Great Moments in Nassau Coliseum History: May 24,1980

The Islanders will begin play of their final season at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in October and to commemorate the final year, Islanders Point Blank will take a look back at some of the greatest moments in the old barn’s history. Each week we will highlight one memorable moment, whether it be hockey related or not.  So, let’s begin…


gal-plays-27-jpg

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

It should come as no surprise as to which moment we start off with; Bobby Nystrom’s overtime goal to clinch the first of four Stanley Cups the Islanders would win from 1980 to 1983.

For any Islander fan — young or old — they know the call by CBC’s Jim Robson by heart. “Pass right on the stick of Tonelli. Coming in with Nystrom… Tonelli to Nystrom… He scores!”


The day was May 24, 1980. The Islanders and Flyers were tied at four at 7:11 in overtime of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. John Tonelli entered the Flyers zone and feed the puck to “Mr. Islander” Bobby Nystrom, who put the puck past goaltender Peter Peeters. The crowd erupted, the players celebrated in jubilation and an NHL Dynasty was born.

In a New York Times interview in 2013, Nystrom called Game 6 his favorite memory of playing at Nassau Coliseum:

“I would have to say my favorite moment playing at the Coliseum was Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers. In the warm-up, the crowd was as loud as any crowd I’ve ever played in front of. I had chills running up and down my spine and almost broke out in tears while I was skating around trying to get ready for the game. The fans stood on their feet and cheered continuously for the entire warm-up. The ending of the game wasn’t that bad either.”

Nystrom’s goal remains the most famous in New York Islander history. The goal began the Islanders four year run as kings of the National Hockey League and put Long Island on the map. It also united Long Islanders as Steve Jacobson wrote in Newsday back in 1980: 

Fans jiggled and jumped up and down and opened that champagne in the seats that had barely contained them all afternoon. The red light still glowed like a phrase from “The Star-Spangled Banner” over the goal at the North Shore end of the ice, and overhead the scoreboard hung in a frozen page of the Stanley Cup record book: Islanders 5, Flyers 4, time stopped at 12:49 at the image in lights of Bobby Nystrom. It was sudden death and the sudden rush that Long Island really never had before, a come-together party the poor Nets never felt.

It was an identity, dispelling the shadow of the big-city superiority the Rangers had cast for so long and the embarrassment of losing to them last year in what could have been called a civic disaster if there had been anything to be called a civic.

“We’re not New York, New Yorkers, we’re Long Islanders,” proclaimed Ted Theodoreopolis of North Babylon. “It’s a poor man’s way to be involved with the team, to be a winner. If they win, you’re a winner.”




111 comments
Steve Jones
Steve Jones

I much prefer the CBS call by Dan Kelly

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

A playoff game against Edmonton a few years later, four of us made our way to the downstairs bar, no tickets. If memory serves bartender was named Ray. He told us how to sneak on the ice. We walked down a corridor, opened a door to somewhere, and we're looking at the bottom of bleachers, behind the goal. like a friggin' high school football game. We all -- two guys, two girls -- shinnied up.


Yes, some memories at the Coliseum all right.


Went to a Band concert. Good show, but all of about 50 minutes. When the lights came up, people thought it was intermission.


A Jethro Tull concert, excellent show, at end, it's all dark, on stage, on a stool, is a phone. The phone starts ringing, there's a spotlight on the phone. Ian Anderson comes out from the wings, walks up to phone, picks it up, listens, then points it to the crowd and says, "It's for you."


The Tales From Topographic Oceans tour, the boys were asking for a little too much that night. Four songs, four sides from an album no one had yet heard.


Went to scalp tickets for The Wall show,  I think they were asking $90. Too much. Should have paid.

Logan Monstuart
Logan Monstuart

I was there. Center ice. Remember blowing a two-goal lead in the third, I think it was, getting very nervous. Also, one of the Isles goals was at least a foot, maybe two, offside, the Flyers were gracious in defeat.


