Photo credit:Canadian Press/Bill Grimshaw
On this day in 1985, the Edmonton Oilers win their second straight Stanley Cup
8 months ago
On this day in 1985, the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 8-3 in a five-game battle to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Fans bellowed through Northlands Coliseum sporting their orange, blue, and white gear, beers in hand, yelling “Na na na, Na na na Hey Philly, Goodbye!” as Al Turner and Greg Owens of the Edmonton Journal recalled of the events that took place on another glorious day in Oilers history.
But before there was the Flyers, or even the playoffs at all for that matter, there was regular season play. The Oilers were pumping the competition with a record of 33-9-6 before their game against the Winnipeg Jets on February 6, 1985. Led by the infamous Wayne Gretzky, this team really was picture-perfect. It was a team filled with names and faces that would forever be a part of this city and this team. They had the speed, the skills, and the grit, they indeed had it all, and it showed. Everyone knew it.
There was a brief moment in the final 32 games of the year when their record took a turn going 11-11-5, but nonetheless the boys still pulled out on top of the Smythe Division to head into playoffs.
The first round was matched against a familiar face for the Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings. The team from the City of Angels fought hard, forcing overtime twice in their three-game contest, but the boys in blue and orange would take their brooms and clean up nicely in three games.
Moving into the second round, the Oilers would face the Jets, the team they had swept the previous year to help capture their first Stanley Cup. They say you can’t have the same thing twice, but that was just a lousy saying for this team as they repeated their series from the previous year knocking the Jets out of the race to Lord Stanley’s throne.
This is where things start to get exciting, the Campbell Conference Finals against the Chicago Black Hawks. This series would go down in NHL history holding records that still stand today. It would start at Northlands, with the Oilers blowing out the Black Hawks 11-2 in game one and 7-3 in game two. As the game shifted to the rickety Chicago Stadium, things would begin to get shaken up, and the Oilers would lose their nine-game winning streak when the Black Hawks responded, winning game three 5-2 and game four 8-6. Maybe they got too confident, or perhaps the Hawks weren’t ready to go down without a fight; regardless, Chicago had just forced six games.
The Oilers would eventually return and defeat the Black Hawks in game five, doubling their opponent’s goals 10-5 and game six winning 8-6. Jari Kurri would have three hat tricks throughout the six games and set a new NHL record for most hat tricks in a single series. Edmonton would set a record for most goals in a series by one team at 44, and the two teams would share a record for most goals in a series at 69.
Although the Oilers had punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals, it wasn’t time to celebrate quite yet, as they’d be up against the Flyers, a team who swept them out of the playoffs in 1980 and had won all three of their regular season matches. Philadelphia wouldn’t let them forget it either, taking game one 4-1 at the Spectrum, but to our delight, the Oilers would come back and win the next four games.
The job wasn’t over yet when they played game five at home. It would be played in front of thousands of Oilers fans at Northlands who were ready to take to the streets of Jasper Ave and celebrate once more. As Kurri opened the scoring in the first period, followed by Willy Lindstrom, the chants began to ring out, “The Cup Stays Here!” Rich Sutter would respond by putting one past Grant Fuhr, but Paul Coffey would shut down any glimpse of hope the Flyers had, scoring back-to-back through Philly netminder Bob Froese to close out the first period. Mark Messier, Mike Krushelnyski, and Gretzky would all find the back of the net in the second period leaving the Flyers with five unanswered goals.
As the score for Edmonton began to climb, so did the penalties, with five in the first period, nine in the second, and an eyebrow-raising 18 in the third. This truly was an all-out battle. Brian Propp would finally respond, making the score 7-2, but Messier wouldn’t let the game end there and buried one more. Sutter would come back to bag one last goal for the Flyers, but ultimately, the Oilers would come out as number one, winning 8-3. The Oilers outshot their opponents 41-22 throughout the game. Wayne Gretzky was awarded his first Conn Smythe Trophy, and the Cup was returned to the City of Champions.
This day wrote history, the Oilers had won their second consecutive Stanley Cup, and the conversation of the dynasty began. They became a team that no one wanted to play catch-up to, showed off a new level of skills with blind backhand passes, shattered records, and went down as one of the best teams in the history of the NHL.
Aleena Aksenchuk is an intern with Oilersnation and the Nation Network. She can be found on Twitter at @A_Aksenchuk8
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