The folks at Sportsnet have served up a treat for us this week as they’re replaying the entire Western Conference Finals from the 1994 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canucks took on the Toronto Maple Leafs in this one, and it was historic for a number of reasons. It’s the only time these teams have met in the post-season (and barring a date in the finals, it’ll be the last time they do), but it was also the last Conference final to be played exclusively in Canada.
The Leafs had made it to their 2nd straight Conference Final, losing to Los Angeles in the previous year, while the Canucks were in just their 2nd Conference Final ever, the first one coming in 1982. The Leafs were the 3rd seed in the West, and had home ice advantage in this series, and we’ll see tonight’s game 1 from the legendary Maple Leaf Gardens, originally played May 16, 1994.
Courtesy of nhl.com here’s the lineups the teams iced that night:
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS:
PREGAME THOUGHTS: The Canucks came into this one, as they had in their first two rounds against Calgary and Dallas as definite underdogs, but coming off the miraculous come from behind win over the Flames and then dispatching the Stars, they were confident they could stand up against a team that was a legitimate Cup contender at the time.
The game features two Leafs that would go on to play for the Canucks: Felix Potvin, and the late Peter Zezel, who had a hell of a game in this one.
We’re going to do game threads for each of these ones, so we hope you enjoy watching some classic hockey and reliving Pavel Bure, Trevor Linden, Kirk McLean and the rest of the Canucks on this run.