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1978–79 NHL season

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Title: 1978–79 NHL season  
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Subject: List of Montreal Canadiens award winners, Denis Potvin, List of family relations in the NHL, Bryan Trottier, Bobby Clarke
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1978–79 NHL season

1978–79 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 11, 1978 – May 21, 1979
Number of games 80
Number of teams 17
Regular season
Season champions New York Islanders
Season MVP Bryan Trottier, (New York Islanders)
Top scorer Bryan Trottier, (New York Islanders)
Playoffs
Playoffs MVP Bob Gainey, (Montreal Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
Champions Montreal Canadiens
  Runners-up New York Rangers
The 1978–79 NHL season was the 62nd season of the National Hockey League. The Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals four games to one for their fourth Cup in a row. This was the last time that two of the "Original Six" teams met in the Finals until 2013. With the Boston Bruins joining the Canadiens and Rangers in the semifinals, this was the last time that three of the final four teams were Original six teams until 2014.

Contents

  • League business 1
  • Regular season 2
    • Final standings 2.1
      • Prince of Wales Conference 2.1.1
      • Clarence Campbell Conference 2.1.2
  • Playoffs 3
    • Playoff seeds 3.1
    • Playoff bracket 3.2
    • Preliminary Round 3.3
      • (1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (8) Vancouver Canucks 3.3.1
      • (2) New York Rangers vs. (7) Los Angeles Kings 3.3.2
      • (3) Atlanta Flames vs. (6) Toronto Maple Leafs 3.3.3
      • (4) Buffalo Sabres vs. (5) Pittsburgh Penguins 3.3.4
    • Quarterfinals 3.4
      • (1) New York Islanders vs. (8) Chicago Black Hawks 3.4.1
      • (2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (7) Toronto Maple Leafs 3.4.2
      • (3) Boston Bruins vs. (6) Pittsburgh Penguins 3.4.3
      • (4) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (5) New York Rangers 3.4.4
    • Semifinals 3.5
      • (1) New York Islanders vs. (4) New York Rangers 3.5.1
      • (2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (3) Boston Bruins 3.5.2
    • Stanley Cup Finals 3.6
  • Awards 4

League business

This season saw the first reduction in the total number of teams since the Brooklyn Americans folded following the 1941–42 season. Fearing that two teams were on the verge of folding, the league approved the merger of the financially unstable Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars franchises, reducing the number of teams to 17. The merged team continued as the Minnesota North Stars, but assumed the Barons' place in the Adams Division.

This reduction would only be temporary, however, as negotiations continued toward an agreement with the World Hockey Association that would see it fold following this season, with four of its teams joining the NHL as expansion franchises for 1979–80.

For the first time since the NHL All-Star Game became an annual tradition, it was not played. In its stead was the 1979 Challenge Cup, which saw Soviet Union players come over to North America to play against NHL players. The Soviets won the series two games to one.

This was the last season until the 2005-06 season that the St. Louis Blues missed the playoffs.

Regular season

For the past three seasons, the Montreal Canadiens had dominated the regular season, but times were changing. The New York Islanders had been steadily improving over the past few seasons and this season saw them beat out the Canadiens by one point for the best record in the league.

Final standings

GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties In Minutes
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold

Prince of Wales Conference

Clarence Campbell Conference

Playoffs

Playoff seeds

The twelve teams that qualified for the playoffs are ranked 1–12 based on regular season points.

Note: Only teams that qualified for the playoffs are listed here.

  1. New York Islanders, Patrick Division champions, Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions – 116 points
  2. Montreal Canadiens, Norris Division champions, Prince of Wales Conference regular season champions – 115 points
  3. Boston Bruins, Adams Division champions – 100 points
  4. Philadelphia Flyers – 95 points
  5. New York Rangers – 91 points
  6. Atlanta Flames – 90 points
  7. Buffalo Sabres – 88 points
  8. Pittsburgh Penguins – 85 points
  9. Toronto Maple Leafs – 81 points
  10. Los Angeles Kings – 80 points
  11. Chicago Black Hawks, Smythe Division champions – 73 points
  12. Vancouver Canucks – 63 points

Playoff bracket

  Preliminary Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Stanley Cup Finals
                                     
        
  1  NY Islanders 4  
    8  Chicago 0  
      
        
  1  NY Islanders 2  
  4  NY Rangers 4  
1  Philadelphia 2  
8  Vancouver 1  
  4  Philadelphia 1
    5  NY Rangers 4  
2  NY Rangers 2
7  Los Angeles 0  
  2  Montreal 4
  4  NY Rangers 1
        
        
  2  Montreal 4
    7  Toronto 0  
3  Atlanta 0
6  Toronto 2  
  2  Montreal 4
  3  Boston 3  
        
        
  3  Boston 4
    6  Pittsburgh 0  
4  Buffalo 1
5  Pittsburgh 2  
  • Division winners earned a bye to the Quarterfinals
  • Teams were re-seeded based on regular season record after the Preliminary and Quarterfinal rounds

Preliminary Round

(1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (8) Vancouver Canucks

Philadelphia won series 2–1


(2) New York Rangers vs. (7) Los Angeles Kings

New York won series 2–0


(3) Atlanta Flames vs. (6) Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto won series 2–0


(4) Buffalo Sabres vs. (5) Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh won series 2–1


Quarterfinals

(1) New York Islanders vs. (8) Chicago Black Hawks

New York won series 4–0


(2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (7) Toronto Maple Leafs

Montreal won series 4–0


(3) Boston Bruins vs. (6) Pittsburgh Penguins

Boston won series 4–0


(4) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (5) New York Rangers

New York won series 4-1


Semifinals

(1) New York Islanders vs. (4) New York Rangers

New York Rangers won series 4-2


(2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (3) Boston Bruins

Montreal won series 4–3


Stanley Cup Finals

Prior to 2013, this was the last time two Original Six clubs met in the finals. Both teams would next appear in the Stanley Cup Finals: Canadiens winning in 1986, Rangers winning in 1994.

Montreal won series 4-1


Awards

1979 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Wales Conference regular season champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:
(Campbell Conference regular season champion)
New York Islanders
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer, regular season)
Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders
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