Stanley Cup blowouts through the years

The Vancouver Canucks said the last game was just like any other loss. Here, a look at some Stanley Cup Final blowouts through the years and what transpired after those games.
Pittsburgh grinder Tyler Kennedy scored a key goal in Game 6 in 2009 to help the Pens rebound from a blowout, and set up an eventual championship. (Keith Srakocic/Associated Press)

To quote a Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play announcer of some note, in this year's Stanley Cup Final it has often seemed like "everything is happening."

It has been, to say the least, an eventful start. A 1-0 game decided with seconds left, an overtime contest decided just seconds into the extra frame, great goaltending, allegations of biting, and the longest-ever Stanley Cup Final suspension

Boston scored eight goals on Vancouver in Game 3, the highest output for any team in an individual Stanley Cup Final game since Colorado hammered Florida in a 1996 contest.

Here is the breakdown of when in the series the Stanley Cup Final blowouts (margins of five goals or more) have occurred since 1940, including Monday's contest between the Bruins and Canucks.

 Game No.Number of blowouts

We have defined blowouts as games decided by five goals or more.

In the 16 Stanley Cup Final encounters that followed such a blowout, the chastened team responded by winning the next game 10 times.

However, the team administering the beating ultmately won the Cup in nine of 15 cases (As you will read, one particular team netted a pair of blowout wins in the same final).

There have been two Stanley Cups that have ended with blowout losses: Pittsburgh 8-0 over Minnesota in 1991, and Edmonton 8-3 over Philadelphia in 1985.

No team has scored more than eight goals in a final series since 1942. The Toronto Maple Leafs pummelled Detroit 9-3 that year as part of their historic comeback from three games down.

Here's a look at Stanley Cup Final blowouts since WWII, expanding on a few particularly noteworthy series:


Blowout: Detroit bursts for four goals — including three on the power play — in the second period in a 5-0 win over Pittsburgh. The victory puts the Wings on the brink of a second straight Cup win over the Penguins.

Response: The Pens tighten up defensively and Marc-Andre Fleury regains his form in a 2-1 nail-biter in Game 6. Pittsburgh then wins by the same score in the last game of the series.

End result: Pittsburgh in 7.


Blowout: Current Bruin Mark Recchi, then a mere 38 years old, scores one of the goals as Carolina pastes Edmonton 5-0 take a 2-0 lead in games.

Response: The Oilers are facing the possibility of being one shot away from going down 3-0 in the series after Rod Brind'Amour of the Hurricanes scores midway through the third to make it 1-1. However, Ryan Smyth gives Edmonton renewed life in Game 3 with a late third period game-winning goal.

End result: Carolina in 7.


Blowout: Joe Sakic scores two and adds an assist in Colorado's 5-0 Game 1 win over New Jersey.

Response: New Jersey holds the Avalance to 20 shots in a 2-1 win.

End result: Colorado in 7.


Blowout: Detroit 6, Philadelphia 1 in Game 3 to go up 3-0.

Response/end result: Detroit sweeps away the Flyers with a Game 4 win.


Blowout: Colorado 8, Florida 1 to go up 2-0.

Response: The Avalanche take Game 3 by a 3-2 score.

End result: Colorado in 4.


Blowout/end result: Pittsburgh trounces Minnesota 8-0 to win the series 4-2.


Blowout: Edmonton 7, Boston 2 in Game 2.

Response: Boston wins Game 3.

End result: Edmonton in 5.


Blowout/end result: Edmonton crushes Philadelphia 8-3 in Game 5 to capture their second title.


Blowouts: The year of the blowout, as far as championship rounds are concerned. After sweeping Edmonton in the previous year's final, the Islanders hint that they're on the path for five straight titles with a 6-1 thumping in Game 2.

Responses: With the series tied 1-1, Mark Messier scores twice as the Oilers respond with a 7-2 thrashing at Northlands Coliseum.

The Islanders return to the building in the next game, losing 7-2 again. Wayne Gretzky gets his first two goals of the series, and old Jet Willy Lindstrom scores a pair as well.

Game 5? New York fares a bit better, but the Oilers prevail 5-2 to hoist their first of five Stanley Cups.


Blowout: Current Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren buries three as the Flyers hammer the New York Islanders 8-3 in Game 2 to tie the series.

Response: Current Canucks assistant general manager Lorne Henning scores a record third short-handed goal of the playoffs in a 6-2 win. 

End result: Islanders in 6.


Blowout: Yvon Cournoyer scores twice as Montreal thumps Chicago 8-3 to go up 2-0 in the series.

Response: Montreal 4, Chicago 1.

End result: Montreal in 6, a series that featured a Stanley Cup Final record 56 total goals.


Blowout: Boston 6, St. Louis 1 in Game 1.

Response: Boston 6, St. Louis 2.

End result: Boston in 4.


Blowout: Montreal 6, Chicago 0 to put the Habs up 3-2 in the series.

Response: Chicago 2, Montreal 1.

End result: Montreal in 7.


Blowout: Ted Lindsay scores four as Detroit goes up 2-0 in games on Montreal with a 7-1 rout.

Response: Boom Boom Geoffrion nets the hat trick in a 4-2 Montreal nod.

End result: Detroit in 7.


Blowout: Billy Reay scores twice in an opening game 6-0 result for Montreal 6 over Toronto.

Response: Turk Broda posts a shutout and Rocket Richard gets tossed out in a 4-0 Toronto win.

End result: Toronto in 6.


The blowout: In what was described the next day by the Toronto Star as a "Night of Terror" for Detroit goalie Johnny Mowers, the Maple Leafs won Game 5 by a 9-3 count. Toronto scored five times in the middle period, and Don Metz — who had just eight goals in 75 previous NHL games heading into the playoffs — scored a hat trick.

The next game: The Maple Leafs completed the first of the mere three NHL comebacks from a 3-0 deficit, beating the Wings 3-0 to capture the Cup.

End result: Toronto in 7.


Chris Iorfida

Senior Writer

Chris Iorfida, based in Toronto, has been with CBC since 2002 and written on subjects as diverse as politics, business, health, sports, arts and entertainment, science and technology.