|1985 Stanley Cup Finals|
|Location(s)||Edmonton: Northlands Coliseum (3, 4, 5)|
Philadelphia: Spectrum (1, 2)
|Coaches||Edmonton: Glen Sather|
Philadelphia: Mike Keenan
|Captains||Edmonton: Wayne Gretzky|
Philadelphia: Dave Poulin
|Referees||Andy Van Hellemond (1)|
Kerry Fraser (2, 4)
Bryan Lewis (3, 5)
|Dates||May 21 – May 30|
|MVP||Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)|
|Series-winning goal||Paul Coffey (17:57, first, G5)|
|Networks||CBC (Canada-English, games 1 and 2)|
CTV (Canada-English, games 3, 4, and 5)
USA (United States)
PRISM (Philadelphia area, games 1, 2),
WTAF (Philadelphia area, games 3, 4, 5)
|Announcers||Bob Cole and Gary Dornhoefer (CBC)|
Dan Kelly, Ron Reusch, and Brad Park (CTV)
Dan Kelly (games 1-2), Al Albert (games 3-5), and Gary Green (USA Network)
Gene Hart, Bobby Taylor (PRISM and WTAF)
The 1985 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1984–85 season, and the culmination of the 1985 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested between the defending champion Edmonton Oilers (in their third straight Finals appearance) and the Philadelphia Flyers. The Oilers would win the best-of-seven series, four games to one, to win their second Stanley Cup. It was also the sixth straight Finals contested between teams that joined the NHL in 1967 or later. As of 2020[update], this is also the last time that a team, defending champion or runner-up, would appear in the Finals for the third straight season. This would be the third of eight consecutive Finals contested by a team from Alberta (the Oilers appeared in six, the Calgary Flames in 1986 and 1989), and the second of five consecutive Finals to end with the Cup presentation on Alberta ice (the Oilers won four of those times, the Montreal Canadiens once).
Paths to the Finals
This was the first Stanley Cup Finals where games were scheduled for June. Had the series reached game six, it would have been played Sunday, June 2, with game seven on Tuesday, June 4. The NHL season would not extend into an actual June game until 1992, due to a players strike.
This was the second and last Stanley Cup Finals to use the 2–3–2 format, long favored by Major League Baseball for its World Series and used from 1985 through 2013 for the NBA Finals. Since Edmonton went 6–0 at home during the 1984 and 1985 Finals, it was able to clinch in game five on home ice each time.
Wayne Gretzky scored seven goals in the five games, tying the record set by Jean Béliveau of the Canadiens in 1956 and Mike Bossy of the Islanders in 1982. Grant Fuhr stopped two penalty shots. Jari Kurri scored 19 goals through the entire playoffs, tying the single-year record set by Reggie Leach of the Flyers in 1976.
This was the last Stanley Cup Finals in which either goalie wore the old-style fiberglass mask. Both Fuhr and the Flyers' Pelle Lindbergh wore the face-hugging mask, which was introduced in 1959 by Jacques Plante. The next year, the Calgary Flames' Mike Vernon sported a helmet-and-cage combo, similar to the one Billy Smith wore in leading the New York Islanders to four consecutive Cups from 1980–83, and Montreal Canadiens rookie Patrick Roy wore a modern full fiberglass cage, the first goalie to sport that style in a Finals series. Fuhr switched to a full fiberglass cage the next season.
|Tuesday, May 21||Edmonton Oilers||1–4||Philadelphia Flyers||Spectrum|
The Flyers posted a 4–1 victory to open the series. Edmonton coach Glen Sather was reportedly so disappointed with his team's performance that he burned the game videotapes after watching them.
|Thursday, May 23||Edmonton Oilers||3–1||Philadelphia Flyers||Spectrum|
|Saturday, May 25||Philadelphia Flyers||3–4||Edmonton Oilers||Northlands Coliseum|
Gretzky almost single-handedly won Edmonton the game. He scored twice within the first 90 seconds of the game, and finished off a hat trick by the end of the first period. Although the Oilers put six shots on net over the final 40 minutes, it was enough to escape with a 4–3 win and 2–1 series lead.
