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08-25-2010, 05:50 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Originally Posted by
Potvin was injured much of the 1979-80 regular season. The team struggled. But that's a very narrow telling of the story. For that Isles team was coming off the hangover of two straight springs when they exited early, after superb regular seasons. (Some say they "choked".) Likewise, they were, until March of 1980 (enter Goring), a team with a huge hole at #2 center behind Trottier. Not to mention, when Potvin returned in February of that year, Ken Morrow joined the Isles (exact same game, a Saturday afternoon loss at NVMC to the then-lowly Wings) as well.
In no way is that meant to suggest that Denis Potvin was not a critical - or even the most critical - piece of that team. (He certainly was the linchpin of NYI moving rapidly from bottom feeder expansion team its first two years to perennial contender through the '70s and dynasty come the '80s.)
But the "games missed" line, as recited here on occasion, is incomplete, per the explanation above.
To expand upon the point about the effect of Potvin's absence relative to the Islanders' growing pains in 79/80, here's a link from the SI Vault that addresses these matters. The article talks about the a "leadership void" in the team and points out that early in the season, the team enjoyed a better run without Potvin than with him.
I'm not seeking to diminish Potvin either, rather to emphasise that before the avalanche of Cups, he had his doubters too.
Last edited by Stray Wasp: 08-25-2010 at
. Reason: spelling
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