71-72NYR.jpg
1971–72 New York Rangers · NHL
Division 2nd East
1971–72 record 48-17-13
Goals for 317
Goals against 192
General Manager Emile Francis
Coach Emile Francis
Captain Vic Hadfield
Arena Madison Square Garden
Team Leaders
Goals Vic Hadfield (50)
Assists Jean Ratelle (63)
Points Jean Ratelle (109)
Penalties in minutes Vic Hadfield (142)
Wins Gilles Villemure
Ed Giacomin (24)
Goals against average Gilles Villemure (2.09)
← Seasons →
1970–71 1972–73

The 1971–72 New York Rangers season was the 46th season in franchise history. Jean Ratelle, Vic Hadfield, and Rod Gilbert ranked third, fourth and fifth overall in league scoring.[1] The Rangers qualified for the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. The club made its first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since 1950 but lost in six games to the Boston Bruins.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Derek Sanderson scores the game winner, January 2, 1972.

The Bruins started 1972 with three straight wins beginning with the Rangers on January 2. Derek Sanderson scored the winner on a great play by Mike Walton and Gerry Cheevers was brilliant as the Bruins were out shot 41-18 but prevailed 4-1. Cheevers made a rush with the puck past the blueline and fed John Bucyk a breakaway pass on which he scored to make it 5-1. However, the goal was called back on a delayed penalty after Cheevers ran into Ted Irvine and cuffed him on the head with his glove.

Carol Vadnais from Fred Stanfield, March 23, 1972.

On March 23, the Rangers visited Boston in a must-win game if they were to catch the first place Bruins. The game was hard fought and with the Bruins up 1-0 in the second period, Phil Esposito was ejected from the game for being the third man in on a Brad Park-John McKenzie fight. Ted Irvine tied it up heading into the third period. Missing Esposito and Wayne Cashman (who didn't dress), the Bruins second line took over. John Bucyk scored the winner before Fred Stanfield set up Carol Vadnais for an insurance goal. Bobby Orr scored a late short handed goal on a 200 foot shot into an empty net as the Bruins won 4-1.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

East Division
  GP W L T GF GA PTS
Boston Bruins 78 54 13 11 330 204 119
New York Rangers 78 48 17 13 317 192 109
Montreal Canadiens 78 46 16 16 307 205 108
Toronto Maple Leafs 78 33 31 14 209 208 80
Detroit Red Wings 78 33 35 10 261 262 76
Buffalo Sabres 78 16 43 19 203 289 51
Vancouver Canucks 78 20 50 8 203 297 48

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


Game Log[edit | edit source]

