NY Islanders: Top 5 Most Electrifying Goals Since 2010

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Weeks away from the start of the NY Islanders' 50th Anniversary season is as good a time as ever to reminisce about some of the most exhilarating and memorable plays in franchise history. But for the younger generation (25 and under) of Isles fans, there haven't been nearly as many as their parent's or even older cousin's generation.

The most significant on-ice moments occurred in the first half of their 50 years, with playoff triumphs in the 70s and 80s and four straight Stanley Cups - not too shabby, it must've been nice! And while watching highlights of these moments is entertaining in their own right, younger Islanders fans have a different list of memories in their minds when recounting thrilling moments.

For us, we recall the moments we were alive and old enough to be in the building - whether that be the Old Barn, Barclays Center, the refurbished barn, or UBS Arena at Belmont Park. There's nothing quite like being at the rink, part of Isles Nation, alongside thousands of orange and blue-clad fans when a huge goal is scored. You leap out of your seat, and your celebration is accompanied by the goal horn blaring, "Crowd Chant" by Joe Satriani cranking, and an in unison chant of "Yes! Yes !Yes!"

So, with that in mind, let us take a look at the Top 5 most electrifying goals since 2010 that have sent attending Islanders fans - young and old - into a frenzy.

5. Anthony Beauvillier Sparks Crowd in Coliseum Return

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders
Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

One of the saddest moments in Islanders' history was the announcement by ownership, led by the late Charles Wang, that they would be relocating from the legendary Nassau Coliseum to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It felt like a huge part of Islanders' history was about to get demolished to never be seen again. Ironically enough, the coach that closed its doors by defeating them in the 2015 playoffs, Barry Trotz, was the coach that reopened the doors in 2018.

The Barn closed for extensive renovations while the Isles and their fans were taking the train to Brooklyn for games, but made a return three years later to host games, albeit part-time. The home games for the Islanders would be split between both arenas during the 2018-19 season, and then would become their full-time home for the next two seasons before the opening of UBS Arena.

Their first game back was on December 1st against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team that they played in their "last" regular-season game there in 2015. Coincidence? I think not.

The Islanders' first goal of the game for the Islanders was a controversial one, with it being waived off immediately by the referee from it going directly off Anders Lee's glove. It would be reviewed and later overturned to make the score 2-1, so the first goal back wasn't exactly having you jump out of your seat.

The second goal was the complete opposite, with Mat Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier racing to create a 2-on-1 rush, and Beauvillier was able to slip it under the legs of Sergei Bobrovsky to tie the game at 2 and bring Isles fans to their feet. They would go on to win their return to the Coliseum 3-2.

4. Thomas Hickey Completes the Comeback

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders - Game Six
Florida Panthers v New York Islanders - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The inaugural season for the Islanders at Barclays Center came with some high expectations for any form of postseason success. The team had not won a playoff series in 23 long years since David Volek sunk the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1993, and the Isles finished with 101 points, 47 wins, and 3rd place in the Metropolitan division in what was a promising 2014-15 regular season.

The next year they would finish with 100 points and 45 wins, a very similar finish but this time earning a wild card spot that would pit them against the Atlantic division-winning Florida Panthers, also looking to end their long playoff series win drought.

The Islanders split the first two games of the series in Florida and went down 2-0 early in the game, which was almost 3-0 but was spared with a successful offsides challenge from coach Jack Capuano. New York would end up tying the game at three after being down 3-1 in the second period, and stayed tied throughout regulation.

Thomas Hickey wasn't exactly a high-scoring defenseman during his time on the Island, but he always wore his heart on his chest and always had a clutch gene when it came to overtime. 26% of his goals in both the regular season and playoffs came in overtime, which includes his only career playoff goal assisted by Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey that he buries behind a helpless former Islander goalie Roberto Luongo to send the Barclays Center into an unexpected fury.

"There's not a guy on our team that plays as big as Thomas Hickey," Capuano said. "When you talk about toughness, I've always defined it as taking a hit to make a play. And that's what he does. It's always good to see a guy like that get rewarded."

This game and this goal were turning points in the series considering they came back from multiple two-goal deficits in the second period in what felt like a moment's notice, and they took a 2-1 series lead in a game Panthers fans probably don't want to remember. This was the first playoff victory at Barclays, and almost previewed what would come later on in the series in front of the Brooklyn "faithful."

3. Josh Bailey: Game 1, to the Island

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game One
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

What all fans knew after this game ended is that they secured a 1-0 lead in the series against the rival Penguins once again thanks to Josh Bailey's overtime heroics. What fans at Nassau Coliseum did not know was that the call that Islanders play-by-play announcer Brendan Burke would become infamous with this playoff kick starter. Emphatically, "Game 1, to the Island!"

The 2018-19 season was defined by character and culture building for New York. The Islanders played this entire season with a life-sized chip on their shoulder after being counted out by everyone before the season even started, due to the departure of franchise center and captain John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Many fans, even after the edition of Barry Trotz behind the bench did not expect this team to make it very far, but thanks to many players buying into the system and playing for each other, they were able to have their best season in a long time, finishing 2nd in the Metro with 103 points and a reputation of being one of the hardest teams to play against.

The Coliseum atmosphere was unmatched during their first-round series against Pittsburgh. They were granted permission to play in Uniondale for the first-round only, and then later at Barclays if they advanced any further, so fans had to relish what they had of at most three opportunities to enjoy playoff hockey at the Coli.

