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Ten Best Teams of the Modern Era

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01-05-2011, 06:36 PM
  #1
padstack
 
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Ten Best Teams of the Modern Era

I'm new here, and decided to bring a thread I posted on another site a few months ago. Since there are plenty more fans here, I'd like to get your input on these.



10. 1970-1971 Boston Bruins 57-14-7 121PTS, lost in 1st round

This version of the Boston Bruins entered the season coming off their first Stanley Cup title in 29 years. Although they also won the cup the following season, the '71 Bruins were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Canadiens, despite finishing 12 points ahead of the competition in the regular season. The goalie tandem of Eddie Johnston and Gerry Cheevers split time to allow the 3rd least goals in the league, but where this team stood apart was their 399 goals, 108 more than the second place Canadiens. The B's had four 100 point scorers, paced by Phil Esposito's 152 and Bobby Orr's +124 rating.

9. 1984-1985 Edmonton Oilers 49-20-11 109PTS, Won Stanley Cup

The 84-85 Edmonton club took a step back from the previous year in the regular season, tallying 10 less points and finishing behind the Philadelphia Flyers in the race for the Presidents Trophy. However in the playoffs the Oilers high powered attack came to life scoring 98 goals in just 18 games and dropping just three contests en route to the franchise's second Stanley Cup. Wayne Gretzky was in a class of his own scoring 208 points and 11 Shorthanded Goals

8. 1981-1982 New York Islanders 54-16-10 118PTS, Won Stanley Cup

While the four straight cup winning seasons were each impressive, the 81-82 season stands above the rest. In this season, the Oilers were becoming an offensive juggernaut, and while their Cup years had passed, the Canadiens were still a force to be reckoned with. The Isles finished 7 points ahead of Edmonton in the standings and after winning their first two playoff series in 6 games, cruised to consecutive sweeps to take home the cup. Only one player on this team was over 30 years of age, and the 25 year old tandem of Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier combined for 114 of New York's 385 goals

7. 1995-1996 Detroit Red Wings 62-13-7 131PTS, Lost in Conference Finals

One of the biggest playoff disappointments in NHL history, the Red Wings cruised through the regular season with an NHL record 62 wins while finishing a whopping 27 points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche. 23 year old Chris Osgood combined with veteran Mike Vernon for the Jennings trophy allowing just 185 goals on the year. The Wings were over 88% on the Penalty Kill and had plenty of scoring from Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov and more. However, the season came to an abrupt end at the hands of eventual Cup Champions, Colorado

6. 1988-1989 Calgary Flames 54-17-9 117 PTS, Won Stanley Cup

One of the more unheralded teams, the Flames certainly excelled in the late 80s and the 88-89 version brought Calgary it's lone Cup. The squad led by household names like Mullen, Gilmour and Nieuwendyk were second in the NHL behind just the Gretzky led Kings in Goals for and Mike Vernon backstopped the team losing just six games in the regular season and climbing to another level in the playoffs on his way to the Conn Smythe trophy.

5. 2001-2002 Detroit Red Wings 51-17-10 116PTS, Won Stanley Cup

In many ways, this brand wearing the Winged-wheel was expected to blow away the competition. A well rounded team chock full of Hall of Famers (Shanahan, Fedorov, Hasek Robitaille, Yzerman, Chelios, Lidstrom, Hull, Larionov and even a 23 year old Pavel Datsyuk) and in 2002, the Wings failed to disappoint. Their 51 wins were six more than any other team in the league and aside from a 7-0 whipping of the Avalanche in game seven of the conference finals, Detroit rolled from start to finish on their way to the franchise's 10th Stanley Cup

4. 1983-1984 Edmonton Oilers 57-18-5 119 PTS, Won Stanley Cup

Clearly the Oilers in the Gretzky years were a force to be reckoned with and while each season had it's moments, the 83-84 season is a step ahead of the rest. Edmonton blew the competition away in the regular season, scoring 86 more goals and tallying 7 more wins than any other team in the league, and after a scare from Calgary in the conference finals, rolled through the Islanders in 5 games in the finals to end New York's dynasty. Gretzky, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson all had at least 99 points which was more than enough for the tandem of Grant Fuhr and Andy Moog to backstop Edmonton to their first Stanley Cup.

