1981-82 Final vs Vancouver Canucks
Like I said, there’s nothing better than a sweep in the Stanley Cup final. When the winning team is so decisively better than their seemingly ‘equal’ opposition.
Both teams go through a grueling 80 game schedule just to qualify for the postseason. Then it’s another at least 11 games in the playoffs just to get to the Stanley Cup Final.
In 1981-82 the Vancouver Canucks went on that journey only to get tossed aside like yesterday’s salad by the New York Islanders in four straight games. What a gutwrenching feeling that had to be for the Vancouver Canucks.
To be fair the Canucks made the playoffs despite having a losing 30-33-17 record in the regular season. The Islanders, on the other hand, led the league with a 118 point season and 54-16-10 record.
That season the Islanders had two 100+ players in Mike Bossy (147 points) and Brian Trottier (129 points). They also had John Tonelli add 93 points and Denis Potvin with 61 from the blue line. The Canucks leading scorer was Thomas Gradin with 86 points.
That would be like the 2017-18 Islanders being in the finals this year against the 17-18 Nashville Predators. There’s no other way to imagine that the Islanders would be swept. The gulf in class between the two teams is clear.
Winning a cup is always special. Sweeping your opponent to do so is even more special. There are no words to describe when doing so nets you your third cup in a row.