1987 Stanley Cup playoffs
Tournament details
Dates April 8–May 31, 1987
Teams 16
Defending champions Montreal Canadiens
Final positions
Champions Edmonton Oilers
Runner-up Philadelphia Flyers
Tournament statistics
Scoring leader(s) Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)
(34 points)
MVP Ron Hextall (Flyers)
1986
1988

The Stanley Cup

The 1987 Stanley Cup playoffs, the playoff tournament of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 8, after the conclusion of the 1986–87 NHL season. It concluded on May 31, with the Edmonton Oilers defeating the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Stanley Cup. In an attempt to reduce the number of first round upsets, the NHL expanded the best-of-five series in the first round to a best-of-seven series.

The 1987 playoffs marked the second consecutive year that all four former WHA teams made the playoffs in the same year. It would not happen again until 1999 by which time 3 of those teams had moved, the Quebec Nordiques to Denver, the Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix, and the Hartford Whalers to Raleigh, North Carolina. For the second time ever, the first time being 1978, all of the Original Six teams made the playoffs in the same season.

At the time the Philadelphia Flyers set an NHL playoff record by playing in 26 games during the playoffs. This record was equaled by four other teams (2004 Calgary Flames, 2014 Los Angeles Kings, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning and 2019 St. Louis Blues) before the 2020 Dallas Stars broke the record during the expanded 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Playoff seeds[edit | edit source]

The following teams qualified for the playoffs:

Prince of Wales Conference[edit | edit source]

Adams Division[edit | edit source]

  1. Hartford Whalers, Adams Division champions – 93 points
  2. Montreal Canadiens – 92 points
  3. Boston Bruins – 85 points
  4. Quebec Nordiques – 72 points

Patrick Division[edit | edit source]

  1. Philadelphia Flyers, Patrick Division champions, Prince of Wales Conference regular season champions – 100 points
  2. Washington Capitals – 86 points
  3. New York Islanders – 82 points
  4. New York Rangers – 76 points

Clarence Campbell Conference[edit | edit source]

Norris Division[edit | edit source]

  1. St. Louis Blues, Norris Division champions – 79 points
  2. Detroit Red Wings – 78 points
  3. Chicago Blackhawks – 72 points
  4. Toronto Maple Leafs – 70 points

Smythe Division[edit | edit source]

  1. Edmonton Oilers, Smythe Division champions, Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions, Presidents' Trophy winners – 106 points
  2. Calgary Flames – 95 points
  3. Winnipeg Jets – 88 points
  4. Los Angeles Kings – 70 points

Playoff bracket[edit | edit source]

  Division Semifinals Division Finals Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
                                     
A1  Hartford 2  
A4  Quebec 4  
  A4  Quebec 3  
  A2  Montreal 4  
A2  Montreal 4
A3  Boston 0  
  A2  Montreal 2  
Prince of Wales Conference
  P1  Philadelphia 4  
P1  Philadelphia 4  
P4  NY Rangers 2  
  P1  Philadelphia 4
  P3  NY Islanders 3  
P2  Washington 3
P3  NY Islanders 4  
  P1  Philadelphia 3
  S1  Edmonton 4
N1  St. Louis 2  
N4  Toronto 4  
  N4  Toronto 3
  N2  Detroit 4  
N2  Detroit 4
N3  Chicago 0  
  N2  Detroit 1
Clarence Campbell Conference
  S1  Edmonton 4  
S1  Edmonton 4  
S4  Los Angeles 1  
  S1  Edmonton 4
  S3  Winnipeg 0  
S2  Calgary 2
S3  Winnipeg 4  


Division Semifinals[edit | edit source]

Prince of Wales Conference[edit | edit source]

(A1) Hartford Whalers vs. (A4) Quebec Nordiques[edit | edit source]

This was the second playoff series meeting between these two teams. Harford won the only previous meeting in a three-game sweep in the last year's Adams Division Semifinals.

This was the last series that the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise won in Quebec City, the franchise did not win another playoff series until 1996 when they were the Colorado Avalanche.


Quebec won series 4–2


(A2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (A3) Boston Bruins[edit | edit source]

This was the 22nd playoff series between these two teams. Montreal lead 19–2 in previous playoff series. This was the fourth straight year meeting in the Division Semifinals. Montreal won last year's Adams Division Semifinals in a three-game sweep.


Montreal won series 4–0


(P1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (P4) New York Rangers[edit | edit source]

This was the eighth playoff series meeting between these two teams. New York won four of the previous seven meetings, including last year's Patrick Division Semifinals in a 3–2 series upset.


Philadelphia won series 4–2


(P2) Washington Capitals vs. (P3) New York Islanders[edit | edit source]

This was the fifth playoff series meeting between these two teams. New York won three of the previous four series all in the past four years. Washington won last year's Patrick Division Semifinals in a three-game sweep.

Game seven of this series went four overtimes, and is known as the Easter Epic. It was the only one this year to go beyond one OT period.


New York won series 4–3


Clarence Campbell Conference[edit | edit source]

(N1) St. Louis Blues vs. (N4) Toronto Maple Leafs[edit | edit source]

This was the second playoff series meeting between these two teams. This was a rematch of last year's Norris Division Finals, in which St. Louis won in seven games.


Toronto won series 4–2


(N2) Detroit Red Wings vs. (N3) Chicago Blackhawks[edit | edit source]

This was the 11th playoff series between these two teams. Chicago lead 6–4 in previous playoff meetings. Chicago won the most recent meeting in a three-game sweep in the 1985 Norris Division Semifinals.


