37 years ago tonight (1978) - Champions, at last. As the scoreboard said, “2008 days, 17 hours and 33 minutes” after the Isles played their first game, the Isles won the Patrick Division championship for the first time with a 7-2 pounding of the Rangers in a nationally-televised matinee.
Funny thing is that most of the audience didn’t see the part that mattered. In those days, the national telecasts were timed to be the last two periods so when the Isles raced to a 5-0 lead over those in the New York area saw it.
Mike Kaszycki got the Isles going only 4:18 into play and Clark Gillies doubled the advantage with a power play goal 73 seconds later. Gillies would also score the fourth goal and Kaszycki the 7th as the Isles led 7-0 after 2 periods.
Mike Bossy scored the 53rd goal of his rookie campaign; his record would stand until broken by Teemu Selanne.
A pair of Ron Greschner goals just provided third period window dressing in a 7-2 game.
The historic boxscore:
1 - NYI : Kaszycki 12 (Nystrom, Persson) (EV) 4:18
2 - NYI : Gillies 34 (Bossy, Potvin D) (PP) 5:31
3 - NYI : Bourne 29 (EV) 9:17
4 - NYI : Gillies 35 (Trottier) (EV) 12:50
5 - NYI : Nystrom 30 (Hart, Kaszycki) (EV) 18:03
6 - NYI : Bossy 53 (Trottier, Gillies) (EV) 0:38
7 - NYI : Kaszycki 13 (Persson, Nystrom) (PP) 6:37
8 - NYR : Greschner 23 (Hickey, Smith) (EV) 5:41
9 - NYR : Greschner 24 (Hickey, Vickers) (PP) 15:22
Also on this date: (1980) – Bryan Trottier got the Isles’ first Cup run off to a good start, recording a hat trick as the Isles pounded Los Angeles 8-1. Trottier’s hat included a pair of shorthanded goals in the second period; he joined Toronto’s Dave Keon as the only players in Stanley Cup history to score two shorties in a game and was the first player to ever do so in a period during the Stanley Cup playoffs (both records are now shared with many others).
All-time, the Isles have played ten regular season and three playoff games on April 8th at the Coliseum; they have compiled a 5-3-2 regular season and 3-0 playoff record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
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