I was 16 that beautiful May afternoon, and I was still about 20 months away from starting my long-term role as the Islanders TV statistician.
But that doesn't mean I wasn't already in training. 1979-80 was the first season that I kept a complete box score of every game -- and the minutiae contained in there is very similar to some of the things that make The Skinny on a nightly basis.
Sometime after the Isles won the Cup, I typed up my notes from that memorable day and put it into my binder for the following season -- which is exactly where I found it:
At exactly 5:40pm on Saturday, May 24, 1980 Long Island became the center of the hockey universe as the Islanders won the Stanley Cup.
We have heard lots about "rebuilds" on Long Island in recent years; it bears repeating exactly what Bob Lawrence said on the Islander radio broadcast that afternoon
""Henning at his own blue line...shoots it up ice to Tonelli. Tonelli on the off wing ...comes in front.. the shot to Nystrom,,,SCORE!!!!!
Islanders win the Stanley Cup! Islanders win the Stanley Cup!
Bobby Nystrom with the goal...from John Tonelli...and the Islanders have won the Stanley Cup!....The Islanders have taken 7 years, 352 days, 17 hours and 33 minutes, but they have finally won the Stanley Cup."
(You can hear Lawrence's call here: --the overtime call is at 39:18)
Bob Lawrence: The Chemistry was just Right
Here's the CBC coverage of the winning goal and aftermath -- Jim Robson and Gary Dornhofer were at the mics:
Or enjoy the whole game here:
And now a sobering thought -- unless Jaroslav Halak leads the Islanders into the Conference Finals, by the time the 35th anniversary arrives, the Islanders will no longer be Long Island's team.