With the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the Washington Capitals tonight at 7:00 PM ET for Game 5 of another exciting Second Round series, I realized that the NHL has not seen a dynasty since the New York Islanders won four Stanley Cups in a row from 1980-1983.
If the Penguins win the Stanley Cup this year it will be their third Stanley Cup in a row, which is remarkable for the salary caps and amount of extremely talented teams in the league.
Here is my top five most dominant dynasties of all-time in the NHL.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs 1945-1951:
The Toronto Maple Leafs won Stanley Cups in 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1951.
That is five Stanley Cups in seven years, including three in a row.
Although with only six teams in the league, this may seem like a small feat.
But Toronto was the number one seed for only one Stanley Cup, however even as the fourth seed the Maple Leafs were able to win games in the playoffs; having records of 8-3, 8-1, and 8-2-1.
Had there been more teams in the NHL during this dynasty I feel it would be given a lot more credit.
4. New York Islanders 1980-1983:
The New York Islanders dominated the early eighties winning Stanley Cups in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983.
Led by scoring machine Mike Bossy and Hall of Fame Defenseman Denis Potvin, the Islanders were able to win Stanley Cups as the fifth and sixth seeds in a sixteen seed bracket.
With an impressive 385 goals for in 1982, the Islanders were second in the league only to Wayne Gretzky’s Oilers with 415 goals for.
The Islanders also currently hold the record for most consecutive series wins in a row with nineteen from 1980-1984.
3. Edmonton Oilers 1984-1990:
Led by Wayne Gretzky and numerous other future Hall of Famers, the Oilers were an unstoppable offensive machine.
The Oilers were able to win Stanley Cups in 1984, 1985, 1987. 1988, and 1990.
All with Wayne Gretzky as the captain except for the 1990 Stanley Cup that was led by Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, and Kevin Lowe.
From 1982-1987 the Edmonton Oilers led the league in goals for, some years by extremely large amounts.
In 1984 the Oilers scored 446 goals for, the next highest was Quebec with 360 goals for.
However, if it were not for the all the goals scored, then I am not sure they would have won all the Stanley Cups they did.
For example, every year they won the Stanley Cup, they were ranked eighth, ninth, or tenth in the league for goals against.
2. Montreal Canadiens 1971-1979:
The Montreal Canadiens in the seventies would be found in the dictionary as the definition what a dynasty is.
Montreal won Stanley Cups in 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.
That is a total of six Stanley Cups in nine years, with four in a row.
In 1977 and 1978 the Canadiens led the league in goals for and goals against.
This could have been mostly due to an unbelievable combination of Ken Dryden in net, Larry Robinson on the blue line, and Guy Lafleur up front.
The Canadiens displayed a level of consistent domination that had not been seen in a few decades.
The only thing keeping these Montreal teams from number one in my opinion, is just a matter of a few years.
1. Montreal Canadiens 1953-1960:
During this time period, the Canadiens won six Stanley Cups in eight years; including five Stanley Cups in a row.
Coached by Toe Blake and led by Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Montreal finished first in the league for goals for, goals against, and overall in 1956, 1958, 1959, and 1960.
The Canadiens even swept the entire playoffs in 1960 going 8-0.
Now I know, there were only six teams in the NHL at this time; however this level of domination for five years in a row is incredible.
Even during a time when 200 goals for was a really good number, Richard and his Canadiens were able to put up over 250 goals for three years in a row.
The Montreal Canadiens of the fifties set the stage for what an all-time best dynasty is.
Ken Dryden: www.NHL.com
Canadiens 1970s: www.dennis-kane.com
Maurice Richard: www.montreal.ctvnews.ca
Oilers Stanley Cup: www.wordpress.com
Jean Beliveau: www.winnipegfreepress.com
Wayne Gretzky: www.slicethelife.com
Mike Bossy: www.NHL.com
New York Islanders: www.pinterest.co.uk