Records are meant to be beaten – except for these 16 playoff marks, which are all but unassailable.
Records are meant to be beaten, or so they say. But who are “they”? And did “they” not see these playoff records? Because these 16 post-season marks surely won’t be bested anytime soon.
Most Stanley Cup championships: 24 (Montreal Canadiens)
Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. The Canadiens, on the strength of an NHL-record 33 appearances in the Cup final, have hoisted hockey’s hallowed chalice 24 times, which is miles ahead of Original Six counterparts Toronto (14) and Detroit (11). At the same time, the Habs haven’t won a Cup in 25 years and the Leafs have gone more than 50 years without a championship. The rest of the league is catching up, but it’s going to take a while.
Most consecutive Stanley Cup championships: 5 (Montreal Canadiens, 1956-60)
Your move, Pittsburgh.
Most consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup final: 10 (Montreal Canadiens, 1951-60)
This is flat-out ridiculous and will never happen again unless Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin channel their inner Ponce De Leon and discover the fountain of youth. And let’s face it, that’s a long shot. The Canadiens won six Cups during their 10-year streak, capped off with five in a row from 1956 through 1960.
Most overtime wins in one year: 10 (Montreal Canadiens, 1993)
Little-known fact: Patrick Roy and the Canadiens actually lost in overtime in Game 1 of the first round of the 1993 playoffs – on a goal by the Quebec Nordiques’ Scott Young – before going on to win the next 10 games that went to OT. Montreal’s Cup win in ’93, of course, is the last one in Montreal’s storied (see above) history.
Most consecutive playoff appearances: 29 (Boston Bruins, 1968 to 1996)
They only won two Cups during this amazing streak – led by Bobby Orr in 1970 and ’72 – but punching their ticket to 29 straight spring flings is an incredible feat. The Chicago Blackhawks came oh-so-close, qualifying for the post-season 28 years in a row from 1970 through 1997. More recently, the Detroit Red Wings gave it a good run, making the playoffs for 25 consecutive seasons before falling short in 2017.
Most home wins in one playoff year: 12 (New Jersey Devils, 2003)
Look at it this way: the most home wins a team could accomplish is 16, and that’s if they win the Stanley Cup, have home-ice advantage in every round, every series goes seven games and they win all their home games while losing all their road games. Yes, it could happen. Yes, it’s within the realm of possibility. But for now, New Jersey’s 12-1 home record en route to their last Cup in 2003 will have to do.
Longest playoff winning streak: 14 games (Pittsburgh Penguins, 1992-93)
The Penguins won their final 11 games in a row in the 1992 playoffs en route to their second straight Stanley Cup, then kicked off the ’93 post-season with three straight victories.
Longest playoff losing streak: 16 games (Chicago Black Hawks, 1975-1979)
The good news is, Chicago made the playoffs in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979. The bad news is, well, they didn’t do a whole lot of winning once they got there. The Black Hawks (as it was spelled at the time) lost their final two games in the 1975 post-season, then were swept in four games in 1976, swept in two games in 1977 and swept in four games in both 1978 and 1979.
Most goals by one team in a playoff series: 44 (Edmonton Oilers, 1985)
There’s a couple of interesting things about this one. First, the Oilers needed only six games to pump 44 goals past Chicago’s beleaguered but wonderfully named goalies Murray Bannerman and Warren Skorodenski. Second, Edmonton’s 44 goals in the series is nine more than the next-best team – which was also the Oilers, who needed only five games to fire 35 goals past the Calgary Flames in 1983.
Fewest goals by one team in a seven-game series: 8 (Vancouver Canucks, 2011)
Granted, this one’s rather random. But somewhat lost in the riotous conclusion of the Bruins-Canucks Cup final in 2011 is the fact that Vancouver managed just eight goals in the seven-game showdown. Somewhere, Tim Thomas is gleefully pumping his tires.
Most goals by one team in a playoff game: 13 (Edmonton Oilers, 1987)
Oilers 13, Kings 3. A little over a year later, Wayne Gretzky switched sides in something called ‘The Trade.’
Most goals by two teams in a playoff game: 18 (Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers, 1982)
Kings 10, Oilers 8. This was the first game in an opening round best-of-five series that culminated with Game 5’s ‘Miracle on Manchester,’ when the Kings rallied from a 5-0 deficit in the third period and ultimately beat the Oilers 6-5 in overtime, eliminating the heavily favored Edmonton side.
Most shorthanded goals by one team in one playoff year: 10 (Edmonton Oilers, 1983)
This one’s a little obscure, but what’s notable is that the Oilers scored 10 shorties in just 16 playoff games. By way of comparison, the New Jersey Devils led the NHL this season with 12 shorthanded goals in 82 games.
Shortest overtime game: 9 seconds (Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames, 1986)
Brian Skrudland lifted the Canadiens to OT victory before most fans were settled in their seats.
Longest overtime game: 116 minutes and 30 seconds (Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Maroons, 1936)
The Red Wings and Maroons slogged their way through nearly nine periods of scoreless hockey, six of which were overtime frames, before the aptly named Mud Bruneteau mercifully scored to give Detroit a 1-0 victory.
Fewest overtime games in one playoff year: 0 (1963)
This one’s going to be tough to beat.