2002–03 NHL season

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2002–03 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 9, 2002 – June 9, 2003
Number of games 82
Number of teams 30
Regular season
Presidents' Trophy Ottawa Senators
Season MVP Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche
Top scorer Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche
Playoffs
Eastern champions New Jersey Devils
  Eastern runners-up Ottawa Senators
Western champions Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
  Western runners-up Minnesota Wild
Playoffs MVP Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Stanley Cup
Champions New Jersey Devils
  Runners-up Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
NHL seasons

The 2002–03 NHL season was the 86th regular season of the National Hockey League. The Stanley Cup winners were the New Jersey Devils, who won the best of seven series 4–3 against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Regular season[edit]

As always the regular season saw several surprises. The San Jose Sharks, who many felt would be one of the elite teams in the West, stumbled early and badly disassembled much of the team. The two-year-old Minnesota Wild, on the other hand, got out to an early start and held onto their first-ever playoff berth throughout the season, winning coach Jacques Lemaire the Jack Adams Award.

The elite teams of previous years such as the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils, were joined by two younger Canadian teams, the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks. The Dallas Stars, which had missed the playoffs the year before, returned as a major power, backed by the record-setting goaltending of Marty Turco.[citation needed]

The most surprising team was probably the Tampa Bay Lightning, which many had predicted to finish last, winning their first Southeast Division title and making the playoffs for the first time in seven years. The most disappointing teams, other than the Sharks, were the New York Rangers, who finished out of the playoffs again despite bearing the league's leading payroll, and the Carolina Hurricanes, who finished last overall after a surprise run to the Stanley Cup Final the year before. On January 8, 2003, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Michael Leighton gained a shutout in his NHL debut in a 0-0 tie versus the Phoenix Coyotes. Coyotes goaltender Zac Bierk earned his first career shutout, although it was not his NHL debut. It was the first—and with the abolition of ties two years later, the only—time that two goalies in the same game both earned their first career shutouts.[1]

At the midpoint of the season the Canucks lead the Western Conference, and Ottawa lead the East. Vancouver stumbled somewhat over the stretch and lost the Northwest Division title to Colorado and the Western Conference one to Dallas. Ottawa continued to dominate, having the best season in franchise history and winning both the Eastern Conference and the Presidents' Trophy.

The season was also marred by financial difficulties. Despite their success, the Ottawa Senators were in bankruptcy protection for almost all of 2003, and at one point could not pay the players. Owner Rod Bryden tried a variety of innovative financing strategies, but these all failed and the team was purchased after the season by billionaire Eugene Melnyk. The Buffalo Sabres also entered bankruptcy protection before being bought by New York businessman Tom Golisano. The financial struggles of the Pittsburgh Penguins continued as the team continued to unload its most expensive players.

The season was marked by a great number of coaches being fired, from Bob Hartley in Colorado to Darryl Sutter in San Jose and Bryan Trottier of the New York Rangers.

Worries over the decline in scoring and the neutral zone trap continued. The season began with an attempted crack down on obstruction and interference, but by the midpoint of the season this effort had petered out.

Final standings[edit]

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points

Eastern Conference[edit]

Atlantic Division
No. CR GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts
1 2 New Jersey Devils 82 46 20 10 6 216 166 108
2 4 Philadelphia Flyers 82 45 20 13 4 211 166 107
3 8 New York Islanders 82 35 34 11 2 224 231 83
4 9 New York Rangers 82 32 36 10 4 210 231 78
5 14 Pittsburgh Penguins 82 27 44 6 5 189 255 65


Northeast Division
No. CR GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts
1 1 Ottawa Senators 82 52 21 8 1 263 182 113
2 5 Toronto Maple Leafs 82 44 28 7 3 236 208 98
3 7 Boston Bruins 82 36 31 11 4 245 237 87
4 10 Montreal Canadiens 82 30 35 8 9 206 234 77
5 12 Buffalo Sabres 82 27 37 10 8 190 219 72


Southeast Division
No. CR GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts
1 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 82 36 25 16 5 219 210 93
2 6 Washington Capitals 82 39 29 8 6 224 220 92
3 11 Atlanta Thrashers 82 31 39 7 5 226 284 74
4 13 Florida Panthers 82 24 36 13 9 176 237 70
5 15 Carolina Hurricanes 82 22 43 11 6 171 240 61


