This is a look at what is undoubtedly the high point of Jets history during their NHL years, namely, their 1985 playoff series with the Calgary Flames. The Jets won the best-of-five series 3-1, their first ever series victory in the NHL, and only one of two that they would ever win in the NHL.
Coming into the series, the Jets and Flames had come off a heated regular season battle, as the two teams competed for second place in the Smythe Division standings, a battle won by the Jets, giving them the right to host the first two games of this series. The Jets had their best regular season record that they would ever amass in their NHL history, finishing fourth-overall in the NHL.
This series featured many high points for the Jets, and one low point, the now-infamous cross check from Flames' defenseman Jamie Macoun in Game 3 that took Dale Hawerchuk out of action for the remainder of the series. So, without further delay, here is a look at each of the four games of this series:
Game 1 - April 10, 1985 - Jets 5, Flames 4 (OT)
Dave Babych opened the scoring at the 5:27 mark of the first period, but the Flames scored four times in the second to take a 4-1 lead. Flames defenseman Paul Reinhart intercepted a Tim Watters pass and went in alone on a breakaway and beat Jets goaltender Brian Hayward for the third of the four Flames goals. The Flames' fourth goal came as Steve Konroyd buried Doug Risebrough's pass on a two-on-one. Reinhart sent Hawerchuk flying with a hip check late in the second period, after which Brian Mullen picked up the loose puck and missed the net, but Paul MacLean's scooped up the rebound off the backboards and brought the Jets back to a two goal deficit, then Dale Hawerchuk and Dave Ellett, successful on a flip shot from the point, scored early in the third period to tie the game. Prior to the start of the overtime period, the two teams were involved in a bench-clearing incident that saw a number of shoving matches, which subsequently cost both teams $5,000 after review by the NHL. In overtime, Hayward made his best save of the night, stopping Joel Otto on a two-on-one break. Later in the period, Konroyd sent a pass around the boards, where Ellett was waiting at the point to intercept. Mullen skated unmolested in front of Flames goaltender Reggie Lemelin and tipped Ellett's low slapshot at the 7:56 mark, deflecting it off the inside of the goal post to Lemelin's right to give the Jets the come-from-behind victory. After the game, Mullen was quoted as saying, "This has got to be the most important goal I've ever scored", and every member of the 14,794 in attendance would probably agree with him. All night long, a particularly derisive chant of "Reg-gie" was performed by the crowd, directed at Lemelin, a Jets nemesis over the years. The victory on this night was the first time the Jets had beaten Lemelin since March, 1983. There was a group of about 25 guys dressed in Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts that were especially hard on the Flames goaltender. The three stars were Babych, Reinhart and Mullen. The game was attended by NHL and Oilers president John Ziegler, who was making his first ever visit to Winnipeg.
Jets 5, Flames 4
First Period - 1. Winnipeg, Babych (pp) (Carlyle), 5:27.
Penalties - Bourgeois, Cal (tripping), 4:41; Nill, Wpg (roughing), 6:57; Baxter, Cal (charging), 9:45; Kromm, Cal (high sticking), 15:08; Hawerchuk, Wpg (high sticking), 15:08; Risebrough, Cal (roughing), 19:57; Hunter, Cal (roughing), 19:57; Carlyle, Wpg (roughing), 19:57; Nill, Wpg (roughing), 19:57.
Second Period - 2. Calgary, Beers (pp), 2:53. 3. Calgary, Loob (Kromm, Risebrough), 5:44. 4. Calgary, Reinhart, 11:32. 5. Calgary, Konroyd (sh) (Risebrough, Loob), 14:48. 6. Winnipeg, MacLean (pp) (Mullen, Hawerchuk), 16:08.
Penalties - Steen, Wpg (holding), 0:12; Hawerchuk, Wpg (hooking), 1:05; Otto, Cal (hooking), 8:49; MacInnis, Cal (interference), 11:59; Calgary bench (too many men, served by Wilson), 14:10.
Third Period - 7. Winnipeg, Hawerchuk, 0:20. 8. Winnipeg, Ellett (pp) (Boschman), 4:33.
Penalties - Hunter, Cal (interference), 2:41; Picard, Wpg (interference), 5:24; Baxter, Cal (elbowing, roughing), 9:22; Turnbull, Wpg (roughing), 9:22; Patterson, Cal (fighting major), 16:35; Turnbull, Wpg (fighting major), 16:35; Cavallini, Cal (roughing), 20:00; Peplinski, Cal (roughing), 20:00; Steen, Wpg (high sticking), 20:00; Martin, Wpg (roughing), 20:00; Picard, Wpg (roughing), 20:00.
Overtime - 9. Winnipeg, Mullen (Ellett), 7:56.
Penalties - None.
