The 10 most unbreakable Stanley Cup Final records

The 10 most unbreakable Stanley Cup Final records

Records are made to be broken. Except for these ones, which will stand forever:

1. Most consecutive years in the Cup final: 10 (Montreal Canadiens, 1951-60 inclusive)

When you’ve won the Stanley Cup 24 times like the Habs have, you’re no stranger to the NHL’s championship round (even if, say, you haven’t been there since 1993). But 10 straight appearances in the Cup final? That’s ridiculous, regardless of the “there were only six teams in the league” reality. It should be noted the Canadiens lost in the final four of the first five years, then captured an NHL-record five straight Cups thanks to Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey & Co.

2. Most consecutive wins in the Cup final: 10 (Montreal Canadiens, 1976 through 1978)

Another Cup record that belongs to another Habs dynasty, with the ‘70s dynasty accomplishing something the ‘50s dynasty did not (#canadiensprobelms: keeping track of which dynasty did what). Here’s what the NHL’s Official Guide & Record Book says: “Streak began May 9, 1976, at Montreal with a 4-3 win vs. Philadelphia in Game 1 and ended May 18, 1978, at Boston with a 4-0 loss in Game 3. Included in the streak were four wins vs. Philadelphia in 1976, four vs. Boston in 1977 and two vs. Boston in 1978.” In conclusion, Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden & Co. were good at hockey.

3. Shortest overtime in the Cup final: 9 seconds (Montreal Canadiens 3 at Calgary Flames 2 in Game 2, May 18, 1986)

No, Montreal doesn’t own every Stanley Cup record, it just feels like it. They claimed this one when rookie Brian Skrudland scored on Flames goalie Mike Vernon nine seconds into the extra session, with assists from Mike McPhee and Claude Lemieux. Montreal went on to win the Cup in five games.

His last goal: Toronto's Bill Barilko scores the overtime winner in Game 5 of the 1951 Stanley Cup final. (Getty)
His last goal: Toronto's Bill Barilko scores the overtime winner in Game 5 of the 1951 Stanley Cup final. (Getty)

4. Most overtime wins in one series: 4 (Toronto Maple Leafs, 1951)

This is one of those records that might be tied but will never be broken. Toronto’s Sid Smith, Ted Kennedy, Harry Watson and Bill Barilko, with the last goal of his life, scored the overtime winners in Games 1, 3, 4 and 5, respectively, as the Leafs won the Cup in five games over Montreal (who were making their first of 10 straight appearances in the final).

5. Most penalty minutes by two teams in one series: 511 (Calgary Flames [256] vs. Montreal Canadiens [255] in 1986)

Here’s what nobody said during the 1986 Cup final: “We’ve got to stay out of the box.” The Flames and Habs amassed 511 penalty minutes in just five games, including a record 176 PIMs in Game 4. John Kordic should’ve won the Conn Smythe Trophy…

6. Most career shutouts in the Cup final: 8 (Clint Benedict, Ottawa Senators [one in 1920, two in 1921, one in 1923], Montreal Maroons [three in 1926, one in 1928])

This one has stood for nearly 90 years, and nobody has come close to matching it. Turk Broda (with the Leafs in the ‘40s), Jacques Plante (with the Habs in the ‘50s) and Patrick Roy (with the Habs and Avs in ’86, ’93 and ’01) are tied for second place with four shutouts in the Cup final, half as many as Benedict’s total.

Wayne Gretzky holds the record for most points in a single Cup final with 13. (Getty)
Wayne Gretzky holds the record for most points in a single Cup final with 13. (Getty)

7. Most points in one series: 13 (Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers, 1988 [three goals, 10 assists in four games plus suspended game])

You knew Gretzky was going to show up at some point, and it’s fitting the NHL’s all-time scoring leader holds the mark for most points in one Cup final. Impressively, he racked up his record 13 points in just four games – plus a suspended game, which was (the first) Game 4 where the Oilers and Boston Bruins were tied 3-3 in the second period when a power failure occurred. The game was cancelled but the players’ stats counted, including two assists for Gretzky. The Oilers won the second Game 4 by a score of 6-3, with Gretzky collecting a goal and two helpers. Tied for second place with 12 points in a single Cup final: Gordie Howe, Detroit, 1955 (five goals, seven assists in seven games); Yvan Cournoyer, Montreal, 1973 (six goals, six assists in six games); Jacques Lemaire, Montreal, 1973 (three goals, nine assists in six games); Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh, 1991 (five goals, seven assists in five games); and, Danny Briere, Philadelphia, 2010 (three goals, nine assists in six games).

8. Most points by a rookie in one series: 9 (Ville Leino, Philadelphia [three goals, six assists in six games in 2010])

Someone should sign this guy to a six-year $27-million deal based on one great playoff series…

9. Longest shutout sequence by a goaltender: 188:35 (Frank McCool, Toronto, 1945)

McCool posted shutouts in each of the first three games against Detroit and didn’t allow a goal until 8:35 of the first period in Game 4. It should be noted that Detroit almost came back from a 3-0 series deficit, winning three in a row before falling in Game 7. (And then it should be noted that this was a rematch of the 1942 Cup final three years earlier, when the Leafs did indeed come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win the Cup in seven games.)

10. Most games coached in the Cup final: 77 (Dick Irvin, Chicago [5], Toronto [29], Montreal [43])

Scotty Bowman, the first person who comes to mind when coaching records are brought up, sits in second place with 58 games behind the bench in the final for St. Louis (12), Montreal (25), Pittsburgh (4) and Detroit (17).

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