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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Auld Lang Skinny -- Isles with a chance to do something they haven't done in a ridiculously long time

The Isles will enter their New Year's Eve meeting with Winnipeg with a chance to do something they haven't done since the days of Billy Smith and Denis Potvin -- end the calendar year with at least a share of first place.

The last time it happened was  in the 1987-88 season:
After games of 12/31/1987 (Calgary beat Philly that night to keep the Isles tied for the lead)
Patrick Division W-L-T Pts






NY Islanders 19-14-3 41






Philadelphia 18-15-5 41






New Jersey 18-16-4 40






Pittsburgh 16-14-7 39






Washington 16-17-5 37






NY Rangers 14-19-5 33







The last time the Isles had an outright lead when the calendar changed, the Isles were still Stanley Cup Champions:
After games of 12/31/1983
Patrick Division W-L-T Pts






NY Islanders 26-11-2 54






NY Rangers 22-13-4 48






Philadelphia 20-11-6 46






Washington 18-19-2 38






Pittsburgh 9-24-5 23






New Jersey 7-29-2 16

The Isles won the division in both of those seasons, with the 1987-88 season being the last time that the Isles have finished in first place.

Pittsburgh hosts Carolina on Wednesday night, so even if the Isles win their 5pm ET game they will need some help to be in first place by themselves when the ball drops.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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