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3 Glory Teams of the Past

July 27, 2012

Tonight is opening night for the Olympics, but this afternoon I was watching a vintage game on the NHL Network, and I offer some perspective, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. Two great hockey teams, one at the end of its championship run and the other at the beginning of their title glory, met in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1984. The Edmonton Oilers, who would win 4 Cup Titles in 5 seasons, won the series in 5 games vs the New York Islanders, who had won 4 straight Cup Titles.

The Islanders’ slogan that year was “The Drive for Five.” The Oilers had a raucous crowd for their clinching win on a Saturday night in game 5 of the 1984 finals. One banner read “The Drive for Five 1988.” It was meant as not only no 5th straight title for the Isles but that Edmonton would go for its 5th straight title in 1988, quite a lofty expectation. As it turned out, the Oilers won 4 Cups in 5 seasons including one in 1988.

Only the Montreal Canadiens from 1956-1960 won 5 straight Stanley Cups. The Islanders(1980-1983) and Montreal Canadiens (1976-1979) won 4 straight Cup titles. As cited, the Oilers won 4 titles in 5 seasons and went on to win 5 in 7 seasons. All of these teams were great and their “eras” of greatness are virtually unmatched in all major team sports.

Noteworthy is that the Islanders have not won the title since 1983, the Oilers not since 1990 and even the glory team of the NHL, The Montreal Canadiens, have not won the title since 1993.

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