NHL Teams

15 Best NHL Teams Of All Time Who Dominated

By Biraj Khanal / 22 December 2023 06:41 AM

Source : instagram

Several NHL teams have established themselves as the reckoning forces leaving their mark with unmatchable performances.

Montreal Canadiens is one of the deadliest in the NHL history books with 24 Stanley Cup titles to their name. 

Other teams like Maple Leafs who had 13 titles to their name and the Chicago Blackhawks who started their dominance in 2010 and had six major trophies to their name. 

Some notable players include Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Roy, and coach Scotty Bowman who had witnessed some of the memorial season with the teams they represented.

Montreal Canadiens, 1976-77

Source : pin

  • Record: 60-8-12
  • Points: 132
  • Points Percentage: .825
  • Goals For: 387 / 1st
  • Goals Against: 171 / 1st

The 1976-77 were the reckoning forces, setting an NHL record for most wins in a season, 60, and ended with a Stanley Cup title.

They were nicknamed the machine as they maintained the .825 winning percentage, the highest in NHL history. 

In that season, the Canadiens were fueled with an offensive powerhouse with players like Steve Shutt, Yvan Cournoyer, and Jacques Lemaire.

Anchored by the legendary goaltender Ken Dryden, they were nearly unbeatable. Dryden won the Vezina Trophy for the best goaltender and posted a 2.14 goals-against average. 

They scored 387 times and only let in 171, resulting in an average of 4.84 goals and 2.14 conceded per game.

Edmonton Oilers 1984 - 85

Source : pin

  • Record: 49-20-11
  • Points: 109
  • Points Percentage: .681
  • Goals For: 401 / 1st
  • Goals Against: 298 / 8th

The 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers were one of the most dominant teams in NHL history.

They won the Stanley Cup and set a record for most goals in a season (401). They had a winning percentage of .681 throughout the season.

With Gretzky leading the attack, the team was fumed by other star players like Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, and Grant Fuhr.

He scored over 200 points for the third time in his career becoming the only player in NHL history to do so.

Although Gretzky led the way with goals and assists, two other Oilers managed a season with over 100 points. 

Right winger Jari Kurri contributed 135 to the team and a 23-year-old defenseman, Paul Coffey, supplied 121. 

Pittsburgh Penguins 1991-92

Source : pin

  • Record: 39-32-9 
  • Points: 87
  • Points Percentage: .544
  • Goals For: 343 / 1st
  • Goals Against: 308 / 20th

The 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins season was one for the ages, as they marked their place as one of the greatest teams ever assembled. 

The Penguins finished the regular season with a remarkable 61-13-6 record, earning 128 points, the franchise record for points percentage until the 2016-17 season.

The Penguins became the first team since the 1980 New York Islanders to win back-to-back Stanley Cups defeating Chicago Blackhawks in the final.

Mario Lemieux led the way with 131 points, winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP for the third time.

Kevin Stevens was close behind with 123 points, Joe Mullen with 87, and Jaromír Jágr finding his feet on the ice with 69 points.

Boston Bruins, 1971-72

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  • Record: 54-13-11
  • Points: 119
  • Points Percentage: .763
  • Goals For: 330 / 1st
  • Goals Against: 204 / 4th

The 1971-72 season was best for the Bruins with Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito up there with the greats embracing the pinnacle of their dominance in the NHL.

The Bruins finished the regular season with a staggering 54-13-11 record, earning 119 points, the franchise record for points in a single season.

Phil Esposito led the attacking department with 66 goals and 130 points, winning the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer.

Gerry Cheevers anchored the Bruins' defense, recording 27 wins and a 2.50 goals-against average.

The Bruins passed through the playoffs, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and New York Rangers on their way to the Stanley Cup Final.

In the final, they faced the New York Rangers and emerged victorious in six games, capturing their fifth Stanley Cup championship.

The 1971-72 season marked the peak of the Bruins' "Big Bad Bruins" era, which saw them win two Stanley Cups and reach the final three other times.

New York Islanders, 1982-83

Source : instagram

  • Record: 42-26-12
  • Points: 96
  • Points Percentage: .600
  • Goals For: 302 / 15th
  • Goals Against: 226 / 1

The 1982-83 season marked the fourth consecutive year the Islanders captured the Stanley Cup, further cementing their status as hockey royalty. 

Finishing their regular season, the Islanders maintained their 42-26-12 record earning 96 points, establishing their continued dominance in the Eastern Conference. 