3. 1975-1976 Montreal Canadiens 58-11-11 127PTS, Won Stanley Cup

The drama ends here with the first season of the most dominant 3 year run in modern hockey. Montreal and goalie Ken Dryden established themselves as the class of the NHL especially at the defensive end, allowing a league low 176 goals, almost 100 less than the league average. Despite the strength at the backline, there certainly was no lack of firepower as leading scorers Guy LaFleur and Pete Malhovich eclipsed 100 points on the way to leading the Canadiens to a then record 58 wins. The playoffs were much of the same and Montreal was 1 loss to the Islanders away from coasting to the cup unblemished.

2. 1977-1978 Montreal Canadiens 59-10-11 129PTS, Won Stanley Cup

Two years later was much of the same story for the Habs, Guy LaFleur's 60 goals and plenty of scoring support from Steve Shutt, Jacques Lemaire and company led the Canadiens to an NHL leading 359 goals. All the while the backline, led by Larry Robinson, Guy LaPointe and Serge Savard had no problem helping Ken Dryden to a 2.26 GAA and Montreal to their 3rd straight Stanley Cup

1. 1976-1977 Montreal Canadiens 60-8-12 132PTS, Won Stanley Cup

Sandwiched between number 2 and number 3 is the most dominant season in NHL history. The Scotty Bowman led Habs dropped just 8 out of their 80 games and won an NHL record 60 games, 11 more than any of their counterparts. Montreal scored 64 more goals than any other team and allowed 24 less, Steve Shutt tallied 60 goals, Ken Dryden won the Vezina with a microscopic 2.14 GAA and Guy LaFleur added plenty of hardware with the Art Ross, Hart Memorial, Lester B. Pearson and Conn Smythe Trophy as the Canadiens once again hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup.

Honorable Mention: 85-86 Oilers, 92-93 Penguins, 93-94 Rangers, 98-99 Stars, 00-01 Avalanche,

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01-05-2011, 07:49 PM
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John Flyers Fan
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You can't have 2 non-Cup winners in the top 10 teams post expansion.

If you aren't good enough to win the ultimate prize, you had a fatal flaw that you were unable to overcome.

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01-05-2011, 07:54 PM
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95-96 Red Wings?

Both the 97 and 98 cup winners were better than that squad.

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01-05-2011, 08:08 PM
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If that's the case then why not just take a list of the Stanley Cup champions and rank them by winning percentage and say those are the 43 best teams since expansion started and then start ranking the non winners. Are the 95 Devils who finished 5th in their conference really better than the 96 Wings in the grand scheme of things?

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01-05-2011, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
95-96 Red Wings?

Both the 97 and 98 cup winners were better than that squad.

I strongly disagree, the 95-96 team was so far ahead of the others in every facet of the game. Patrick Roy came in and closed the door to open the Conference Finals and the Red Wings couldn't recover.

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01-05-2011, 08:16 PM
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1972-73 Montreal Canadiens

would find a place for them in the top ten ...

probably the most forgotten of the Habs six Cup winners in the seventies ... first overall in the regular season (52 wins, 10 losses, 16 ties, 120 points) ... finished second in goals for (by one goal) ... led the league in goals against (by 24 goals) ... on an individual level - Dryden, Lapointe, F. Mahovlich all named to the 1st All-Star team, Cournoyer the 2nd ... Lemaire top 5 in league goals and points ... Laperriere led league in +/- (Savard 2nd, Lemaire 3rd, Lapointe 5th) ... Dryden led goalies in wins, gaa, and shutouts.

Team featured ELEVEN future Hall of Famer's (not including the head coach and the general manager) ... most on any team, pre or post expansion.

