1973–74 NHL season

The 1973–74 NHL season was the 57th season of the National Hockey League. The Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup championship, the team's first. The team was the first of the post-1967 teams to win the Cup.

1973–74 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 10, 1973 – May 19, 1974
Number of games78
Number of teams16
Draft
Top draft pickDenis Potvin
Picked byNew York Islanders
Regular season
Season championsBoston Bruins
Season MVPPhil Esposito (Bruins)
Top scorerPhil Esposito (Bruins)
Playoffs
Playoffs MVPBernie Parent (Flyers)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsPhiladelphia Flyers
  Runners-upBoston Bruins

League business

With owner Charles O. Finley unable to find a buyer, the league took over operation of the troubled California Golden Seals in February 1974.

Regular season

The Philadelphia Flyers, who developed the nickname "Broad Street Bullies" because of their physical style of play, dethroned the Chicago Black Hawks as the West Division champions behind the dominant play of Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent.

In the East Division, the Boston Bruins regained the top spot in the East and the league, behind an ongoing offensive juggernaut that saw Bruins' players finish 1–2–3–4 in NHL scoring (Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman) for the second and most recent time in league history.

Final standings

East Division[1]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1Boston Bruins7852179349221+128113
2Montreal Canadiens7845249293240+5399
3New York Rangers78402414300251+4994
4Toronto Maple Leafs78352716274230+4486
5Buffalo Sabres78323412242250−876
6Detroit Red Wings78293910255319−6468
7Vancouver Canucks78244311224296−7259
8New York Islanders78194118182247−6556
West Division[2]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1Philadelphia Flyers78501612273164+109112
2Chicago Black Hawks78411423272164+108105
3Los Angeles Kings78333312233231+278
4Atlanta Flames78303414214238−2474
5Pittsburgh Penguins7828419242273−3165
6St. Louis Blues78264012206248−4264
7Minnesota North Stars78233817235275−4063
8California Golden Seals78135510195342−14736

Playoffs

The playoffs began on April 9 with the first round, which was played between divisional opponents. The top teams all won their first rounds, with one mild upset, as the third-place New York Rangers defeated the second-place Montreal Canadiens, marking the third straight year that they had defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round. In the second round, the teams played an inter-divisional round to determine the finalists. The Eastern champion Boston Bruins took on the Western's second-place Chicago Black Hawks, while the Western champion Philadelphia Flyers took on the New York Rangers. Boston won its series in six games to take one Finals spot, while Philadelphia won its series against the New York Rangers in seven games to make the team's first Finals appearance. With Philadelphia defeating the NY Rangers in the semi-finals, this marked the first time a post 1967 NHL expansion team had ever won a playoff series against an Original 6 opponent. In the Finals, the Flyers won the series in six games against the Bruins to win not only the franchise's first championship but also to become the first post 1967 NHL expansion team and thus the first non 'Original 6' NHL team to win the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Maroons in 1935.[3]

Playoff bracket

Quarterfinals Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
         
E1 Boston 4
E4 Toronto 0
E1 Boston 4
W2 Chicago 2
W2 Chicago 4
W3 Los Angeles 1
E1 Boston 2
W1 Philadelphia 4
W1 Philadelphia 4
W4 Atlanta 0
W1 Philadelphia 4
E3 NY Rangers 3
E2 Montreal 2
E3 NY Rangers 4

Quarterfinals

(E1) Boston Bruins vs. (E4) Toronto Maple Leafs

The Boston Bruins finished first in the league with 113 points. The Toronto Maple Leafs finished fourth in the East Division with 86 points. This was the thirteenth playoff meeting between these two teams with Toronto winning eight of the previous twelve series. They last met in the 1972 Stanley Cup Quarterfinals which Boston won in five games. Boston won four of the six games in this year's regular season series.

Boston won series 4–0

(E2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (E3) New York Rangers

The Montreal Canadiens finished second in the East Division with 99 points. The New York Rangers finished third with 94 points. This was the eleventh playoff meeting between these two teams with the teams splitting the ten previous series. They last met in the 1972 Stanley Cup Quarterfinals which New York won in six games. Montreal won four of the six games in this year's regular season series.

