Let me first preface this by saying I am including all four New York Teams (Islanders, Rangers, Devils, and Sabres). The reason being is, technically the Sabres are NOT a New York area team, and the Devils are not actually in New York, so I thought it only fitting to include both.
Also, as an Islander fan it is way too easy to bash the Rangers, and I figured I would attempt some objectivity in this article!
5. They are the only New York team to have a member of hockey’s royal family (the Sutters) play for them.
4. The Islanders have the best winning percentage of Stanley cups out of the four teams at .800. The Devils are 2nd at .750, Rangers 3rd at .400, and the Sabres have yet to win Lord Stanley’s cup.
3. They played in arguably one of the greatest playoff games in NHL history against Washington on April 18-19, 1987, in which the Islanders won 3-2 on Pat LaFontaine’s goal at 68:47 of Overtime. The 73-save performance by Kelly Hrudey was a spectacular display of goaltending excellence.
2. The Islanders are one of only two NHL teams to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win a playoff series (the other team was Toronto).
1. The last true dynasty in the NHL, winning four consecutive cups to start the 1980’s, and appearing in five in a row. Had the league not chosen to adopt a 2-3-2 playoff format that year (the only year the finals ever had that format), the Islanders may have won five in a row!
This may seem like ancient history to most of us, but it is a tangible link to the franchise’s history. One that is in need of being remembered and one that needs to be celebrated. They are the greatest New York Hockey team, and no one can take that away from them.
With another top five draft pick seemingly inevitable, they can continue to build through the draft and develop their next dynasty!
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