World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

1969–70 NHL season

1969–70 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 11, 1969 – May 10, 1970
Number of games 76
Number of teams 12
Regular season
Season champions Chicago Black Hawks
Season MVP Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins)
Top scorer Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins)
Playoffs MVP Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins)
Stanley Cup
Champions Boston Bruins
  Runners-up St. Louis Blues

The 1969–70 NHL season was the 53rd season of the National Hockey League. For the third straight season, the St. Louis Blues reached the Stanley Cup finals, and for the third straight year, the winners of the expansion Western Division were swept four games to none. This time, however, it was at the hands of the Boston Bruins, as the defending champions Montreal Canadiens narrowly missed the playoffs, something that would not happen again for the next quarter century. With the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens out, this meant that all participating teams in the 1970 playoffs were from the United States, the only time this has occurred in league history as of 2015. It was also the final season that teams wore their colored jerseys at home until the 2003–04 season.


  • Regular season 1
    • Canadiens/Rangers tiebreaker 1.1
    • Final standings 1.2
  • Playoffs 2
    • Playoff bracket 2.1
    • Quarterfinals 2.2
      • (E1) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (E3) Detroit Red Wings 2.2.1
      • (E2) Boston Bruins vs. (E4) New York Rangers 2.2.2
      • (W1) St. Louis Blues vs. (W3) Minnesota North Stars 2.2.3
      • (W2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (W4) Oakland Seals 2.2.4
    • Semifinals 2.3
      • (E1) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (E2) Boston Bruins 2.3.1
      • (W1) St. Louis Blues vs. (W2) Pittsburgh Penguins 2.3.2
    • Stanley Cup Finals 2.4
  • Awards 3
    • All-Star teams 3.1
  • Player statistics 4
    • Scoring leaders 4.1
    • Leading goaltenders 4.2
    • Other statistics 4.3
  • Debuts 5
  • Last games 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Regular season

Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins became the first (and as of 2015, the only) defenseman in NHL history to win the league scoring championship. He did it by setting a new record for assists with 87 and totalling 120 points, only six shy of the point record set the previous season by teammate Phil Esposito. Along the way, he also won the Norris Trophy for the third straight year as the top defenseman, the Hart Trophy for league MVP, and the Conn Smythe Trophy for the playoff MVP, being the only player in the NHL to win four individual awards.

Gordie Howe finished the season within the ten leading NHL point scorers for an all-time record of 21 consecutive seasons; it was the final season he would do so.

For the third straight season, the St. Louis Blues easily won the West Division, being the only team in the division to have a winning record.

The East Division, however, saw a temporary changing of the guard, as Montreal dropped from first the previous season to fifth, missing the playoffs on the total goals scored tie-breaker with the New York Rangers. The Rangers were in first place for a time, but injuries on the blueline doomed any hope of a first-place finish, and they even obtained Tim Horton in desperation. It would be the only season Montreal failed to make the playoffs between 1948 and 1995, and as the Toronto Maple Leafs also failed to make the postseason, this set up the only playoffs in NHL history (as of 2015) to feature no Canadian teams. These developments were instrumental in the decision to move Chicago to the West Division in conjunction with the 1970 expansion, and the adoption of "crossover" playoff series between East and West Division teams the following season. The division crossover kept the newer expansion teams out of the Stanley Cup final for the next three seasons.

The Bruins and the Black Hawks both tied for the lead in the East with 99 points, but Chicago was awarded first place because they had more wins. It was Chicago's second first-place finish in Black Hawk history (the first being 1966–67)

Canadiens/Rangers tiebreaker

Entering their last games of the regular season, the badly slumping New York Rangers were two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the final playoff spot. A New York victory and a Montreal loss would have left them tied in points, and the first tiebreaker – number of wins – was also tied. The second tiebreaker was goals scored, and the Canadiens had a five-goal advantage in the "goals for" category. This led to unusual tactics from both teams.

In their second-last game, the Detroit Red Wings had clinched a playoff spot, after having missed the postseason for the past three years. Many of their players were jubilant and were wildly celebrating this accomplishment, despite the fact that they were scheduled to face New York the next afternoon to finish the season. Several Detroit players still had hangovers from last night's party just hours before they took to the ice against the Rangers.[1] The desperate Rangers managed 65 shots on Detroit goalie Roger Crozier to amass a 9–3 lead early in the third period. Looking for even more goals, Coach Emile Francis repeatedly pulled goalie Ed Giacomin for the extra attacker though this failed to add to the Rangers' tally; in fact this let the Red Wings hit the empty net twice for a 9–5 final score. Nonetheless, however, New York was now equal on points with Montreal and had four more goals for the season.[1]