Regular Season Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 T October 9, 1971 4–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 0–0–1
2 W October 10, 1971 4–1 @ Boston Bruins (1971–72) 1–0–1
3 L October 13, 1971 1–6 Boston Bruins (1971–72) 1–1–1
4 W October 16, 1971 5–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 2–1–1
5 W October 17, 1971 8–4 Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 3–1–1
6 W October 20, 1971 3–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 4–1–1
7 W October 23, 1971 4–3 @ St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 5–1–1
8 T October 24, 1971 1–1 Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 5–1–2
9 W October 27, 1971 7–4 Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 6–1–2
10 T October 30, 1971 1–1 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 6–1–3
11 T October 31, 1971 3–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 6–1–4
12 W November 3, 1971 7–1 @ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 7–1–4
13 W November 5, 1971 8–1 @ California Golden Seals (1971–72) 8–1–4
14 W November 6, 1971 3–1 @ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 9–1–4
15 W November 10, 1971 7–1 Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 10–1–4
16 W November 13, 1971 5–2 Buffalo Sabres (1971–72) 11–1–4
17 W November 14, 1971 6–1 Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 12–1–4
18 L November 20, 1971 1–4 @ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 12–2–4
19 W November 21, 1971 12–1 California Golden Seals (1971–72) 13–2–4
20 W November 24, 1971 8–3 St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 14–2–4
21 L November 27, 1971 1–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 14–3–4
22 W November 28, 1971 4–2 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 15–3–4
23 W December 1, 1971 7–2 Buffalo Sabres (1971–72) 16–3–4
24 L December 4, 1971 2–4 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 16–4–4
25 W December 5, 1971 6–3 Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 17–4–4
26 T December 8, 1971 2–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 17–4–5
27 W December 9, 1971 5–0 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 18–4–5
28 W December 12, 1971 6–1 Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 19–4–5
29 W December 15, 1971 6–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 20–4–5
30 L December 16, 1971 1–8 @ Boston Bruins (1971–72) 20–5–5
31 W December 18, 1971 5–2 @ St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 21–5–5
32 T December 19, 1971 1–1 Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 21–5–6
33 W December 22, 1971 4–2 Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 22–5–6
34 W December 25, 1971 2–1 @ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 23–5–6
35 W December 26, 1971 5–1 Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 24–5–6
36 W December 29, 1971 5–1 Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 25–5–6
37 L January 2, 1972 1–4 Boston Bruins (1971–72) 25–6–6
38 W January 5, 1972 9–1 St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 26–6–6
39 W January 9, 1972 8–0 Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 27–6–6
40 T January 12, 1972 5–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 27–6–7
41 W January 13, 1972 5–2 @ Buffalo Sabres (1971–72) 28–6–7
42 L January 15, 1972 3–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 28–7–7
43 W January 19, 1972 5–1 @ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 29–7–7
44 W January 21, 1972 5–0 @ California Golden Seals (1971–72) 30–7–7
45 L January 22, 1972 2–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 30–8–7
46 W January 26, 1972 5–1 Buffalo Sabres (1971–72) 31–8–7
47 L January 29, 1972 2–4 @ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 31–9–7
48 T January 30, 1972 1–1 Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 31–9–8
49 L February 2, 1972 0–2 Boston Bruins (1971–72) 31–10–8
50 W February 3, 1972 4–2 @ Buffalo Sabres (1971–72) 32–10–8
51 L February 5, 1972 5–6 @ St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 32–11–8
52 T February 6, 1972 2–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 32–11–9
53 W February 9, 1972 4–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 33–11–9
54 W February 12, 1972 8–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 34–11–9
55 W February 13, 1972 4–2 Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 35–11–9
56 W February 15, 1972 5–1 @ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 36–11–9
57 W February 17, 1972 6–4 @ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 37–11–9
58 T February 18, 1972 2–2 @ California Golden Seals (1971–72) 37–11–10
59 W February 20, 1972 4–3 Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 38–11–10
60 W February 22, 1972 7–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 39–11–10
61 W February 23, 1972 4–3 Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 40–11–10
62 W February 27, 1972 2–0 St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 41–11–10
63 W March 1, 1972 4–1 California Golden Seals (1971–72) 42–11–10
64 W March 2, 1972 4–3 @ Buffalo Sabres (1971–72) 43–11–10
65 W March 5, 1972 6–1 Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 44–11–10
66 T March 8, 1972 3–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 44–11–11
67 W March 11, 1972 4–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 45–11–11
68 L March 12, 1972 3–7 California Golden Seals (1971–72) 45–12–11
69 L March 15, 1972 1–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 45–13–11
70 W March 16, 1972 2–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 46–13–11
71 W March 18, 1972 5–3 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 47–13–11
72 W March 19, 1972 5–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 48–13–11
73 L March 23, 1972 1–4 @ Boston Bruins (1971–72) 48–14–11
74 T March 25, 1972 3–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 48–14–12
75 L March 26, 1972 0–5 Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 48–15–12
76 T March 29, 1972 2–2 Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 48–15–13
77 L April 1, 1972 1–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 48–16–13
78 L April 2, 1972 5–6 Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 48–17–13

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Boston Bruins 4, New York Rangers 2[edit | edit source]

Ken Hodge had a hat trick, Game 1 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, April 30, 1972.

The Bruins and Rangers last met in the 1970 Quarter-finals where the Bruins won the hard fought series in six games. The 1972 Stanley Cup Finals would also be won by Boston in six games. Boston's goaltenders Gerry Cheevers and Eddie Johnston both played three games as did New York's Eddie Giacomin and Gilles Villemure. Jean Ratelle rushed his return from injury to play in the Finals but came back too early. A dominant player during the regular season, who despite missing the last month still finished third in scoring, he recorded just one assist in the series. The regular season's top goal scorer, Phil Esposito, didn't score in the Finals but contributed nine assists while Ken Hodge had 5 goals and 8 points. Bobby Orr scored the Cup winning goal, but not in as dramatic a fashion as in 1970. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy and was tied with Esposito for most points in the playoffs with 24.

