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jean potvin

In the fourth spot in the countdown are Islanders defensemen. A lot of them. 16 players in all have worn the number and 15 of them are defenders, with nine of those defenders wearing the number for multiple years. Steven, Resident Historian, fills us in on the first few important players to wear #4:[sny-box]Jean Potvin was obtained in 1973 to entice Denis Potvin not to sign with the WHA. He was half of an all-Potvin power play defense that scored on nearly 32% of its chances in 1975-76. Their 31.7% was just a hair below the record 31.9% set by the Canadiens two years later.Next came Bob Lorimer, much more of a defensive defenseman. But as with many Islanders defensemen of the dynasty era, he had a big offensive moment. In the 1980 semi-finals against the Sabres, the Islanders had gone up 3 games to 0, then lost two straight. Game 6 was at home, and the Islanders quickly fell behind 2-0. We fans were very nervous - after two straight playoff chokes, we were afraid another was coming. But the Islanders scored five straight goals to win it and go to the Final for the first time. And the game winner was the only goal Lorimer scored in that year's playoffs.Paul Boutilier and Gerald Diduck followed, Boutilier did just enough as a rookie in 1982-83 to get his name on the Cup, but neither stood out.Uwe Krupp was on two Islanders playoff teams in the mid-90s, but his biggest Islanders moment came when he was on the Sabres in 1990. He scored an overtime goal in the final game of the season to beat the Penguins and put the Islanders in the playoffs - and cost them Jaromir Jagr, whom the Penguins chose with the fifth pick in the next draft. The Islanders, picking sixth, chose Scott Scissons, who played 2 NHL games and was the only player in the top 8 of that draft not to play at least 900 NHL games.[/sny-box]After Krupp, Bryan McCabe would pick up the number in 1996. He was selected in the second round in 1993 and would make the big club in 1995-96 at age 20. Two solid years later he was named captain as the successor to Pat Flatley. But in true Mike Milbury fashion, the GM would TRADE HIS 22-YEAR OLD DEFENDER JUST-NAMED-CAPTAIN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON. [sny-box]...McCabe was "shocked." He never figured the Isles would trade him after naming him captain. "I guess I'm stupid to think like that," said McCabe, 22. "But I figured I was just named captain so I'd stick around for awhile.[/sny-box]The trade was McCabe, Todd Bertuzzi and a third rounder for Linden and it paid dividends for years for the Canucks. Seriously, those three pieces all played roles in Brian Burke's ability to draft both Sedins, acquire Roberto Luongo from Florida and re-acquire Trevor Linden. This is worth a read, if you're interested. But anyway, another young defender Milbury would ship out would next wear #4. Eric Brewer, taken fifth in 1997 when the Isles had the fourth and fifth picks, would play 89 games on Long Island before being shipped to Edmonton for the next player to wear #4... ...Roman Hamrlik in what was actually a good trade for Milbury. Milbury paid a steep price for Hamrlik (Green, Brewer and a 2nd) but Hamrlik was part of the Islanders resurgence in the early 2000s. He spent four seasons on Long Island, three of them ending in a playoff appearance, which is a probably some kind of a record for post-dynasty Islanders. 4Jean Potvin (1973-1978)Jim Mair (1973)Bob Lorimer (1977-1981)Paul Boutilier (1982-1986)Gerald Diduck (1987-1990)Bill Berg (1991)Uwe Krupp (1992-1994)Bryan McCabe (1996-1998)Eric Brewer (1999-2000)Roman Hamrlik (2001-2004)Joel Bouchard (2006)Bryan Berard (2008)Brett Skinner (2009)Mark Flood (2010)Mark Eaton (2011-2012)Radek Martinek (2013)
Tags: bob lorimer, bryan mccabe, eric brewer, History, Islanders, jean potvin, roman hamrlik, Kevin Schultz

In the Islanders third year in the NHL, 1974-75, they made the playoffs for the first time. After two abysmal seasons -- only 31 wins in 156 games -- they finished 33-25-22 in '75 and tied the Rangers for second in the Patrick Division with 88 points. The two teams met in the first round of the playoffs for a best-of-three series that would vault the Islanders into the New York sports consciousness when they knocked out the long-established Rangers. The Islanders took Game One at the Garden, 3-2, and were routed 8-3 two nights later at the Coliseum. That setup a decisive Game Three the next night at the Garden. The Islanders held a 3-0 lead early in the game before the Rangers mounted a furious comeback to force overtime, which is where we'll pick up the story. The following is an excerpt from Dynasty: The Oral History of the New York Islanders, 1972-1984 and is republished with permission from author Greg Prato.

EDDIE WESTFALL: I had been there before in the playoffs and overtimes. So my thought was, ??What did we do when I was a Boston Bruin when we got to the playoffs and overtime??? One thing we always said in the Bruin dressing room was, ??When you??re going to go to overtime, you??ve got to win as quickly as possible. You??ve got to be aggressive, you??ve got to take a little bit of a chance. You don??t want to sit back.?? So that??s what we had drummed up in the dressing room. They put out the oldest line on the team - JP Paris?, Jude Drouin, and Ed Westfall. And that??s all we talked about - ??Win the face-off, get the puck in, put pressure on them, and we??ll take our chances down in their end of the ice. They can??t score if the puck??s in their backyard.??

JP PARIS?: I think it was Dave Lewis who dumped the puck into the Rangers corner. And at that time, Jude and I had a play, where he would go to the puck, and just kind of bang it behind the net. I would automatically go to the far corner and receive that pass. We bought time so I could make a play - give him a chance to get back in front of the net or follow behind the net. We had different options. And for some reason, I decided to go to the net, instead. And Jude got to the point, first. One of the Rangers didn??t pick up the puck, so Jude was right on top. He??s the guy that made the whole play - he spotted me going towards the net. All of a sudden, it was right on my stick, and I had a whole open net. I scored, and that??s the last I remembered, because after I scored, I got hit from behind. Brad Park hit me, and I fell down on the ice. But we all went nuts, and the game was over. It was just a great, great feeling.

Tags: al arbour, billy harris, bob nystrom, Book Excerpts, book excerpts, claire arbour, dynasty, ed westfall, gary dell'abate, glenn resch, greg prato, History, Islanders, jean potvin, jp parise, News, stan fischler
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