Shots on Goal:
Game 2 - April 11, 1985 - Jets 5, Flames 2
Al MacInnis scored the only goal of the first period, scoring a power play goal at the 3:06 mark. The Jets were only able to manage five shots in the period despite four power play opportunities. Dale Hawerchuk scored on the power play with the second period only 47 seconds old and Doug Smail banked a backhand off Lemelin's pads only 16 seconds later to give the Jets a 2-1 lead. Steve Bozek subsequently scored at the 7:55 mark of the period to tie the game at 2-2. In the third period, Brian Hayward made a good save off Jim Peplinksi, then Paul MacLean had a goal disallowed when he piled into Lemelin with the puck under him. Thomas Steen later capitalized on a Paul Baxter giveaway, fed Scott Arniel, who put the puck under the crossbar and past Lemelin at the 8:58 mark to give the Jets a 3-2 lead, a lead that they would not relinquish. It was Arniel's first ever goal in Stanley Cup playoff competition. Laurie Boschman and Ron Wilson scored late in the third to extend the Jets lead and make the final score 5-2. The three stars were Ellett, Hawerchuk and Bozek.
Jets 5, Flames 2
First Period - 1. Calgary, MacInnis (pp) (Nilsson, Loob), 3:06.
Penalties - Bourgeois, Cal (holding, roughing), 2:14; Arniel, Wpg (roughing), 2:14; Turnbull, Wpg (roughing), 2:14; Carlyle, Wpg (slashing), 6:55; Hunter, Cal (fighting major), 9:07; Nill, Wpg (fighting major), 9:07; Baxter, Cal (high sticking), 9:46; Baxter, Cal (cross-checking), 12:45; Boschman, Wpg (holding), 15:18; Hunter, Cal (elbowing), 17:10; Baxter, Cal (cross-checking), 19:33; Nill, Wpg (interference) 19:33.
Second Period - 2. Winnipeg, Hawerchuk (pp) (Ellett, Babych), 0:47. 3. Winnipeg, Smail (Picard), 1:03. 4. Calgary, Bozek (pp) (Peplinski, Konroyd), 7:55.
Penalties - Konroyd, Cal (tripping), 0:17; Carlyle, Wpg (high sticking), 1:37; MacInnis, Cal (holding), 3:23; Kromm, Cal (hooking), 5:55; MacLean, Wpg (slashing), 6:07; Turnbull, Wpg (roughing), 8:06; Hunter, Cal (fighting major), 10:54; Turnbull, Wpg (fighting major), 10:54; Bourgeois, Cal (fighting major), 16:57; Arniel, Wpg (fighting major), 16:57; Risebrough, Cal (fighting major), 19:47; Boschman, Wpg (fighting major), 19:47; Kyte, Wpg (misconduct), 19:55.
Third Period - 5. Winnipeg, Arniel (Steen), 8:58. 6. Winnipeg, Boschman (Picard, Ellett), 18:38. 7. Winnipeg, Wilson (MacLean, Babych), 19:13.
Penalties - Risebrough, Cal (fighting major), 9:21; Cavallini, Cal (roughing), 9:21; Watters, Wpg (fighting major), 9:21; Babych, Wpg (roughing), 9:21; Bozek, Cal (slashing), 11:47; Babych, Wpg (slashing), 11:47.
Shots on Goal:
Game 3 - April 13, 1985 - Jets 0, Flames 4
The Jets entered this game brimming with confidence despite never having won a game in the Olympic Saddledome. The first period was scoreless, but the Flames opened the scoring in the second period as Joel Otto tipped a Hakan Loob goalmouth pass past Hayward. Jim Peplinski set up Loob with the Flames' second goal, as he made a rink-wide pass that sent Loob around Robert Picard and in on Hayward. Even more painful for the Jets and their fans in the period was an injury to Dale Hawerchuk. With the score now 2-0, Jamie Macoun laid a vicious cross check on the Jets captain at the 14:49 mark, sending him to the ice in obvious pain. Macoun was not penalized on the play, but he instantly became a household name in Winnipeg for his actions. Hawerchuk was sent to the hospital with a cracked rib and would be lost for the remainder of the series. To add insult to injury, Macoun scored in the period's final minute as he was sprung courtesy of Paul Baxter knocking Ron Wilson off the puck. Between the second and third period, general manager John Ferguson took the players to task for failing to react to the Hawerchuk incident, but the Jets did little afterwards as Hakan Loob closed the scoring in the third period with a shorthanded tally, his second goal of the game. Loob's goal came against Marc Behrend, who was making his first appearance of the series after relieving Hayward between periods. The Jets did have many opportunities in the first two periods, however, but Lemelin was sharp and earned the shutout as he stopped all 33 shots he faced. The loss was the Jets' first since March 6, compiling a record of 13-0-2 between then and this evening and remained winless at the Saddledome. The three stars were Lemelin, Loob and Baxter.
Jets 0, Flames 4
First Period - No scoring.
