Greg Gerkens works as a special education and science teacher in Wyandanch, New York. He has additional experience as an assistant principal at Eastern Suffolk High School in Centereach. In his free time, Greg Gerkens enjoys following a number of New York sports teams, including the New York Islanders.
The New York Islanders joined the National Hockey League (NHL) as an expansion team ahead of the 1972-1973 season under the leadership of General Manager Bill Torrey and Coach Phil Goyette. The Islanders went 31-101 in their first two seasons and then won 33 games during the 1974-1975 season, which propelled them into the NHL Semifinals. Over the course of five seasons, between 1974 and 1979, the Islanders improved their win total each year, culminating in a 51-15 1978-1979 season and the franchise’s fourth trip to the NHL Semifinals.
During the 1979-1980 season, New York won only 39 games, 12 fewer than the previous year. However, the Islanders would finally advance past the semifinals to make the franchise’s first appearance in a Stanley Cup Final. The Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in six games, outscoring Philadelphia by just one goal over the course of the series.
The young Islanders franchise, inspired by its first Stanley Cup victory, went on to dominate the NHL during the next four seasons, winning at least 42 games during the regular season and defeating the Minnesota North Stars, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Edmonton Oilers in Stanley Cup Finals to bring their all-time and consecutive title count to four championships. The New York Islanders went 50-26 during the 1983-1984 season and reached a fifth successive Stanley Cup Final, but ultimately fell in a rematch with the Oilers, ending the five-year dynasty.