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1991 North Stars- Please Explain

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01-14-2008, 01:13 AM
  #1
Al Bundy*
 
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1991 North Stars- Please Explain

I still can't figure out how the 1991 North Stars managed to get to the Stanley Cup Finals.

I know old North Star fans talk about how they had such a great power play, great home-ice advantage, a team that came together at the right time, etc.

It's just ridiculous...

They finished 14 games below .500 and they came within two wins of the freaking Stanley Cup?!

Also, they were lucky to draw a mediocre and overrated Oilers team in the third round.

It still boggles my mind.

To this day, I insist that Minnesota sold their souls to the Devil to make that run.

I also believe the 1993 Islanders sold their souls to Satan to beat the Penguins, but that's for another day.

Check this out:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=sssDkJTUlnY&

They gave up a goal 13 seconds into the first game?

Any other team in that situation probably would have been deflated.

I still can't figure this out.

If they had won the Stanley Cup, it would have proved that the divisional playoff format of that era was a punchline.

I am a Sabres fan, but looking back on that year, it makes me feel bad for Blackhawks fans.

Please explain how such a mediocre team somehow got that far.

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01-14-2008, 01:34 AM
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I don't know if there is any real explenation as to how they got so far. Maybe some fans of the Stars from back then could comment on this, but it looks like Casey only played in 55 games during the regular season. Was he hurt?

With Casey in the lineup: 21-20-11

Without Casey in the lineup: 6 - 19 - 3

Now, unless Bob Gainey REALLY hated Casey, I can't see him going with the pack of stiffs that clearly backed Casey up for 28 games given their horrific numbers.

So, going under the assumption that Casey was hurt, I think we all know that hot goaltending can carry you through the playoffs. Add to that a balanced scoring attack (6 guys with 8+ goals in the playoffs), and I'd say you have got yourself a winner -- or close to one anyhow.

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01-14-2008, 01:38 AM
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They actually a nice assembly of players with Dave Gagner,Brian Bellows (the ****ing Superstar),Bobby Smith,Mike Modano,Mark Tinordi,Neal Broten,Brian Propp and Jon Casey who played the hockey of his life. 5 of them had more then 20 points that post-season.

As far as I know their powerplay worked unbelievable during their run. They broke the record for playoff powerplay-goals in the conference finals vs. the Oilers(that game 5 is available on video.google).

The magic was over when they met the Pens though.

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01-14-2008, 01:53 AM
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VanIslander
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I predicted it.

I joined a 20-man hockey pool late, they let me throw in the extra $20 entry fee (the entire pot to the winner $400, ... $420 with my entrance)

and why did I do that?

because of the 200 players they drafted, the only north star they took was modano.

I drafted Gagne, Broten, Bellows, Smith, Propp, Dahlen and four others.... How did I do? ... I came in 2nd out of 21 guys... lost the friggin pot of money to the guy who drafted Mario and Recchi... dang close... would have won the thing if Bourque's Bruins coulda stopped the pens

and of course Jon Casey stood on his head and wowed us with some robbing saves

The truth is that Minnesota was ALWAYS UNDERRATED and that particular line-up was full of underachievers and underrated guys, CLEARLY had more talent than they often showed. They took the penguins to six games, beating the champs twice.


Last edited by VanIslander: 01-14-2008 at 02:00 AM.
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01-14-2008, 02:18 AM
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Master_Of_Districts
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I'm not sure how they made the finals.

But I'd hesitate to call them a fluke (I know no one in this thread in particular has labelled them as such, but surely it's been attached to them at one time or another).

It's not as though they were eking out one goal wins.

The margin of victory in many of their games was substantial (6-0, 7-3, 5-1, 8-4, etc).

Quite strange for a cinderella team to march to the finals so decisively.

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01-14-2008, 02:29 AM
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VanIslander
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let's give credit to coach Bob Gainey: the team got better and better under his leadership all season and peaked at the right time, playing disciplined, patient, defensive-minded, opportunistic hockey, was - as mentioned endless times - an excellent powerplay and hot goaltending

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01-14-2008, 04:13 AM
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I can explain it!

1-Belfour folded in playoffs!
2-Some of the veterans really struggled (Doug Wilson, Steve Thomas, Adam Creighton) thats why the Hawks got rid of all 3, Wilson before next season and Thomas and Creighton during season.
3-Michel Goulet didn't play! Without him our offense lacked a major part of its firepower and his leadership was needed!
4-We underestimated them!
5-Hawks were great defensively but we didn't have much offense outside of a few guys!

We almost fixed that the next season, of course we had to play the Pens probably one of the best teams (Talent wise) of last 25 years.

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01-14-2008, 08:57 AM
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Jon Casey got a bum rap in his lone year with the Bruins (93-94), but around that he had some surprising runs in postseason play. He definitely was a key to that North Stars team in 91 getting as far as they did (along with catching teams at the right time)

People also forget Casey stepped in late in 96 for the Blues when Fuhr went down and got them to double OT game 7 against the 62-win Red Wings team.

Also, he won a playoff series with the Bruins. Only two goalies on the planet can say they did that in the last 15 years!

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01-14-2008, 03:37 PM
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That was also a very gutsy team. They got some great shutdown work from forwards like Gaeten Duchesne and Stewart Gavin among others.

