Greater dynasty: Gretzky's Oilers vs Trottier's Islanders
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03-20-2013, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Originally Posted by
4 Cups is actually amazing and I think we take it for granted nowadays and brush it off as just a product of a different era. Actually, it wasn't a product of ANY era. There have only been three times in NHL history where a team won 4 Cups in a row. You have to remember one thing, the Cup champs have a target on their backs from day one. I remember Glen Sather saying that winning the first Cup with the Oilers in 1984 was almost a relief but he was more interested in defending it in 1985 because defending it is harder than winning it the first time.
You have to give the Islanders credit here, when faced with adversity they defended it 3 more times. In 1984 in that classic overtime against the Rangers and at a time when the dynasty was still alive and the streak still present, they turned over a clutch performance to get past the Rangers. Only the 1984 Oilers in the final beat them and the last team to beat the Islanders in the playoffs were the 1979 Rangers. That is just absurd when you think of it.
And while we know better now, the idea of the Oilers being a dynasty was on hold in 1986. Good for them for winning two more but it certainly wasn't a guarantee at that time. In the Islanders defense, they had 4 in a row already in the bag.
A little history here to help you appreciate just how hard it is to defend the Cup. The last 4 teams to defend the Cup lost the following year in Game 7, three of them were at home. This goes to show you that teams always bring their "A" game against the champs. Detroit was the closest one to repeating and lost in Game 7 in the final. I don't think we appreciate just how hard it is to win consecutive Cups.
I think everyone can jive with that. I still think there's foul air to giving credit to the Islanders for making it past a 77 point regular season 5th seed adversary by way of penalizing the Oilers for getting derailed by an 89 point regular season 2nd seed at the equivalent mileage post along the way. That it culminated in ultimately sweeping a team with a <0.500 record in the Final for that 3rd Cup "stinks" even more (c.f. Edmonton who rebounded in '86/87 and knocked off the Eastern Conference #1 seed for their 3rd Cup).
I guess I personally don't think the consecutive aspect outweighs the paths and performances of those Oilers compared with those Islanders - and this is tossing the quality of roster/player angle
aside for the benefit of the pro-Islanders camp, mind you, and the fact that the Oilers started their dynasty by way of putting a stop to the very dynasty we're comparing.
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