Garnet Bailey scores the winner, Game 1 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, April 30, 1972.

Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw Gerry Cheevers start in net for the Bruins and Eddie Giacomin for the Rangers. Dale Rolfe opened the scoring at 3:52 of the first period with a slapshot that beat Cheevers low to the glove side. Less than two minutes later, John McKenzie rushed into the Rangers zone and criss-crossed with Fred Stanfield who scored low to Giacomin's stick side. The Bruins then scored four straight goals. Ken Hodge put in a rebound from a Don Awrey shot at 15:48 to make it 2-1. With Awrey off for elbowing, Ed Westfall picked off a Vic Hadfield pass and sent Derek Sanderson in. Sanderson deked Bobby Rousseau and roofed a shorthanded goal over Giacomin's shoulder at 17:29. Still on the penalty kill, Ken Hodge blasted a slapshot home to make it 4-1 Boston. At 10:46 of the second period, Hodge completed a Hat trick by one-timing a Phil Esposito shot that bounced off the boards for a 5-1 lead. Rod Gilbert made it 5-2 on the power play, firing in a shot from a Hadfield rebound. At 1:56 of the third period, on the power play, Hadfield's low shot beat Cheevers to the glove side. Walt Tkaczuk scored off a face-off at 7:48 to make it 5-4. At 9:17, Awrey lost control of the puck circling the Bruins net and Bruce MacGregor completed the Rangers comeback. However, at 17:44, Garnet Bailey beat Brad Park to the outside and backhanded the winning goal over Giacomin's shoulder for a 6-5 Boston win.

Bobby Orr sets up John Bucyk to open the scoring, Game 2 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, May 2, 1972.

Game 2 at Boston saw Ed Johnston and Gilles Villemure start in net and the game was a goaltenders duel. John Bucyk opened the scoring at 16:15 of the first period on the power play after Bobby Orr spun away from Bruce MacGregor and fed Bucyk a perfect pass to the left of Villemure. In the second period, Vic Hadfield stripped Ed Westfall of the puck at the Bruins blueline and sent Jim Neilson and Rod Gilbert in on a 2 on 1. Gilbert slipped Neilson's pass between Johnston's pads to tie the score at 7:23. In the third period at nearly the halfway mark, MacGregor was sent off for tripping. Phil Esposito won a face-off in the Rangers zone back to Mike Walton who raced down the left wing and sent a perfect pass to Ken Hodge who tipped in the game winner. The Rangers couldn't convert on a power play of their own with less than five minutes left and the game ended a 2-1 Bruins victory.

Bobby Orr scores, Game 3 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, May 4, 1972.

Game 3 at Madison Square Garden saw the teams switch back to the Game 1 starters, Cheevers and Giacomin. Special teams would see the Rangers to their first victory in the series. After Dallas Smith took a penalty 12 seconds into the game, Brad Park scored with the man advantage. New York then killed off three consecutive penalties before scoring two more power play goals, by Rod Gilbert and Park again. Mike Walton countered at 14:14 to make it 3-1 Rangers going into the second period. Bobby Orr scored at 1:10 to cut the Rangers lead to 3-2 but goals by Rod Gilbert and Pete Stemkowski put the game out of reach. A scoreless third period saw the Rangers cruise to a 5-2 win and cut the Bruins series lead to two games to one.

Bobby Orr factored in every Bruins goal, Game 4 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, May 7, 1972.

