4) Calgary. Right
Wing Lanny McDonald finished five goals behind Wayne Gretzky in regular-season
scoring (66 to 71), and Center Kent Nilsson, playing when and if the spirit
moved him, finished tied for ninth overall with 46 goals and 104 points. After
those two, plus Swedish import Hakan Loob, a right wing who led his league in
goals last season, and Defenseman Paul Reinhart, the talent drops off—and so
THE TWO THAT WILL
NOT MAKE THE CUP FINALS
1) Boston. Unless
the Bruins find a backup goalie to take the pressure off Pete Peeters, who
played 62 games last season and was wasted by playoff time, and unless they
find a left wing who can score consistently, they may not even get this far.
Forwards Rick Middleton and Barry Pederson should get their usual 40-plus
goals, and Defenseman Ray Bourque has no equal as a rusher. Old pros Guy
Lapointe and Jim Schoenfeld bolster a defense that has lost Brad Park. Up
front, Terry O'Reilly, who played only 19 games all last year because of a
suspension, a broken finger and knee surgery, is still the best tight end in
2) Minnesota. The
bubble bursts. The consolation is that Mahoney will have pulled this group
together. Brian Bellows will emerge as the youngest spiritual team leader in
the league, and Rhode Island's Brian Lawton will show why he deserved to be the
No. 1 draft choice. Team Choke will grow up. But not all the way.
Edmonton. The Oilers will clinch the Smythe title before Christmas, Gretzky
will score 100-or-so goals, but the big Gretzky stories will be the rumors that
financially troubled Edmonton owner Peter Pocklington will sell Gretzky to the
Rangers for $10 million, and 2) Gretzky will retire because he doesn't like to
fly. Come the Cup finals, there will be no yapping from Glen Sather and no
exaggerated dives by Oiler Forward Glenn Anderson when Billy Smith massages his
ankles. Mark Messier and Jari Kurri will score a bunch of goals, and so will
THE STANLEY CUP
Nassau Coliseum, score tied 3-3 in the third minute of overtime. Oiler
Defenseman Paul Coffey takes the puck behind his own net and starts out the
right side. Forechecking, Bryan Trottier buzzes in, bumps Coffey off the puck,
takes possession and looks to shoot, freezing Goalie Andy Moog to the post. He
then slides a seeing-eye pass onto the stick of Mike Bossy. Moog has no chance.
Neither do the Oilers.
banner in the rafters, boys.