Remember standing on the armrests after Nystrom's goal, The Knack's "My Shirona" blasting the Coliseum. Great memory.

tpjm
tpjm

Such a great team and wonderful memories. And their hometown didn't even care enough about them to keep them. As Seinfeld says................that's a shame.


Since this is an 80s thread, in today's news a Patchogue LI man was arrested recently for killing 3 people in 3 separate LI towns in the 1980s.  LI is a scary and dangerous place. Also, a LI auto dealer was given 4 years in jail for fraud and stealing money from NYIs Mike Comrie and Mark Streit as well as many LI residents. LI is just a bad place.


http://www.newsday.com/long-island/crime/rick-cohen-former-automobile-dealership-owner-sentenced-to-prison-1.8936541

bammer26
bammer26

Orange, dk, 4evermets, great stuff last night on the trivia and replies gents. I was not around to throw in my 0.02, but will be tonight. Vic, start up another round...!  


On May 24, 1980, I was still in the Bridgeport burbs. We were huddled in a cellar with the Rugerio brothers, my buddy Larry and owner of the well built dwelling was a Hab fan, but was pulling for the Isles. When that puck deflected off Bobby Ny's stick and you saw the bulge in the back of the net, man, jubilation..! We were all hugging and jumping like nuts. The pressure was thick, after blowing that 4-2 lead heading into the third. Remember, we had sort of a choke label on us after losing to the Leafs and Rags the two previous years, with very good teams. 


That Lanny McDonald goal in OT vs. Chico was gut ranching, the Rag loss in '79 was just the worst ever feeling. I can still see JD with his arms in the air and Denis Potvin crumbled along hte boards with this look of despair...brrr. And of course, we had the MSG feed with Chadwick and Gordon to boot...


We ran outside after the short carries post game by CBS and were high fiving the block. Most were Bruin and Whaler fans, but were not rooting for the hated Flyers. The Rag fans stayed inside...


 We had the CBS feed and Dan Kelly made the call. One of my favorite all time play by play. 

Chris DeMeo
Chris DeMeo

Undoubtedly the greatest moment. But I can tell you there are countless others. Unfortunately the last time we saw one was 21 years ago.

Ric Stark
Ric Stark

If you ever see the entire Hockey Night in Canada feed, you will hear one of the biggest goof statements in hockey history.  Nystrom scored a goal with 14 seconds left in the second period to put the Isles up 4-2.  After the period ends, the color guy says "that was the biggest goal that Bob Nystrom will ever score."


Oops.

dkdk
dkdk

All these trivia questions and general memories .... Great stuff! Am I alone in thinking game 5 in 82 against the Pens was the greatest game (aside from Ny's goal) during the run? It really looked like it was coming apart but Tonto wouldn't let it. Tonelli scored so many big goals for us. There are a lot of under appreciated guys during hat time but he may of headed the list.

dimaio34
dimaio34

I remember all the okposo bashing. Now look at him. Don't speak to soon. It's not over yet

dimaio34
dimaio34

Has any one heard bailey to buff for Myers

dkdk
dkdk

Swallow a scone in your zip car while alternate side parking.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@bammer26 

Bammer thanks for posting that,

 and to me it will still take some time for me to appreciate the current JT as mush as my appreciation of the former JT,but watching that video it made me think horrible thoughts, suppose Wang had owned this team back in those days, they would still be without a single cup.

bammer26
bammer26

@wangbegone - Wow Zee, you really dug deep on this one. I spent ALOT of time in that building during that time, but no idea. I've scanned the memory banks hard, but get nada.


I remember the old scoreboard vividly, can still hear the goal siren, can still see Barry Landers and Jean Potvin in their radio bunker, can still smell the popcorn/hot dogs lofting thru the concourse, can still hear the 1940 chants. But you got me on this...LOL


Remember where the press sat for games before the suites and current press box were added to the top pf the Coli?


