2010 Stanley Cup playoffs

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2010 Stanley Cup playoffs
2010 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs logo.png
Tournament details
Dates April 14–June 9, 2010
Teams 16
Final positions
Champions Chicago Blackhawks
Runner-up Philadelphia Flyers
Tournament statistics
Scoring leader(s) Daniel Briere (Philadelphia)
(30 points)
MVP Jonathan Toews (Chicago)

The 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 14, 2010, after the 2009–10 NHL regular season.[1] The Finals ended on June 9, 2010, with the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games to win their fourth championship and their first since 1961. Blackhawks center and team captain Jonathan Toews was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' most valuable player.

This NHL post-season was noted for the unexpected playoff successes of two teams: the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens, who were the seventh and eighth seeds in their conference and were tied for points. The Flyers became the third NHL team to win a seven-game series after being down 3–0 (the others being the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders).[2] The Flyers went on to play in the Stanley Cup Final, losing to Chicago. Meanwhile, the Canadiens became the first eighth-seeded team in NHL history to win a series against the first-seeded team after being down 3–1 in a series, when they beat the Washington Capitals in the first round.[3] After upsetting the defending Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, the Canadiens became the first eighth-seeded team to compete in the Eastern Conference Finals since the current playoff format was implemented in 1994.[4]

Previously, only the eighth-seeded 2006 Edmonton Oilers had accomplished a similar feat, winning the 2006 Western Conference Finals. As a result of the Canadiens having the eighth seed, the Flyers became the first seventh-seed to have home-ice advantage in the conference finals since the current playoff format was instituted. During the 2010 playoffs, 18 games went to overtime.[5]

Playoff seeds[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

  1. Washington Capitals, Southeast Division champions, Eastern Conference regular season champions, President's Trophy winners – 121 points
  2. New Jersey Devils, Atlantic Division champions – 103 points
  3. Buffalo Sabres, Northeast Division champions – 100 points
  4. Pittsburgh Penguins – 101 points
  5. Ottawa Senators – 94 points
  6. Boston Bruins – 91 points
  7. Philadelphia Flyers – 88 points (41 wins)
  8. Montreal Canadiens – 88 points (39 wins)

Western Conference[edit]

  1. San Jose Sharks, Pacific Division champions, Western Conference regular season champions – 113 points
  2. Chicago Blackhawks, Central Division champions – 112 points
  3. Vancouver Canucks, Northwest Division champions – 103 points
  4. Phoenix Coyotes – 107 points
  5. Detroit Red Wings – 102 points
  6. Los Angeles Kings – 101 points
  7. Nashville Predators – 100 points
  8. Colorado Avalanche – 95 points

Playoff bracket[edit]

  Conference Quarterfinals Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
1  Washington 3     4  Pittsburgh 3  
8  Montreal 4     8  Montreal 4  

2  New Jersey 1 Eastern Conference
7  Philadelphia 4  
    8  Montreal 1  
  7  Philadelphia 4  
3  Buffalo 2  
6  Boston 4  
4  Pittsburgh 4   6  Boston 3
5  Ottawa 2     7  Philadelphia 4  

  E7  Philadelphia 2
(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)
  W2  Chicago 4
1  San Jose 4     1  San Jose 4
8  Colorado 2     5  Detroit 1  
2  Chicago 4
7  Nashville 2  
  1  San Jose 0
  2  Chicago 4  
3  Vancouver 4  
6  Los Angeles 2   Western Conference
4  Phoenix 3   2  Chicago 4
5  Detroit 4     3  Vancouver 2  
  • 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.

In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference was matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher-seeded team was awarded home ice advantage, which gives them a possible maximum of four games on their home ice, with the lower-seeded team getting a possible maximum of three. In the Stanley Cup Finals, home ice was determined based on regular season points. Thus, the Chicago Blackhawks had home ice advantage for the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. Each best-of-seven series followed a 2–2–1–1–1 format. This means that the higher-seeded team had home ice for games one and two and if necessary, five and seven, while the lower-seeded team had home ice for games three, four, and if necessary, game six. Home ice proved to be a minimal advantage, as home teams had a record of 46 wins to 43 losses during all four rounds of the playoffs.

