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IslesBlog Roundtable: The All-Nemesis Team

Peter Power/Associated Press

There has been no shortage of villains that have drawn the ire of Islander fans since 1972.

Some of them come from within, some develop their reputation for what they do against the Isles, but in either case, they still end up on the most wanted list.

We decided to put together a team of the biggest nemeses in franchise history. Here’s what we came up with:

OFFENSE

Dale Hunter

Two words: Pierre Turgeon.

Kirk Muller

Wasn’t thrilled to be here and didn’t last very long. Tied for 20th in all-time regular season points against the Isles. Oh, and the guy he’s tied with? Dale Hunter.

Sidney Crosby

Has been lighting it up against the Isles since his rookie year. “Pretty self-explanatory.” (Shirman) “Gained a reputation as a whiner…wasn’t a reputation that was undeserved…really rubbed fans the wrong way.” (Dunning)

Evgeni Malkin

Among players with at least 10 postseason games against the Isles under their belt, only Wayne Gretzky has averaged more points-per-game (1.40) than Malkin has (1.36), and only one other player (Brayden Point) is tied with him for second on that list. Seems like he’s scored every backbreaking goal in the playoffs against the Islanders.

Jaromir Jagr

Nobody has recorded more points against the Isles (155) than Jagr has. “Notably said he enjoyed playing the Islanders because he would score against us.” (Shirman)

Glenn Anderson

Not as heralded as some of his Oiler teammates, but gave the Isles fits both with and without the puck.

Mike Gartner 

Seventh all-time in regular season points against NYI, first in playoff goals and points against them.

Alex Ovechkin

He’s always wide open on the power play and always scores on a slap shot from the top of the circle. Every. Single. Time.

Tiger Williams

Always a pain in the neck to deal with. 150 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games against the Isles, which comes out to 3.5 per game. That’s the halfway point between a two-minute minor and a five-minute major. The math checks out. “Top-five bad guy.” (Simpson)

Sean Avery

His on-ice antics aside, Avery has also called out Isles fans on more than one occasion. Pretty sure he’s on 29 other teams’ villain lists, too. “He was the kind of player absolutely hated if he wasn’t on your team.” (Dunning) “Pure evil.” (Farieri)

Darcy Tucker 

Gave the Isles nightmares in the 2002 playoffs. “Hurt the Islanders physically.” (Farieri)

John Tavares

Whether you blame him for leaving or not, he left. Most people seem to fall into that first camp. “It may be time to let go of the animosity, but I don’t see the fan base letting go of it anytime soon.” (Dunning)

Honorable Mention: Tom Wilson

A thorn in the Isles’ side for years now, but may have earned some credit by helping scare the Rangers into making potentially disastrous changes. Still, the animosity runs deep. “Unless you are a Washington Capitals fan, you most likely despise Tom Wilson.” (Dunning)

DEFENSE

Victor Hedman

Among defensemen, only Larry Murphy has more playoff points against the Islanders (20) than Hedman, who trails him by just one with 19.

Kris Letang

Has always made key plays against the Isles when healthy. “In the cases of Hedman and Letang, those two have seemed to put up big numbers pretty often when they play New York, whether it’s in regular season play or the postseason.” (Bentivenga)

Brad Park

He was to the Rangers’ defense what Denis Potvin was to the Isles’ blue line and he was damn good at his job.

Brian Leetch

Extremely productive as an offensive defenseman throughout his career, particularly against the Islanders. 76 points in 86 regular season games vs. NYI. “Leetch is, as much as it may pain me to say, one of the best hockey players I have ever seen (Dunning)

Scott Stevens

Third-most regular season penalty minutes against the Islanders (194), only trailing Hunter and Devils teammate Ken Daneyko. Was a nightmare to be on the ice at the same time as him. Also contributed offensively with 63 points in 122 contests against the Isles.

Paul Coffey

No other defenseman has more career points in the regular season against the Isles than Coffey (78 in 66 games).

Honorable Mention: Mike Matheson

“Everyone remembers Matheson for his malicious hit on Johnny Boychuk.” (Bentivenga) “Ended Boychuk’s career and hurt (Oliver) Wahlstrom.” (Shirman)

GOALIES

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Has been catapulted to the top of the list after shutting down the Isles in two-straight conference finals series. “You don’t need an explanation beyond ‘two years in a row.'” (Shirman)

John Davidson

Stymied the Isles in the ’79 playoffs. “Delayed the dynasty.” (Simpson)

Honorable Mention: Ryan Miller

Flat-out dominated the Islanders on several occasions, including the first round of the ’07 playoffs.

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