Detroit won series 4–0


(S1) Edmonton Oilers vs. (S4) Los Angeles Kings[edit | edit source]

This was the third playoff series meeting between these two teams. Both teams split their previous two meetings. Edmonton won in a three-game sweep in their most recent meeting in the 1985 Smythe Division Semifinals.


Edmonton won series 4–1


(S2) Calgary Flames vs. (S3) Winnipeg Jets[edit | edit source]

This was the third playoff series meeting between these two teams. Both teams split their previous two meetings over the prior two years. Calgary won last year's Smythe Division Semifinals in a three-game sweep.

This was the last series that the Jets/Coyotes franchise won in Winnipeg; the franchise did not win another playoff series until the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinal while based in Arizona. This was also the last time a Winnipeg-based NHL team won a playoff series until 2018.


Winnipeg won series 4–2


Division Finals[edit | edit source]

Prince of Wales Conference[edit | edit source]

(A2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (A4) Quebec Nordiques[edit | edit source]

This was the fourth playoff series meeting between these two teams. Quebec won two of the previous three meetings, including their most recent meeting in the 1985 Adams Division Finals in seven games.


Montreal won series 4–3


(P1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (P3) New York Islanders[edit | edit source]

This was the fourth playoff series meeting between these two teams. Philadelphia won two of the previous three series, including their most recent in the 1985 Patrick Division Finals in five games.


Philadelphia won series 4–3


Clarence Campbell Conference[edit | edit source]

(N2) Detroit Red Wings vs. (N4) Toronto Maple Leafs[edit | edit source]

This was the 21st playoff series between these two teams. Toronto lead 11–9 in previous playoff series. They last met in the 1964 Stanley Cup Finals, in which Toronto won in seven games.


Detroit won series 4–3


(S1) Edmonton Oilers vs. (S3) Winnipeg Jets[edit | edit source]

This was the fourth playoff series meeting between these two teams. Edmonton won all three previous meetings, including their most recent in the 1985 Smythe Division Finals in a four-game sweep.


Edmonton won series 4–0


Conference Finals[edit | edit source]

See also: NHL Conference Finals

Prince of Wales Conference Final[edit | edit source]

(P1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (A2) Montreal Canadiens[edit | edit source]

This was the third playoff series meeting between these two teams. Montreal won both previous meetings, including their last meeting in a four-game sweep in the 1976 Stanley Cup Finals.


Philadelphia won series 4–2


Clarence Campbell Conference Final[edit | edit source]

(S1) Edmonton Oilers vs. (N2) Detroit Red Wings[edit | edit source]

This was the first playoff series meeting between these two teams.


Edmonton won series 4–1


Stanley Cup Finals[edit | edit source]

This was the third playoff series between these two teams, and their second Finals meeting. Both teams split their previous two meetings. Edmonton won the 1985 Stanley Cup Finals in five games. This time, Edmonton was the regular season champion with 50 wins and 106 points, and Philadelphia was second with 46 wins and 100 points.

Unlike the 1985 final, this series would go the distance; and for the first time since 1971, the Stanley Cup Finals went the full seven games. Edmonton took the first two games at home, then split in Philadelphia. However, the Flyers won the next two games, one in Edmonton and one back in Philadelphia by one goal after overcoming two-goal deficits in both games facing elimination, to force a deciding seventh game. Edmonton won game seven to earn its third Stanley Cup in four seasons.


Edmonton won series 4–3


Player statistics[edit | edit source]

Skaters[edit | edit source]

These are the top ten skaters based on points.[1]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 21 5 29 34 +10 6
Mark Messier Edmonton Oilers 21 12 16 28 +13 16
Brian Propp Philadelphia Flyers 26 12 16 28 +11 10
Glenn Anderson Edmonton Oilers 21 14 13 27 +13 59
Pelle Eklund Philadelphia Flyers 26 7 20 27 +11 2
Jari Kurri Edmonton Oilers 21 15 10 25 +11 20
Mats Naslund Montreal Canadiens 17 7 15 22 -1 11
Rick Tocchet Philadelphia Flyers 26 11 10 21 +7 72
Larry Robinson Montreal Canadiens 17 3 17 20 +4 6
Ryan Walter Montreal Canadiens 17 7 12 19 +4 10

Goaltenders[edit | edit source]

This is a combined table of the top five goaltenders based on goals against average and the top five goaltenders based on save percentage, with at least 420 minutes played. The table is sorted by GAA, and the criteria for inclusion are bolded.[2]

Player Team GP W L SA GA GAA SV% SO TOI
Hanlon, GlenGlen Hanlon align="left" | Detroit Red Wings 8 5 2 227 13 1.68 .943 2 463:46
Wregget, KenKen Wregget align="left" | Toronto Maple Leafs 13 7 6 366 29 2.29 .921 1 758:17
Fuhr, GrantGrant Fuhr align="left" | Edmonton Oilers 19 14 5 509 47 2.47 .908 0 1142:43
Hrudey, KellyKelly Hrudey align="left" | New York Islanders 14 7 7 462 38 2.72 .918 0 838:59
Hayward, BrianBrian Hayward align="left" | Montreal Canadiens 13 6 5 308 32 2.74 .896 0 701:58

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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1986 Stanley Cup playoffs
Stanley Cup playoffs Succeeded by
1988 Stanley Cup playoffs
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