(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Bruce Bennett)
In our Best of the Books feature, Adam Proteau looks back on Mike Bossy's incredible and unbreakable record four game-winning goals in a single post-season series, which he set against the Boston Bruins in the 1983 Wales Conference final.
Scoring a game-winning goal at the highest level of the sport is something every hockey fan dreams of. Only a fraction of one percent of those people realize that dream – and only one player in the history of the NHL has ever scored all four winners in the same playoff series.
That’s what New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy did during the 1983 Wales Conference final against Boston.
Although he was famous for many reasons (including scoring two Cup-winning goals during the four consecutive Islanders titles), one of the right winger’s biggest achievements was putting up one of the greatest individual efforts the game has seen: a team-best nine goals and 13 points in the six-game series against a Bruins team that had the NHL’s best record.
“I haven’t forgotten that great series,” Bossy said. “That was memorable.”
After picking up the winning goal in each of three Isles victories, Bossy saved his best for the finale. In Game 6, Bossy had a four-goal night in New York’s 8-4 win over Boston.
That was the exclamation point for his answer to starting that post-season slowly – at least, for him – with six goals in 10 games against the Isles first- and second-round opponents.
“I had a lot of chances that weren’t going in earlier in the playoffs, so it felt like the odds were starting to even out for me against Boston,” Bossy said. “Winning was all that mattered, but it was fun to contribute like that.”
Bossy’s contribution is a record that can never be broken…barring the unlikely introduction of the best-of-nine playoff format.
This is an excerpt from THN’s 2011 book, Hockey's Most Amazing Records.