It’s subjective I know. But New York Islanders legend Denis Potvin thinks that his team was the best in history. When you think about it, he’s right.
I like all things New York Islanders just like you do. That’s why I spend countless hours blogging about them, and why you spend countless hours reading everything that’s said about the team.
When it comes to the New York Islanders we’re all a bit biased. So if I were to ask you what the greatest team or dynasty in the NHL was, your first and immediate answer is going to be the 1980-1983 New York Islanders.
Between 80-83 the Isles won four back-to-back Stanley Cups. They put up a 183-88-49 regular season record with a +340 goal differential. In the playoffs, they won 16 straight series with a 60-18 record. They were absolutely dominant.
We all know the Montréal Canadiens won five back-to-back championships between 1956 and 1960, but the playoffs were only two rounds back then. Not the four rounds the Islanders had to go through when they put up their dynasty.
What Made Them So Great?
So when the immediate answer for “greatest dynasty” is the New York Islanders, it’s not entirely biased. It’s sort of true. Ask Denis Potvin about it.
Speaking to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, former New York Islanders captain Potvin explained why they were the greatest.
"“Our team, I still think was the best in history, but there’s a reason for it,” said Potvin, now a color analyst on Florida Panthers telecasts for Fox Sports Florida. “We had everything covered. We had the best skaters, the most-physical guys, the most-talented shooters, the most-talented puck passers, the most-talented goaltender, on and on.”"
I’m not going to try and convince you that the Islanders were the best because we already know it. I’m just going to give you more to back that opinion up if you ever get into the discussion over what dynasty was better.
The only other dynasty that comes close to the Islanders is the Montréal Canadiens from 1976 to 1979. (We already talked about the one from 1956-60) The Habs were the last team, other than the New York Islanders, to win four Stanley Cups in a row.
But before the Isles won all their cups the playoff format was quite different. In the 1979-80 season, the NHL introduced a 16 team format. Upping the number of teams by four. Before that, top teams go to skip the opening round of the playoffs and go right to the quarterfinals.
There’s no doubt that the New York Islanders dynasty was the best one simply because of how difficult it was to achieve. No team has been able to do so since. Not even the super talented Edmonton Oilers of the mid-eighties. Thanks to the Canadiens in 1986 and the Calgary Flames in 1989.