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01-05-2011, 08:37 PM
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1. 2009 Sharks
2. 2007 Patriots
3. 1996 Red Wings
4. 1995 Red Wings
5. 2000 St. Louis Blues

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01-05-2011, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padstack View Post
Are the 95 Devils who finished 5th in their conference really better than the 96 Wings in the grand scheme of things?
Yes, they are. Devils were an excellent team that had a down lockout shortened regular season. Dispatched the 95 Red Wings with ease.

You didn't rank the top 50. You ranked the top 10, the best of the very best. To be in the top 10 a Cup is necessary.

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01-05-2011, 09:09 PM
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Not sure how the 95-96 Wings can be better than the 95-96 Avs if they LOST to them.


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01-05-2011, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Cognition View Post
1. 2009 Sharks
2. 2007 Patriots
3. 1996 Red Wings
4. 1995 Red Wings
5. 2000 St. Louis Blues
LOL. Nice one man! You almost forgot about the 2003 Wings!

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01-05-2011, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
Yes, they are. Devils were an excellent team that had a down lockout shortened regular season. Dispatched the 95 Red Wings with ease.

You didn't rank the top 50. You ranked the top 10, the best of the very best. To be in the top 10 a Cup is necessary.
It would depend on the criteria as sometimes the "best" team does not win the Cup but rather loses in a short series.

In reality the Stanley Cup winner is the team that wins the final game of the playoffs in a season and is not by default the best team in the league in that year.

Often they are the same team but not always.

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01-05-2011, 09:39 PM
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Since Expansion:

1) Habs late 70's
2) Oilers 1984-1990
3) Islanders 1979-83
4) Bruins Early 70's
5) Habs Early 70's
6) Wings late 90's/00's
7) Pens Early 90's
8) Flyer's mid 70's
9) Flames late 80's
10) Devils of late 90's/early 00's

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01-05-2011, 09:41 PM
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ArGarBarGar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padstack View Post
I strongly disagree, the 95-96 team was so far ahead of the others in every facet of the game. Patrick Roy came in and closed the door to open the Conference Finals and the Red Wings couldn't recover.
Hence why they weren't any better than the cup winners.

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01-06-2011, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sens Rule View Post
Since Expansion:

1) Habs late 70's
2) Oilers 1984-1990
3) Islanders 1979-83
4) Bruins Early 70's
5) Habs Early 70's
6) Wings late 90's/00's
7) Pens Early 90's
8) Flyer's mid 70's
9) Flames late 80's
10) Devils of late 90's/early 00's
This list seems to be most realistic IMO. The Oilers and Islanders could easily switch places depending on how you argue it.

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01-06-2011, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sens Rule View Post
Since Expansion:

1) Habs late 70's
2) Oilers 1984-1990
3) Islanders 1979-83
4) Bruins Early 70's
5) Habs Early 70's
6) Wings late 90's/00's
7) Pens Early 90's
8) Flyer's mid 70's
9) Flames late 80's
10) Devils of late 90's/early 00's

Bruins 4th? They won only 2 Cups and choked plenty of times. Not even top5.

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01-06-2011, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
You didn't rank the top 50. You ranked the top 10, the best of the very best. To be in the top 10 a Cup is necessary.
I disagree, there are a million ways to lose a playoff series that don't involve being "worse" than your opponent. Injuries, a hot goalie in the other net, a bad bounce in OT can end a dynasty just like that. Hell, Steve Smith shot the puck off Grant Fuhr... that didn't make the Flames a better team than the Oilers.

IMO, if the point of the thread is simply to identify powerhouse teams then a Cup is nice but not necessary.

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01-06-2011, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I disagree, there are a million ways to lose a playoff series that don't involve being "worse" than your opponent. Injuries, a hot goalie in the other net, a bad bounce in OT can end a dynasty just like that. Hell, Steve Smith shot the puck off Grant Fuhr... that didn't make the Flames a better team than the Oilers.