Conference Quarterfinals[edit]

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals[edit]

(1) Washington Capitals vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens[edit]

The Washington Capitals entered the playoffs as the Presidents' Trophy winner, earning the NHL's best regular season record with 121 points. The Montreal Canadiens qualified for the post-season as the eighth seed with 88 points. This was the first playoff series between the two franchises and only the second time the Caps faced a Canadian team in the playoffs. Jose Theodore was facing one of his former clubs. Montreal's difference in the series is the fifth largest point differential (33 points) for a lower-seeded team beating a higher-seeded team in playoff history. It is also the first time an eight-seeded team has come back against a number one seed after being down 3–1 in the series.[3]

Montreal won series 4–3

(2) New Jersey Devils vs. (7) Philadelphia Flyers[edit]

The New Jersey Devils entered the playoffs as the second seed in the Eastern Conference after winning the Atlantic Division with 103 points. The Philadelphia Flyers earned the seventh seed with 88 points, winning the tiebreaker over Montreal on total wins (41 to 39). The two franchises met in the playoffs for the first time since the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2004, having previously met in the 2000 and 1995 Eastern Conference Finals.

Philadelphia won series 4–1

(3) Buffalo Sabres vs. (6) Boston Bruins[edit]

The Buffalo Sabres entered the playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference after winning the Northeast Division with 100 points. The Boston Bruins earned the sixth seed with 91 points. The last meeting between the two franchises took place in the 1999 Eastern Conference Semifinal, which the Sabres won 4–2. The turning points in the series were the injury to Thomas Vanek in game two, the Sabres blowing a two-goal lead in game four and losing in double overtime, and the waiving of an automatic suspension against Bruins captain Zdeno Chara after game five.[citation needed]

Boston won series 4–2

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Ottawa Senators[edit]

The Pittsburgh Penguins, the defending Stanley Cup champions, entered the playoffs as the fourth-overall seed in the Eastern Conference with 101 points. The Ottawa Senators earned 94 points during the regular season to finish fifth-overall in the Eastern Conference. This was the third meeting between the two clubs and third time in four years, all occurring during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, with Ottawa winning the series 4–1 in 2007, and Pittsburgh sweeping the series in 2008 (the Senators did not qualify for the playoffs in 2009).

Pittsburgh won series 4–2

Western Conference Quarterfinals[edit]

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (8) Colorado Avalanche[edit]

The San Jose Sharks entered the playoffs as the regular season Western Conference champions, with 113 points. The Colorado Avalanche earned 95 points to clinch the eighth playoff seed in the Western Conference. The franchises previously faced each other in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2004, which the Sharks won 4–2. The Avalanche played the first playoffs after the retirement of Joe Sakic.

San Jose won series 4–2

(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (7) Nashville Predators[edit]

The Chicago Blackhawks entered the playoffs as the second-overall seed in the Western Conference, having clinched the Central Division title with 112 points. The Nashville Predators qualified for the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, clinching the seventh seed with 100 points. This was the first time these two franchises met each other in the playoffs. Nashville's Game 1 victory in Chicago was the franchise's first-ever road playoff win; they had previously lost each of their previous games: three times in 2004 and 2008 against Detroit and twice each in 2006 and 2007, both against San Jose.

Chicago won series 4–2

(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) Los Angeles Kings[edit]

The Vancouver Canucks entered the playoffs as the third overall seed in the Western Conference, having clinched the Northwest Division title with 103 points. The Los Angeles Kings qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2002, clinching the sixth seed with 101 points. The two franchises met for the first time since the 1993 Smythe Division Final, which the Kings won 4–2.

Vancouver won series 4–2

(4) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (5) Detroit Red Wings[edit]

The Phoenix Coyotes qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2002, finishing the regular season with 107 points (the most in franchise history), and entered the playoffs as the fourth-overall seed in the Western Conference. The Detroit Red Wings, making their 19th straight playoff appearance, earned 102 points during the regular season to finish fifth overall in the Western Conference. Phoenix and Detroit faced each other in the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 1998 playoffs, with the Red Wings defeating Phoenix 4–2. The franchises also met in the 1996 Western Conference Quarterfinals, with the Red Wings defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4–2, after which the Winnipeg franchise moved to Phoenix.

