February 4, 2010

National Hockey League. 1970-71 season, with the 2 expansion teams-the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks.

Filed under: Hockey,Hockey-NHL and expansion — admin @ 11:00 am

Category: NHL and expansion
-Please note:
to see the most-recent entry in the category: NHL and expansion,
click on the following (from Dec. 2014),
National Hockey League, 1991-92 season, 22 teams, with one team added (San Jose Sharks)./ Origin of the Sharks franchise and nickname./ Stats leaders in 1991-92 NHL./ Map features dark-jersey-logo histories of the 22 oldest active NHL franchises.

-To see the first entry in the category: NHL and expansion,
click on the following (from Dec. 2009),
National Hockey League. 1927-28 season map, and an overview of the NHL’s first expansion era, with 7 expansion teams added between 1924 and 1926…and 5 teams defunct by 1942.



In 1970-71, the NHL built upon their 6-team expansion of 3 years earlier by adding two more expansion teams, the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks.

The league also addressed the power disparity of the two divisions. There was widespread criticism of the divisional structure after three straight Stanley Cup finals where the team from the all-expansion Western Division was swept by the team from the Eastern Division. All three years it was the St. Louis Blues who were swept in the Stanley Cup finals…twice straight by the Montreal Canadiens in 1967-68 and 1968-69, and by the Boston Bruins in 1969-70. 

So the NHL top brass was forced to tinker with the divisional and playoffs structure. First they put both of the expansion teams, Buffalo and Vancouver, in the Eastern Division. Then they had the Chicago Black Hawks switch from the Eastern to the Western Division. And finally, the league made half of the round-two playoff teams play opponents in the other division.

Putting Vancouver (a Pacific coast city) in the Eastern Division was rather strange. So was the new playoff system, which violated a basic principle of divisional structures, by having teams cross over to play teams from the other division. But there were far more competitive Stanley Cup finals for the next few years.

The 1970-71 Stanley Cup finals went to a hard-fought seventh game, with the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Chicago Black Hawks by the score of 4-3, coming back from a 2-0 deficit halfway through the second period of game 7.  Down by two goals, the Habs’ Jacques Lemaire took a shot from center ice that somehow escaped Chicago goalie Tony Esposito, and Henri Richard tied the score just before the end of the second period. Henri Richard scored again 2:34 into the third period, and goalie Ken Dryden, in his first season in the NHL, shut down the Black Hawks for the final half hour of the game. This was the last time a seventh game in the Stanley Cup finals was won by the visiting team, until the Pittsburgh Penguins won the 2009 Stanley Cup final in Detroit.  

Thanks to Logo Shak {click here}. Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {Vancouver Canucks,  click here };  {Buffalo Sabres,  click here}.
Thanks to NHL/shop,

Special thanks to Jersey Database, for the jersey illustrations on the map page, at Jersey [browse - Hockey...see column for "Jersey Fronts", by team].

WordPress database error: [Table 'bil072291136157.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND comment_post_ID = 3622 ORDER BY comment_date_gmt ASC


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress