The Isles 8-2 loss in Game 1 set or tied a bunch of records for both teams. For example, it was only the third time in club history they had allowed eight goals in a playoff game:
- On April 10, 1975, the Rangers beat the Isles 8-3 at the Coliseum; 24 hours later JP Parise changed the course of NY hockey history forever.
- On May 15, 1980, Paul Holmgren's hat trick led the Flyers to an 8-3 win to even the Final; nine days later Bob Nystrom beat Pete Peeters to win the Stanley Cup.
What about losing a game by six goals?
You only have to look back to last season. Remember after the Isles swept the Penguins, it looked certain that the Isles would face Washington after the reigning Champs beat Carolina 6-0 in Game 5; it didn't happen as the Canes took games 6 and 7.
In 2017, Edmonton lost 7-0 to San Jose in the first round in game 4 but won the series in 6. Two weeks later Edmonton beat Anaheim 7-1, in game 6 (at Rogers Place) but lost that series three days later.
Losing a game by six or more goals and winning the series is actually not all that uncommon. It last happened in a Game 1 in 2003; ask Doug Weight about it. Weight had a goal and an assist in a 6-0 game 1 win over Vancouver as Chris Osgood posted a shutout. Twelve nights later, Weight set up Martin Rucinsky just 60 seconds into play but Vancouver emerged with a 4-1 win in Game 7.
Then there is the case of the 1997 Detroit Red Wings, who lost Game 5 of their rivalry series to the reigning champion Colorado Avalanche 6-0; two nights later they won the series in six games and they did not lose again, sweeping the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup.
And finally, how about the 1947 Toronto Maple Leafs, who lost game 2 of their semi-final series 9-1 to Detroit (at home!) and lost game 1 of the Final 6-0 in Montreal. They lost only one other game as they also won the first of three consecutive Stanley Cups.
Could it happen again? As a wise man once told me: "That's Why They Play the Games".
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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