New York won series 4–2

(W1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (W4) Atlanta Flames

The Philadelphia Flyers finished first in the West Division and second in the league with 112 points. The Atlanta Flames finished fourth with 74 points, the lowest points earned by any playoff team in 1974. The Atlanta Flames made their first playoff appearance in their second season after entering the league in the previous year. The teams split this year's six-game regular season series.

Philadelphia won series 4–0

(W2) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (W3) Los Angeles Kings

The Chicago Black Hawks finished second in the West Division with 105 points. The Los Angeles Kings finished third in the West Division with 78 points. This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. Chicago won this year's six-game regular season series earning eight of twelve points.

Chicago won series 4–1

Semifinals

(E1) Boston Bruins vs. (W2) Chicago Black Hawks

This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams with Boston winning all three previous series. They last met in the 1970 Stanley Cup Semifinals which Boston won in four games. Chicago won this year's five-game regular season series earning seven of ten points.

Boston won series 4–2

(W1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (E3) New York Rangers

This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. New York won this year's five-game regular season series earning six of ten points.

Philadelphia won series 4–3

Stanley Cup Finals

This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. The Bruins made their thirteenth Finals appearance; winning in their last appearance in 1972 where they defeated the New York Rangers in six games. The Flyers made their first Finals appearance in their seventh season since entering the league in the 1967–68 NHL season. Boston won this year's five-game regular season series earning seven of ten points. The Philadelphia Flyers became the first non-Original Six team to win the Stanley Cup since 1935 and the first expansion team to do so since the league began expanding in 1967.

Philadelphia won series 4–2

Awards

A new award, the Jack Adams for the best coach, was introduced for this season. The first winner was Fred Shero of the Philadelphia Flyers.

1974 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(East Division champion)
Boston Bruins
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:
(West Division champion)
Philadelphia Flyers
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer, regular season)
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:
(Perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication)
Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Top first-year player)
Denis Potvin, New York Islanders
Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
Jack Adams Award:
(Best coach)
Fred Shero, Philadelphia Flyers
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Johnny Bucyk, Boston Bruins
Lester B. Pearson Award:
(Outstanding player, regular season)
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team(s) with best goaltending record)
Tony Esposito, Chicago Black Hawks tied Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
Lester Patrick Trophy:
(Service to hockey in the U.S.)
Alex Delvecchio, Murray Murdoch, Weston W. Adams, Sr., Charles L. Crovat

All-Star teams

First team  Position  Second team
Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers G Tony Esposito, Chicago Black Hawks
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins D Bill White, Chicago Black Hawks
Brad Park, New York Rangers D Barry Ashbee, Philadelphia Flyers
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins C Bobby Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers
Ken Hodge, Boston Bruins RW Mickey Redmond, Detroit Red Wings
Rick Martin, Buffalo Sabres LW Wayne Cashman, Boston Bruins

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Phil EspositoBoston Bruins78687714558
Bobby OrrBoston Bruins74329012282
Ken HodgeBoston Bruins76505510543
Wayne CashmanBoston Bruins78305989111
Bobby ClarkePhiladelphia Flyers77355287113
Rick MartinBuffalo Sabres7852348638
Syl Apps, JrPittsburgh Penguins7524618537
Darryl SittlerToronto Maple Leafs7838468455
Lowell MacDonaldPittsburgh Penguins7843398214
Brad ParkNew York Rangers78255782148
Dennis HextallMinnesota North Stars78206282138

Source: NHL.[4]

Leading goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; Min – Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Bernie ParentPhiladelphia Flyers7343141361.8947131212
Tony EspositoChicago Black Hawks7041431412.0434142110
Ross BrooksBoston Bruins211170462.3616303
Doug FavellToronto Maple Leafs321752792.7114790
Wayne ThomasMontreal Canadiens4224101112.76231251
Dan BouchardAtlanta Flames4626601232.77191885
Rogie VachonL.A. Kings6537511752.802826105
Michel LarocqueMontreal Canadiens271431692.8915820
Dunc WilsonToronto Maple Leafs241412682.8991131
Gilles GilbertBoston Bruins5432101582.95341286

Other statistics

Coaches

East

West

Debuts

The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1973–74 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1973–74 (listed with their last team):

NOTE: Frank Mahovlich would finish his major professional career in the World Hockey Association.

See also

References

  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
  • 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. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
Notes
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