The game itself went back and forth all afternoon. Goals coming from Jordan Eberle, Brock Nelson, and Nick Leddy all contributed for the home team in a 3-2 score late into the third, until Pittsburgh defenseman Justin Schultz tied the game with 1:29 to go in the third, forcing OT. In the extra session. Barzal and Eberle find themselves on an odd-man rush, Barzy hits the post after undressing goaltender Matt Murray along with Brian Dumoulin, and Josh Bailey put the finishing touch on a fantastic first game. The Islanders would go on to sweep their division rivals and move on to the second round against the Carolina Hurricanes.

2. John Tavares Ends the 23 Year Wait

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders - Game Six
Florida Panthers v New York Islanders - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

You can say what you want about the way John Tavares decided to leave Long Island, but he was the very embodiment of a franchise player for this team that was void of that for a long time. One of the better leaders the Islanders had while on the team, he always delivered in the moments they needed it most, no different against the Panthers in double overtime of game six.

23 years of suffering led up to this moment of relief for all fans waiving the orange rally towels at Barclays Center. As said before, the last playoff series the team had won was in 1993, and the Panthers' was back in 1996 when they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, so there was extra urgency to let the streak die.

The Isles headed into game six with a 3-2 series lead off of a double-overtime winner from Alan Quine of all people, who spent seasons jumping up and down from Bridgeport and the NHL. For most of the game, they looked very sluggish and not ready to take the series for themselves. Trailing 1-0 heading into the final minutes due to a Jonathan Huberdeau goal in the first, the Islanders pulled Thomas Greiss for the extra attacker. Leddy saved what could have been a dagger of an empty net goal, and took the puck coast to coast into the Panthers' end. The Isles changed on the fly, and Tavares quietly hopped off the bench, skated straight to the goal, and tucked home a loose rebound to tie the game with 53.2 seconds to go.

Two overtimes for the second straight night is how long these teams would have to go before calling it a series. Tavares, receiving a pass from linemate Kyle Okposo decided to take matters into his own hands, firing a hard shot at a fatigued Luongo and wrapping home the rebound to put the Panthers down. Absolute bedlam broke out in Brooklyn, as said perfectly by Sportsnet broadcaster Dave Randorf who would call this the most memorable call of his career. Bedlam it sure was, and the Islanders had finally won a series.

“It was tough to get going a little bit. (The Panthers) were doing a good job and I just tried to battle through it. You play right to the end and you never know what’s going to happen and you stay with it. That’s kind of been our season a little bit. I’m just happy to come through.”
John Tavares

Guys like Tavares don't come around often for any team. 621 points in 669 games for New York, a great captain, and an almost Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winner while representing a semi-dysfunctional organization at the time with class. Even after he left in an unpopular fashion, I am sure the 15,795 fans in attendance are still very thankful they got to witness such an electrifying moment in NY Islanders history.

1. Beauvillier: The Last, Last Goal at the Coliseum

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The true last hoorah for the Coliseum would come with the second straight Eastern Conference Finals run for the Isles coming in the 2020-21 season. It may have ended in nearly the same exact result as the previous season, by losing to the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Islanders provided possibly the most fun and memorable playoff run for their fans since 1993.

With the 2020 season being cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it forced the delayed Stanley Cup Playoffs to be played in a quarantine bubble, so the excitement had to come from fans' couches at home, and not in a packed, loud, and obnoxious (in a good way) experience at the home arena. And, let's face it, cheering for your team while locked up at home when there weren't even sounds of fans coming through your speakers, is definitely not the ideal way to watch your team go on a long playoff run.

This 2021 run made both older Islanders fans relive and younger fans experience for the first time what a great playoff run feels like. The Islanders had to go through the rival Penguins yet again and then the Boston Bruins to get to the conference finals again, finishing them both off in six-games. The atmosphere at The Coliseum was unmatched, and those matchups provided a foreshadowing of what was to come against Tampa bay.

The Islanders played a more complete series against them than the year prior, in 2020 they just did not look ready to take down such a strong Lightning team, which got even stronger before the 2021 series. Their core of Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy were all red hot and could not be cooled off in 2020, and were without captain Steven Stamkos then as well.

This series was much closer than the last one, with the Isles splitting the first four games with Tampa, in large part to Ryan Pulock's heroic blocked shot off of Ryan McDonough to save a game four win. After getting absolutely demolished by a score of 8-0 in game five to go down 3-2, they returned to Uniondale in what looked like it could be the true goodbye for the Islanders and the Coliseum. The Lightning took an early 2-0 lead, but Eberle and Scott Mayfield would give the Islanders life and get them to overtime.

It would only take until 1:08 of play until the game was won, and the Islanders would be destined for game seven in Tampa Bay. Lightning forward Blake Coleman would give the puck away to Beauvillier, and with a quick flick of the wrist shot the puck over the shoulder of Vasilevskiy to send the Coliseum into one of its biggest celebrations maybe of all time. Beers and rally towels were thrown onto the ice during the mayhem, but of course, a little Long Island confetti never hurt anybody.

Feels amazing, to be honest. That building going into overtime was smelling like cigarettes, and now it smells like beers. I mean, That place was going crazy. Everyone's happy, we're going back to Tampa, and obviously huge effort from our team today.
Anthony Beauvillier

Considering the implications that this game had, of being an absolutely pivotal win to help the Islanders reach their first Stanley Cup Finals since 1984. Unfortunately, they would end up falling to the Lightning in game seven 1-0, with the one goal being the only shorthanded goal they allowed all season long. Even though they didn't get the result the fans would have liked, this was still a playoff run that delivered memories not to be forgotten anytime soon and gave the Coliseum a fitting farewell with the fans leaving the arena satisfied with the triumphant game-six victory.