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1997 Stanley Cup playoffs

The 1997 Stanley Cup playoffs, the playoff tournament of the National Hockey League (NHL), began on April 16, 1997, following the completion of the 1996–97 NHL season. The sixteen teams that qualified, eight from each conference, played best-of-seven series for conference quarter-finals, semi-finals and championships, and then the conference champions played a best-of-seven series for the Stanley Cup.

1997 Stanley Cup playoffs
Tournament details
DatesApril 16–June 7, 1997
Teams16
Defending championsColorado Avalanche
Final positions
ChampionsDetroit Red Wings
Runner-upPhiladelphia Flyers
Semifinalists
Tournament statistics
Scoring leader(s)Eric Lindros (Flyers)
(26 points)
MVPMike Vernon (Red Wings)
1996
1998

The Playoffs ended on June 7, with the Detroit Red Wings defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in a four-game sweep to win their eighth Stanley Cup championship in their history, and their first in 42 years. Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff's Most Valuable Player. It was also the first time since 1967 that the Boston Bruins failed to qualify for the playoffs, ending their 29-year consecutive playoffs appearances record.

The Stanley Cup, awarded to the champion of the NHL.

Playoff seedsEdit

The following teams qualified for the playoffs:

Eastern ConferenceEdit

  1. New Jersey Devils, Atlantic Division champions, Eastern Conference regular season champions – 104 points
  2. Buffalo Sabres, Northeast Division champions – 92 points
  3. Philadelphia Flyers – 103 points
  4. Florida Panthers – 89 points
  5. New York Rangers – 86 points
  6. Pittsburgh Penguins – 84 points
  7. Ottawa Senators – 77 points (31 wins, 8 points head-to-head vs. Montreal)
  8. Montreal Canadiens – 77 points (31 wins, 2 points head-to-head vs. Ottawa)

Western ConferenceEdit

  1. Colorado Avalanche, Pacific Division champions, Western Conference regular season champions, Presidents' Trophy winners – 107 points
  2. Dallas Stars, Central Division champions – 104 points
  3. Detroit Red Wings – 94 points
  4. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim – 85 points
  5. Phoenix Coyotes – 83 points (38 wins)
  6. St. Louis Blues – 83 points (36 wins)
  7. Edmonton Oilers – 81 points (36 wins)
  8. Chicago Blackhawks – 81 points (34 wins)

Playoff bracketEdit

  Conference Quarterfinals Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
                                     
1 New Jersey 4     1 New Jersey 1  
8 Montreal 1     5 NY Rangers 4  


2 Buffalo 4 Eastern Conference
7 Ottawa 3  
    5 NY Rangers 1  
  3 Philadelphia 4  
3 Philadelphia 4  
6 Pittsburgh 1  
4 Florida 1   2 Buffalo 1
5 NY Rangers 4     3 Philadelphia 4  


  E3 Philadelphia 0
(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)
  W3 Detroit 4
1 Colorado 4     1 Colorado 4
8 Chicago 2     7 Edmonton 1  
2 Dallas 3
7 Edmonton 4  
  1 Colorado 2
  3 Detroit 4  
3 Detroit 4  
6 St. Louis 2   Western Conference
4 Anaheim 4   3 Detroit 4
5 Phoenix 3     4 Anaheim 0  
  • 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.

Conference QuarterfinalsEdit

Eastern Conference QuarterfinalsEdit

(1) New Jersey Devils vs. (8) Montreal CanadiensEdit

Martin Brodeur became the fourth goaltender in league history to score a goal in game one. This marked the second time in NHL history that a goaltender had scored a goal in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the fifth time overall.


New Jersey won series 4–1


(2) Buffalo Sabres vs. (7) Ottawa SenatorsEdit

This was the first playoff series between these two teams. This series marked the first appearance of a team representing Ottawa in the Stanley Cup playoffs in 67 years. The most recent team to represent Ottawa prior to this was the original Ottawa Senators, who lost in the Quarterfinal round in 1930.


Buffalo won series 4–3


(3) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (6) Pittsburgh PenguinsEdit

Philadelphia won series 4–1


(4) Florida Panthers vs. (5) New York RangersEdit

New York won series 4–1


Western Conference QuarterfinalsEdit

(1) Colorado Avalanche vs. (8) Chicago BlackhawksEdit

Colorado won series 4–2


(2) Dallas Stars vs. (7) Edmonton OilersEdit

Edmonton won series 4–3


(3) Detroit Red Wings vs. (6) St. Louis BluesEdit

Detroit won series 4–2


(4) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs. (5) Phoenix CoyotesEdit

This was the first and to date only playoff series between these two teams. This was the first time the cities of Anaheim and Phoenix were represented in the Stanley Cup playoffs.


