New York Islanders legend Bob Bourne believes the 1980s teams should be among the first mentioned in the debate about the greatest sports dynasties of all time.
The Islanders won four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983 before losing to the Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers in the 1984 Final. Bourne believes those 19 playoff series successes in a row are a feat that will never be matched by any team in sports.
"Nineteen wins in a row. No one says it. I never see it. It's always the Chicago Bulls, maybe the New England Patriots. But no one gives us credit," Bourne told NHL.com's Dan Rosen. "Nineteen. That's what I'm very proud of. No one in this world, in any sport, will ever beat 19 in a row. No one. It's impossible. And we did it."
The 1990s Bulls won six championships in eight years, but they managed to win only 13 playoff series in a row. Meanwhile, the Patriots' longest postseason win streak is seven games. Even the 1960s Boston Celtics, who won 11 rings in 13 years, peaked at winning 18 straight playoff series, as the majority of their postseason runs required only two series.
Sunday marked the 40-year anniversary of the Islanders' first Cup. Bourne is rarely mentioned alongside Hall of Fame teammates Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Clark Gillies, or Billy Smith, but he was an integral part of those teams, tallying 74 points in 74 playoff games during the four Cup runs.