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The team that gave the Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers their worst defeat

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Old
03-22-2017, 08:46 PM
  #1
ChuckW
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The team that gave the Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers their worst defeat

The answer to the trivia question "What team gave the Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers their worst defeat of all time?" is....the Hartford Whalers.

Did you know that? It's true.

On February 12th, 1984, the Hartford Whalers dominated Gretzky and the mighty Oilers 11-0. Their worst defeat (playoffs or regular season) of all time.

Pretty cool, eh?

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Old
03-22-2017, 11:21 PM
  #2
Dempsey
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I know I would've never guessed that.

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Old
03-23-2017, 12:25 AM
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Mr. Fancy Pants
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I think this came up in another thread here. IIRC the Oilers were actually on a winning streak and the theory is that they had quite the party the night before knowing that they were playing the Whalers and it should've been an easy game for them.

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Old
03-23-2017, 12:56 AM
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The Panther
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This was the last game of six in a row that Gretzky missed that season.

I remember listening to this game on the radio in the back seat of my parents' land-cruiser.

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Old
03-23-2017, 02:16 AM
  #5
blogofmike
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It was their 5th consecutive loss after winning 10-5 against Calgary. Their run without Gretzky was 1-5, and they were outscored 38-19 over the six games. They got a home win against Calgary then they were away for five losses where they were outscored 34-9.

Date Opponent GF GA Shots SA
2/3/1984 CGY W 10 5 37 39
2/5/1984 WSH L 2 9 18 39
2/7/1984 NYI L 3 5 39 33
2/9/1984 PHI L 3 4 25 48
2/11/1984 BOS L 1 4 15 34
2/12/1984 HAR L 0 11 28 30
19 38 162 223

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Old
03-23-2017, 05:38 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
It was their 5th consecutive loss after winning 10-5 against Calgary. Their run without Gretzky was 1-5, and they were outscored 38-19 over the six games. They got a home win against Calgary then they were away for five losses where they were outscored 34-9.

Date Opponent GF GA Shots SA
2/3/1984 CGY W 10 5 37 39
2/5/1984 WSH L 2 9 18 39
2/7/1984 NYI L 3 5 39 33
2/9/1984 PHI L 3 4 25 48
2/11/1984 BOS L 1 4 15 34
2/12/1984 HAR L 0 11 28 30
19 38 162 223
Damn that's brutal.

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Old
03-23-2017, 09:19 AM
  #7
IComeInPeace
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Didn't Patt Hughes score 5 goals in a game during the streak where Gretzky was out of the lineup?

Kind of crazy they got blown out 9-2 by the Caps and a week later 11-0 by Hartford.

I would tend to agree there might have been some extra effort and commitment going into the partying the night before each of those games.

I just looked up Pat Hughes...I never realized he was a Calgary boy. That must have been kind of odd representing the Oilers in that rivalry with the Flames.
He had 3 straight 20 goal seasons in Edmonton; once out of Edmonton he scored 5 NHL goals in total in 98 NHL games.

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Old
03-23-2017, 09:22 AM
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The Panther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IComeInPeace View Post
Didn't Patt Hughes score 5 goals in a game during the streak where Gretzky was out of the lineup?
Yes, he did. That was the first game Gretzky missed -- the 10 to 5 win over Calgary.

Incidentally, one of my best friends (who is now a professor in Kentucky) was at the game and remembers it. We were just talking about it a month ago, and we laughed at the memory of Pat Hughes...

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03-23-2017, 09:24 AM
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IComeInPeace
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Regarding the OP's question, yes that 11-0 loss stands out, but I'm not sure the players probably even cared that much at the time.

When I saw the title, I immediately thought of the the Oilers Cup loss vs the Isles.
The Oilers looked embarrassed and frustrated, and it was kind of the first time you ever saw them get 'exposed' and made to look like a team with holes to fill.

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Old
03-23-2017, 09:38 AM
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tarheelhockey
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I think I've heard more "I remember where I was " stories about this game than any other 80s game. For a meaningless regular season game between non-conference WHA teams, it's pretty legendary.

