The year is 1995. This is the year the so called "dead-puck era" began.
Coming off of a thrilling 1994 Cup final and with best years of Wayne Gretzky and for the most part Mario Lemieux in the past, the NHL is shutdown in a labour dispute that results in a 48 game shortened schedule. When hockey finally started up again, the offense seemed to disappear, as the New Jersey Devils, stereotyped as masters of the dreaded neutral-zone trap, define the coming era.
Defense wins championships is the old saying. It certainly did in 1995.
The high flying Detroit Red Wings were no match for the stifling Devils. The Devils won easily in 4, keeping Detroit to, on average, just 19 shots a game.
The Devils were of course captained by Scott Stevens and led by fellow defenseman Scott Niedermayer and goaltender Martin Brodeur. Conn Smythe Trophy winner Claude Lemieux scored big goals and set the tone of play on many nights, while big Bobby Holik shut down opposition centers.
A couple of legendary American players were finally able to get their names on the Stanley Cup. Neal Broten, the great American player, led the Devils in scoring in the finals with 6 points and scored the Stanley Cup winning goal. Bobby Carpenter reinvented himself as a defensive specialist in New Jersey, and as such he made nice contributions in giving the Devils' their due.