The Islanders had a lethal scoring machine in Mike Bossy, who netted 60 goals and 92 points to secure his second consecutive Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer.

Mentored by the legendary Billy Smith and Denis Potvin, the Islanders boasted a formidable defense allowing a league-low 226 goals.

The Islanders continued their impressive run through the playoffs, defeating the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, and Boston Bruins on the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

In the final, they faced the high-flying Edmonton Oilers and they defeated the Oilers within four games to have their hands on their 4th Cup title.

Montreal Canadiens, 1977-78

Source : pin

  • Record: 59-10-11
  • Points: 129
  • Points Percentage: .806
  • Goals For: 359 / 1st
  • Goals Against: 183 / 1st

The Montreal Canadiens dominated the NHL in the mid-1970s alone winning six Stanley Cups, including four in succession. 

The season was a masterpiece, showcasing the Canadiens' unparalleled dominance with a blend of exceptional talent, and unwavering determination.

The Canadiens finished the regular season with a staggering 59-10-11 record, earning a remarkable 129 points.

Led by the iconic defensive trio of Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe, and Serge Savard, the Canadiens showed a non-penetrating defense allowing a league-low 183 goals.

Guy Lafleur was the driving force, scoring a league-leading 60 goals and 132 points.

In the final, they faced their archrivals, the Boston Bruins, which they won in four games, capturing their third consecutive Stanley Cup title

Detroit Red Wings, 1997-98

Source : pin

  • Record: 44-23-15
  • Points: 103
  • Points Percentage: .628
  • Goals For: 250 / 2nd
  • Goals Against: 196 / 7th

The 1997-98 marked the dominance of Detroit Red Wings defending their Stanley Cup title. 

The Red Wings posted a 44-23-15 record, amassing 103 points during the regular season, cementing their force to be reckoned with.

 Leading the attack, the team recorded 250 goals, posing an array of offensive threats. Steve Yzerman received 69 points, netting 24 goals alone while Nicklas Lidstrom had 59 points. 

They defended their title in the finals against the Washington Capitals, where they clinched their victory in over four games in the finals, becoming the third NHL franchise to win consecutive Stanley Cups.

New York Islanders, 1981-82

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  • Record: 54-16-10
  • Points: 118
  • Points Percentage: .738
  • Goals For: 385
  • Goals Against: 250

The 1981-82 for Islanders was the golden age as they clinched the Stanley Cup etching their name on history books.

Finishing their regular season with 118 points, they were first in the NHL Patrick Division showing their dominance in the Eastern Conference. 

With Mike Bossy leading the attack with Bryan Trottier and Clark Gillies, the team scored 385 goals. 

Bossy alone had 64 goals and 83 assists totaling 147 points, while Trottier had 50 goals and 79 assists to his name with 129.

The Islanders had their wall defense which conceded only 250 goals and played a crucial part in their successive season.

 Clinching the Stanley Cup was the " icing on the cake" ending their remarkable journey throughout regular season and playoffs.

Detroit Red Wings, 2001-02

Source : pin

  • Record: 51-17-10-4
  • Points: 116
  • Points Percentage: .707
  • Goals For: 251
  • Goals Against: 187

Considered the masterclass in hockey dominance, the Detroit Red Wings showcased unparalleled superiority in the 2001-02 season.

With the dominating regular season, the team posted 116 points with a record of 51-17-10-4 finishing 1st in NHL Central Divison.

 Boasted by the threatening attack, they scored 251 goals where the top scorers Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Federov, and Bret Hull scored 37, 31, and 30 goals. 

Shanahan alone had 75 points which included 37 goals and 38 assists to his name.

Leading the assists was Nicklas Lidstrom with 50 assists and 9 goals gaining 59 total points. Lidstrom won the Norris and Conn Smythe Trophy that season.

Scotty Bowman had his hands on another Stanley Cup, who maximized the player's potential creating a winning mentality.

Edmonton Oilers, 1983-84

Source : twitter

  • Record: 57-18-5
  • Points: 119
  • Points Percentage: .744
  • Goals For: 446 / 1st
  • Goals Against: 314 / 10th

The 1983-84 mark the start of Oiler's dominance in the NHL with their best NHL player of all time, Wayne Gretzky

They capped their season by winning their first-ever Stanley Cup trophy posing a goal-scoring threat with most goals in a season, 446.

The Oilers got their hands on the trophy by defeating the 4-1 Islanders in the final series. The early and mid-80s Oilers were considered the dominant side as they won five Cup titles in seven years.

Gretzky with his magical dominance totaled over 200 points mark with Paul Coffey contributing 126 as well.

The 1983-94 Oilers were considered the highest-scoring team in NHL record books.

Colorado Avalanche, 2000-01

Source : pin

  • Record: 52-16-10-4
  • Points: 118
  • Points Percentage: .720
  • Goals For: 270
  • Goals Against: 192

The Avalanche posted a 118-point regular season finishing 1st in the Northwest Division. 

It was a historic season as the dominance level seen was rare with a blend of offensive firepower, defensive prowess, and incredible leadership.

Fueled by the offensive firepower, the team netted 270 goals while they conceded 192. 

Leading the scoring chart was Joe Sakic with 54 goals, other players Milan Hejduk netted 41 goals, Peter Forsberg with 27 goals, and Alex Tanguay with 27.

Sakic and Forsberg were the key players to lead the attack providing 64 and 62 assists. They were anchored by Patrick Roy in between the pipes who was considered the star goaltender. 

They emerged victorious against the New Jersey Devils in the finals, winning their 2nd Cup title in franchise history. Their unmatched legacy will be always the ones to remeber.

Montreal Canadiens, 1975-76

Source : pin

  • Record: 58-11-11
  • Points: 127
  • Points Percentage: .794
  • Goals For: 337 / 4th
  • Goals Against: 174 / 1st

The 1976 Cup finals was the club's 28th appearance in the Stanley Cup finals, clinching the win for the 19th time in the club's history.

The 1975-76 saw a domination under legendary Scotty Bowman, with a blend of powerful defense only concerning 2.18 goals per game on average and attack scoring 127 goals in the regular season. 

Guy Lafleur had 125 points with Pete Magovlich behind with 105. Other five players secured more than 50 points including Steve Shutt, Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Lemaire, and Guy Lapointe.

It was the best season as the Canadiens interrupted the Flyer's wins in the last two finals with Bowman defeating Fred Shero by four nothing in series. 

New York Rangers, 1993-94

Source : pin

  • Record: 52-24-8
  • Points: 112
  • Points Percentage: .667
  • Goals For: 299
  • Goals Against: 231

The 1993-94 Rangers showcased a masterclass with a symphony of individual talents, and unwavering team spirit. 

Etching their name in the history books, the Rangers led the regular season in 1st position with a 52-24-8 record with 112 total points. 

Adam Graves led the attack with 52 goals and 27 assists scoring 79 points. Other players including Mike Gartner, Mark Messier, and Brian Leetech also had 28, 26, and 23 goals to their name in the regular season.

Leading the assists was Sergei Zubov with 77 assists, accompanied by Mark Messier with 58. 

They reached the finals defeating the Islanders, Capitals, and NJ Devils on their way to the playoffs. Rangers triumphed over Vancouver Canucks in the finals winning the series by 4-3 to clinch the Cup.

Calgary Flames, 1988-89

Source : instagram

  • Record: 54-17-9
  • Points: 117
  • Points Percentage: .731
  • Goals For: 354
  • Goals Against: 226

The Flames depicted the trail of dominance through the NHL in the 1988-89 season concluding the Stanley Cup victory.

The Flames finished the regular season with a scorching 54-17-9 record, amassing a remarkable 117 points.

Boasted by the attacking powerhouse, Joe Mullen had 51 goals and 59 assists totaling 110 points. 

Similarly, Joe Nieuwendyk, Hakam Loob, and Doug Gilmour also netted more than 20 goals scoring points over 50.  They netted 354 total goals, second in the league, and had 226 against them.

The defensive unit, led by MacInnis and Brad McCrimmon, provided a solid foundation for the team's success in clinching their first-ever Stanley Cup ending the Canadiens dominance in finals.

Chicago Blackhawks, 2009-10

Source : pin

  • Record: 52-22-8
  • Points: 112 
  • Points Percentage: .683
  • Goals For: 271
  • Goals Against: 209

The 2009-10 Blackhawks posed a dominant threat taking the dynasty into flight marking the beginning of the historic era for the franchise.

The Blackhawks finished their regular season with 112 points placing them 2nd in Western Conference. 

Led by the prolific strikers, Patrick Kane scored 30 goals and had 58 assists totaling 88 points. Other players than Kane, including Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, and Marian Hossa had 68, 66, and 51 total points.

Anchored by the steady play of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, the Blackhawks allowed a respectable 209 goals.

Joel Quenneville led the team starting the historic era for the Blackhawks in 2009-10 defeating the Flyers in the final and capturing their first Cup since 1961.

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