It was a long train ride home back to Bridgeport in those days for me, but worth every dime and scolding from the folks...!

jepliberty
jepliberty

@Ric Stark 

That's because he didn't own a crystal ball back then, nor was he a psychic. lol

Larry C. Fullam
Larry C. Fullam

I agree. As much as I will always love Game 6 in 1980. Game 5 against the Pens in 1982 is the ultimate example of what the Islanders stood for. NEVER SAY DIE. Watching replays years later of John Tonelli giving his all, skating towards the Pens goal in OT with a Pen on his back gets me choked up. He was amazing. Tonelli should be rewarded with a banner, Isles Hall of Fame induction or at the very least his own special day before this year at the Coliseum is done.

4EverMets
4EverMets

@dimaio34  Bailey is GARBAGE, PERIOD!! A BUST draft pick by our genius GM Snow!!

4EverMets
4EverMets

@orange2327  You are kidding right? Potvin from Tonelli on the PP!! As I write this I can still see it in my mind including watching Tonelli jumping up n down behind the net after the goal.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@dimaio34 idk where you heard that, but that is the most lopsided trade ever.  myers isnt going anywhere...not for bailey straight up anyway. kid is a beast. 

dkdk
dkdk

What's up guys? Enjoying the memories. I watching the day that changed the game now .... Roy trade

bammer26
bammer26

@orange2327 - Yep. I get it. That was the year that we had all the kogs in place, well, on paper, and the Leaf's shocked us. Those back to back playoff loses in 78-79 were the catapults that propelled the organization as a whole to stay focused and committed over the 4 cup run. IMHO, of course...


What the Isles and Habs of yesteryear accomplished will never be done again. Much like the scoring records that 99 has. The Red Wings of 97-98 were the last team in this Bettman era to win back to back, think about that. It has become more of a business than a game..much like all sports. Corporate seats/suites to fill the place and the real fans are usually financially ousted for most the 41 home regular season games.


Remember WHT? Wotmeco Home Theater for all Isles home games?

hockeyfn91
hockeyfn91

@Larry C. Fullam Tonelli is like the forgotten son around Nassau Coliseum. His name NEEDS to be on that Islanders Hall of Fame Banner and he NEEDS a plaque in the corridor in the back where all of them are. Its  political why he is not honored and it is a real shame. 

dkdk
dkdk

Yep good one. Wasn't it Morrow I believe?

4EverMets
4EverMets

@orange2327  He simply doesn't have the toughness, size, skill, or attitude to play in the NHL!

dimaio34
dimaio34

Wow. You guys really don't like bailey!!!

dkdk
dkdk

Hey orange .... I just hate the agenda. Has he ever once even brought up a hockey point? He is simply a Brooklyn Pom Pom waver. And you know what I don't even have a problem with that until it is mixed in with the constant diatribes against the Coli. That building is a hockey monument. If Barclays can produce 20% of what NVMC did it would be a success.

If the Coli and Long Island is that bad HOW was he a fan before the move?

Every area has good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods. Every neighborhood has great people and animals. You can't cherry pick an article and apply it to 3M people.

bammer26
bammer26

@wangbegone - Good stuff Zee. The security guards uni's were trimmed in that color as well, now that you have opened the proper archive thinking channel.

bammer26
bammer26

@orange2327 - And we must thank linesman Leon Stickle for that favorable call on the pass from Gilles to Goring that was clearly offsides. Duane Sutter came in and put that puck where grandma hides the cookies...

isles23
isles23

Toughness and attitude are problems for bailey, no disagreeing there. But he most definitely has the skill and he certainly has the size.