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03-23-2017, 09:53 AM
  #11
The Panther
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For the trainspotters:

Feb.12th 1984

Edmonton Oilers 0 @ Hartford Whalers 11

First Period

1 - HAR : Francis 17 (Neufeld, Johnson) (PP) 1:26
2 - HAR : Francis 18 (Sulliman, Stoughton) (EV) 3:55
3 - HAR : Turgeon 29 (Johnson, Dunn) (EV) 18:34

Penalties - EDM - Coffey 0:33 ; EDM - Gregg ( (maj)) 6:09 ; HAR - Neufeld 6:09 ; HAR - Neufeld ( (maj)) 6:09 ; EDM - Lindstrom 12:14 ; EDM - Messier 15:50 ; HAR - Crombeen 15:50 ; EDM - Coffey 19:43 ; EDM - Linseman 19:56 ; HAR - Johnson 19:56

Second Period

4 - HAR : Malone 12 (Crawford, Francis) (PP) 1:35
5 - HAR : Malone 13 (Crawford, Currie) (PP) 9:20
6 - HAR : Neufeld 21 (Johnson, Siltanen) (PP) 10:21
7 - HAR : Francis 19 (Malone, Currie) (PP) 11:22
8 - HAR : Kotsopoulos 2 (Dunn, Currie) (PP) 13:26

Penalties - EDM - Hughes 0:59 ; HAR - Millen 4:28 ; EDM - Mcclelland ( (maj)) 8:29 ; HAR - Quenneville 13:39 ; HAR - Paterson 17:24

Third Period

9 - HAR : Francis 20 (EV) 0:08
10 - HAR : Malone 14 (Siltanen, Crawford) (EV) 17:52
11 - HAR : Crawford 23 (Malone, Currie) (EV) 18:28

Penalties - EDM - Hughes 4:24 ; EDM - Hughes 13:00 ; HAR - Dunn 13:00 ; HAR - Neufeld 14:05 ; HAR - Quenneville 19:44


Shots On Goal
Edmonton 6 + 12 + 10 = 28
Hartford 13 + 11 + 6 = 30


Goaltenders

Fuhr (EDM) (L) 16 saves on 23 shots - 30:00 mins
Moog (EDM) 3 saves on 7 shots - 30:00 mins
Millen (HAR) (W) 28 saves on 28 shots - 60:00 mins

Attendance - 14,817

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Old
03-23-2017, 10:05 AM
  #12
GMR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
It was their 5th consecutive loss after winning 10-5 against Calgary. Their run without Gretzky was 1-5, and they were outscored 38-19 over the six games. They got a home win against Calgary then they were away for five losses where they were outscored 34-9.

Date Opponent GF GA Shots SA
2/3/1984 CGY W 10 5 37 39
2/5/1984 WSH L 2 9 18 39
2/7/1984 NYI L 3 5 39 33
2/9/1984 PHI L 3 4 25 48
2/11/1984 BOS L 1 4 15 34
2/12/1984 HAR L 0 11 28 30
19 38 162 223
Interesting that a team many consider to be the best ever would have that kind of streak, with those lopsided scores to boot. They still scored plenty of goals, but it's curious how many they gave up without Gretzky. Anybody remember if they had other guys out during this time? Like maybe the entire defensive core and goaltenders?

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Old
03-23-2017, 10:15 AM
  #13
The Hockey Socrates
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post

Goaltenders

Fuhr (EDM) (L) 16 saves on 23 shots - 30:00 mins
Moog (EDM) 3 saves on 7 shots - 30:00 mins
Millen (HAR) (W) 28 saves on 28 shots - 60:00 mins
Holy baloney that's some special kind of awful.

Pro-rated it would be 12 saves on 28 shots, damn.


Also, how reliable are the playing times for the goaltenders? There seems to be an unusual disparity between Moog and Fuhr. 7 shots vs 23 in 30 min?

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Old
03-23-2017, 10:35 AM
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The Panther
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Anybody remember if they had other guys out during this time? Like maybe the entire defensive core and goaltenders?
Heh. Jari Kurri missed a bunch of games around January/February, and he doesn't appear on the summary so he may have been out, too. That's basically the top line gone, since the left winger then was either Jaroslav Pouzar or Semenko.

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Old
03-23-2017, 04:31 PM
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Ogie Goldthorpe
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I was going to say The Miracle on Manchester. Different kind of "worst" though.

I have some memory of the Canucks (of all team) laying a drubbing on them... but that might just be wishful remembering.