Eastern Conference[2]
R Div GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts
1 P- Ottawa Senators NE 82 52 21 8 1 263 182 113
2 Y- New Jersey Devils AT 82 46 20 10 6 216 166 108
3 Y- Tampa Bay Lightning SE 82 36 25 16 5 219 210 93
4 X- Philadelphia Flyers AT 82 45 20 13 4 211 166 107
5 X- Toronto Maple Leafs NE 82 44 28 7 3 236 208 98
6 X- Washington Capitals SE 82 39 29 8 6 224 220 92
7 X- Boston Bruins NE 82 36 31 11 4 245 237 87
8 X- New York Islanders AT 82 35 34 11 2 224 231 83
8.5
9 New York Rangers AT 82 32 36 10 4 210 231 78
10 Montreal Canadiens NE 82 30 35 8 9 206 234 77
11 Atlanta Thrashers SE 82 31 39 7 5 226 284 74
12 Buffalo Sabres NE 82 27 37 10 8 190 219 72
13 Florida Panthers SE 82 24 36 13 9 176 237 70
14 Pittsburgh Penguins AT 82 27 44 6 5 189 255 65
15 Carolina Hurricanes SE 82 22 43 11 6 171 240 61

Divisions: AT – Atlantic, NE – Northeast, SE – Southeast

P- Clinched Presidents Trophy; Y- Clinched Division; X- Clinched Playoff spot


Western Conference[edit]

Central Division
No. CR GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts
1 2 Detroit Red Wings 82 48 20 10 4 269 203 110
2 5 St. Louis Blues 82 41 24 11 6 253 222 99
3 9 Chicago Blackhawks 82 30 33 13 6 207 226 79
4 13 Nashville Predators 82 27 35 13 7 183 206 74
5 15 Columbus Blue Jackets 82 29 42 8 3 213 263 69


Northwest Division
No. CR GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts
1 3 Colorado Avalanche 82 42 19 13 8 251 194 105
2 4 Vancouver Canucks 82 45 23 13 1 264 208 104
3 6 Minnesota Wild 82 42 29 10 1 198 178 95
4 8 Edmonton Oilers 82 36 26 11 9 231 230 92
5 12 Calgary Flames 82 29 36 13 4 186 228 75


Pacific Division
No. CR GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts
1 1 Dallas Stars 82 46 17 15 4 245 169 111
2 7 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 82 40 27 9 6 203 193 95
3 10 Los Angeles Kings 82 33 37 6 6 203 221 78
4 11 Phoenix Coyotes 82 31 35 11 5 204 230 78
5 14 San Jose Sharks 82 28 37 9 8 214 239 73

[3]

Note: CR = Conference rank; GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; OTL = Overtime loss; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points
         Bolded teams qualified for the playoffs.


Western Conference
R Div GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts
1 Z- Dallas Stars PA 82 46 17 15 4 245 169 111
2 Y- Detroit Red Wings CE 82 48 20 10 4 269 203 110
3 Y- Colorado Avalanche NW 82 42 19 13 8 251 194 105
4 X- Vancouver Canucks NW 82 45 23 13 1 264 208 104
5 X- St. Louis Blues CE 82 41 24 11 6 253 222 99
6 X- Minnesota Wild NW 82 42 29 10 1 198 178 95
7 X- Mighty Ducks of Anaheim PA 82 40 27 9 6 203 193 95
8 X- Edmonton Oilers NW 82 36 26 11 9 231 230 92
8.5
9 Chicago Blackhawks CE 82 30 33 13 6 207 226 79
10 Los Angeles Kings PA 82 33 37 6 6 203 221 78
11 Phoenix Coyotes PA 82 31 35 11 5 204 230 78
12 Calgary Flames NW 82 29 36 13 4 186 228 75
13 Nashville Predators CE 82 27 35 13 7 183 206 74
14 San Jose Sharks PA 82 28 37 9 8 214 239 73
15 Columbus Blue Jackets CE 82 29 42 8 3 213 263 69

Divisions: PA – Pacific, CE – Central, NW – Northwest

Z- Clinched Conference; Y- Clinched Division; X- Clinched Playoff spot

Source: McCarthy, Dave, ed. (2009). NHL Official Guide and Record Book 2009. NHL. p. 156. 

Playoffs[edit]

2003 Stanley Cup playoffs logo

Note: All dates in 2003.

The Stanley Cup playoffs was one of shocking upsets in the Western Conference and hard fought battles in the Eastern Conference.

