In honor of the Isles 40th anniversary year, I've put together a list of the Top 40 moments in club history. I'll go through them throughout the season, bit by bit.
But before we get started, here are three that just missed the cut...
March 16, 2010 -- Tavares' 5-point game. John Tavares ties the club rookie record by recording five points in a game as the Isles defeat Vancouver 5-2 at GM Place for the team's first win there since 1999. It didn't hurt that former Islander Roberto Luongo was in nets for the Canucks. Tavares became the first Isles rookie to have a 5-point game since Mikko Makela in 1986. It's the only 5 point game of his career... so far, and is one of two times that he recorded three assists and one of two times that he was a +4.
February 13, 2011 -- Grab-Trick. Michael Grabner ties the club rookie record with his third consecutive multi-goal game and becomes the first rookie to score two hat tricks in two different seasons for two different teams as the Isles defeat the Sabres 7-6 in Buffalo. Grabner's hat trick goal comes 2:55 into overtime and makes a winner out of Al Montoya in his NHL debut (in relief of Mikko Koskinen). Grabner is the first Islander with three consecutive multiple-goal games since Mariusz Czerkawski did so in March/April, 1998. For his efforts, Grabner is named the NHL's First Star of the Week.
March 31, 1990 -- Uwe, Uwe. One of the strangest regular seasons in Islander history ends with the Coliseum crowd watching the (then-new) video scoreboard. The Isles, who had been in first place as late as February 19th, had defeated Philadelphia 6-2 in their final game, raising their record to 31-38-11, leading the crowd, and the team to do some scoreboard watching. Believe it or not, the 73 points were enough for a playoff spot, which the Isles earned when future-Islander Uwe Krupp scored in overtime for Buffalo, giving the Sabres a 3-2 win over the Penguins. While the win got the Isles into the playoffs, it dropped them to the sixth seed in the Entry Draft. The Penguins chose Jaromir Jagr with the fifth pick; the Isles chose Scott Scissons 6th. Seven of the top eight picks in that draft played at least 900 NHL games; Scissons played only two.
Like any of these lists, my #2 may be your #20...
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick
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