Out With the Old, In With the New
Game Five of 1984 Stanley Cup Finals: Oilers vs. Islanders
 By Mark Weisenmiller

Edmonton's Northlands Colisum was packed with devoted fans of the Oilers on May 19, 1984. The Oilers, led by center Wayne Gretzky, were a young, flashy team with panache. Up three games to one, they had a chance to win their first Stanley Cup that night.

After splitting the first two games of the series, the Oilers took the next two by identical 7-2 scores. The older Islander players simply could not keep up with the younger, faster Oilers of Gretzky, Messier and Coffey. A fourth victory would be sweet revenge, since the Islanders had swept the Oilers to win the Cup the previous year.

   Things started out well for the Oilers. Gretzky scored the only two goals in the first period, set up both times by right wing Juri Kurri. The pair finished 1-2 in playoff scoring that year, and went on to thrill Oiler fans throughout the 1980s.

  Period two saw Edmonton center Ken (The Rat) Linseman score after just 34 seconds had elapsed. Less than five minutes later, Kurri converted off feeds from Paul Coffey and right wing Glenn Anderson.

Both teams had recorded 14 shots at the intermission between the second and third periods. The goalies were Andy Moog for the Oilers and " Battlin” Billy Smith for the Isles. Smith would eventually be replaced by Rollie Melanson.
The Islanders rebounded briefly in the third stanza on a pair of quick goals by sharpshooting Pat LaFontaine. Inspired by their young center, the Islanders picked up the pace, but Moog stonewalled them.  

With Melanson off for an extra attacker, the Oilers’ Dave Lumley scored with 13 seconds on the clock. Euphoria for the partisan Oiler crowd.

 The Oilers, coaches, players, trainers and other staff members gathered at center ice for the traditional Stanley Cup presentation, having scored a remarkable 94 goals in their playoff run. Over 99 games that season, Edmonton  had pocketed an amazing 540 goals

   NHL President John Ziegler presented the Cup to Gretzky, the Oilers’ captain. No. 99 would later say, "I've held women and babies and jewels and money, but nothing will ever feel as good as holding that Cup."

The Oilers went on to dominate the NHL during the ’80s, winning four of the next five Cups.


Your No. 1 Source for Southern Hockey