1989-1990: 9 Games
We often forget about the non-dynasty years. Anything after even 1984 where the New York Islanders fell to the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup finals is typically forgotten.
But in 1989-90, the Islanders won nine games in a row. They’d end the season with a 31-38-11 record and 73 points and make the playoffs after missing in the previous season. A quarter of those 73 points were picked up in this nine-game winning streak between December 31, 1989, and January 19, 1990.
During the nine-game win streak, the Islanders, didn’t have a winning record by the end of the season, managed to run up a goal differential of +23 by scoring 44 goals and only allowing 21.
The Islanders biggest win was an 8-4 victory over the Minnesota North Stars. In that game, Hall of Fame player, and one of the 100 greatest players to play in the NHL, Pat LaFontaine would score a goal and add five assists for six points on the night.
LaFontaine would go on to score 105 points that season with 54 goals and 51 assists.
If not for this run, the Islanders surely don’t make the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who missed out on the playoffs, were behind them by only a single point with 72 points on the season.
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After missing out on the playoffs in 1988-89 had the Islanders missed out once again it would have been the first time they’d miss the playoffs in back-to-back years since 1973-74. That’s 16 years without missing the post-season in back-to-back years averted thanks to their third-longest winning streak.