That night, the Canadiens played against the notably stingy Chicago Black Hawks in what was both teams' final regular season game. Unlike the Red Wings, who had nothing else to accomplish in their final game, the Black Hawks were playing for first place in their division. With nearly nine minutes left in the third period and down 5–2 to the Hawks, the Canadiens knew scoring overcoming this 5–2 deficit in 9 minutes was highly unlikely, but they could still make the playoffs if they could score three more goals regardless of the game's outcome. So Coach Claude Ruel pulled his goaltender for the extra attacker. But the strategy backfired as Montreal failed to score while Chicago scored five times into the empty Montreal net, to win 10–2. This is believed to be the longest length of time any team had played without a goalie. The Canadiens, ending the season with two goals behind the Rangers, were out of the playoffs. Angry Habs fans have accused Detroit, having already secured a postseason berth and with nowhere to move in the standings, of purposely throwing the game to let the Rangers make the playoffs.[1]

Final standings

East Division[2]
1 Chicago Black Hawks 76 45 22 9 250 170 +80 99
2 Boston Bruins 76 40 17 19 277 216 +61 99
3 Detroit Red Wings 76 40 21 15 246 199 +47 95
4 New York Rangers 76 38 22 16 246 189 +57 92
5 Montreal Canadiens 76 38 22 16 244 201 +43 92
6 Toronto Maple Leafs 76 29 34 13 222 242 −20 71
West Division[2]
1 St. Louis Blues 76 37 27 12 224 179 +45 86
2 Pittsburgh Penguins 76 26 38 12 182 238 −56 64
3 Minnesota North Stars 76 19 35 22 224 257 −33 60
4 Oakland Seals 76 22 40 14 169 243 −74 58
5 Philadelphia Flyers 76 17 35 24 197 225 −28 58
6 Los Angeles Kings 76 14 52 10 168 290 −122 38


Playoff bracket

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
1 Chicago Black Hawks 4
3 Detroit Red Wings 0
1 Chicago Black Hawks 0
East Division
2 Boston Bruins 4
2 Boston Bruins 4
4 New York Rangers 2
E2 Boston Bruins 4
W1 St. Louis Blues 0
1 St. Louis Blues 4
3 Minnesota North Stars 2
1 St. Louis Blues 4
West Division
2 Pittsburgh Penguins 2
2 Pittsburgh Penguins 4
4 Oakland Seals 0


(E1) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (E3) Detroit Red Wings

In the Chicago-Detroit series, the Black Hawks swept the series, interestingly winning all four games by 4–2 scores.

(E2) Boston Bruins vs. (E4) New York Rangers

The Bruins clobbered the Rangers 8–2 in game one; Ranger coach Emile Francis replaced Ed Giacomin when the score reached 7–1, in favor of Terry Sawchuk. Sawchuk replaced Giacomin as the starter in game two, but Boston won 5–3.

Game three at Madison Square Garden featured a hostile crowd, with the New York fans booing, shouting obscenities and throwing objects at the Boston players. Giacomin -- back in goal for the Rangers -- reportedly told Bruin Derek Sanderson and reportedly said "We're being paid to get you tonight." A subsequent brawl erupted into both benches clearing, as well as fans littering the ice with debris; it took 19 minutes to play the first 91 seconds of the game. By the end of the Rangers' 4-3 win, the teams had set a new NHL playoff record for penalties (38) and penalty minutes (174).

Game four had Rod Gilbert score two goals in a 4–2 Ranger win. Giacomin was brilliant in goal for the Rangers and one of the highlights was stopping Derek Sanderson on a shorthanded breakaway. Game five was won by Boston 3–2 as Esposito scored two goals. Bobby Orr set up the winner when he stole a pass at center ice when the Rangers were caught on a line change. Game six was won easily by the Bruins and featured another display of fan abuse. Bobby Orr scored two goals, including the winner. Fans threw eggs and ball bearings on the ice, and when the outcome was no longer in doubt, set fires in the mezzanine of Madison Square Garden.

(W1) St. Louis Blues vs. (W3) Minnesota North Stars

In the West Division playoffs, the St. Louis Blues ousted the Minnesota North Stars in six games. The Blues won the first two games at the St. Louis Arena. Game three at the Metropolitan Sports Center featured Gump Worsley's sharp goaltending and Bill Goldsworthy scoring two goals in a 4–2 win for the North Stars. Cesare Maniago played in goal for Minnesota in game four and picked up a 4–0 shutout, tying the series. Game five at St. Louis Arena was tied 3–3 when St Louis scored three goals in the third period by Red Berenson, Terry Gray and Jim Roberts and the Blues won 6–3. In game six, Ab McDonald scored two goals as the Blues eliminated the North Stars by a score of 4–2.