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03-23-2017, 05:42 PM
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Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I think I've heard more "I remember where I was " stories about this game than any other 80s game. For a meaningless regular season game between non-conference WHA teams, it's pretty legendary.
I remember where I was. Section 330, Row F, Seat 1.

Messier with a couple of brutal giveaways for a couple of goals.

It was an afternoon game. After the game I went to the Jai Alai fronton (ah, the good old days!) to meet one of my buddies. He asked who won the game. I said 11-0.......Whalers! Cool multiple reactions.

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03-23-2017, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
This was the last game of six in a row that Gretzky missed that season.

I remember listening to this game on the radio in the back seat of my parents' land-cruiser.
I remember the game as well. It was depressing. But in the end I think the team survived reasonably well and was able to get over the loss.

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03-23-2017, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogie Goldthorpe View Post
I was going to say The Miracle on Manchester. Different kind of "worst" though.

I have some memory of the Canucks (of all team) laying a drubbing on them... but that might just be wishful remembering.
If you are looking for the worst defeat emotionally, it was the loss to Calgary via the Steve Smith own-goal. No other defeat was even close is my mind.

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03-23-2017, 07:47 PM
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blogofmike
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Kurri was also out: http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/edmonton-oilers-history-hartford-whalers-clobber-gretzky-and-kurri-less-visitors-11-0-feb-12-1984

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03-23-2017, 09:18 PM
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ChuckW
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Unless the defense and Fuhr had been shot by tranquilizer guns before the game though, Gretz and Kurri being out on a team as stacked as the 84 Oilers does not in any way excuse 11-0 against the offensive powerhouse that was the 84 Whalers.

Who were basically Ron Francis and a few other guys, plus whoever they could round up at short notice.

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03-23-2017, 10:52 PM
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I never knew Hartford scored four of their goals on the same major penalty. And 6 PPG in total. It appears Gretzky's penalty killing ability was missed as much as any of his other talents.

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03-23-2017, 10:59 PM
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I have never heard of that stat.

I do know that the L.A. Kings gave the Oilers one of their biggest defeats in the playoffs (it's recounted in many history books).

I've only been watching hockey since the late-70's. I've only been an Oilers fan since Gretzky arrived.

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03-23-2017, 11:16 PM
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The Panther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckW View Post
Unless the defense and Fuhr had been shot by tranquilizer guns before the game though, Gretz and Kurri being out on a team as stacked as the 84 Oilers does not in any way excuse 11-0 against the offensive powerhouse that was the 84 Whalers.
I don't think anyone needs to "excuse" the 1st overall team that won the Cup. We're just providing some context.

What has to be remembered is the context of a 1st-overall team in February 1984 -- i.e., a completely meaningless game. The last game of the road-trip. The last game before Gretzky comes back. The Oilers could have lost this game and the next 10 straight, and still would have ended up first in their division.

From a professional point of view (and, I'm sure, from Sather's), it's disappointing that they mailed it in. But neither did it do them any harm.

(Incidentally, they also "slumped" late in 1984-85. They were 38-9-6 by Feb. 3rd, 1985, and then played only .500 hockey for the last 27 games of the season. Then, they went 9-0 to start the playoffs, outscoring the opposition 51-23. So, they could turn it on when they had to. )

Anyone know if this was an afternoon game? February 12th 1984 was a Sunday, and the Oilers were terrible in afternoon games.

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Old
03-24-2017, 12:51 AM
  #24
Big Phil
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Yeah, a weird game. Imagine having tickets to that game and you figure that you as a Whalers fan are going to be happy just to see the Whalers keep it close. Wrong.

These things happen. Sometimes the eventual champs get blown out at some point in the season and it sticks out like a sore thumb. Somehow the 1977 Habs lost 7-2 in St. Louis one night. The 1967 Leafs lost 10 games in a row in the middle of the season. The 1980 Isles were a .500 team before the late season trade for Butch Goring. The 2009 Pens lost 6-1 to the Panthers in the game that Crosby fought Booth(?) right off of the face off late in the game. Was it the 2009 or 2008 Wings that lost 8-0 to Nashville on night?

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Old
03-24-2017, 01:10 AM
  #25
shazariahl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
This was the last game of six in a row that Gretzky missed that season.

I remember listening to this game on the radio in the back seat of my parents' land-cruiser.
I was about to say the same thing; Gretzky wasn't in the lineup that night. It was the season of his 51 game point streak, but during the 6 games he missed after his injury.

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