Blackhawks: Bad coaching decision derailed the 1992 Stanley Cup

Mike Keenan, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Graig Abel Collection/Getty Images)
Mike Keenan, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Graig Abel Collection/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images) /


In the NHL playoff format at the time the team with the best record in their division would play the team with the worst record that qualified for the playoffs in their division. So in 1992 the ranking in the Clarence Cambell Conference went 1) Detroit Red Wings, 2) Chicago Blackhawks, 3) St. Louis Blues and 4) Minnesota North Stars.

So, the Blackhawks faced the Blues in a very tough series. The teams split the first four games and seemed to be in for a gridlocked fifth game in St. Louis. Brian Noonan and Mike Hudson scored third-period goals to give Chicago a 5-3 victory as they headed back home for game six.

The Blackhawks would win game six 2-1 thanks to two Jeremy Roenick goals. This closed Chicago’s toughest series leading up the Finals.

Both of their goalkeepers were involved in the series, as Belfour played in all six games and Hasek came in for two games. Belfour had a 4-1 record and Hasek had an 0-1 start, but Hasek saved a higher rate of shots.

The Chicago Blackhawks cruised through their next two series, beating the Red Wings in four and the Edmonton Oilers in four to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Chicago was dominant on defense allowing only 6 goals against Detroit and 8 to Edmonton. Belfour was fantastic as he started and finished all eight games for the hottest team in the whole league.