The most closely watched series in the first round was that between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers. Two teams built around physical play with high salary and front-page trade deadline acquisitions. The series did not disappoint and the Flyers ousted the Leafs in seven games. The Senators easily dispatched the New York Islanders, who had traded away their starting goaltender (Chris Osgood) before the playoffs. Despite losing the first two games, Tampa Bay rallied and defeated their division rival the Washington Capitals. New Jersey easily defeated the Boston Bruins, effectively shutting down star player Joe Thornton.

In the west, the first round was one of unmitigated shock to all hockey watchers. The defending champions and perennial cup favourite Detroit Red Wings were swept by the underdog Mighty Ducks of Anaheim behind the goaltending of Jean-Sebastien Giguere. After losing three out of the first four games, the Minnesota Wild came back and defeated the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche in game seven. Vancouver also lost three of its first four games with the St. Louis Blues, but then rallied and won game seven. The only round that surprised no one was round seven of the Dallas Stars-Edmonton Oilers grudge match that saw the first place Stars oust the Oilers with only some difficulty.

The second round in the west brought more upsets. The Minnesota Wild again fell 3–1 behind while playing Vancouver, but rallied and defeated them in seven games. Giguère's stellar goaltending continued to triumph as the Ducks ousted the Stars in six games. The Western Conference final was a meeting of two dark horse teams, but the superb goaltending of Giguère and the Ducks triumphed over the tight checking of the Minnesota Wild. This was the first time since 1994 that a team other than Detroit, Colorado, or Dallas had won the Western conference and earned a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. These playoffs also signaled an end to the dominance of the afore mentioned three teams and shift the balance of power in the Western conference towards teams like Anaheim and San Jose. Of Detroit, Colorado, and Dallas only Detroit has returned to the Stanley Cup Final since, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 and losing the Final to Pittsburgh in 2009.

The east was far more predictable as Tampa Bay's youth showed when playing the grizzled veterans of the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators dispatched a tired Flyers team for the second year in a row. The Eastern Conference finals were a contrast of styles between the offensively explosive Senators and the defense minded Devils. The Devils came out to an early lead in the series, Ottawa rallied, winning games five and six on the energizing play of rookie Jason Spezza, but then the Devils regained their form as goaltender Martin Brodeur helped them win game seven and advance to the Stanley Cup final for the third time in four years.

Final[edit]

The Stanley Cup Final was a duel between two elite goaltenders, but after seven games the Devils triumphed to win their third Cup in seven years. The series also saw Scott Stevens land one of his prototypical crushing hits on Anaheim captain Paul Kariya, similar to the one that had knocked out Eric Lindros, then of the Flyers in the 2000 Playoffs. Unlike Lindros, Kariya returned to the game only ten minutes later and scored.

Anaheim vs. New Jersey
Date Away Home
May 27 Anaheim 0 3 New Jersey
May 29 Anaheim 0 3 New Jersey
May 31 New Jersey 2 3 Anaheim OT
June 2 New Jersey 0 1 Anaheim OT
June 5 Anaheim 3 6 New Jersey
June 7 New Jersey 2 5 Anaheim
June 9 Anaheim 0 3 New Jersey
New Jersey wins series
4–3 and Stanley Cup
J. S. Giguere (Anaheim)
wins Conn Smythe Trophy

Playoff bracket[edit]

  Conference Quarterfinals Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
                                     
1  Ottawa 4     1  Ottawa 4  
8  NY Islanders 1     4  Philadelphia 2  


2  New Jersey 4 Eastern Conference
7  Boston 1  
    1  Ottawa 3  
  2  New Jersey 4  
3  Tampa Bay 4  
6  Washington 2  
4  Philadelphia 4   2  New Jersey 4
5  Toronto 3     3  Tampa Bay 1  


  E2  New Jersey 4
(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)
  W7  Anaheim 3
1  Dallas 4     1  Dallas 2
8  Edmonton 2     7  Anaheim 4  
2  Detroit 0
7  Anaheim 4  
  7  Anaheim 4
  6  Minnesota 0  
3  Colorado 3  
6  Minnesota 4   Western Conference
4  Vancouver 4   4  Vancouver 3
5  St. Louis 3     6  Minnesota 4  
  • During the first three rounds home ice is determined by seeding number, not position on the bracket. In the Finals the team with the better regular season record has home ice.

Awards[edit]

The NHL Awards presentation took place in Toronto.