Detroit won series 4–3

Conference Semifinals[edit]

Eastern Conference Semifinals[edit]

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens[edit]

This was the second time that Montreal and Pittsburgh have met in the playoffs. The only previous playoff series between Montreal and Pittsburgh was the 1998 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal, in which the Canadiens defeated the Penguins 4–2. Game seven was the last game ever to be played at Mellon Arena, the Penguins' home rink since the start of the franchise as the Canadiens dethroned the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins. Incidentally, the Canadiens were the winners of the first game played against the Penguins at Mellon Arena in 1967.[6] The Penguins moved into the Consol Energy Center starting the next season.

Montreal won series 4–3

(6) Boston Bruins vs. (7) Philadelphia Flyers[edit]

This was the first time the franchises have met in the playoffs since 1978, when the Bruins defeated the Flyers 4-1 in the Stanley Cup Semifinals. Boston and Philadelphia had previously met in the Semifinals in 1976 and 1977. The Flyers won the first of those matchups, 4-1, with Boston sweeping in 1977. Philadelphia and Boston also met in the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals, which Philadelphia won 4–2 to become the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. The turning points in the series were the injury of Dave Krecji in game three and the return of Simon Gagne in game four in which he scored the OT winner (and the winner in game seven). Philadelphia came back from a 3–0 deficit to win the series 4–3, becoming the third NHL team to achieve this feat, and the first since the 1975 New York Islanders. In the final game of this series, Philadelphia also came back from a 3–0 goal deficit to win game seven by a score of 4–3.[2][7]

The Bruins lost game seven on a Flyers power-play goal as a result of a too many men penalty.[8] Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe said that "watching the Bruins blow a series on a too-many-men penalty is like watching the 1978 Red Sox lose a one-game playoff on a homer hit by a guy named Bucky."[9] The collapse as a result of the penalty brought back memories of the 1979 Stanley Cup semi-finals when they lost to their bitter rivals (and eventual champions), the Montreal Canadiens largely in part to a too many men penalty which forced overtime, and eventually, the Canadiens win.[10]

Philadelphia won series 4–3

Western Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (5) Detroit Red Wings[edit]

The Sharks and the Red Wings last faced off in the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals, which Detroit won 4–2. There have been two other series between these franchises in the mid-1990s, with each team winning one.

San Jose won series 4–1

(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (3) Vancouver Canucks[edit]

This is the third second-round series between Vancouver and Chicago under the current playoff format. Vancouver and Chicago competed in the Western Conference Semifinals the previous year, with the Blackhawks winning the series 4–2. In 1995, the Blackhawks swept the series.

Chicago won series 4–2

Conference Finals[edit]

Eastern Conference Final[edit]

(7) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens[edit]

This was the first ever conference final contested by the seventh and eighth seeds. The Canadiens and the Flyers both earned 88 points in the regular season, but Philadelphia's greater number of victories gave them the higher seed. There were five previous meetings between Montreal and Philadelphia, including the 1976 Stanley Cup Finals. Their last meeting was in the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals which Philadelphia won 4–1.

Philadelphia won series 4–1

Western Conference Final[edit]

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (2) Chicago Blackhawks[edit]

This was the first ever playoff series between the Sharks and the Blackhawks. There were four games between these two teams during the regular season, with Chicago leading San Jose three games to one. This was the only sweep of the entire playoffs.

Chicago won series 4–0

Stanley Cup Finals[edit]

The Chicago Blackhawks had home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals since they finished the regular season with more points (112) than the Philadelphia Flyers (88). This was the second playoff series between the two teams and the first since 1971 when the Blackhawks swept the Flyers in the Stanley Cup quarterfinals. Prior to the 2010 Finals, both teams had previously lost in their last five consecutive Finals appearances (Chicago in 1962, 1965, 1971, 1973, and 1992; and Philadelphia in 1976, 1980, 1985, 1987, and 1997). Having lost in the 2010 Finals, the Flyers became the third team in NHL history to lose in six consecutive Finals appearances, after the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. It also was the first time since the Flyers themselves lost in 1987 that a team in the city of Philadelphia lost a championship in a non-presidential inauguration year (Phillies in 1993 and 2009 World Series, Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, Flyers in 1997, and 76ers in 2001 NBA Finals).[11]

Chicago won series 4–2

This was the first Stanley Cup won in overtime since the New Jersey Devils in 2000.

