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1973–74 NHL season

1973–74 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 10, 1973 – May 19, 1974
Number of games 78
Number of teams 16
Regular season
Season champions Boston Bruins
Season MVP Phil Esposito, (Boston Bruins)
Top scorer Phil Esposito, (Boston Bruins)
Playoffs MVP Bernie Parent, (Philadelphia Flyers)
Stanley Cup
Champions Philadelphia Flyers
  Runners-up Boston Bruins

The 1973–74 NHL season was the 57th season of the National Hockey League. The Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup championship, the team's first. The team was the first of the post-1967 teams to win the Cup.


  • League business 1
  • Regular season 2
    • Final standings 2.1
  • Playoffs 3
    • Playoff bracket 3.1
    • Quarterfinals 3.2
      • (E1) Boston Bruins vs. (E4) Toronto Maple Leafs 3.2.1
      • (W2) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (W3) Los Angeles Kings 3.2.2
      • (W1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (W4) Atlanta Flames 3.2.3
      • (E2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (E3) New York Rangers 3.2.4
    • Semifinals 3.3
      • (E1) Boston Bruins vs. (W2) Chicago Black Hawks 3.3.1
      • (W1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (E3) New York Rangers 3.3.2
    • Final 3.4
  • Awards 4

League business

With owner Charles O. Finley unable to find a buyer, the league took over operation of the troubled California Golden Seals in February, 1974.

Regular season

The Philadelphia Flyers, who developed the nickname "Broad Street Bullies" because of their physical style of play, dethroned the Chicago Black Hawks as the West Division champions behind the dominant play of Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent.

In the East Division, the Boston Bruins regained the top spot in the East and the league, behind an ongoing offensive juggernaut that saw Bruins' players finish 1-2-3-4 in NHL scoring (Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman) for the second and most recent time in league history.

Final standings


The playoffs began on April 9 with the first round, which was played between divisional opponents. The top teams all won their first rounds, with one mild upset, as the third-place New York Rangers defeated the second-place Montreal Canadiens. In the second round, the teams played an inter-divisional round to determine the finalists. The Eastern champion Boston Bruins took on the Western's second-place Chicago Black Hawks, while the Western champion Philadelphia Flyers took on the New York Rangers. Boston won its series in six games to take one Finals spot, while Philadelphia won its series in seven games to make the team's first Finals appearance. In the Final, the Flyers won the series in six games to win the franchise's first championship.

Playoff bracket

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
E1 Boston Bruins 4
E4 Toronto Maple Leafs 0
E1 Boston Bruins 4
W2 Chicago Black Hawks 2
W2 Chicago Black Hawks 4
W3 Los Angeles Kings 1
E1 Boston Bruins 2
W1 Philadelphia Flyers 4
W1 Philadelphia Flyers 4
W4 Atlanta Flames 0
W1 Philadelphia Flyers 4
E3 New York Rangers 3
E2 Montreal Canadiens 2
E3 New York Rangers 4


(E1) Boston Bruins vs. (E4) Toronto Maple Leafs

Boston won series 4-0

(W2) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (W3) Los Angeles Kings

Chicago won series 4-1

(W1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (W4) Atlanta Flames

Philadelphia won series 4-0

(E2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (E3) New York Rangers

New York won series 4-2


(E1) Boston Bruins vs. (W2) Chicago Black Hawks

Boston won series 4-2

(W1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (E3) New York Rangers

Philadelphia won series 4-3


Philadelphia Flyers became the first non-Original Six team to win the Cup since expansion in 1967.

Philadelphia won series 4-2


A new award, the Jack Adams for the best coach, was introduced for this season. The first winner was Fred Shero of the Philadelphia Flyers.

1974 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(East Division champion)
Boston Bruins
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:
(West Division champion)
Philadelphia Flyers
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer, regular season)
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:
(Perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication)
Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Top first-year player)
Denis Potvin, New York Islanders
Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
Jack Adams Award:
(Best coach)
Fred Shero, Philadelphia Flyers
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Johnny Bucyk, Boston Bruins
Lester B. Pearson Award:
(Outstanding player, regular season)
Bobby Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team(s) with best goaltending
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