5. Jason Blake Scores 40th Goal
Jason Blake was quite an underrated player over the course of his career with the Islanders. After going undrafted and then beginning his career with the Los Angeles Kings, the Islanders would take a flier on him by acquiring him for a 5th-round pick.
Blake would become a fan favorite with the team, as everyone admired his work ethic, his finishing ability, and his consistency at both ends of the rink. In his six years spent on the Island, he would register 258 points in 426 games. In a three-year span starting in the 2002-03 season and ending in 2005-06, he finished with 25, 22, and 28 goals respectively. Not bad at all for an undrafted player.
In his contract year with the team in 2006-07, Blake was one of the best if not the best forward on the team production-wise. He finished first on the team in goals and points by a decent margin, and it was highlighted by him scoring a career-high 40 goals.
This was the first 40-goal season for the Islanders since Zigmund Palffy scored 45 in 1997-98. There wasn't anybody that approached this at all until Blake scored his 40th at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Islanders fans recognized that this was the first 40th goal they have witnessed in almost a decade, and celebrated accordingly.
Toronto must have taken notice of this that day, as Blake would be signed by Toronto after the Islanders would be eliminated in the playoffs by the President's Trophy-winning Buffalo Sabres. He would also win the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in his first season as a Maple Leaf for playing all 82 games while being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. His last season with the Islanders and first with the Maple Leaf truly embodied the kind of player and person he is, and all fans recognized that.