(W2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (W4) Oakland Seals

In game one, Nick Harbaruk's goal midway through the third period was the winner as Pittsburgh won 2–1. In game two, Gary Jarrett gave Oakland a 1–0 lead, but Pittsburgh came back to win 3–1. Game three at Oakland featured a hat trick by Ken Schinkel of the Penguins as Pittsburgh won 5–2. Game four saw Oakland holding 1–0 and 2–1 leads, but the Seals just couldn't hold on and the game was tied 2–2 at the end of regulation time, with Michel Briere scoring the series winning goal at 8:28 of overtime for Pittsburgh. It would be the final time the Seals would make the playoffs.


(E1) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (E2) Boston Bruins

In the East Division final, Boston beat Chicago in four straight games.

(W1) St. Louis Blues vs. (W2) Pittsburgh Penguins

In the West Division final, the St. Louis Blues beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. The Pens would not get to the semi-finals again for more than 20 years.

The Stanley Cup final would then be Boston vs. St. Louis.

Stanley Cup Finals

Phil Esposito of the Bruins led all playoff scorers with 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points, at the time a new NHL playoff record, followed by Orr with 20 points and Johnny Bucyk of the Bruins with 19 points. Gerry Cheevers of the Bruins led all goaltenders with twelve wins, while Jacques Plante of the Blues led all goaltenders in goals against average in the playoffs with 1.48.

Boston wins series 4–0


1969–70 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(East Division champion)
Chicago Black Hawks
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:
(West Division champion)
St. Louis Blues
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer, regular season)
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:
(Perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication)
Pit Martin, Chicago Black Hawks
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Top first-year player)
Tony Esposito, Chicago Black Hawks
Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Phil Goyette, St. Louis Blues
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team with best goaltending record)
Tony Esposito, Chicago Black Hawks
Lester Patrick Trophy:
(Service to hockey in the U.S.)
Edward W. Shore, James C. V. Hendy

All-Star teams

First team   Position   Second team
Tony Esposito, Chicago Black Hawks G Ed Giacomin, New York Rangers
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins D Carl Brewer, Detroit Red Wings
Brad Park, New York Rangers D Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins C Stan Mikita, Chicago Black Hawks
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings RW John McKenzie, Boston Bruins
Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks LW Frank Mahovlich, Detroit Red Wings

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points
Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Bobby Orr Boston Bruins 76 33 87 120 125
Phil Esposito Boston Bruins 76 43 56 99 50
Stan Mikita Chicago Black Hawks 76 39 47 86 50
Phil Goyette St. Louis Blues 72 29 49 78 16
Walt Tkaczuk New York Rangers 76 27 50 77 38
Jean Ratelle New York Rangers 75 32 42 74 28
Red Berenson St. Louis Blues 67 33 39 72 38
J. P. Parise Minnesota North Stars 74 24 48 72 72
Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings 76 31 40 71 58
Frank Mahovlich Detroit Red Wings 74 38 32 70 59
Dave Balon New York Rangers 76 33 37 70 100
John McKenzie Boston Bruins 72 29 41 70 114

Source: NHL.[3]

Leading goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; Min – Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts
Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Ernie Wakely St. Louis Blues 30 1651 58 2.11 12 9 4 4
Tony Esposito Chicago Black Hawks 63 3763 136 2.17 38 17 8 15
Jacques Plante St. Louis Blues 32 1839 67 2.19 18 9 5 5
Ed Giacomin New York Rangers 70 4148 163 2.36 35 21 14 6
Roy Edwards Detroit Red Wings 47 2683 116 2.59 24 15 6 2
Rogatien Vachon Montreal Canadiens 64 3697 162 2.63 31 18 12 4
Roger Crozier Detroit Red Wings 34 1877 83 2.65 16 6 9 0
Gerry Cheevers Boston Bruins 41 2384 108 2.72 24 8 8 4
Bernie Parent Philadelphia Flyers 62 3680 171 2.79 13 29 20 3
Ed Johnston Boston Bruins 37 2176 108 2.98 16 9 11 3

Other statistics


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1969–70 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1969–70 (listed with their last team):

See also


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports.  
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates.  
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.  
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Inc.  
  • McFarlane, Brian (1973). The Story of the National Hockey League. New York, NY: Pagurian Press.  
  1. ^ a b c in a meaningless game for the Red Wings
  2. ^ a b "1969–1970 Division Standings Standings - - Standings". National Hockey League. 
  3. ^ Dinger 2011, p. 150.

External links

  • Hockey Database
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.