It became clear
just how different the Islanders were when the semis opened at Nassau Coliseum.
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, the champions thereafter wore down the
challengers physically, winning nearly every battle in the corners and along
the boards en route to a 5-2 victory.
In Game 2 the
Rangers stormed to a 3-1 lead, but, eight minutes into the second period,
Goaltender Steve Baker fanned on Goring's shorthanded slap shot from 45 feet.
That made it 3-2, and opened the floodgates. Bossy scored a power-play goal—on
a McEwen feed—just 130 seconds later to tie the game, and Goring popped home a
rebound 143 seconds after that to put the Isles ahead. They went on to win
But the Rangers
had some shreds of hope as the series moved to Broadway. They had won five
straight at home in the playoffs. "We're homers," said Baker. Said
G.M.- Coach Craig Patrick, "Our building will turn things around."
Islanders turned up the heat even more. Again the Islanders roughhoused the
Rangers—legally. The Isles spent a total of only 26 minutes in the penalty box
in three games, the Rangers 45. The Islanders' forechecking and back-checking
resembled patterns come to life off Arbour's blackboard. By the middle of the
second period the Garden fans, who had greeted their team with a two-minute
ovation and the Islanders with a bucketful of dead fish and a variety of
scatological chants, had been stunned into silence.
they've ever played against us," said Right Wing Dean Talafous. Said
Defenseman Tom Laidlaw, "They took us apart step by step."
really psyched, but we were calm," said Bossy. "It's the best attitude
we've ever had coming to play here." With his goal Saturday night, Bossy
had 11 for the playoffs to go with the 68 during the regular season. That left
him one shy of Flyer Reggie Leach's season-plus-playoff record of 80 goals, set
in 1975-76 (61 season, 19 playoffs). Bossy was aware of the record. "If I
get it, though, I know what will happen," he said. "People will say,
'So what, he should have gotten it in the regular season.' " What's a guy
got to do to get respect?