36 years ago tonight (1979) – The Islanders had five goals scored by centers as they blasted the Chicago Blackhawks 7-1 in a preview of that spring’s playoffs.
Making the five goals by centerman even more unusual was that Bryan Trottier didn’t score any of them; Lorne Henning and Wayne Merrick each scored twice while Mike Kaszycki also scored. “That is really unusual”, Isles coach Al Arbour told Newsday’s Pat Calabria.
Chico Resch was in the nets for the Isles, who managed only four shots in the first period before peppering Tony Esposito for 22 shots in the middle session. The always affable Resch might have been a bit less happy after his pre-game dinner prepared by his wife Diane. Apparently Chico was not much of a turkey lover, but that was what Diane made. “Why?”, he asked. “Because you have been playing like one.” Chico had lost his three previous starts and the Isles were in a 2-3-1 rut heading into the game. (Chico and Diane are still married, by the way).
|Diane Resch, Chico Resch & Mike Emrick on Chico's night in New Jersey this past fall|
It was the final home game before the trading deadline. The Isles would be quiet at that 1979 deadline – they would make a lot of noise the following year.
Also on this date: (2002) – Michael Peca and Roman Hamrlik each scored twice as the Isles pounded Atlanta 6-1. The Thrashers’ Jiri Slegr and Daniel Tjarnqvist each had games that they would like to forget, each going -5. Chris Osgood needed to make only 18 saves to earn the win.
All-time, the Isles have played 11 March 10th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 5-4-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
The 12th and final March 10th home game is tonight –as the Isles host the Rangers at 7:00. Make sure you’re there, because it’s the final regular season Islander – Ranger game at the Coliseum, and because after tonight, there are only 8 regular season games remaining.
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