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Brooks Simpson

Brooks Simpson writes, teaches, and speaks on American history and politics as a professor at Arizona State University. A native Long Islander, he has been an Islanders fan since the franchise's inception in 1972.

The 1980-81 New York Islanders: The Final versus Minnesota (Part Six)

(This is the concluding part of a six-part series celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Stanley Cup Champions: here are parts one, two, three, four, and five). The 1981 Stanley Cup Final pitted the New York Islanders against the upstart Minnesota North Stars: the league’s defending champion as well and top regular ...

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Simpson: Islanders Take It To the Limit One More Time: A Retrospective

The New York Islanders will travel to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning this Friday in what is the franchise’s 14th playoff series that has gone the limit. Series-deciding games are unusual: in Islanders history, they are rare if nevertheless memorable.  So, as the Islanders and their fans look forward ...

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The Islanders Recipe for Success: Forecheck, Turnover, Counterattack

The opening contest of the New York Islanders& Tampa Bay Lightning series saw the Isles embrace their forecheck that frustrated Tampa Bay’s breakouts and forced turnovers. While the pressure was not constant—the Lightning had the better of play in the opening and closing minutes, as well as during a few ...

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Simpson: Heating Up? Bailey, Eberle, and Nelson Finding Their Groove

One of the most pleasant surprises of Game 5 was that the Islanders spread their scoring throughout their lineup. Although the media has rightly highlighted Mathew Barzal’s renewed offensive success, through the first four games of the series only Barzal, Kyle Palmieri, J.G. Pageau, and Casey Cizikas had scored more ...

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The 1980-81 Islanders: The Regular Season (Part 2)

(Second of a six-part series commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Stanley Cup Champions: part one is here) The 1980-81 NHL season offered the Islanders a chance to answer the question posed of any champion: could they repeat? Freed from years of whispers about choking and collapsing, and with ...

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Simpson: More Cause for Concern with the Islanders

The past seven days of the Islanders’ schedule served as a rude reminder of the ups and downs of an NHL season. Recoiling from two disappointing losses to Washington that all but closed a run at the division championship, the Isles bounced back with two solid shutout wins against the ...

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Simpson: Yes, It’s Time to Worry about the Islanders

Fan bases are prone to overreact to how their team is doing. A few wins in a row leads to glowing optimism. That is the way things should be (and will always be), while a losing streak leads to wailing which is the way things are and that they are ...

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