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01-14-2008, 05:00 PM
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The Blues walk out of the Campbell Conference that year without question if Ron Caron doesn't make one of the worst trades in franchise history (though they say Brian Sutter was truly behind the deal) when he sent two thirds of our second line, Geoff Courtnall and Cliff Ronning, in addition to well liked tough guy Sergio Momesso in exchange for Dan Quinn and the immortal Garth Butcher who, believe it or not, was the "key" to the deal. The Blues were in first place overall in the NHL when the deal was made. It was a horrible trade and the Blues had to struggle to get out of the Norris semis after falling behind 3-1 to Detroit and eventually winning.

But because we became a one dimensional offensive team after the trade, Bob Gainey used the aforementioned Stewert Gavin to smother Hull and we lost the series without much of a fight.

If we hang on to those guys, our playoff roster would've included Scott Stevens, Brett Hull, Adam Oates, Rod Brind 'Amour, Jeff Brown, Geoff Courntall and Cliff Ronning. Not to mention a young Curtis Joseph on the bench. That trade makes me physically ill to this day. Sorry for the rant, but when I think of the '91 North Stars, this is what I remember.


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01-14-2008, 05:13 PM
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the north stars were a joke, they lost the deciding game 8-1 what does that tell you, every game the pens won in that series it was total domination for all 60 minutes, and brian bellows is a woman

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01-14-2008, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Sens66 View Post
the north stars were a joke, they lost the deciding game 8-1 what does that tell you, every game the pens won in that series it was total domination for all 60 minutes, and brian bellows is a woman
Actually, the deciding game's score was 8-0.

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01-14-2008, 05:28 PM
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Hot Goalie.

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01-14-2008, 08:03 PM
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The beginnings of the mid 90's neutral zone trap.

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01-14-2008, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
the north stars were a joke, they lost the deciding game 8-1 what does that tell you, every game the pens won in that series it was total domination for all 60 minutes, and brian bellows is a woman
Aside from Game 6, that series was actually fairly close

The Pens actually trailed 2-1 before narrowly winning games 4 and 5 (they won each game by two goals, but at least one, and possibly both, of the victories involved an empty netter).

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01-14-2008, 10:23 PM
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Hard to believe: many picked the North Stars to finish last that season. The team was in a state of flux. They knew they would lose many of their best young players to the San Jose Sharks. Ownership was a mess. Detroit was up-and-coming. The Leafs were coming off their best year in a long time. St. Louis and Chicago were expected to be strong.

A lot of guys on the North Stars played the best hockey of their lives. Guys like Casey, Gagner and Tinordi. Many predicted future Norris candidacy for Tinordi after his performance in 1991. Wilkinson played his best hockey, too. Veterans like Propp, Bellows, Smith and Broten were terrific. Modano recovered from a bout of the sophomore jinx. They played over their head, but it's a case of everything coming together at the right time.

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01-14-2008, 11:00 PM
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The team started the season horrible (13-29-8) then turned it around over the next couple of months (13-5-6) before a late season slump, losing 5 of their last 6 games. Despite finishing the year 12 games under .500, the team only allowed 10 more goals than they scored, showing they lost quite a few close games.

Casey turned it up a notch in the playoffs, as did the powerplay, and those close losses turned into victories, and the team marched to the Stanley Cup Finals, leading the Penguins 2 games to 1, before running out of steam.

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01-15-2008, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenton1 View Post
That was also a very gutsy team. They got some great shutdown work from forwards like Gaeten Duchesne and Stewart Gavin among others.
Poor Gaeten.

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01-15-2008, 09:21 PM
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The thing I remember most about the 1991 North Stars was their great sweaters.

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01-16-2008, 03:00 PM
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Just pick up NHL 2K8 or a previous version, and play with them.

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01-16-2008, 03:49 PM
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I hate the North Stars for spoiling what could have been a sublime finals between the Oilers and Penguins

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01-16-2008, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by The Muffin Stud View Post
I hate the North Stars for spoiling what could have been a sublime finals between the Oilers and Penguins
Sublime?

Edmonton was a .500 team that seem to be playing on fumes.

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01-17-2008, 12:00 PM
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If it wasn't for Ulf Samuelsson being a *******, it'd have been Bruins/North Stars, and we finally would've gotten that cup.

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01-17-2008, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by B-Sens66 View Post
the north stars were a joke, they lost the deciding game 8-1 what does that tell you, every game the pens won in that series it was total domination for all 60 minutes, and brian bellows is a woman
Wow what an idiotic post.

In 1991... Gagner, Propp, Bellows, Broten, Modano, Smith is a great top 6 forwards. Tinordi... for that year was an elite D-Man. Casey was great in goal.

They played well in the playoffs... This was not a joke team. They lost in the fianls to Mario and a stacked Penguins team and that makes them a joke? I think not. A very good team by playoff time.. far better than their regualr season record.

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01-17-2008, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Bundy View Post
Sublime?

Edmonton was a .500 team that seem to be playing on fumes.
The Oilers were a team that was getting by on grit and experience. The Stars won on talent. I wish it there had been a Mario-Gretzky (or Oiler) final but 91 was not the year for that to happen.

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