the Great One on his way to claiming his second Conn Smythe Trophy and setting playoff records with 31 assists in just 18 games, and 13 points in the Finals series.

Boston Bruins vs. Edmonton Oilers

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
May 18 Boston 1 Edmonton 2
May 20 Boston 2 Edmonton 4
May 22 Edmonton 6 Boston 3
May 24 Edmonton 3 Boston 3 Game cancelled at 16:37 of second period due to power failure.
May 26 Boston 3 Edmonton 6

Edmonton wins best-of-seven series 4–0

Playoff bracket[edit]

Division Semi-finals Division Finals Conference Finals Final
                       
A1 Montreal 4
A4 Hartford 2
A1 Montreal 1
A2 Boston 4
A2 Boston 4
A3 Buffalo 2
A2 Boston 4
P4 New Jersey 3
P1 NY Islanders 2
P4 New Jersey 4
P2 Washington 3
P4 New Jersey 4
P2 Washington 4
P3 Philadelphia 3
A2 Boston 0
S2 Edmonton 4
N1 Detroit 4
N4 Toronto 2
N1 Detroit 4
N2 St. Louis 1
N2 St. Louis 4
N3 Chicago 1
N1 Detroit 1
S2 Edmonton 4
S1 Calgary 4
S4 Los Angeles 1
S1 Calgary 0
S2 Edmonton 4
S2 Edmonton 4
S3 Winnipeg 1

Awards[edit]

Presidents' Trophy: Calgary Flames
Prince of Wales Trophy: Boston Bruins
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl: Edmonton Oilers
Art Ross Trophy: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Bob Bourne, Los Angeles Kings
Calder Memorial Trophy: Joe Nieuwendyk, Calgary Flames
Conn Smythe Trophy: Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Guy Carbonneau, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Memorial Trophy: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Jack Adams Award: Jacques Demers, Detroit Red Wings
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins
King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Lanny McDonald, Calgary Flames
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Mats Naslund, Montreal Canadiens
Lester B. Pearson Award: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Plus/Minus Award: Brad McCrimmon, Calgary Flames,
William M. Jennings Trophy: Patrick Roy/Brian Hayward, Montreal Canadiens
Vezina Trophy: Grant Fuhr, Edmonton Oilers
Lester Patrick Trophy: Keith Allen, Fred Cusick, Bob Johnson

All-Star teams[edit]

First Team   Position   Second Team
Grant Fuhr, Edmonton Oilers G Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens
Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins D Gary Suter, Calgary Flames
Scott Stevens, Washington Capitals D Brad McCrimmon, Calgary Flames
Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins C Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
Hakan Loob, Calgary Flames RW Cam Neely, Boston Bruins
Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings LW Michel Goulet, Quebec Nordiques

Player statistics[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes, PPG = Powerplay Goals, SHG = Shorthanded Goals, GWG = Game Winning Goals

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins 77 70 98 168 92 +23 22 10 7
Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 64 40 109 149 24 +39 9 5 3
Denis Savard Chicago Blackhawks 80 44 87 131 95 +4 14 7 6
Dale Hawerchuk Winnipeg Jets 80 44 77 121 59 -9 20 3 4
Luc Robitaille Los Angeles Kings 80 53 58 111 82 -9 17 0 6
Peter Stastny Quebec Nordiques 76 46 65 111 69 +2 20 0 2
Mark Messier Edmonton Oilers 77 37 74 111 103 +21 12 3 7
Jimmy Carson Los Angeles Kings 80 55 52 107 45 -19 22 0 7
Hakan Loob Calgary Flames 80 50 56 106 47 +41 9 8 4
Michel Goulet Quebec Nordiques 80 48 58 106 56 -31 29 1 4

Source: NHL.[3]

Leading goaltenders[edit]

GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average; Sv% = Save percentage

Goalie Team GP Min W L T SO GAA Sv%
Grant Fuhr Edmonton Oilers 75 4304 40 24 9 4 3.43 88.1
Mike Vernon Calgary Flames 64 3565 39 16 7 1 3.53 87.7
Ron Hextall Philadelphia Flyers 62 3561 30 22 7 0 3.5 88.6
Mike Liut Hartford Whalers 60 3532 25 28 5 2 3.18 88.5
John Vanbiesbrouck New York Rangers 56 3319 27 22 7 2 3.38 89.0
Daniel Berthiaume Winnipeg Jets 56 3010 22 19 7 2 3.51 88.2
Ken Wregget Toronto Maple Leafs 56 3000 12 35 4 2 4.44 87.0
Tom Barrasso Buffalo Sabres 54 3133 25 18 8 2 3.31 89.6
Mario Gosselin Quebec Nordiques 54 3002 20 28 4 2 3.78 86.7
Clint Malarchuk Washington Capitals 54 2926 24 20 4 4 3.16 88.5

Source: Quanthockey.com[4]

Milestones[edit]

Debuts[edit]

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1987–88:

Last games[edit]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1987–88:

Firsts[edit]

  • Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers, First goaltender in NHL history to shoot and score a goal.

Trading deadline[edit]

  • Trading Deadline: March 8, 1988 [5]
  • March 8, 1988: Charlie Bourgeois and Hartford's third round choice in 1989 Entry Draft traded from St. Louis to Hartford for Hartford's second round choice in 1989 Entry Draft.
  • March 8, 1988: Geoff Courtnall, Bill Ranford and future considerations traded from Boston to Edmonton for Andy Moog.
  • March 8, 1988: Brian Curran traded from NY Islanders to Toronto for Toronto's sixth round choice in 1988 Entry Draft.
  • March 8, 1988: Moe Lemay traded from Edmonton to Boston for Alan May.
  • March 8, 1988: Jim Pavese traded from NY Rangers to Detroit for future considerations.
  • March 8, 1988: Gordie Roberts traded from Philadelphia to St. Louis for future considerations.
  • March 8, 1988: Steve Tsujuira traded from New Jersey to Boston for Boston's 10th round choice in 1988 Entry Draft (Alexander Semak).
  • March 8, 1988: Steve Weeks traded from Hartford to Vancouver for Richard Brodeur.

Hat Tricks[edit]

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. ^ "Etched in Stone: The Top 20 Most Unbreakable Records in NHL History". Bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 153. ISBN 9781894801225. 
  3. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 153.
  4. ^ NHL Goaltender Leaders During 1987-88 Season | QuantHockey.com
  5. ^ NHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out

External links[edit]