Game 4 at New York had Johnston back in net for the Bruins while Giacomin remained in for the Rangers. It was a fight-filled match with eight in the first period alone. Orr dominated this game and opened the scoring at 5:26 of the first period as he took a Mike Walton pass while in full flight, split the Rangers defense and fired a shot over Giacomin's shoulder for a 1-0 Bruins lead. Less than three minutes later on the power play, John McKenzie fished the puck out of a goal mouth scramble and sent it back to Orr who one-timed a low slapshot in to make it 2-0 Boston. At 16:55, a melee broke out that included Orr and Brad Park exchanging blows. In the second period, with Mike Walton in the penalty box, Don Marcotte executed a perfect give-and-go with Orr which Marcotte finished off with a backhand over Giacomin for a 3-0 score. Ted Irvine cut the lead to 3-1 at 18:38, beating Johnston to the stick side on a breakaway. The teams calmed down in the third period and defensive play reigned. With less than two minutes left, Rod Seiling scored on the power play but the Rangers couldn't mark another and the Bruins took a three games to one hold on the series with a 3-2 win.

Glen Sather, Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr, Game 5 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, May 9, 1972.

Game 5 at Boston saw Johnston start his second straight game of the Finals while Villemure was back in the nets for the Rangers. Wayne Cashman scored his first of the series as he found the puck in a goalmouth scramble and backhanded it between Villemure's legs at 3:55. Dale Rolfe tied it up at 13:45 off a Walt Tkaczuk rebound. Rolfe took an interference penalty less than a minute later. Phil Esposito dug the puck out of the corner and sent a no-look backhand pass to Fred Stanfield in the slot. Villemure stopped Stanfield's shot but Ken Hodge put in the rebound to make it 2-1 Boston on the power play. Despite five power plays in the second period, including a lengthy 5 on 3 for Boston, neither team scored, though Brad Park hit the crossbar on a breakaway. At 2:56 of the third period, Bobby Rousseau tied the game up with a low slapshot that went between Johnston's pads. At 12:45, Rousseau took a short pass from Ted Irvine and fired a high shot over Johnston's glove. The Bruins pressed furiously but couldn't even the score. Villemure was excellent, stopping 17 shots in the third period. The Bruins out shot the Rangers 38-26 but New York prevailed 3-2.

Bobby Orr scores his second Stanley Cup winning goal, Game 6 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals, May 11, 1972.

Game 6 at New York had Cheevers back in goal for Boston, while the Rangers stuck with Villemure. The first period was penalty-filled and at 10:25 on the power play, Bobby Orr took a Ken Hodge pass at the point. He spun away from the check of Bruce MacGregor and fired a low shot that beat Villemure to the stick side. Ken Hodge and Vic Hadfield fought minutes later and then an altercation between Wayne Cashman and Gary Doak resulted in Orr receiving a misconduct penalty and missing the rest of the period. The second period was scoreless but continued to be rough as Derek Sanderson and Rod Gilbert fought before Cashman and Walt Tkaczuk duked it out. With so much at stake, the teams played a clean third period and the Rangers took only one penalty, but it proved fatal. At 5:10, Wayne Cashman tipped in an Orr point shot on the power play to make it 2-0 Bruins. The Rangers pressed and out shot the Bruins 33-27 in the game but Cheevers was unbeatable. Cashman sealed the win on a two on one with Esposito, as his shot trickled between Villemure's pads into the net. Cheevers earned the shutout in Boston's 3-0 victory and Bobby Orr became the first player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy twice as playoff MVP.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 30 New York Rangers 5-6 Boston Bruins 0-1
2 May 2 New York Rangers 1-2 Boston Bruins 0-2
3 May 4 Boston Bruins 2-5 New York Rangers 2-1
4 May 7 Boston Bruins 3-2 New York Rangers 3-1
5 May 9 New York Rangers 3-2 Boston Bruins 2-3
6 May 11 Boston Bruins 3-0 New York Rangers 4-2

