3. Miroslav Satan Scores Game-Winner on Al Arbour Night
Al Arbour is the greatest coach in the history of the NY Islanders by a country mile, and one of the greatest to ever step behind the bench in NHL history. He won 740 games as coach of the Islanders from 1973-74 to 1993-94, but that last win was one that all Islander fans remember fondly as it came on "Al Arbour night" on November 3rd, 2007.
This season was one of the least memorable in team history, with them finishing in last place in the Atlantic division with 79 points, and only finishing above the Atlanta Thrashers and Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference. But perhaps the highlight of the season was head coach Ted Nolan coming up with the idea to bring back the legendary coach for one more game.
"Every day, Ted Nolan stared at the number on Arbour's mural that said 1499 games coached, and he just knew that it wasn't right and that he could do something about it."- Chris King, Islanders Radio play-by-play
Nolan would happily take the back seat as Arbour agreed to come back for one more game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team that would eventually make the Stanley Cup Finals that season. The game looked like it was heading in the wrong direction, as Pittsburgh took an early 2-0 lead. Trent Hunter would get the Islanders on the board midway through the second period, and then later Miroslav Šatan would tie the game at two.
It looked like this game was heading to overtime, but with 2:41 to go in the game, Šatan scored on a rebound to take the lead late in the third. The whole Coliseum was rooting for the Islanders to win of course, but more importantly, wanted this win for Arbour.
Arbour was never one for huge reactions after big plays, but this time he throws hands up in joy as was two minutes away from finishing his final game as an NHL coach. Players that he coached throughout his tenure, many of which were four-time Stanley Cup champions including Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, and Denis Potvin among others, were present and on the ice for the raising of the big 1500 banner that represents the long and successful 1500 games he coached on Long Island.
In the words of former Islanders play-by-play announcer Howie Rose, "Al Arbour is going to be a winner again."