To say the least, the Penguins have had simply awful luck
against the Islanders in the postseason.
At least once in the past three decades, the Penguins' season has come to a heartbreaking end at the hands of the Islanders.
We're all familiar with the most recent defeat. David &$@#! Volek and the 1992-93 Islanders pulled off perhaps the NHL's biggest upset when they beat the President Trophy-winning Penguins in a seven-game series in 1993.
And lots of us are familiar with the 1974-75 Islanders who came back from a 3-0 series deficit to beat the Penguins. Anytime a team takes a 3-0 lead in a playoff series, the announcers seemingly have an obligation to say, "Well you know, the last time a team came back from a 3-0 deficit..."
But not a lot of Penguins fans are all that familiar with the 1982 Islanders.
Having won the Stanley Cup the previous two springs, the Islanders were in the midst of their dynasty. They had supplanted the Canadiens as the best team in the league. A preliminary series against the lowly Penguins was surely a mere bump in the road right?
After the first two games of the series, it sure seemed so. The Islanders out-scored the Penguins 15-3 in the first two contests of a five-games series. A win in Game Three seemed like a mere formality.
The Penguins managed to pull out a 2-1 overtime win in Game 3 (thanks to Rick Kehoe's overtime goal) and evened things up in Game 4 with a 5-2 win.
With 5:27 remaining in Game 5, the Penguins owned a 3-1 lead over the powerful Islanders. Then everything pretty much caved in. A goal by Mike McEwen made it 3-2. Then with 2:21 left, Tonelli kept the Islanders' hope for a three-peat alive by tying the game.
At 6:19 in overtime, Tonelli broke all sorts of hearts in Pittsburgh:
The Islanders would go on to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup title and the Penguins wouldn't reach the postseason again until 1989.
So with only one playoff left this decade, we assume the Penguins will meet the Islanders in the spring of 2009 in order to keep this "one-playoff-defeat-a-decade" thing going. And we also assume the series will go the distance. Game 7 will come to an end on a goal by Sean Bergenheim. Mark it down.
(If you're wondering why we're writing about an old Islanders postseason win in August, this video just happened to be posted recently on YouTube. We spotted it and went with it.)
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-2K Sports, the creator of NHL 2K9, isn't wasting too much time worrying about Sidney Crosby's playoff beard.
-Janne Pesonen bleeds black and gold.
-Mark Messier's son, Lyon, was invited to the Rangers' rookie camp.
-The Blue Jackets will honor their late owner, John H. McConnell, with a commemorative patch next season.
-Blues forward Brad Boyes had 43 goals last season, but no one noticed.
-New Flames forward Todd Bertuzzi complained about the lack of ice time he got with the Ducks last season. Apparently the Ducks have this crazy idea that overrated, lazy, broken down, pieces of trash aren't supposed to get 20 minutes or more a game.
-Avalanche captain Joe Sakic still wants to play.
-In a shocking bit of news, Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg is still having issues with his feet.
-The Sharks signed defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a four-year contract extenstion.
-San Jose will bring former forward Jeff Friesen in on a tryout basis.
-The Ducks signed former Blue Jackets forward Joakim Lindstrom to a one-year deal.
-Apparently, not everyone in Canada is crazy about watching hockey fights on television.
-James Mirtle examines the best NHL players by jersey numbers.
-Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies scored an interview with the Post-Gazette's Bob Smizik.