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Scoring
Player GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Ratelle, JeanJean Ratelle 63 46 63 109 4 61 5 1 6
Hadfield, VicVic Hadfield 78 50 56 106 142 60 23 0 7
Gilbert, RodRod Gilbert 73 43 54 97 64 51 6 0 4
Park, BradBrad Park 75 24 49 73 130 62 8 2 4
Tkaczuk, WaltWalt Tkaczuk 76 24 42 66 65 34 3 2 2
Fairbairn, BillBill Fairbairn 78 22 37 59 53 36 2 4 6
Rousseau, BobbyBobby Rousseau 78 21 36 57 12 8 4 1 6
Seiling, RodRod Seiling 78 5 36 41 62 53 0 1 2
MacGregor, BruceBruce MacGregor 75 19 21 40 22 23 1 3 5
Neilson, JimJim Neilson 78 7 30 37 56 38 2 0 0
Irvine, TedTed Irvine 78 15 21 36 66 8 0 0 1
Stemkowski, PetePete Stemkowski 59 11 17 28 53 2 1 0 1
Carr, GeneGene Carr 59 8 8 16 25 16 1 0 3
Rolfe, DaleDale Rolfe 68 2 14 16 67 41 0 0 0
Sather, GlenGlen Sather 76 5 9 14 77 -2 0 0 0
DeMarco, AbAb DeMarco 48 4 7 11 4 18 1 0 0
Doak, GaryGary Doak 49 1 10 11 54 16 0 0 0
Balon, DaveDave Balon 16 4 5 9 2 5 1 0 1
Jarry, PierrePierre Jarry 34 3 3 6 20 2 0 0 0
Goyette, PhilPhil Goyette 8 1 4 5 0 -1 1 0 0
Egers, JackJack Egers 17 2 1 3 14 2 1 0 0
Giacomin, EdEd Giacomin 44 0 3 3 4 0 0 0 0
Stewart, RonRon Stewart 13 0 2 2 2 -6 0 0 0
Villemure, GillesGilles Villemure 37 0 2 2 6 0 0 0 0
Gratton, NormNorm Gratton 3 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0
Dorey, JimJim Dorey 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
McMahon, Jr., MikeMike McMahon, Jr. 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Williams, TomTom Williams 3 0 0 0 2 -1 0 0 0
Lorentz, JimJim Lorentz 7 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Giacomin, EdEd Giacomin 2551 44 24 10 9 115 2.70 1
Villemure, GillesGilles Villemure 2129 37 24 7 4 74 2.09 3
Team: 4680 78 48 17 13 189 2.42 4

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Scoring
Player GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Rousseau, BobbyBobby Rousseau 16 6 11 17 7 0 0 1
Hadfield, VicVic Hadfield 16 7 9 16 22 2 0 1
Gilbert, RodRod Gilbert 16 7 8 15 11 4 0 2
Fairbairn, BillBill Fairbairn 16 5 7 12 11 2 0 1
Stemkowski, PetePete Stemkowski 16 4 8 12 18 0 0 1
Park, BradBrad Park 16 4 7 11 21 2 0 1
Tkaczuk, WaltWalt Tkaczuk 16 4 6 10 35 0 0 2
Irvine, TedTed Irvine 16 4 5 9 19 0 0 0
MacGregor, BruceBruce MacGregor 16 2 6 8 4 0 1 0
Rolfe, DaleDale Rolfe 16 4 3 7 16 0 0 1
Seiling, RodRod Seiling 16 1 4 5 10 1 0 0
Carr, GeneGene Carr 16 1 3 4 21 0 0 0
Goyette, PhilPhil Goyette 13 1 3 4 2 1 0 0
Stewart, RonRon Stewart 8 2 1 3 0 0 0 0
Neilson, JimJim Neilson 10 0 3 3 8 0 0 0
DeMarco, AbAb DeMarco 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Ratelle, JeanJean Ratelle 6 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Sather, GlenGlen Sather 16 0 1 1 22 0 0 0
Andrascik, SteveSteve Andrascik 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dorey, JimJim Dorey 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Doak, GaryGary Doak 12 0 0 0 46 0 0 0
Giacomin, EdEd Giacomin 10 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Villemure, GillesGilles Villemure 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Giacomin, EdEd Giacomin 600 10 6 4 27 2.70 0
Villemure, GillesGilles Villemure 360 6 4 2 14 2.33 0
Team: 960 16 10 6 41 2.56 0

[2]

Awards and Records[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Brief highlights of the 1972 Rangers-Canadiens Quarter-finals, Rangers-Black Hawks Semi-finals, Bruins-Leafs Quarter-finals and Bruins-Blues Semi-finals before highlights of all six games of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.162, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
  2. 1971-72 New York Rangers Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-27.
New York Rangers
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Stanley Cups 1928, 1933, 1940, 1994
Affiliates Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL), Maine Mariners (ECHL)
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