1998 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1998 Stanley Cup Finals NHL championship series was contested by the Western Conference champion and defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings and the Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals. It was the 105th year of the Stanley Cup being contested. It was the Capitals' first appearance in a Stanley Cup Final since the franchise's inception in 1974. The Red Wings won the series for the second year in a row, four games to none. It was the Wings' ninth Stanley Cup, and as of 2015[update], this is the last season in which a defending Stanley Cup champion has successfully defended and retained the Stanley Cup and is also the most recent time when a Finals concluded with a sweep. This was also the last time until 2002 that a Stanley Cup Finals ended after an NBA Finals in the same season had concluded.
Motivation to win a second straight title
Just six days after sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 Final, two of the Red Wings, defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov were in a limousine wreck and sustained serious brain injuries. Viacheslav Fetisov was also in the limousine but was not seriously injured. The Red Wings subsequently dedicated their 1997-98 season to the two injured members and wore a patch on their jerseys bearing the players' initials. When the Red Wings were presented with the Stanley Cup, they wheeled Konstantinov onto the ice and placed the Cup in his lap. They also took him for a victory lap around the ice rink.
Road to the Final
In this series, Capitals Head Coach Ron Wilson became the first person to head coach in both an Olympics and a Stanley Cup Final in the same year, having coached team USA at the Nagano Olympics. Peter Laviolette would join him in this feat in 2006 while with the Carolina Hurricanes during their championship season, having coached the American ice hockey team during the Torino Olympics.
At home, Detroit took an early lead in the first period and scored two goals within two minutes and 14 seconds of each other. The Red Wings were able to hold off a Washington Capitals assault and take the first game of the series with a score of 2-1.
It looked like the Washington Capitals were going to tie the series with a 4-2 lead in the third period, but after a Detroit goal to make it 4-3, Washington Capitals forward Esa Tikkanen had a shot midway through the third period that would have all but put Detroit away before the venue changed back to Washington's MCI Center, and also would have changed the entire dynamic of the series, but he missed the open net shot. Detroit then rallied late in the third period to tie the game and send it into overtime. Kris Draper scored with four minutes left in the first overtime to give the Red Wings a 5-4 victory and a 2-0 lead in the series.
Detroit scored in the first 35 seconds to take an early lead which held up until the third period. The Capitals tied the game midway through the third period but Sergei Fedorov of the Wings scored to give the Wings a three games to none lead in the series.
In game four, Detroit was dominant throughout to win the game by a score of 4-1 and sweep the series.
|June 9||Detroit Red Wings||2–1||Washington Capitals||Joe Louis Arena||Recap|
|June 11||Detroit Red Wings||5–4||OT||Washington Capitals||Joe Louis Arena||Recap|
|June 13||Washington Capitals||1–2||Detroit Red Wings||MCI Center||Recap|
|June 16||Washington Capitals||1–4||Detroit Red Wings||MCI Center||Recap|
|Detroit wins series 4–0 and Stanley Cup|
Detroit Red Wings - 1998 Stanley Cup Champions
- Coaching and administrative staff
- Mike Ilitch Sr. (owner/President/Governor), Marian Ilitch (owner/Secretary-Treasurer), Atanas Ilitch (Vice President/minority owner)
- Christopher Ilitch (Vice President/minority owner), Denise Ilitch Lites, Ronald Ilitch (minority owners)
- Michael Ititch Jr., Lisa Ilitch Murray, Carole Ilitch Trepeck (minority owners)
- Jim Devellano (Sr. Vice President), Ken Holland (General Manager), Don Waddell (Ass't General Manager), William Scotty Bowman (Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel)
- Barry Smith (Associate Coach), Dave Lewis (Associate Coach), Jim Nill (Director of Player Development/Director of Amateur Scouting), Dan Belise (Pro Scout), Mark Howe (Pro Scout)
- Jim Bedard (Goaltending Consultant), Hakan Andersson (Director of European Scouting), Mark Leach (Scout), Joe McDonnell (Scout)
- Bruce Haralson (Scout), John Wharton (Athletic Trainer), Paul Boyer (Equipment Manager), Tim Abbott (Asst. Equipment Manager)
- Bob Huddleston (Massage Therapist), Sergei Mnatsakanov (Masseur), Wally Crossman (Dressing Room Assistant)
Stanley Cup engravings
- Konstantinov's career ended in a car accident. The Red Wings still recognized him as part of the team and got permission from the league to have his name engraved.
- Wally Crossman was the oldest person engraved on the Stanley Cup at age 87.
- Detroit wanted to included a record 55 names on the Stanley Cup in 1997–98. Following that request, NHL decided to limit the number of names to 52 to make sure all names fit on the Cup. Players who play in Stanley Cup Finals, or play at least 41 regular season games for the winning team, must be included on the Cup each year. Other players who do not officially qualify may also be included if requested by the team. There are no rules for which non-players must be included on the Stanley Cup, only a limit on total number of names going on the cup. No player who officially qualifies may be left off to include more non-players.
Included on the team picture, but left off the Stanley Cup
- #34 Norm Maracle† (G - 4 games played), #21 Darryl Laplante† (D - played 2 games) did not qualify to win the Stanley Cup. Both players spent majority of the season of in the minors.
- Art Mnatsusakanov†, Johnny Remejes†, Mike Vella† (Dressing Room Asst.) - all 5 members were awarded Stanley Cup Rings
- Diamond, Dan (2000). Total Stanley Cup. NHL.
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7.
- Wilborn, Michael (1998). "Red Wings Fans jam Downtown". Washington Post.
Detroit Red Wings
|Detroit Red Wings
Stanley Cup Champions