1st division division – 3rd overall
In the playoffs …
Head Coach: Bob Berry
Goalkeeper: Rick Wamsley (2-3)
A new change in the terms of the playoffs was implemented in 1981-82. The 16 teams participating in the playoffs are now matched by their respective division rankings rather than the overall standings. In this way, the natural rivalries of the teams within their division are now moving into the first two rounds of the playoffs. This new system excludes any clash between 2 different conference teams for the first 3 rounds and the final of the Stanley Cup is now always ensured by 2 teams from each conference. The Prince of Wales Trophy and the Clarence Campbell Trophy are now awarded to the winners of each playoff conference final.
8th consecutive divisional championship for the Canadiens and first historic playoff clash against the Nordiques de Québec.Much like the Minnesota North Stars 2 years earlier ( 1979-80 ), the Nordiques eliminated the Canadiens in the final match of the series at the Montéal Forum. It was Dale Hunter who scored the winning goal in overtime during the 5th and decisive game. This is truly the beginning of the biggest rivalry this sport has ever known.
The Nordiques will beat the Boston Bruins in 7 games in round two. However, they will lose in four games against the mighty New York Islanders in the conference finals, who will win their third Stanley Cup in a row against the Vancouver Canucks.