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Friday 6/12/20

Sir, I normally don't respond to letters that come in via my site, but I salute your passion. We'll have to agree to disagree about the Islanders' dynasty. You can only play who you play. They did take apart a near-juggernaut Oilers team in '83, and the Isles' Cup run in '80 required going through one of the more daunting gauntlets. I think a lot of their greatness is owed to how many B, B+ type of players they had--almost like the Patriots of the early 2000s. They could play any way, win any way.

But: I view the '83-'84 Oilers as the best team of all-time--even if they did lose a game 11-0 to the Whalers--and if you go to the Sports section on my site, you can find many articles about the Oilers and Gretzky. There is one piece I like that posits them as the best-skating team in league history. As for Steve Smith: I think it's more nuanced than that. The Flames carried the bulk of the play in that series. If Smith does not bank in the puck off of Fuhr, I don't think we can assume the Oilers win that game. I think the Flames get them that year, regardless. And, if the Oilers do not lose to those Flames, I don't know that they win the next two Cups--they locked it down quite a bit defensively after that Flames ouster, became a more complete team, one might argue.

Thanks for the note, your passion, for reading, and enjoy the playoffs this year.

Yours, Colin Fleming