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12-11-2012, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Early on him and Resch even split the playoff duties. In fact, when the high-octane Pens collapsed in 1975, it was Smith who they were was Resch that came in and won four straight (with the help of some goalposts). Chic-meister was right there with him throughout the 70's and then he moved on and was replaced with a replacement-level keeper in Melanson (who did post the league's first ever .900+ save pct. on this Islanders team we're speaking). Smith took over because he was better than Melanson, but what does that say?

Can we discuss a little more about Smith's opponents in the playoffs also? The Habs and Bruins and Flyers of the 70's were all but broken up or diminished it seems, no...?

Now, I don't want to diminish a goalie that rattled off 4 straight Stanley Cups, no sir. That's no accident. But, did he get away with some good timing? That is, until the Oilers ransacked the place...

Can anyone speak more about the opponents he faced (outside of the stupid preliminary round nonsense - the '82 Penguins, blick...)? The '81 North Stars and '82 Canucks strike me as kind of cinderella teams and the clock turned to midnight pretty quickly for both of them...the '83 Oilers were a young squad and got taken to school pretty well and good the first time around. The 1980 Flyers looked like a pretty good team (both on video and paper) minus their defense which seems suspect...but they weren't exactly lining up Robinson/Savard/Lapointe in 1975 either...

Can anyone speak of the league landscape at that time, roughly?
Here's an old thread called "which dynasty had the most luck?" that discusses the Islanders in detail:

It's from 2008 and nice to see the history board has always had its share of hostility.

Anyway, MS summed it up pretty well I think:

Originally Posted by MS View Post
Undoubtably. But the strength of opposition faced in various Cup runs is not always equal, and the 1981 and 1982 Islander teams had probably the two easiest runs in NHL history since the 4-round playoff format was introduced. The best team they had to face in those two years was 7th in the NHL. Of the 10 best regular-season teams over those two years, the Isles didn't have to face any of them. Like it or not, that is a fair chunk of 'luck' in their favour.

Of course, they did prove how strong they were with strong runs against strong competition in 1980 and 1983, so it's a moot point in terms of deciding whether they were a great team or not.

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