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New York Islanders

New York Islanders

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Islanders Corner

The New York Islanders are a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League (the NHL). The New York Islanders play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference with four other teams: the New Jersey Devils, the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Islanders tickets will be a hot item during the 2014-2015 NHL hockey schedule.

New York Islanders 2014-2015 Outlook

Nabokov was awful last year, posting a .905 save percentage, and backups Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson were even worse. Halak is a career .918 and posted a .921 last year; if he can do that again, the goaltending upgrade alone would put the Islanders back into playoff contention.

Outside the crease, there’s some good young talent here, including Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey. The signings of Grabovski and Kulemin added two useful players, albeit on a slight overpay, and while Conacher is small, he’s shown enough skill to at least be worth a look. Oh, and did we mention that John Tavares, who played just 59 games thanks to an injury suffered at the Olympics, is healthy again?

So the goaltending looks good and the forwards are intriguing. We should probably stop there, because, man, this blue line looks ugly.


The New York Islanders franchise was founded on Long Island, New York in 1972.  The NHL granted an expansion franchise to representatives on Long Island in order to combat the contemplated start of the World Hockey Association (the WHA) in the New York area.  The New York Raiders of the WHA intended to make the newly-constructed Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Nassau Coliseum) its home, but Nassau Country representatives wanted an NHL team to play in its new arena, not a speculative team from a new and unproven hockey league.  Then NHL President Clarence Campbell also did not want increased competition from the WHA in the New York area, so he hastily approved the invitation of the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Flames into the NHL.  The New York Raiders were forced to play in Madison Square Garden under oppressive lease terms, and the team as well as the WHA soon collapsed because of financial instability. 

The New York Islanders struggled during their early years in the NHL.  But during the 1974-1975 NHL season, the franchise recorded 88 points (which was 32 more points than the previous year) and advanced to the post-season for the first time in franchise history where they defeated the rival New York Rangers in a heated 3-game series.  The New York Islanders did the unthinkable in the next round of the playoffs, rallying from a 3-0 deficit to win 4 consecutive games to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The New York Islanders are 1 of only 3 professional sports teams to have accomplished the amazing feat – the others being the 1941-1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2004 Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.  The New York Islanders almost pulled off the feat again in the Semifinals.  After losing the first 3 games to the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Islanders won 3 straight games to force a decisive Game 7, but this time their good fortune ran out and the team just missed its first ever Stanley Cup Finals.  From the 1975-1976 NHL season through the 1978-1979 NHL season, the New York Islanders recorded at least 101 points in each and every season.  However, the New York Islanders lost to the Montreal Canadiens twice in the Semifinals, once to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Quarterfinals and once to the New York Rangers in the Semifinals.

The pieces finally fell into place during the 1979-1980 NHL season.  Despite winning less than 100 points for the first time in 5 years, the New York Islanders were poised for an exciting playoff run.  Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy still led the offensive attack, while newly acquired 2nd-line center Butch Goring proved to be the valuable commodity that the Islanders missed during their previous playoff runs.  The New York Islanders cruised through the playoffs losing only 4 total games in 3 series against the Los Angeles Kings, the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres.  The New York Islanders won its first Stanley Cup with a 4-2 series win over the Philadelphia Flyers.  During the 1980-1981 NHL season, the New York Islanders recorded 110 points and defeated the Minnesota North Stars 4-1 to win its second consecutive Stanley Cup.  During the 1981-1982 NHL season, the New York Islanders recorded a franchise record 118 points and swept the Vancouver Canucks in 4 games to win its third consecutive Stanley Cup.  During the 1982-1983 NHL season, the New York Islanders recorded 96 points and swept the Edmonton Oilers in 4 games to win its fourth consecutive Stanley Cup.  After recording 104 points during the 1983-1984 NHL season, New York Islanders bid to win a 5th straight Stanley Cup title came crashing to an end with a 5 game series loss to the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals.  The New York Islanders never advanced to another Stanley Cup Finals after that defeat.

The New York Islanders failed to make the NHL playoffs from 1994 through 2001 and a brief 3-year stretch of post-season play from the 2001-2002 seasons through 2003-2004 resulted in 1st round quarterfinals losses each and every year.  After a disappointing 2005-2006 season in which the New York Islanders did not qualify for post-season play, the New York Islanders will look to rebound during the 2007-2008 NHL season.

The New York Islanders have retired the following players’ numbers: Dennis Potvin’s #5 (retired on February 1, 1992); Clark Gillies’ #9 (retired on December 7, 1996); Bryan Trottier’s  #19 (retired October 20, 2001); Mike Bossy’s #22 (retired on March 3, 1992); Bob Nystrom’s #23 (retired on April 1, 1995); & Billy Smith’s #31 (retired February 20, 1993).

New York Islanders TV/Radio

All New York Islanders hockey games can be seen on the Madison Square Garden television network in the greater New York tri-state area.  ESPN has television rights to New York Islanders hockey games based on the popularity of the game. Tune into WBBR 1130 on your AM dial (a Bloomberg radio station) to catch each New York Islanders hockey game on the radio.

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