4EverMets
4EverMets

@orange2327  No, I'm just old and the Isles were religion when I was growing up. I didn't miss too many games. 1975-1985 was such a great decade to be a fan of this team.

dkdk
dkdk

Now you are on to something Orange. You should patent it before they runoff and do it behind your back.

bammer26
bammer26

@wangbegone- Hey Zee, I am almost sure it was back in the late 70's, WHT that is. I could be wrong but it's what I remember. Just confirmed, WHT started back in 1977...per WIKI.....cheers bro

dkdk
dkdk

That series set the tone for the run. Did you ever see the episode with Bobby Bourne (maybe it was one of those Fran Healy specials) ... Where he talks about it? He goes when we realized we had Boston the next day I showed up early to the rink and heard guys on the ice and it was gillies, Howatt, Nystrom, lane, etc on the ice with sparring. He said he peaked out saw what was going on and said to himself "holy shyt this is really going to happen."

Later in that special gillies said he remembers being in the lockerroom and Nystrom goes I got wensink, Jethro you got O'Reilly, Howatt you got Jonathan .....

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@isles23 100%, anyone that says he doesnt have the skill does not know the game of hockey as well as they think.  hes loaded with talent.  toughness, work ethic, and confidence are flaws that he has, but not raw skill. 

4EverMets
4EverMets

@orange2327  I'd take the Sabres stick boy for Bailey or shall I dare say their ice girls if they have them!!

dimaio34
dimaio34

Just heard this rumour was wondering. Could it happen

dkdk
dkdk

Yep orange I know your logistics and appreciate your stance. Similarly, When the islanders were born I was living in queens and it would have been easier for my family to be rag fans but my uncle hated them and was a fan of the Wings because of Howe. When NY was getting a new team he decided to become a fan and he took me to the first game and I was indoctrinated. Most of my extended family followed.

So like you said, to me it shouldn't be where you live. It is where something belongs. If you decided to become a fan of a team you needed to travel too, you accept it and deal with it.

But as you say too many factors conspired against the team. What is done is done. We can only hope that it will lead to success for the team. I still don't think a team on Long Island, Brooklyn, NYC, or the moon will have extended success under wang.

kevinpt
kevinpt

@4EverMets @orange2327

I know you're being facetious, but to give up a .5 pt/game guy who still has upside for absolutely nothing is just ridiculous to me. I'm not saying Bailey is a great player or was worthy of where he was picked whatsoever, but he can still contribute on a third line and put up some points and play pretty solid defensively.

camb33
camb33

@dimaio34  the only way that happens is if snow becomes the sabres gm overnite

dkdk
dkdk

And a lifelong spot in the top 6 and 2nd PP

dkdk
dkdk

I hear that. The other day they had raising the cup on again, the 83 version. As you know, Smitty was my favorite so I could watch his conn smythe speech over and over. But I also loved at the end of the game when Gretzky slapped it in from the blue line at the buzzer and Billy did that nonchalant grab and toss. That toss had a lot of "go F yourself in it" ..... Lol. What I pointed out to my son in that interview though wasn't zieglers head about to pop off was the way Billy gave credit to the kallurs, gorings, langevins, and Carrolls. Billy always got it and knew it took the entire team, every player, every coach, every trainer was needed to get to where they got to.

4EverMets
4EverMets

@kevinpt @4EverMets @orange2327  No way!! He's had his chance, and he sucks!! He should in no way even be on this team if they are going to improve. But watch, he'll be there ONLY 'cause he's owed money.

kevinpt
kevinpt

@orange2327

I'd take Myers as well. I was referring to comments here that say to trade him for a bag of pucks or the Sabres stick boy.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@orange2327 you would have to know nothing about hockey to not make that deal orange.  the guy is 6'8 230, 24 years old, and has played pretty well considering the team hes played on.  and he can actually skate...this isnt joe finley we're talking about.  myers is worth a ton on the trade market...significantly more than josh bailey alone. 

dkdk
dkdk

I will still come, but on weekends only. There is no conceivable way to get there during the week, at least not without leaving work early. And even with that if there is school the next day that is out. I can't take my son and get him home after midnight and expect him to be good for class the following day.