*This list is all based off of my personal opinion.*
As many of you know, the Isles just finished their last season on the Island. Starting next season, the Islanders will call Barclays Center “home.” It’ll definitely bring a new feel to the players, fans, and organization all around. However, the memories that have been made over the 43 years in “The Old Barn” will never be forgotten. Here, we will be taking a look at the top 10 Nassau Coliseum moments.
10. Game 4 of the 2013 ECQF- Penguins vs Islanders John Tavares’ goal
It was May 8, 2013. The Isles came into the Series down 2-1, due to an Overtime winner by Chris Kuntiz in Game 3. This was the first Playoff series for the Isles in 6 seasons. They were the #8 seed, going up against their arch rival Penguins, the #1 seed. The Old Barn was rocking for Game 4, hoping to help their Isles to a tied series. Throughout the game, both teams showed huge resiliancy. The Pens and Isles both came back from being down twice. It was the middle of the third and the game was tied 4-4. The crowd was both nervous, and eager for another goal. The Penguins had the puck and were exiting the zone. A pass from Evgeni Malkin hit the forechecking Brad Boyes. Boyes fed Tavares who made two moves and took a shot that was originally stopped by Fleury, but got the rebound and slid it under the goaltender’s arm. The crowd went absolutely insane, waving their blue towels and chanting “MVP! MVP!” as Tavares and the Isles celebrated the lead. This turned out to be the game-winning goal of Game 4, and would tie the series up at two.
9. Al Arbour’s 1500th Game Coached
Al Arbour is by far the Isles greatest head coach of all time, leading them to 4 Cups and 740 wins over 20 seasons of coaching. He is also regarded as one of the NHL’s greatest to coach the game. For over ten years, he was sitting on 1499 games coached and 739 wins. His “739” banner hung in the rafters of Nassau Coliseum until November 3,2007. He was invited to coach the Islanders one last time for his 1500th game. The night of November 3, Al Arbour coached his 1500th game for the Isles, leading them to a 3-2 over the Penguins. Before puck drop, he had his “739” banner replaced with a “1500” banner. “Arbour, Arbour”, the Islanders fans cheered, appreciating the greatness in front of them. Many will never forget this night.
8. Mike Bossy: 50 in 50
Mike Bossy was a fantastic goal scorer. Everyone knew that. What they didn’t know, was the feat he was about to accomplish in the 1980-81 season. It was Mike Bossy’s 50th game of the season. He was sitting on 48 goals and he knew he needed 2 more to become the second player in history to score 50 goals in 50 games. The Isles were playing the Quebec Nordiques, and Bossy had been kept scorless for the first 55 minutes of play. There was no OT so he had to score 2 in the last 5 minutes. He scored his 49th, but still needed one more in the last three minutes. And he did. He scored five hole on the Nordiques goalie, on a shot from the circle. This created one of Nassau Coliseum’s most memorable moments, and one of the league’s most iconic images.
7. 2015 Game 3 ECQF- Tavares OT Goal
Game 3. Series tied 1-1. Islanders-Capitals. Overtime. Final season at the Nassau Coliseum. John Tavares.
This is the summary most people will tell you when you mention “John Tavares’ Ot Winner vs the Caps”. Now let me tell you the whole story. The Isles came into game 3 pumped. They had stolen home ice from the Caps and had turned the series into a best of 5; with 3 being in NY. The Isles dominated periods one and two, and had a 1-0 lead heading into the third on a goal by Kyle Okposo. The story changed in the third however. The Caps came out flying and finally scored with 6:06 remaining in the third. The Isles didn’t get down, and continued to push until the end of regulation.
Overtime wouldn’t last too long. It started with a faceoff win by the Isles. The puck came to Johnny Boychuk who blasted it in on Holtby. Holtby caught it and dropped it off to his defenseman, who played the puck up the boards. Nick Leddy kept it in and threw it on net. Holtby kicked it to is right, but right there was Tavares to squeeze it home. “SCORE! TAVARES” Doc Emerick screamed as the Coliseum went nuts. Isles fans of this generation will surely remember this goal.
