The NY Islanders record 15-game winning streak has passed the test of time

Islanders Set NHL Record 15-Game Win Streak in 1982
Islanders Set NHL Record 15-Game Win Streak in 1982 / nyislanders

I know, I know, if you head over to the NHL records site for the longest winning streaks in NHL history, the 1981-82 New York Islanders are not the name at the top. They're not even second or third. The record book will tell you the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins own the record, followed by the 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets and this year's Edmonton Oilers. Whatever.

However, we Islanders fans know that there should be a way to filter that category for regulation wins only, and if you did that, you'd see that what the Islanders accomplished hasn't been matched since, and no team has come particularly close.

On Feb. 20, 1982, the Islanders had a chance to break the 52-year record of the 1930 Boston Bruins. However, late in the third period against the Colorado Rockies, they found themselves tied at two, and without the benefit of overtime or a shootout, the streak would've ended with a tie.

However, the Islanders would not be denied. Shortly after the PA announcer told the crowd there was one minute to play in the period, John Tonelli took a pass from Bryan Trottier, entered the zone on the left side, and sent a slap shot through the legs of Glenn 'Chico' Resch with 47 seconds left, sending the 15,127 fans at the Nassau Coliseum into a delirious frenzy. It was the 27th goal of the season for No. 27 and one of many memorable and clutch moments in his Islanders career.

"None of us believe this streak will last forever, but it sure adds a lot of fun and tension each time we go out on the ice," said Tonelli after the game via the SI Vault. It may not last forever, and in the minds of some it hasn't, but that doesn't change the fact that no team has accomplished what that team did.

"Every year, somebody's name is inscribed on the Stanley Cup," General Manager Bill Torrey said. "But it's been 52 long years since anybody's done this." It's now been 41 years since any team has done what they've done - 15 regulation wins in a row.

The dominant streak ran from Jan. 21, 1982, through Feb 20, 1982, with the Islanders winning 12 of the 15 games by three goals or more. Six of the wins were by at least five goals. During the 15-game span, Al Arbour's team outscored their opponents 97-35 and an astounding 36 to 4 in the third period. They only trailed in four games!

So, as I was saying, the 15-game winning streak the Islanders set on this day in 1982 has passed the test of time, and regardless of what the record book says, it remains intact.