If May 24 is, for some reason, not a religious holiday for you and your New York Islanders family, then please be informed that Sunday you have a chance to make amends.
The NHL Network, as part of its “What do we do now?” pandemic programming, will use Sunday, May 24, as an opportunity to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Day Long Island Did Not Stand Still.
As you likely know, at 7:11 of overtime on that day in 1980, Bobby Nystrom fulfilled the destiny that Stan Fischler had predicted for the Islanders at least four years before: Stanley Cup Champions, on their way to becoming the NHL’s last true dynasty.
Normally I try to summarize only the important points of press releases for you, dear reader, but in this case I must quote it essentially in full. The NHL’s flagship network has quite the DVR-busting slate of programming, beginning at 1 p.m. EDT:
Programming will begin with signature games from three Islanders Hall of Famers, including Mike Bossy (1:00 p.m. ET), Bryan Trottier (3:00 p.m. ET) and Denis Potvin (5:00 p.m. ET), each voted on NHL Network’s social media platforms by fans.
Following the three games, NHL Network’s E.J. Hradek, Tony Luftman and Butch Goring – who was traded to the Islanders during the 1979-80 season – will discuss the Islanders dynasty and its first of four Stanley Cups on NHL Tonight: 1980 Islanders 40th Anniversary at 7:00 p.m. ET. NHL Tonight will air a new virtual-reality video featuring Bob Nystrom and John Tonelli re-creating Nystrom’s 1980 Stanley Cup-winning overtime goal in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers, a clip of which can be seen here. Long Island-native, Islanders diehard fan and “The Karate Kid” actor Ralph Macchio and Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier are also scheduled to join the program.
NHL Network’s coverage will continue with Fort Neverlose: The New York Islanders and Nassau Coliseum and Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Final between the Flyers and Islanders at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. ET, respectively. The complete Islanders-focused programming schedule for Sunday, May 24 is as follows:
- 1:00 p.m. – Vancouver Canucks at New York Islanders, 1982 Stanley Cup Final Game 1 – Mike Bossy scores a hat trick, including the overtime game-winner, beginning the Islanders’ sweep of the Canucks. (Ed. note: This is the game where, SPOILER ALERT, an exhausted Harold Snepsts, a stalwart defenseman throughout his career, served up the OT assist.)
- 3:00 p.m. – Philadelphia Flyers at New York Islanders, 1987 Patrick Division Final Game 6 – Bryan Trottier scores two goals against the Flyers, including the game-winner, to force a Game 7. (Ed. note: Interesting choice. The Flyers won the next game to advance to the Cup final, where they lost to Edmonton in seven.)
- 5:00 p.m. – Minnesota North Stars at New York Islanders, 1981 Stanley Cup Final Game 2 – Denis Potvin scores two goals and gains two assists, including the game-winning goal against the North Stars.
- 7:00 p.m. – NHL Tonight: 1980 Islanders 40th Anniversary – NHL Network’s E.J. Hradek, Tony Luftman and Butch Goring discuss the 1980 Stanley Cup championship with Long Island-native actor Ralph Macchio and Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier.
- 8:00 p.m. – Fort Neverlose: The New York Islanders and Nassau Coliseum – A look at the memorable moments which took place at the New York Islanders’ home of 43 years. (Ed. note: 43 years...and counting...because developers and politicians often disagree.)
- 9:00 p.m. – Philadelphia Flyers at New York Islanders, 1980 Stanley Cup Final Game 6 – Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom, Denis Potvin and Duane Sutter all score, clinching the Islanders’ first of four straight Stanley Cup championships.
If you can access NHL Network...enjoy! I know my DVR is about to delete some house-hunting and dating shows ASAP.