6. Isles Last Game At Nassau Coliseum
It was Game 6 of the ECQF vs the Capitals. A loss meant a Caps series win, and an end of an era at the Nassau Coliseum. The Isles weren’t going to let that happen however. Midway through the period, the score is 1-1. John Tavares corrals the puck in his own zone. With speed, he skates through center and into the Caps’ zone. He outskates tthe Capitals’ defensemen, but is poke-checked at the last second by Caps netminder Brayden Holtby. The puck goes into the corner. Tavares battles for the puck with Karl Alzner. Out of nowhere, Alex Ovechkin comes in and hits Tavares hard into the boards. It seemed as Tavares was hurt because he fell down into a heap. The Isles crowd all stood up and starting petitioning for a penalty call. Away from the play, Nick Leddy saw Nikolai Kulemin alone in front. He fed him the puck and Kulemin made no mistake, giving the Isles a 2-1 lead. The crowd went absolutely insane, with some not realizing that the Islanders just scored.
Fast forward: 1:00 left in the game. The Caps try to enter the zone. The dump in is cut off by Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk feeds Clutterback who chips it by Ovechkin, shoots and scores. The crowd is in a frenzy as they knew it was heading to a Game 7. To end the game on a fitting note, the Caps’ John Carlson took a slapshot about 2 seconds after time ran out. The puck hit Halak up high, and although he was okay, the Isles took exception. A brawl began and would last for a couple of minutes, until Isles Captain John Tavares came on the ice and pumped up the crowd. I was at that game, and I’m sure everyone in attendence, and those watching on TV, will never forget this game.
5. Ken Morrow’s OT Goal in the ’84 Playoffs vs the Rangers
It was 1984 and the Islanders had won 3 Cups in a row. They were playing their crosstown rivals the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Patrick Division semis. The Isles were 39 seconds away from a 3-2 series lead, but Rangers’ LW Don Maloney scored to tie the game up. The Overtime that followed was considered one of the greatest of all-time. The Isles and Rangers traded terrific chances, with both goaltenders making terrific saves. Finally, at 8:56 of OT, a slapper from Ken Morrow beat Rangers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck. This would be an important goal to the Isles, as they would eventually win Cup #4.
4. Shawn Bates’ Penalty Shot Goal vs Toronto: 2001-02 Playoffs
The game was tied 3-3. It was Game 4 of the First Round. Shawn Bates was a quick Isles forward who wasn’t a big goal scorer. With 2:30 left in regulation, Bates received a breakout pass and put on the speed. He tried to get around Leafs’ defenseman Brian McCabe, but was tripped down and given a penalty shot. At that time, Curtis Joseph had stopped 4 out of 5 penalty shots he had faced all year. The Isles had failed on both penalty shots in team history. The entire crowd got up to cheer Shawn Bates on. (Remember, there was no shootout at this time, so the concept of going in one on one against the goalie was rare.) Bates took the puck, came in with speed, and fired it over the blocker of the Leafs goaltender. The whiteout at Nassau Coliseum went crazy, as their team had taken a 4-3 lead.
3. Isles Win Back-To-Back Cups
The Isles had won the Cup in 1980, defeating the Flyers in 6 games. They were now trying to complete their second Cup win in 2 years. They did just that, defeating the North Stars in 5 games. This was the year most hockey fans finally started to realize the Islanders had themselves a dynasty.
2. The Islanders Win Cup #4
In 1983, the Isles became the second team in history to win 4 Cups in a row. Other than the first one, this one seemed to be the sweetest. After 3 tight playoff series against the Capitals, Rangers, and Bruins, the Isles swept the Oilers in the Cup final to complete 4 Cups in a row. To this day, it is still known as one of the best dyansties in sports history.
1. Bob Nystrom Wins Cup #1
It was Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Final. The New York Islanders vs the Philadelphia Flyers. It was 4-4 heading into Overtime. A Flyers goal, and the series would be headed back to Philly tied 3-3. An Islanders goal, and they would win the Cup. The breakthrough finally happened. John Tonelli chipped the puck forward to linemate Bob Nystrom. Nystrom tipped it past Flyers goalie Pete Peeters. The Islanders fans went absolutely insane, as a Dynasty had been born.
*Please leave your opinions and feedback on this article!*