IMO, if the point of the thread is simply to identify powerhouse teams then a Cup is nice but not necessary.
Yup, I agree. To win it all you have to be good and a bit lucky too.

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01-06-2011, 10:33 AM
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from the people saying you need a cup to prove you are the best team in any given year, answer this:

was Stephen Bradbury the best 1000 meter short track skater in the world 2002?

point is: you need luck to win in most sports. sure in some more than others, but to say, did not win = not best is wrong. unless your only measure for best is winning, which of course is ok, but quite naive. at least when claiming that this is the only, or right, way of looking at it.

or another example: the 77 habs lose LaFleur, Dryden and Robinson to the flu before the finals and lose. are they no longer one of the best? sure you could argue that. but saying you could not argue that they are still in the top 10 is strange.

isnīt the fact that the best teams or athletes doesnīt always win one of the good things with sports. for keeping the exitement.

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01-06-2011, 12:03 PM
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76-77 Habs

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01-06-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluppe View Post
from the people saying you need a cup to prove you are the best team in any given year, answer this:

was Stephen Bradbury the best 1000 meter short track skater in the world 2002?
*crickets*

I'm going to guess..... no?

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01-06-2011, 12:31 PM
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If we are talking about the best teams of the modern era, then I would have to say:

1) Montreal 76-79
2) Edmonton 84-88
3) Islanders 79-83
4) Boston 70-72
5) Montreal 71-73
6) Montreal 55-60
7) Detroit 95-02
8) Detroit 50-55
8) Philadelphia 74-76
10) New Jersey 95-03

If we are talking about the post expansion era, then I agree with Sens Rule's post. Though I would rank the 95-03 Devils and 1970's Flyers above the early 90's Penguins.

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01-06-2011, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluppe View Post
from the people saying you need a cup to prove you are the best team in any given year, answer this:

was Stephen Bradbury the best 1000 meter short track skater in the world 2002?

point is: you need luck to win in most sports. sure in some more than others, but to say, did not win = not best is wrong. unless your only measure for best is winning, which of course is ok, but quite naive. at least when claiming that this is the only, or right, way of looking at it.

or another example: the 77 habs lose LaFleur, Dryden and Robinson to the flu before the finals and lose. are they no longer one of the best? sure you could argue that. but saying you could not argue that they are still in the top 10 is strange.

isnīt the fact that the best teams or athletes doesnīt always win one of the good things with sports. for keeping the exitement.
Actually if you are the best you do win. I can give merit to not winning every year but you do need to win. That is why I ranked the Bruins so high from the early 1970's. They did win two cups, they had a stacked team and had ridiculous goal totals and regular season success outside of those two cups wins though. You can be a great team and not win the Cup but you won't be the best in that year if you don't win the cup. Injuries happen. You get over them. You need to win several 7 game series to win a cup, usually 3 or 4. You don't win multiple best of seven series by luck or randomness you win by being the best team in that series/playoff year.

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01-06-2011, 02:33 PM
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Not sure how the 95-96 Wings can be better than the 95-96 Avs if they LOST to them.

They didn't lose to the Avs, they lost to Patrick Roy.

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01-06-2011, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
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I strongly disagree, the 95-96 team was so far ahead of the others in every facet of the game. Patrick Roy came in and closed the door to open the Conference Finals and the Red Wings couldn't recover.
Would you call last year's Capitals team one of the best teams ever? The 95-96 Wings were built for the regular season (as were the previous versions of the team), but were generally too soft for playoff hockey. Trades made in the offseason, plus the further maturation of Yzerman, Fedorov, and Lidstrom made the team much more ready for the playoffs the following seasons.

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01-06-2011, 03:21 PM
  #25
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I like that no team since 2002 is on the Top-10 list. There's been too much parity in the NHL these days. Some teams get hot for a while, have a great regular season or playoffs, but the squad of Red Wings led by a one-legged Yzerman in '02 was the last truly great team I agree.

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