Whenever something occurs for the first time in a while and I’m not talking the first time in two years, but the first time in say 20 years and so on, there’s a tendency to think back what was going on the last time it happened.
Case in point Sunday night at about 11 PM if you were watching or following the Islanders in double overtime against the Florida Panthers. We had known it had been May 14, 1993 when the Islanders last won a playoff series, but in reality we might not have grasped how long ago it actually was until John Tavares moved behind the net and put the backhander past Roberto Luongo.
Delirium. Madness. Drama.
Followed by the realization of how long it had actually been. It was 8,381 days since David Volek took a cross ice pass from Ray Ferraro, lifted a one-timer over Tom Barrasso as Mario Lemieux skated off without a chance to win a third straight Stanley Cup.
I remember the goal but didn’t see it live because I was attending a play a family friend was appearing in. I’d imagine we taped the game even if we lean towards the Rangers.
After all, game seven is game seven.
At the moment when Volek’s goal went in, I was in eighth grade, proud to be a Knicks fan. Because in 1993, the Knicks were normal with their rough and tumble style of play and following a 60-win regular season under Pat Riley, I was sure it was their year to win it.
We’d learn a few weeks later it wasn’t and eight years later, the road to laughingstock and dysfunction began.
As for baseball, the Mets were careening towards an even worse disaster than the previous year when the Worst Team Money Could Buy (45 million payroll) was 72-90.At this point, they were 12-21 following an 8-7 loss to Montreal which featured first inning errors by Bobby Bonilla and Jeff Kent.
Now the Mets are far from a the 103-loss disaster of Jeff Torborg and Dallas Green. They reached dysfunction status from 2009-10 following collapses in 2007 and 2008 but a slow gradual rebuild has taken shape with a team capable of reaching the World Series.
For the Yankees, this was the second month of 23 straight winning seasons. After years of dysfunction leading to 1989-1992, the Yankees were 19-16 following an 8-6 loss at the Stadium to the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays won this game on a two-run home by John Olerud in the ninth and beat the Yankees by seven games en route to a World Series.
The Yankees won a lot more, but also lost some. Their current drought is three years without a playoff win which is nothing compared to the Islanders.
In the country, Bill Clinton was nearly four months into his presidency. Now his wife hopes she’s about nine months from becoming the next president.
Musically, Janet Jackson was No.1 at the top of the charts. A Movie version of Lost In Yonkers, which I had seen on Broadway in 1991 was released.
Countless other things have happened in between wins. Perhaps the most amazing is Jaromir Jagr played in both games. He was a young Penguin and is a senior member of the Panthers, who plays young.
This is a somewhat short post. Imagine how long it’d be if this was about the Toronto Maple Leafs finally wining their long awaited Stanley Cup.