|Tuesday, May 28||Philadelphia Flyers||3–5||Edmonton Oilers||Northlands Coliseum|
Unbowed, the Flyers leapt out to a 3–1 lead midway through the first period thanks to goals at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded. However, the Oilers roared back with four consecutive goals, including two from Gretzky, to win 5–3 and take a commanding series lead.
|Thursday, May 30||Philadelphia Flyers||3–8||Edmonton Oilers||Northland Coliseum|
Against backup goaltender Bob Froese, substituting for starter Pelle Lindbergh (who had been playing progressively less well over the course of the Finals), the Oilers blitzed the Flyers with a four-goal first period and sailed to a convincing 8–3 win. Gretzky and Kurri posted a goal and three assists each, while Paul Coffey and Mark Messier scored two goals apiece. Edmonton won its second consecutive Stanley Cup while the Flyers, at the time the youngest team in professional sports, took the lessons from their loss into the clubs' next Stanley Cup Finals; they lost again to the Oilers in 1987, albeit in seven games. Wayne Gretzky won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, scoring a record 47 points this playoff year.
In Canada, this was the first of two consecutive years that the English-language rights of the Cup Finals was shared between CBC and CTV. CBC televised games one and two nationally while games 3–5 were televised in Edmonton only. CTV televised games 3–5 nationally while games were blacked out in Edmonton. Had the series gone to a Game 7, then BOTH CBC and CTV would have simultaneously televised it while using their own production facilities and crews. Dan Kelly and Ron Reusch called the games on CTV.
In the United States, this was the fifth and final season that the Cup Finals aired nationally on the USA Network. Under the U.S. TV contracts that would take effect beginning next season, ESPN would take over as the NHL's American television partner. The USA Network would not air NHL games again until 2015, when it became an occasional overflow channel for NBC Sports' national coverage of the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The USA Network's national coverage of the 1985 Cup Finals was blacked out in the Philadelphia area due to the local rights to Flyers games in that TV market. PRISM aired games one and two while WTXF aired games three, four, and five.
Stanley Cup engraving
The following Oilers players and staff had their names engraved on the Stanley Cup
1985 Edmonton Oilers
(played left wing during the regular season)
- 8 Dave Lumley
- 9 Glenn Anderson
- 10 Jaroslav Pouzar
- 12 Dave Hunter
- 14 Esa Tikkanen
- 16 Pat Hughes
- 17 Jari Kurri
- 18 Mark Napier
- 19 Willy Lindstrom
- 27 Dave Semenko
- 20 Billy Carroll
(played Centre during the regular season)
Coaching and administrative staff
- Peter Pocklington (Owner),
- Glen Sather (President/General Manager/Head Coach)
- Bruce MacGregor (Asst. General Manager)
- John Muckler (Asst. Coach), Edward Ted Green (Asst. Coach)
- Barry Fraser (Director of Player Personnel/Chief Scout)
- Garnet "Ace" Bailey (Scout), Ed Chadwick (Scout), Lorne Davis (Scout), Matti Valsanen (Scout)
- Peter Millar (Athletic Therapist), Dr. Gordon Cameron (Team Physician)
- Barrie Stafford (Trainer), Lyle Kulchisky (Asst. Trainer)
Stanley Cup engraving
Garnet "Ace" Bailey, Ed Chadwick, Lorne Davis, Matti Valsanen (Scouts), Gordon Cameron (Team Physician) received rings with Edmonton in 1984. Their names however, were left off the Stanley Cup in 1984, but included in 1985.
- Diamond, Dan (2000). Total Stanley Cup. Toronto: Total Sports Canada. ISBN 978-1-892129-07-9.
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Bolton, Ont.: Fenn Pub. pp 12, 50. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7
| Edmonton Oilers
Stanley Cup Champions