1982-83 Final vs. Edmonton
There isn’t a better way to assert your dominance than sweeping your opponent in the playoffs. Through four games one team is so dominant that their opponent doesn’t even get a sniff of success.
Sweeping your opponent in the Stanley Cup Final is a level above that. And that’s exactly what the New York Islanders did in 1982-83 against the Edmonton Oilers.
I know that the New York Islanders swept the Vancouver Canucks the year previous again in the Stanley Cup final. But this one, the New York Islanders fourth Stanley Cup win in a row was better. It wasn’t just that the Isles shut out the Oilers in game one, or registered a +11 goal differential.
All of that is impressive enough. But to do it against the 1982-83 Edmonton Oilers was an outstanding achievement. This was a team that had Wayne Gretzky who put up 196 points in the regular season. They had Mark Messier who had 106 points. They also had two other 100 point players.
The Oilers were stacked with Hall of Fame talent. So were the Islanders, and they showed it.
In four games the veteran Islanders swept the Oilers aside for their fourth cup in a row. Wayne Gretzky would later recall how seeing the Islanders post-victory not necessarily celebrating but healing wounds from a series where the Islanders gave it their all.
That’s why 82-83 was so important. It tough the greatest player to ever play the game how to win.