What's Your Favorite Islanders Memory?

"Time to tell stories..." - Bruce Bennett

The Palffy retirement has me all nostalgic, so I thought what a great time to look back on all our memories that shaped our love for this team. Let's face it, this was been a hard team to root for for a decade, but that has not stopped us from being so devoted to this team that we check these boards with such regularity even during the off season that there must be a reason.

Here are a few of mine:

1. Beginnings

I was 8 or 9 when the older kids in my East Meadow neighborhood threw me in net and started blasting slappers at me in my duct tape pads. I had a friend's catcher chest protector and helmet to protect me, his dad was the little league coach. I also had my trusty Mylec stick turned backwards turning away the low shots. But the glove hand! Oh! Nobody goes glove side on the kid. I was a shortstop that couldn't hit but my glove was gold.

For years I resisted putting on a real goalie glove opting instead for the Pete Rose signed Rawlings I grew up with and a knee pad turned inwards to protect my glove hand wrist. I was initially just happy to get to play with the older kids but as I got better I felt like I actually belonged.

That was how my love for the sport started.

2. 7:11 OT

I was 12 when the Islanders won the first Cup and I had been teaching my dad for the previous couple years the rules of hockey as we would watch the games on Sportschannel. I remember my mom coming downstairs to see what all the screaming was about. It was playoff hockey!

The Ranger series! John Davidson was flopping around like a fish and the Islanders were coming into their own. My mom became a fan immediately when she found herself sitting high up on the back of the couch clutching a pillow and had no idea how she got up there. I think that she had a crush on Bobby Nystrom too, that might have helped. So the Islanders became a family affair in my house for many years, the only sport me and my dad could get my mom to have any interest in.

The Nystrom goal! Tonelli finds Nystrom on that criss cross pass and the Island goes bonkers! Everyone in my neighborhood came out of their houses and were cheering as the volunteer fire department paraded down the residential streets in their trucks, the firemen were wearing Islander Jerseys waving to the people, and the horns on the trucks blasted the Islander chant!

There has never been a moment like that since.

3. (Easter) Epic Road Trip

1987, freshman year in college, 4 friends and I are at Spring Break in Daytona. The Islanders are in the playoffs with the Washington Capitals and it goes to a 7th game. We make a call to a cousin and and get 6 tickets in a row. (Pathetic Caps fans... the cousin calls the box office and gets 6 in a row second tier on the faceoff dot, face value, the day before a game 7.) I had met a nice young lady and we were quite friendly all week long and I was saying "goodbye", ahem, when my friends drag me out of her room at 1 am. So 5 guys pile into a 77 Monte Carlo, drive all night and make the trip up to Landover where Pat Lafontaine scores the game winner at 8:47 and Kelly Hrudey makes 72 saves in quadruple Over time of what became known as the Easter Epic.

The next day was Easter Sunday. We all wanted to get home for Sunday morning. We decide to drive right from the game back to L.I. Bad idea.

The game ended at 1:30 in the morning, we drove all night the night before also, we were partying all week long and were in desperate need of sleep. We took turns falling asleep at the wheel, nearly killing ourselves. We eventually pulled over and slept in the car behind a restaurant in an I 95 rest stop. Other than how it ended. It was the Best Week Ever!

What memories do you have that make you the Islander fan you are today?

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