After a few years of dominating the regular season but finishing with dissapointing playoff runs, Al Arbour decided to focus on the playoffs as a whole and forget about where the team finished in the regular season. With that mentality, the Islanders finished under the 100 point mark for the first time in five years in the 1979-1980 season. No matter as bigger things were in store.
In a shocking move just before the playoffs, General Manager Bill Torrey traded away fan favourites Billy Harris and Dave Lewis to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Butch Goering. Butch Goering was an intense presence on the second line and provided depth and security for the Islanders post season run.
After beating the Buffalo Sabres in the semi finals in six games, the Islanders faced their toughest opponents yet. Facing them in the Stanley Cup Final were the Broad Street Bullies. The Philadelphia Flyers had gone undefeated for 35 games during the regular season proving that they were a force to be reckoned with.
That statistic didn’t face the mighty New York Islanders however. They walked into Philadelphia’s barn for game one and stole it by a score of 4-3 with Dennis Potvin notching the overtime winner. As the series continued, it flip flopped back and forth until six game back on Long Island. After blowing a 4-2 lead in the third period (Sounds like the 2013 Toronto Maple Leafs. Har har.), the Islanders were forced to head into overtime. That is when history was made.
“TONELLI TO NYSTROM, HE SCORES.”