Anaheim won series 4–3


Conference SemifinalsEdit

Eastern Conference SemifinalsEdit

(1) New Jersey Devils vs. (5) New York RangersEdit

New York won series 4–1


(2) Buffalo Sabres vs. (3) Philadelphia FlyersEdit

Philadelphia won series 4–1


Western Conference SemifinalsEdit

(1) Colorado Avalanche vs. (7) Edmonton OilersEdit

Colorado won series 4–1


(3) Detroit Red Wings vs. (4) Mighty Ducks of AnaheimEdit

Detroit won series 4–0


Conference FinalsEdit

Eastern Conference FinalEdit

(3) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (5) New York RangersEdit

This was the tenth playoff series between these two teams, with Philadelphia having won five of the nine previous series. Their most recent meeting was in the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals which Philadelphia won in four games. The Rangers made their third conference final appearance and first since defeating New Jersey in seven games in 1994. Philadelphia made their fifth conference final appearance and first since losing to New Jersey in five games in 1995.

New York out shot Philadelphia in Game 1 25–21, but the Flyers ended up winning 3–1. Wayne Gretzky had his second hat-trick of the playoffs in Game 2 as the Rangers edged the Flyers 5–4. With the series tied at 1–1, the two teams moved to Madison Square Garden in New York for Games 3 and 4. This time, it was the Flyers' Eric Lindros who scored a hat-trick as Philadelphia won 6–3. In Game 4, Lindros broke a 2–2 tie with just seven seconds remaining in regulation, and the Flyers won 3–2. The Rangers scored twice in 26 seconds in the first period to take a 2–1 lead. The Flyers scored three unanswered goals and won the game 4–2 and the series four games to one. This would be the last playoff game for both Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, as neither of the players' teams made the post-season for the remainder of their careers.


Philadelphia won series 4–1


Western Conference FinalEdit

(1) Colorado Avalanche vs. (3) Detroit Red WingsEdit

This was the second playoff series between these two teams, with Colorado winning the only previous series. This was a rematch of the previous season's Western Conference Finals, which Colorado won in six games. This was Detroit's third straight and fifth overall conference finals appearance, while it was Colorado's fourth trip to conference finals in franchise history. The rivalry between the two teams was as heated as ever after the events of a brawl during a game on March 26th still fresh.

The Red Wings played a determined Game 1 as Brendan Shanahan broke a scoreless tie at 1:13 of the third period to give Detroit a 1–0 lead. Joe Sakic scored just 27 seconds later and Mike Ricci added another at 6:13 gave Colorado a 2–1 lead that they would not relinquish. In Game 2, Colorado led 2–0 but Detroit pulled to within one on a power-play goal by Igor Larionov at 16:51 of the second period. The Red Wings then went on to score three times in the third period to win 4–2 and tie the series at one game apiece. In Game 3, the Red Wings got two goals from Vyacheslav Kozlov and went on to win 2–1. Detroit also won Game 4, 6–0. Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon made 19 saves in the shutout and Igor Larionov and Kirk Maltby both scored twice. Detroit now led the series three games to one. Embarrassed and frustrated after such a lopsided loss in Game 4, Colorado came right back in Game 5 with a 6–0 win of their own, with Patrick Roy stopping all 32 shots he faced. Claude Lemieux and Joe Sakic both scored two goals in the victory. In Game 6, the Red Wings looked to close out the series. Sergei Fedorov's goal at 6:11 of the third period gave Detroit a 2–0 lead. Scott Young pulled Colorado to within one on a goal at 14:48, but the Avalanche could not score the equalizer, and Brendan Shanahan sealed the game and series for Detroit with an empty net goal at 19:30.


Detroit won series 4–2


Stanley Cup FinalsEdit

This was the first and to date only playoff series between these two teams. Detroit made their twentieth appearance in the Finals and first since 1995. Philadelphia made their seventh appearance in the Finals and first since 1987. Detroit last won the Stanley Cup in 1955, while Philadelphia last won the Stanley Cup in 1975.


Detroit won series 4–0


Playoff statisticsEdit

SkatersEdit

These are the top ten skaters based on points.[1]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Eric Lindros Philadelphia Flyers 19 12 14 26 +7 40
Joe Sakic Colorado Avalanche 17 8 17 25 +5 14
Claude Lemieux Colorado Avalanche 17 13 10 23 +7 32
Valeri Kamensky Colorado Avalanche 17 8 14 22 -1 16
Rod Brind'Amour Philadelphia Flyers 19 13 8 21 +9 10
John LeClair Philadelphia Flyers 19 9 12 21 +5 10
Wayne Gretzky New York Rangers 15 10 10 20 +5 2
Sergei Fedorov Detroit Red Wings 20 8 12 20 +5 12
Brendan Shanahan Detroit Red Wings 20 9 8 17 +8 43
Peter Forsberg Colorado Avalanche 14 5 12 17 -6 10

GoaltendersEdit

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.[2]

Player Team GP W L SA GA GAA SV% SO TOI
Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils 10 5 5 268 19 1.73 .929 2 658:48
Mike Vernon Detroit Red Wings 20 16 4 494 36 1.76 .927 1 1229:12
Ron Tugnutt Ottawa Senators 7 3 4 169 14 1.98 .917 1 424:37
Guy Hebert Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 9 4 4 255 18 2.02 .929 1 533:31
Mike Richter New York Rangers 15 9 6 488 33 2.11 .932 3 938:39

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit