Ten teams from the initial list of 96 Stanley Cup champions are still competing for the title of Greatest NHL Team after three rounds of head-to-head voting.
As part of the League’s Centennial celebration, voting for the Greatest NHL Teams, sponsored by SAP in the U.S. and by Honda in Canada, opened on April 18.
The 1984–85 Edmonton Oilers, the greatest team in NHL history, were unveiled on Monday before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final by Wayne Gretzky, the league’s all-time leading scorer. Teams 2 through 10 were previously revealed.
05. 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers won their third Stanley Cup in four seasons after a year away from the Final. Edmonton and Philadelphia played seven games for the first time since Montreal and Chicago in 1971.
After losing Game 1 of the playoffs at home to the Los Angeles Kings, the Oilers won Game 2 13-3, starting an eight-game winning streak that helped them beat the Kings and Jets. A five-game conference final win set up a dramatic Cup Final versus the Flyers that wasn’t settled until Glenn Anderson’s insurance goal late in Game 7. Gretzky had 29 assists and 34 points in 21 postseason games.
04. 1987-88 Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers won their fourth Stanley Cup in five years with a 4-0 series win over the Boston Bruins, who were in the final for the first time in 10 years. Oilers went 16-2 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after finishing second in the Smythe Division.
The Cup Final was tied for the first time since 1927. In Game 4, the Oilers led the best-of-7 series 3-0 when a power breakdown at Boston Garden interrupted play with the game at 3-3. Under NHL rules, the game was suspended and will be completed if Game 7 is needed. The Oilers won the championship in Edmonton, 6-3. Wayne Gretzky won the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP for the second time with 13 points (three goals, 10 assists).
03. 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens went 60-8-12 and 12-2 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They swept the Boston Bruins in the Final for their second straight championship. Montreal won their sixth straight Final against Boston.
Jacques Lemaire scored the Cup-winning overtime goal in Game 4 to join Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens (three) and Don Raleigh of the New York Rangers (two). Lemaire scored in overtime in the 1968 Final against the Blues. Ken Dryden became the fifth NHL goalie with four postseason shutouts in Game 2. Guy Lafleur was postseason MVP with 9 goals and 17 assists in 14 games.
02. 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Pittsburgh Penguins swept the Chicago Blackhawks to win their second straight Stanley Cup. The 1992 Penguins and Blackhawks tied for the longest postseason winning streak in NHL history with 11 games. Chicago’s streak lasted three rounds; Pittsburgh won 11 straight to repeat. In Game 1 of the Final, the Penguins beat the Blackhawks 5-4.
Mario Lemieux earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP for the second straight year. He’s the second player in League history to do it (Philadelphia Flyers goalie Bernie Parent, 1974 and 1975). The Penguins won back-to-back Cups with a different coach for the third time. Scotty Bowman repeated “Badger” Bob Johnson’s 1991 win. Top 5 Greatest NHL Teams.
01. 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers went 15-3 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1985, including a five-game Final win over Philadelphia Flyers. Wayne Gretzky achieved NHL records for assists (30) and points (47) in a single postseason, and he tied the current Final goal mark with seven (1982). Top 5 Greatest NHL Teams.
Jari Kurri tied the NHL postseason record with 19 goals in 18 games. Four hat tricks, including a four-goal game, broke Mark Messier’s playoff record of three in 1982-83. Paul Coffey has 12 goals, 25 assists, and 37 points in one postseason, shattering NHL records. Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins owned the goals (nine, 1970) and assists (19, 1972) records, and Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders had the points record (25, 1981).
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