Player statistics[edit]


These are the top ten skaters based on points. If the list exceeds ten skaters because of a tie in points, goals take precedence.[12]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/–
Briere, DanielDaniel Briere Philadelphia Flyers 23 12 18 30 +9
Toews, JonathanJonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks 22 7 22 29 -1
Kane, PatrickPatrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks 22 10 18 28 -2
Richards, MikeMike Richards Philadelphia Flyers 23 7 16 23 -1
Sharp, PatrickPatrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks 22 11 11 22 +10
Giroux, ClaudeClaude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers 23 10 11 21 +7
Leino, VilleVille Leino Philadelphia Flyers 19 7 14 21 +10
Cammalleri, MichaelMichael Cammalleri Montreal Canadiens 19 13 6 19 -6
Crosby, SidneySidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins 13 6 13 19 +6
Franzen, JohanJohan Franzen Detroit Red Wings 12 6 12 18 +8

GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/– = Plus/minus


This is a combined table of the top five goaltenders based on goals against average and the top five goaltenders based on save percentage with at least 420 minutes played. The table is sorted by GAA, and the criteria for inclusion are bolded.[13][14]

Leighton, MichaelMichael Leighton Philadelphia Flyers 13 8 3 371 31 2.46 .916 3 757:13
Boucher, BrianBrian Boucher Philadelphia Flyers 12 6 6 298 27 2.47 .909 1 655:37
Halak, JaroslavJaroslav Halak Montreal Canadiens 18 9 9 562 43 2.55 .923 0 1,013:24
Nabokov, EvgeniEvgeni Nabokov San Jose Sharks 15 8 7 407 38 2.56 .907 1 889:51
Rask, TuukkaTuukka Rask Boston Bruins 13 7 6 409 36 2.61 .912 0 829:03
Niemi, AnttiAntti Niemi Chicago Blackhawks 22 16 6 645 58 2.63 .910 2 1,321:51
Howard, JimmyJimmy Howard Detroit Red Wings 12 5 7 387 33 2.75 .915 1 720:26

GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; SA = Shots against; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average; SV% = Save percentage; SO = Shutouts; TOI = Time on ice (minutes:seconds)


  1. ^ "2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs Quarterfinals Schedule". National Hockey League. April 11, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Compton, Brian (May 14, 2010). "Double comeback: Flyers rally in Game 7 to advance". Boston: National Hockey League. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Questions galore for Capitals after quick exit". Washington, D.C.: National Hockey League. Associated Press. April 29, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Canadiens stun Penguins 5-2 in Game 7". National Hockey League. May 13, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  5. ^ Carchidi, Sam (June 10, 2010). "Sudden Death; Flyers' unforgettable run ends as Hawks win Cup". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C1. 
  6. ^ "Pittsburgh Penguins 1967-68 Game Log and Scores". Nhlreference.com. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ Ulman, Howard (May 14, 2010). "Flyers complete shocking comeback". Toronto Star. Boston. Associated Press. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ Shinzawa, Fluto (May 15, 2010). "They're history; Bruins suffer epic collapse to Flyers". Boston Globe. p. C1. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (May 15, 2010). "A chance to change, but a familiar ending". Boston Globe. p. C1. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ Kalman, Matt (May 14, 2010). "Too many men? Too much misery". ESPNBoston.com. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  11. ^ Warren, Ken (June 2, 2010). "Two cities that could use a CUP". Ottawa Citizen. p. B3. 
  12. ^ "2009–2010 - Playoffs - All Skaters - Summary - Total points". NHL.com. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ "2009–2010 - Playoffs - Goalie - Summary - Goals against average". NHL.com. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  14. ^ "2009–2010 - Playoffs - Goalie - Summary - Save percentage". NHL.com. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
Preceded by
2009 Stanley Cup playoffs
Stanley Cup playoffs
Succeeded by
2011 Stanley Cup playoffs