New York Islanders News
New York Islanders
Perhaps the most overlooked New York area sports franchise, the New York Islanders have a storied history that most sports fans don’t know about. Often overlooked in favor of the Rangers and Devils, the 2020 Islanders season, even if a shortened one, will surely change that.
Brief History Of The Islanders
The Islanders or “Isles” as they are commonly referred to, joined the National Hockey League in 1972. In an effort to fend off the newly forming World Hockey Association, the NHL wanted another hockey team in the Big Apple.
The league brought in William Shea, the man responsible for bringing the Mets to New York ten years earlier. Shea’s job was clear. Bring another hockey team to New York and strengthen the NHL as the primer hockey league in the US. After much back and forth with the New York Rangers organization (who objected to the competition), Shea helped establish the Islanders as the second professional hockey team in the New York City area.
The Islanders At UBS Arena
The then newly-built Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum serves as the home of the Islanders for almost 50 years. While the arena has served the Islanders and their fans faithfully for 48 years it’s become outdated. They’ve also periodically played at the Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Islanders are currently waiting to move into their new arena in Elmont, New York. Located near the famous Belmont Park race track, UBS Arena will be a state of the art multi-use arena. The Islanders are expected to move into their new home for the 2021-2022 NHL season.
NY Islanders Stanley Cup History
In less than 10 years from their entry into the NHL, the Islanders were crowned Stanley Cup Champions. Beginning in the 1979-1980 season with their first Stanley Cup victory, a dynasty was born.
The team went on to win the Stanley Cup in four consecutive seasons 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983. The Isles reached the Stanley Cup Finals again in 1984, but lose 4 games to 1 to the Edmonton Oilers. During their Stanley Cup Finals run, the Islanders would post an overall record of 16-3.
The Islanders In The 1980s:
- 1980: First Islanders Stanley Cup Final victory
- 1980-1983: 4 consecutive Islanders Stanley Cup victories
- 1984: Islanders lose the Stanley Cup Finals to the Edmonton Oilers
Their four Stanley Cup titles ties them with their crosstown rivals the New York Rangers and place them one more than the Devils. Forming the backbone of these championship teams, were future hall of famers Bryan Troitter, Mike Bossy, Billy Smith, Clark Gillies, and Denis Potvin.
As the early 1980s became the late 80s and 1990s, things turned south for the Islanders. Early playoff exits were quickly replaced by a playoff drought lasting seven years (1994-2000). The team again faced a playoff drought of five years from 2007 to 2012. Since the 2012-2013 season, the Isles have only missed the playoffs twice.
Islanders Top Rivalries
You’re safe in assuming that local area teams like the Rangers and the New Jersey Devils would stir up the biggest rivalry for the Islanders. After all, fewer places on Earth are more competitive than the New York tri-state area for professional sports.
But since the mid-1970s, there’s another NHL team that hearkens the most intense rivalry for the Islanders and their fans: the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Isles and Pens have met five times in the playoffs with the Isles prevailing in four of the five series. Overall, Pittsburgh has gotten the better of the Islanders, compiling a record of 133–118–22–12.
Islanders 2020 Season And The Future
Under the leadership of new head coach Barry Trotz, the Islanders entered into the 2019-20 season with mixed expectations. The season before saw the Isles record 103 points, 4th best in the Eastern Conference.
The departure of former captain John Tavaras to Toronto would be felt. The likes of Matthew Barzal, Semyon Varlamov, and Jordan Eberle will need to provide strength and consistency at both ends of the icy. With a new home set to be delivered and future stars waiting in the wings, things look bright for New York’s other hockey team.
2020 NHL Bracket
The 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs were unique. In March, the NHL paused its regular season due to COVID-19 shutdowns. They playoffs began in July 2020, with a qualifying round and seeding round-robin. An additional eight teams qualified for the playoffs this year beyond the normal 16. This made the odds of making the NHL playoffs easier for more teams. Could that have helped the Islanders secure a spot?
The Islanders started the playoffs strong in the 2020 bracket advancing past the Capitals and the Flyers to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the final playoff round. Check out DraftKings in NJ or PA, or at their retail sportsbook location in Upstate NY to check out the latest odds for the Stanley Cup Finals.