Penalties - Nill, Wpg (high sticking), 1:42; Macoun, Cal (high sticking), 1:42; MacInnis, Cal (holding), 7:15; Babych, Wpg (roughing), 12:31; Boschman, Wpg (high sticking), 12:31; Carlyle, Wpg (fighting major), 12:31; Otto, Cal (double roughing minor), 12:31; Bourgeois, Cal (roughing), 12:31; Peplinski, Cal (fighting major), 12:31; Ellett, Wpg (slashing), 16:09; Watters, Wpg (roughing), 18:15; Hunter, Cal (roughing), 18:15.
Second Period - 1. Calgary, Otto (pp) (Loob, Reinhart), 5:56. 2. Calgary, Loob (Peplinski), 10:21. 3. Calgary, Macoun (Baxter), 19:09.
Penalties - Picard, Wpg (roughing), 0:54; Hunter, Cal (roughing), 0:54; Turnbull, Wpg (elbowing), 4:39; Peplinski, Cal (elbowing), 6:24; Macoun, Cal (interference), 10:49; Boschman, Wpg (roughing), 17:44; Watters, Wpg (roughing), 17:44; Otto, Cal (roughing), 17:44; Peplinski, Cal (roughing), 17:44; Carlyle, Wpg (roughing), 20:00; Boschman, Wpg (roughing), 20:00; Kyte, Wpg (roughing), 20:00; Hunter, Cal (roughing), 20:00; Baxter, Cal (roughing), 20:00; Otto, Cal (roughing), 20:00.
Third Period - 4. Calgary, Loob (sh) (Risebrough, Konroyd), 10:32.
Penalties - Bozek, Cal (hooking), 9:36; Bourgeois, Cal (slashing), 14:03; Winnipeg bench (too many men, served by Turnbull), 15:22; Picard, Wpg (slashing), 16:05.
Shots on Goal:
Game 4 - April 14, 1985 - Jets 5, Flames 3
Only one day removed from losing their captain and leading scorer, Dale Hawerchuk, and losing starting goaltender Brian Hayward due to an injury suffered the same night, the Jets got the early lead courtesy of a power play goal from Thomas Steen at the 2:51 mark of the first period. Steen was taking Hawerchuk's place between Paul MacLean and Brian Mullen. Perry Berezan's power play goal tied the game for the Flames later in the period, setting the stage for a breakout second period by the Jets. Four consecutive goals by the Jets, two of them coming shorthanded, gave the visitors a commanding 5-1 lead. Not surprisingly, Doug Smail played a big hand in the two shorthanded goals, scoring one and setting up Laurie Boschman on a two-on-one for the other. Joel Otto scored late in the second to narrow the gap to 5-2, then Jim Peplinski brought the Flames a little closer with a goal at the 5:10 mark of the third period, but the Jets held off the Flames the rest of the way to post their first ever win at the Saddledome and their first ever NHL post-season series victory. Starting goaltender Marc Behrend stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced in leading the Jets to the historic win despite not having started a game since February 19. Behrend was assisted by the goaltender's best friend, the goal post, as the Flames dinged the post three times on the night. The three stars were Smail, Peplinski and Ron Wilson.
Jets 5, Flames 3
First Period - 1. Winnipeg, Steen (pp) (MacLean, Ellett), 2:51. 2. Calgary, Berezan (pp) (Konroyd, MacInnis), 10:21.
Penalties - Turnbull, Wpg (cross-checking), 0:32; Baxter, Cal (cross-checking), 0:32; MacInnis, Cal (hooking), 2:45; Steen, Wpg (tripping), 5:17; Lundholm, Wpg (hooking), 9:30; Lundholm, Wpg (hooking), 12:33; Hunter, Cal (slashing), 14:37; Lundholm, Wpg (tripping), 17:50; Campbell, Wpg (roughing), 17:50; Berezan, Cal (roughing), 17:50.
Second Period - 3. Winnipeg, Smail (sh) (Lundholm), 2:58. 4. Winnipeg, McBain (Turnbull, Arniel), 4:06. 5. Winnipeg, Wilson (Arniel, Watters), 8:09. 6. Winnipeg, Boschman (sh) (Smail, Babych), 13:44. 7. Calgary, Otto (Peplinski, MacInnis), 16:12.
Penalties - Boschman, Wpg (tripping), 1:35; Bourgeois, Cal (holding), 5:40; Lundholm, Wpg (tripping), 12:22; Berezan, Cal (high sticking), 17:27.
Third Period - 8. Calgary, Peplinski (Otto, Konroyd), 5:10.
Penalties - Mullen, Wpg (roughing), 14:28; Baxter, Cal (roughing), 14:28.
Shots on Goal:
The excitement that this series brought to Jets fans won't ever be forgotten by those fortunate enough to witness it. Regrettably, the Jets soon joined the Flames on the golf course, as since they didn't possess the same hatred for the Flames' northern Alberta neighbors, the Edmonton Oilers, the Jets went down 4-0. Nonetheless, Jets fans have to take what they could out of the 1985 playoffs and though this series was short, it provided something positive for the memory bank.