The Islanders' fourth consecutive Stanley Cup didn't come easy. New York slogged along, placing second in the Patrick Division and sixth overall, its worst finish in eight years. The team also got shut out six times, the most in the NHL. But it had the league's stingiest defense and pulled itself together in time to sweep Edmonton and blank Wayne Gretzky in the roughly played Cup finals. The Great One had already set playoff records for total points (38) and points in one game (seven). He had also broken his own regular-season record for assists (125), while scoring 196 points, down 16 from the year before. Still, that was 72 more than runner-up Peter Stastny of Quebec scored. And though he couldn't poke in a puck in the finals, he assisted on four of the goals Edmonton got against New York's notorious Billy Smith. After his team's 5-1 loss in Game 3, Oiler coach Glen Sather said, "The slashing and chippy play isn't what's distracting us. Smith is." If the Islanders were the NHL's Dynasty, others seemed cast as The Young and the Restless, in which Gretzky made a cameo appearance after the season. Brian Lawton became the first American to be drafted No. 1, and countryman Pat LaFontaine was No. 3.
Goalie Grant Fuhr's Oilers looked slick until the Isles capped their Cup hopes.
Mike Bossy helped cop the Cup again with his third straight season of 60 or more goals.
No man is an Islander; it takes a whole team. Winning four straight Stanley Cups is an accomplishment only one other franchise has Donne.
Gretzky was still shooting lots of pucks into the netzky.
Few were tidier than Mark Messier, who cleaned up with 48 goals and 58 assists.
Bruin Pete Peeters (left) peetered out in the end. For Montreal's Larry Robinson it was a year of Hab-Nots.