1988 Stanley Cup Finals

The 1988 Stanley Cup Finals was between the Edmonton Oilers and the Boston Bruins. The Oilers would win the series 4–0 in four games.

This would be the sixth of eight consecutive Finals contested by a team from Alberta (the Oilers appeared in 6 of them, the Calgary Flames in 2) & the last of five consecutive Finals to end with the Cup presentation on Alberta ice (the Oilers won 4 such Cups, the Montreal Canadiens the other).

1988 Stanley Cup Finals
1 2 3 4 5 Total
Edmonton Oilers 2 4 6 3 6 4
Boston Bruins 1 2 3 3 3 0
Location(s) Edmonton (Northlands Coliseum) (1,2,5[a])

Boston (Boston Garden) (3,4[a])

Coaches Edmonton: Glen Sather

Boston: Terry O'Reilly

Captains Edmonton: Wayne Gretzky

Boston: Ray Bourque and
Rick Middleton

Dates May 18–26, 1988
MVP Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)
Series-winning goal Wayne Gretzky (9:44, second, G5)
Networks Global-Canwest (Canada-English, games 1 and 2)

CBC (Canada-English, games 3-5)
ESPN (United States)
WSBK and NESN (Boston Area)

Announcers Dan Kelly and John Davidson (Global-Canwest)

Bob Cole and Harry Neale (CBC)
Mike Emrick and Bill Clement (ESPN)
Fred Cusick and Derek Sanderson (WSBK)

Fred Cusick, Derek Sanderson and Dave Shea (NESN)

  • ← 1987
  • Stanley Cup Finals
  • 1989 →

Path to the FinalsEdit

The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4–1, the Calgary Flames 4–0 and the Detroit Red Wings 4–1 to reach the Finals.

The Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4–2, the Montreal Canadiens 4–1 and the New Jersey Devils 4–3 to reach the Finals.

The SeriesEdit

The Finals pitted the Oilers' offensive juggernaut against the Bruins' more balanced team.

The Oilers showed their defensive prowess, surrendering just nine goals in the four completed games.

Ray Bourque was physical in defending against Wayne Gretzky, but that would not ground the "Great One" on his way to claiming his second Conn Smythe Trophy and setting playoff records with 31 assists in just 18 games, and 13 points in the Finals series.

Game Four ("The Night the Lights Went Out in Massachusetts")Edit

Glenn Anderson set a new record for quickest goal from the start of a Finals game when he scored ten seconds into the contest.

That record was tied two years later in the third game of the 1990 Stanley Cup Finals by John Byce who (in a twist) was playing for the Bruins against the Oilers.

Fog ultimately interfered with the game & a power failure caused its cancellation midway through the second period with the score tied 3–3. Despite the game being suspended and replayed, Anderson's record is official.

Game four was subsequently rescheduled and moved to Edmonton (which was originally set to be the site of a Game five if necessary). The Oilers won that game, sweeping the series and winning their fourth Stanley Cup in five years.

Series SummaryEdit

Boston Bruins vs. Edmonton Oilers

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
Wed, May 18 Boston Bruins 1 Edmonton Oilers 2
Fri, May 20 Boston Bruins 2 Edmonton Oilers 4
Sun, May 22 Edmonton Oilers 6 Boston Bruins 3
Tue, May 24 Edmonton Oilers 3 Boston Bruins 3 Game suspended at 16:37 of second period due to power failure.
Thu, May 26 Boston Bruins 3 Edmonton Oilers 6
  • Edmonton wins best-of-seven series 4–0


Despite CTV pulling the plug on their two-year-long venture with the NHL, Carling O'Keefe retained their rights (there were two years remaining on the contract with or without CTV).

Things became problematic when the 1987 Stanley Cup playoffs opened with Carling O'Keefe still without a network of some sort. The problems arguably peaked when the Montreal–Quebec playoff series opened without any telecasts originating from Quebec City.

This soon lead to them syndicating 1986–87 and 1987–88 playoff telecasts on a chain of channels that would one day become the Global Television Network.

The deal between Carling O'Keefe and the Canwest/Global consortium (with a few CBC and CTV affiliates sprinkled in for good measure) came just in time for Game 6 of the Montreal-Quebec series (April 30th). The syndicated broadcasts were aired under the names Stanley Cup '87 and Stanley Cup '88.

In 1988, coverage included the Smythe Division Final between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames (which Global carried nationally, except for the Edmonton and Calgary markets, where the CBC retained exclusive rights), Game 5 of the Norris Division Final between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, the Campbell Conference Final between the Oilers and Red Wings & Games 1 and 2 of the Finals between the Oilers and Boston Bruins.

They also had the rights to the games 6 and 7 of the Finals, which were not necessary.

Unlike the split CTV/CBC coverage of 1984–85 and 1985–86, the Canwest-Global telecasts were network exclusive, except for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals if they were necessary.

When CBC and Global televised Game 7 of the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals, they used separate production facilities and separate on-air talent.

Stanley Cup EngravingEdit






  • Peter Pocklington (Owner)
  • Glen Sather (President/General Manager/Head Coach)
  • John Muckler (Co-Coach)
  • Ted Green (Asst. Coach)
  • Bruce MacGregor (Asst. General Manager)
  • Barry Fraser (Director of Player Personnel/Chief Scout)
  • Bill Tuele (Director of Public Relations)
  • Dr. Gordon Cameron (Team Physician)
  • Peter Millar (Athletic Therapist)
  • Juergen Merz (Message Therapist)
  • Barrie Stafford (Trainer)
  • Lyle Kulchisky (Asst. Trainer)

Engraving NotesEdit

  • #29 Daryl Reaugh (backup goalie) joined the team after Andy Moog left in September to play for Team Canada, and at the 1988 Olympics. Reaugh would play 6 games (dressed for 60). After the Olympics, Moog was traded to Boston Bruins for minor leaguer goalie Bill Ranford. Reaugh was sent to the minors, being recalled during the conference finals. His name was left off, because he was playing in the minors after the trade deadline. Reaugh was included on the team picture.
  • #20 Steve Dykstra played 42 NHL games in 1987–88 season. Dykstra joined Edmonton in a trade from the Buffalo Sabres, playing in 15 of the Oilers last 21 games, but not in the playoffs. He was left off, because he did not play all 42 games with Edmonton.
  • #32 Jim Wiemer played 12 regular season games and two games in Conference Finals. He was left off the Stanley Cup because he did not play in the finals
  • This would mark the final time Wayne Gretzky would win the Stanley Cup.

Team picture on the ice, after winning a championshipEdit

After the Oilers won the 1988 Stanley Cup, Wayne Gretzky (in what ended up being his last game with the Oilers) requested a picture on the ice with all the players, and all non-playing members including management, coaches, trainers, scouts, locker room assistants. The team honoured his request, and it has remained a tradition followed by each Stanley Cup-winning team.

The team picture tradition after winning a championship is also followed by most hockey championship teams at all levels around the world. Gretzky wanted every member of the Oilers to be included on the team picture. However, when the cup was engraved all five scouts were left off: Garnet Bailey, Ed Chadwick, Lorne Davis, Matti Vaisanen (on the Cup in 1985, 1987, 1990), Bob Freeman (Part time-not on the Cup).

The Oilers also left three players off the Stanley Cup: Daryl Reaugh, Steve Dykstra, Jim Weimer. Bill Tuele (Public Relations Director) had his name added to the cup for the first time. He has rings with the Oilers in 1984, 1985, 1987, but his name was not put on the Stanley Cup those seasons.

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