For the first time since 1993, the New York Islanders are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals after a 4-3 series win over Philadelphia.
The New York Islanders, one of two teams (done twice by Montreal) to win the Stanley Cup four consecutive times, has not gotten back to the Stanley Cup since 1984, but they are now the closest they have been to that stage in 27 years.
To put that into perspective for you here are some fun (not really fun) facts:
- Saturday’s win snapped the NHL’s longest active drought without a Conference Finals appearance
- Saturday was the first time an Islanders fan was able to tweet or post on social media that their team was headed to the Conference Finals
- The last time the Islanders were in the Eastern Conference Finals, the song at the top of the charts was “That’s the Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson
- The last time the Islanders were in the Eastern Conference Finals, the number one movie was Cliffhanger starring Sylvester Stallone
- Google wasn’t invented the last time the Islanders were in the Eastern Conference Finals
- The last time the Islanders made the Conference Finals, Bill Clinton was the President of the United States, and he was serving his first year in office
I could keep going, but I think you get the point, the Islanders haven’t been to the Eastern Conference Finals in a LONG time, and it’s been even longer since they’ve been to the Stanley Cup, but we might be getting a little ahead of ourselves with that one.
Thankfully for Islanders fans, that drought is over, and they are moving on. After going up 3-1 in the series, everyone wrote the Flyers out, but they came storming back, won two consecutive games in overtime, and tied the series at three, forcing a decisive game seven on Saturday.
Luckily for the Islanders, they got out to an early lead thanks to Scott Mayfield and Andy Greene who each put the puck past Carter Hart in the first period as the Islanders jumped out to a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
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After that the Islanders continued to put it on the Flyers, scoring once more in the second as Brock Nelson put one in the back of the net, and then in the third, it was Anthony Beauvillier who would put the cherry on top scoring an empty-net goal to put the Islanders up 4-0, all but sealing the deal with 6:18 still on the clock.
With that and Thomas Greiss‘ 16 saves and zero goals allowed, the 2019-20 Islanders managed to do something that none of the previous 27 years of Islanders teams could do, move onto the Conference Finals, and this year they did it as a SIX SEED.
This year’s Isles team has certainly seen its ups and downs, at one point they went on a 17-game win streak including 10 consecutive wins, and then they went on a seven-game losing streak right before the shut down (four of the losses were in overtime or shootouts).
This run was improbable, to say the least, but the Islanders shocked the world, beat the top-seeded Flyers, and will now advance to play the Lightning in Edmonton, with a trip to the Stanley Cup on the line.