Presidents' Trophy: Ottawa Senators
Prince of Wales Trophy: New Jersey Devils
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Art Ross Trophy: Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings
Calder Memorial Trophy: Barret Jackman, St. Louis Blues
Conn Smythe Trophy: Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Jere Lehtinen, Dallas Stars
Hart Memorial Trophy: Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche
Jack Adams Award: Jacques Lemaire, Minnesota Wild
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Brendan Shanahan, Detroit Red Wings
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Alexander Mogilny, Toronto Maple Leafs
Lester B. Pearson Award: Markus Naslund, Vancouver Canucks
Lester Patrick Trophy: Willie O'Ree, Raymond Bourque, Ron DeGregorio
Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy: Milan Hejduk, Colorado Avalanche
NHL Plus/Minus Award: Peter Forsberg & Milan Hejduk, Colorado Avalanche
Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award: Marty Turco, Dallas Stars
Vezina Trophy: Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
William M. Jennings Trophy: Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils;
Roman Cechmanek & Robert Esche, Philadelphia Flyers

All-Star teams[edit]

First team   Position   Second team
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils G Marty Turco, Dallas Stars
Al MacInnis, St. Louis Blues D Sergei Gonchar, Washington Capitals
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings D Derian Hatcher, Dallas Stars
Peter Forsberg, Colorado Avalanche C Joe Thornton, Boston Bruins
Todd Bertuzzi, Vancouver Canucks RW Milan Hejduk, Colorado Avalanche
Markus Naslund, Vancouver Canucks LW Paul Kariya, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Player statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Peter Forsberg Colorado 75 29 77 106
Markus Naslund Vancouver 82 48 56 104
Joe Thornton Boston 77 36 65 101
Milan Hejduk Colorado 82 50 48 98
Todd Bertuzzi Vancouver 82 46 51 97
Pavol Demitra St. Louis 78 36 57 93
Glen Murray Boston 82 44 48 92
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh 67 28 63 91
Dany Heatley Atlanta 77 41 48 89
Zigmund Palffy Los Angeles 76 37 48 85
Mike Modano Dallas 79 28 57 85
Sergei Fedorov Detroit 80 36 47 83

Source: NHL.[4]

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
Marty Turco Dallas Stars 55 3203 92 1.72 31 10 10 7
Roman Cechmanek Philadelphia Flyers 58 3350 102 1.83 33 15 10 6
Dwayne Roloson Minnesota Wild 50 2945 98 2.00 23 16 8 4
Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils 73 4374 147 2.02 41 23 9 9
Patrick Lalime Ottawa Senators 67 3943 142 2.16 39 20 7 8
Patrick Roy Colorado Avalanche 63 3769 137 2.18 35 15 13 5
Manny Legace Detroit Red Wings 25 1406 51 2.18 14 5 4 0
Tomas Vokoun Nashville Predators 69 3974 146 2.20 25 31 11 3
Robert Esche Philadelphia Flyers 30 1638 60 2.20 12 9 3 2
Manny Fernandez Minnesota Wild 35 1979 75 2.24 19 13 2 2

Playoffs[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts
Jamie Langenbrunner New Jersey Devils 24 11 7 18
Scott Niedermayer New Jersey Devils 24 2 16 18
Marian Gaborik Minnesota Wild 18 9 8 17
John Madden New Jersey Devils 24 6 10 16
Marian Hossa Ottawa Senators 18 5 11 16
Mike Modano Dallas Stars 12 5 10 15
Jeff Friesen New Jersey Devils 24 10 4 14
Markus Naslund Vancouver Canucks 14 5 9 14
Sergei Zubov Dallas Stars 12 4 10 14
Andrew Brunette Minnesota Wild 18 7 6 13
Wes Walz Minnesota Wild 18 7 6 13

Milestones[edit]

Debuts[edit]

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 2002–03 (listed with their first team):


Last games[edit]

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 2002–03 (listed with their last team):

2003 trade deadline[edit]

Trading deadline: March 11, 2003.[5] Here is a list of major trades for the 2002-03 NHL trade deadline:

For complete list, see NHL trade deadline.

Hat tricks[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5. 
Notes
  1. ^ Hockey’s Book of Firsts, p.19, James Duplacey, JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9
  2. ^ "2002–2003 Standings by Conference". National Hockey League. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2009). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book/2010. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 163. 
  4. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 156.
  5. ^ NHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out

External links[edit]