The Islanders are off today, so it’s time for another Top 9. The key word here is important – not memorable, incredible, personally-witnessed, etc.
1. Nystrom at 7:11: As Mike Bossy has said, always seemed right that one of the Islanders’ warriors should get the overtime goal in 1980 for the first Stanley Cup.
2. J.P. Parise at 0:11: In just their third season, Islanders win their first playoff series – on an overtime goal in 1975 against the Rangers in Madison Square Garden, to boot.
3. Tonelli Saves the Dynasty: JT’s biggest – at 6:19 of OT in the fifth and deciding game against Pittsburgh in the first round of 1982 – makes two more Stanley Cups possible.
4. Ken Morrow, naturally: Continuing a tradition of big goals from every source, the defensive defenseman pots one at 8:56 of overtime in the deciding game 5 of the first round against the Rangers in 1984 to keep the Drive for Five alive.
5. Ferraro to Volek: On the franchise’s last historic goal, a blazing Ray Ferraro slides a one-timer on David Volek’s tee at an appropriate 5:16 of overtime to dethrone the two-time defending Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins at the Igloo in 1993.
6. Patty on Easter: In the Easter Epic, Pat LaFontaine scores at 8:47 of the fourth overtime in Game 7 of the opening round against the Capitals in Landover in 1987.
7. Bossy 50/50: The only singular achievement on the list, but a monumental one: on January 24, 1981 Mike Bossy joins Maurice Richard as just the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals in the first 50 goals of the season.
8. 18 Completes History: Islanders become second team in league history to come back from 3-0 series deficit when Ed Westfall scores five minutes into the third period of Game 7 at the Igloo for a 1-0 game win and landmark 4-3 series win in 1975.
9. JT Makes it 15 in a Row: On Feb. 20, 1982, John Tonelli scores with 47 seconds left against Chico Resch and the Rockies as the Islanders set a new league mark with 15 consecutive wins. This was way before you can win a game just by winning a shootout.
Shawn Bates’ penalty shot goal in 2002 is the most memorable recent moment, but the Islanders lost the series. Your reactions to this story in Comments. For talk on the current Islanders, please use the Ottawa game thread below. Thanks.