1998 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1998 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1997–98 season, and the culmination of the 1998 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested by the Western Conference champion and defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings and the Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals. It was the 105th year of the Stanley Cup being contested. The series was the Capitals' first appearance in a Stanley Cup Final since the franchise's inception in 1974. The Red Wings won the series for the second year in a row, four games to none. It was the Wings' ninth Stanley Cup, and the most recent time when a Finals concluded with a sweep (as of 2018). This was also the last time until 2002 that a Stanley Cup Finals ended after an NBA Finals in the same season had concluded. Detroit coach Scotty Bowman won his eighth Stanley Cup in that capacity (having previously done so with the Montreal Canadiens in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979, the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, and the Wings the previous year), tying him with former Canadiens coach Toe Blake for the record of most Cups won by a coach (which he would break when he helped the Red Wings win the 2002 Cup).
|1998 Stanley Cup Finals|
|* indicates periods of overtime|
|Location(s)||Detroit: Joe Louis Arena (1, 2)|
Washington: MCI Center (3, 4)
|Coaches||Detroit: Scotty Bowman|
Washington: Ron Wilson
|Captains||Detroit: Steve Yzerman|
Washington: Dale Hunter
|Referees||Bill McCreary (1, 4)|
Don Koharski (2)
Terry Gregson (3)
|Dates||June 9 – June 16|
|MVP||Steve Yzerman (Red Wings)|
|Series-winning goal||Martin Lapointe (2:26, second, G4)|
|Networks||CBC (Canada-English), SRC (Canada-French), Fox (United States, game one), ESPN (United States, games 2–4)|
|Announcers||Bob Cole and Harry Neale (CBC), Mike Emrick and John Davidson (Fox), Gary Thorne and Bill Clement (ESPN)|
Motivation to win a second straight titleEdit
Just six days after sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 Finals, Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov sustained serious brain injuries when the limousine in which they were riding crashed. Viacheslav Fetisov was also in the limousine but was not seriously injured. The Red Wings subsequently dedicated their 1997–98 season to the two injured members and wore a patch on their jerseys bearing the players' initials. When the Red Wings were presented with the Stanley Cup, they wheeled Konstantinov onto the ice and placed the Cup in his lap. They also took him for a victory lap around the rink.
Paths to the FinalsEdit
In this series, Capitals head coach Ron Wilson became the first person to head coach in both an Olympics and a Stanley Cup Final in the same year, having coached team USA at the Nagano Olympics. Peter Laviolette would join him in this feat in 2006 while with the Carolina Hurricanes during their championship season, having coached the American ice hockey team during the Torino Olympics.
At home, Detroit took an early lead in the first period and scored two goals within two minutes and 14 seconds of each other. The Red Wings were able to hold off a Washington assault and take the first game of the series with a score of 2–1.
It looked as if the Capitals would to tie the series with a 4–2 lead in the third period, but after a Detroit goal to make it 4–3, Capitals forward Esa Tikkanen had a shot midway through the third period that would have likely put Detroit away before the venue changed back to Washington's MCI Center, and also would have changed the entire dynamic of the series, but he missed the open net shot. Detroit then rallied late in the third period to tie the game and send it into overtime. Kris Draper scored with four minutes left in the first overtime to give the Red Wings a 5–4 victory and a 2–0 lead in the series.
Detroit scored in the first 35 seconds to take an early lead which held up until the third period. The Capitals tied the game midway through the third period, but Sergei Fedorov scored to give the Wings a three games to none lead in the series.
In game four, Detroit was dominant throughout to win the game by a score of 4–1 and sweep the series. When the Cup was awarded, Vladimir Konstantinov was brought onto the ice in his wheelchair and joined the celebration with his team.
|June 9||Detroit Red Wings||2–1||Washington Capitals||Joe Louis Arena||Recap|
|June 11||Detroit Red Wings||5–4||OT||Washington Capitals||Joe Louis Arena||Recap|
|June 13||Washington Capitals||1–2||Detroit Red Wings||MCI Center||Recap|
|June 16||Washington Capitals||1–4||Detroit Red Wings||MCI Center||Recap|
|Detroit wins series 4–0 and Stanley Cup|
In Canada, the series was televised on CBC. In the United States, Fox broadcast game one while ESPN televised games two through four. Had the series extended, games five and seven would have been broadcast on Fox, and ESPN would have aired game six.
Detroit Red Wings — 1998 Stanley Cup ChampionsEdit
Coaching and administrative staff:
- Mike Ilitch Sr. (Owner/President/Governor), Marian Ilitch (Owner/Secretary-Treasurer), Atanas Ilitch (Vice President/minority Owner)
- Christopher Ilitch (Vice President/minority owner), Denise Ilitch Lites, Ronald Ilitch (Minority Owners)
- Michael Ititch Jr., Lisa Ilitch Murray, Carole Ilitch Trepeck (Minority Owners)
- Jim Devellano (Sr. Vice President), Ken Holland (General Manager), Don Waddell (Assistant General Manager), William Scotty Bowman (Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel)
- Barry Smith (Associate Coach), Dave Lewis (Associate Coach), Jim Nill (Director of Player Development/Director of Amateur Scouting), Dan Belise (Pro Scout), Mark Howe (Pro Scout)
- Jim Bedard (Goaltending Consultant), Hakan Andersson (Director of European Scouting), Mark Leach (Scout), Joe McDonnell (Scout)
- Bruce Haralson (Scout), John Wharton (Athletic Trainer), Paul Boyer (Equipment Manager), Tim Abbott (Asst. Equipment Manager)
- Bob Huddleston (Massage Therapist), Sergei Mnatsakanov (Masseur), Wally Crossman (Dressing Room Assistant)
Stanley Cup engravingsEdit
- Konstantinov's career ended in a car accident. The Red Wings still recognized him as part of the team and got permission from the league to have his name engraved.
- Wally Crossman was the oldest person engraved on the Stanley Cup at age 87.
- Detroit wanted to include a record 55 names on the Stanley Cup in 1997–98. Following that request, the NHL decided to limit the number of names to 52 to make sure all names fit on the Cup. Players who play in Stanley Cup Finals, or play at least 41 regular season games for the winning team, must be included on the Cup each year. Other players who do not officially qualify may also be included if requested by the team. There are no rules for which non-players must be included on the Stanley Cup, only a limit on total number of names going on the cup. No player who officially qualifies may be left off to include more non-players.
Included on the team picture, but left off the Stanley Cup
- #34 Norm Maracle† (G – 4 games played), #21 Darryl Laplante† (D – played 2 games) did not qualify to win the Stanley Cup. Both players spent majority of the season of in the minors. Maracle played 66 games in goal for Adirondack while Darryl Laplante played 77 on defence.
- Art Mnatsusakanov†, Johnny Remejes†, Mike Vella† (Dressing Room Asst.) – all 5 members were awarded Stanley Cup Rings
The following season, the Red Wings would reach the Western Conference Semifinals, only to be ousted by the Colorado Avalanche in six games. The Red Wings would not return to the Stanley Cup Finals until 4 years later, when they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games. The Washington Capitals, however, missed the playoffs the following year. The Capitals would not return to the Stanley Cup Finals until 20 years later winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history defeating the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in 5 games.
- Diamond, Dan (2000). Total Stanley Cup. NHL.
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7.
- Wilborn, Michael (1998). "Red Wings Fans jam Downtown". Washington Post.
Detroit Red Wings
| Detroit Red Wings
Stanley Cup Champions