Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders became only the second man in NHL history to score 50 goals in his first 50 games. In the 50th game, played at his home rink, he had 48 goals going into the 3rd and final period (before the advent of overtime games). Bossy admitted being so embarrassed and upset that he contemplated not going out on the ice for the final period. However, Bossy got his 49th goal with 5:15 left to go in the game and the 50th with 1:50 remaining, sending the Nassau Coliseum into a delirium. Maurice Richard, the only other man to accomplish this feat, was on hand to congratulate Bossy.
Bossy's Islanders finished as regular season champions with 110 points with the St. Louis Blues finishing a close second at 107 points.
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold
The Stanley Cup playoffs would see the New York Islanders dominate on their way to winning their second consecutive Stanley Cup. Notably, in the first round against the Maple Leafs, the Isles swept a three-game series, outscoring Toronto 20-4. The Islanders would go on to defeat Edmonton in six games in the quarter-finals, and in the semi-finals, the Islanders swept the Rangers and outscored them 22-8.
In game one of the Edmonton-Montreal series, Wayne Gretzky had five assists. This was a single game playoff record. Another distinction was in the Minnesota North Stars' sweep of the Boston Bruins; the two games the North Stars won in Boston Garden were the first games that the team had won in Boston, either regular season or playoff, since the team had joined the NHL in 1967.
March 10, 1981: Rick Martin traded from Buffalo to Los Angeles for Los Angeles' third round choice in 1981 Entry Draft (Colin Chisholm) and Los Angeles' first round choice in 1983 Entry Draft (Tom Barrasso).
March 10, 1981: Jim Rutherford traded from Toronto to Los Angeles for Los Angeles' fifth round choice in 1981 Entry Draft (Barry Brigley).
March 10, 1981: Garry Unger traded from Los Angeles to Edmonton for Edmonton's seventh round choice in 1981 Entry Draft (Craig Hurley).
March 10, 1981: Ron Zanussi and Minnesota's third round choice in 1981 Entry Draft traded from Minnesota to Toronto for Toronto's second round choice in 1981 Entry Draft(Ernie Godden).
Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN0-7710-4179-9.
Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN0-7853-9624-1.