28 on 28: Steve Larmer Dominated The (North) Stars

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28 on 28: Steve Larmer Dominated The (North) Stars

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars tonight. Some of us old timers remember when they were the North Stars, and played in Minnesota. Before the franchise moved to Dallas in 1993, they lined up for some ferocious battles with the Blackhawks. And Steve Larmer was in the middle of some epic postseasons.

Looking back at Larmer’s track record, he enjoyed more success against the North Stars (now Stars) franchise than almost any other during his should-be Hall of Fame career. And, just as he did against the Edmonton Oilers, Larmer authored some incredibly memorable performances against Minnesota.

Larmer faced the North Stars 89 times in the regular season. His offensive production against the franchise stacks up as well as anyone’s against that tough organization during those years. And, next to maybe the Toronto Maple Leafs, Larmer enjoyed some of his most successful outcomes. Here’s where Larmer’s production against the North Stars during his career stacks up over the span of his entire career:

  • 47 goalsmost vs any opponent
  • 57 assists – second-most vs any opponent (70 vs Toronto)
  • 104 points – second-most vs any opponent (116 vs Toronto)
  • 4 short-handed goals – tied-most vs any opponent (Toronto)
  • 16 power-play goals – tied-most vs any opponent (St. Louis)
  • 4 of 9 career hat tricks came against the North Stars (most)

Larmer’s first career hat trick came on Nov. 14, 1982 vs Minnesota – first time the Blackhawks faced them in his first full season in the NHL. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy that season as the NHL’s rookie of the year; Minnesota’s Brian Bellows was voted fourth that year (Phil Housley was second; Scott Stevens was third).

However, when many people think about Steve Larmer against the Minnesota North Stars, their immediate thoughts turn to the incredible playoff battles between the two franchises during his time in Chicago.

The Blackhawks faced the North Stars in each of the first three postseasons of Larmer’s career (reminder: the Blackhawks made the playoffs every year Larmer was on the team). Those series were tremendous, physical hockey between teams that generally hated each other. And it brought out the best in the top players — including Larmer.

Chicago also faced Minnesota in the 1990 and 1991 playoffs, making five postseason series in which Larmer faced a familiar foe. How did he perform? And how did the Blackhawks do in those series?

  • 1983 – Norris Division Final – Blackhawks won series 4-1 – Larmer: 1 goal, 4 assists
  • 1984 – Norris Division Semifinal – Blackhawks lost series 3-2 – Larmer: 2 goals, 2 assists
  • 1985 – Norris Division Final – Blackhawks won series 4-3 – Larmer: 3 goals, 5 assists
    The final three games in this series went to OT; game 5 went double-overtime.
  • 1990 – Norris Division Semifinal – Blackhawks won series 4-3 – Larmer: 1 goal, 5 assists
  • 1991 – Norris Division Semifinal – Blackhawks lost series 4-2 – Larmer: 5 goals, 1 assist

For those scoring at home, that’s 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 30 career playoff games against the North Stars with the Blackhawks. And Chicago won three of the five series.

Those were some really great times to be a Blackhawks fan. The game was fast and the Hawks wore white on home ice. And, more times than not, when Chicago battled Minnesota, Larmer was in the middle of it all putting points on the board.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab