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BLACKOUT TO SHUTOUT
Austin Murphy
June 06, 1988
Edmonton swept Boston to win its fourth Stanley Cup and close the book on a most bizarre playoff season
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June 06, 1988

Blackout To Shutout

Edmonton swept Boston to win its fourth Stanley Cup and close the book on a most bizarre playoff season

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After the game, talk of an Edmonton dynasty was in the air, but Sather would have none of it. "It makes it sound like you're bragging," he said. "When I think of dynasty, I think of Ming."

Sather doesn't want to say anything that will end up on an opponent's bulletin board next season. In truth, though, there's every reason to expect the Oilers to make it three straight Cups—and five in six seasons. Fuhr, the best net-minder in the world, is 25. The average age of the forwards on Edmonton's top two lines—which happen to be the two best lines in the NHL—is 25. None of those six forwards is older than 28. Should Dr. Randy Gregg, one of Sather's six defensemen, retire to take up medicine, the Oilers can call upon junior league star Chris Joseph. Joseph, 18, was one of four players Pittsburgh gave Edmonton in the Paul Coffey deal of last November. Another was Simpson, 21, who scored 56 goals this season. Like it or not, Sather will have to get over his distaste for dynasties as a topic of conversation, because he has been making all the moves needed to create one.

The Edmonton players glowed, but with a more understated joy than they had after their previous Cup victories. Lowe, the three cracked ribs he had played with the past six weeks still wrapped, stood in one corner, an arm around his mother. Jessie. "For us older dogs it's nice to always be winning," he said. "It's fun to see the smiles on some of these younger guys' faces, too." During the on-ice celebration, it was the 29-year-old Lowe who had skated the Cup over to the players who had not dressed for the game, to let them hoist it for a while.

Gretzky was on the sofa in the coach's office sipping a beer, reflecting on the events of a remarkable year—the win over the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1987 Stanley Cup finals and now this one over the Bruins, the victory over the Soviet Union in the Canada Cup, a knee injury, an eye injury, losing the regular-season scoring title for the first time in eight years, his engagement to actress Janet Jones, his second Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs. How would he top this year? "Maybe I won't even try." he said, smiling.

Meanwhile, Fuhr sat in his long underwear in the weight room on the seat of the Nautilus double-shoulder machine, a kind of impromptu throne, and let the party play out around him. With a grin frozen on his face, he spoke the words the rest of the NHL probably didn't need to hear: "I could get used to this."

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